Tags: charlie | wilsons | war

'Charlie Wilson's War' Credits Democrat With Cold War End

Tuesday, 18 Dec 2007 08:06 AM

By James Hirsen

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History indicates that a prominent conservative’s steadfast actions are what led to the Cold War end.

It was the late great Ronald Reagan who was the key player in the engineering of U.S. victory following the prolonged tension-ridden period during which we were at odds with the then-Soviet Union.

A current film once again illustrates that acknowledging Reagan’s triumphs doesn’t sit all that well with liberal Hollywood.

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin of “West Wing” fame (who, incidentally, is up for a Golden Globe but is refusing to cross the writers’ strike picket line) and director Mike Nichols, who’s best known for “The Graduate,” found a book to adapt to the big-screen that credits a Democrat with the Cold War win.

“Charlie Wilson's War” is based on a non-fiction book by George Crile, which profiles a 1980s congressman named Charles Wilson, aka “the liberal from Lufkin.” Rep. Wilson was a pro-abortion, Equal Rights Amendment-supporting Democrat.

Tom Hanks plays the Texas rep who was involved with covertly funding Afghanistan's Mujahideen rebels in opposition to the Soviet Union. He was urged on by born-again socialite and mistress Joanne Herring, who is played by Julia Roberts.

Entertainment Weekly gave the quintessential Tinseltown take on the flick, praising it as “a journalistic satire of realpolitik in which our jerry-rigged alliances, which looked strategic at the time, end up biting the U.S. in unforeseen ways.”

But the publication did take a small swipe at the movie in the following way: “Charlie was right to fight his war . . . All of which sounds a little too close to recently made rationalizations for a certain other war.”

Not surprisingly, the critics are heaping praise on the film. It has been nominated for 5 Golden Globes and is also on most of the Academy prognosticators’ Oscar lists.

The Golden Globes may be a predictor of what happens at the Oscars in more ways than one.

Globe nominations were recently announced, but the six-week old writers’ strike may all but eliminate any reason for the public to watch the telecast.

Writers, presenters, nominees and, of course, red carpet walkers could be agonizingly absent.

Globe producers are trying to get a waiver from the Writers Guild of America to exempt the Jan. 13 ceremony at the Beverly Hilton, promising to use the event to express solidarity with the picketers.

If the requested waiver is denied, many of the nominees who don’t want to be labeled Ellen DeGeneres-like strike breakers have already declared that they won’t cross the picket line and will therefore boycott the Globes ceremony.

David Duchovny, of “X-files” fame who’s nominated for “Californication,” told the Hollywood Reporter, “I would never cross picket lines. I would probably send a stunt double in.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” producer Shonda Rhimes, “Eastern Promises” director David Cronenberg, and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” writer Ronald Harwood have also said they will boycott the Globes if there is no waiver.

“Samantha Who?”’s Christina Applegate, who’s nominated for the new comedy, has decided to attend despite the picket lines. Applegate summed up her feelings about being nominated for a Globe while the writers are on strike.

The actress said, “It stinks.”

James Hirsen is a media analyst, Trinity Law School professor and teacher of mass media law at Biola University.

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