Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Where is Free Speech Going?

The new Oliver Stone film World Trade Center is set to be released this week. Film critic Peter King got an advance viewing.
LA Time reports "It wasn't a new White House initiative or pending bill that preoccupied Rep. Peter T. King one day this spring.It was Oliver Stone.The director's political, conspiracy-tinged movies such as "JFK" and "Salvador" had made him a scourge of conservatives. King was concerned that Stone's upcoming film, "World Trade Center," would take a provocative look at the 9/11 terrorist attacks."

Does Kings "concern" mean he gets to review a movie before it comes out?

"King, whose Long Island district was home to scores of 9/11 victims, peppered Paramount Pictures representatives with questions as they showed him the trailer in his Capitol Hill office in May."I asked them several times: Are there any Oliver Stone conspiracies in there?" King recalled. "Is it going to be, 'Bush really did it? Clinton really did? Lyndon Johnson really did it?' I was concerned this would be like a 9/11 version of 'JFK.' "

So King gets to see the movie in his office and ask studio executives about it?
Funny that he would want to know if the film says "Clinton really did it" when King himself has placed blame for 9/11 squarely on Clintons shoulders ".. and 'cause Bill Clinton put it off for eight years, and that's why we had the twin towers on 9/11."

Exactly why did King get a viewing anyway?

"The meeting was part of a quiet, preemptive effort by Paramount and parent Viacom Inc. to head off any political backlash to Stone's movie...
"People were beginning to form ideas about what the movie might be about," said DeDe Lea, Viacom's senior vice president for government relations. "And rather than wait for those ideas to be formed, we thought, 'Let's get in there early and explain what the movie is about.'

"Viacom's effort to reassure lawmakers underscores how important having smooth relations in Washington is to the media giant, which has at stake such issues as indecency and cable-TV regulations. Viacom this week showed lawmakers the movie, which opens Aug. 9 and tells the story of two Port Authority police officers trapped in the rubble of the twin towers."

So the studio is afraid that if the republican campaign theme of 9/11 isn't portrayed correctly in the film, the republican-led congress will seek retribution.
Isn't that a frightening prospect?

"Viacom and Paramount sensed higher hurdles for "World Trade Center," given its bigger scale, a well-known cast that includes Nicolas Cage and its polarizing filmmaker. Adding to the tensions are upcoming elections in which the congressional balance of power could be at stake.
For many Republicans, Stone falls just below "Fahrenheit 9/11" documentarian Michael Moore on their enemies list of Hollywood filmmakers."

Viacom, former parent company of Showtime Networks didn't seek approval of the historical revisionist version of 9/11 in "DC 9/11: Time of Crisis," This movie or rather a hagiography of Bush on 9/11 was written and produced by a Bush supporter.
No concern for that film from King or his cohorts in congress.

"King said his meeting with the studio representatives had allayed his concerns. He's even looking forward to watching the movie.
"I think it's important for the country to see it," King said."

Thank you Peter for your stamp of approval.
One that was not needed at all.

Are media outlets now scared of releasing their products because the republican congress will go after them if they don't like the product?

We saw how easily King throws around the word "treason" and goes after media he doesn't like. Even the simple french fry suffered under the republican congress.

What would have happend if King didn't like what the movie said?

How close are we to Chairman McCarthy..... er Chairman King heading the House Un-American Activities Committee?
Are King and his ilk by virtue of their control of congress pushing media into self-censorship?

It would have been better for freedom of speech at least to let King pay his $8.50 and see the movie... or not.

If he wants to spout off about Oliver Stone without seeing the movie first, then that is his problem and it would simply make him look stupid.


Reel Fanatic said...

The folks behind the marketing of this one, some of whom were involved with the Swift Boat crew, are even shadier ... that said, I took advantage of Paramount's drive to screen this one in advance in red states (for me, Georgia), and have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit

Anonymous said...

What is this backlash against Congressman King acting as if he is a movie critic? It is not as if that is such a difficult job to do. If anything, movie critics have the easiest and most enjoyable work. They sit and watch movies all week, and then spout some mumbo jumbo to the public. In the case of New York Times, it is a refined mumbo jumbo. Anyone can be a movie critic, so therefore I point out what is the difference between a Congressman commenting on a movie or a movie critic. Understanding a movie is not rocket science and I'm sure everyone has at one point or another played movie critic. Even the simple question, "Did you like the movie?" may cause a person to critique the film in a resounding "No!" That example just shows someone playing movie critic (a job that anyone is qualified for).

The only problem with this film would have stemmed from conspiracies such as "The U.S. knew about the attacks before it happened." "The attacks were actually caused by covert agents acting under the authority of the U.S. government." "Everything everybody witnessed is a cover-up, perpetrated by the U.S. government." These ideas have no place in our society, in our pulpits, in our literature, or in the media (or anywhere else for that matter that I have excluded). Democrats and Republicans alike would understand and express their anger over any such theories being conveyed to the public.

ragincajin said...

Howie — if you can read this pls get it to Dave:

Pete King puts on one face for the war on terror here at home, but totally supports terror, and terrorism when it comes to Ireland
and the IRA. He has joined himself at the hip with Gerry Adams, and / or the IRA and he is with no doubt a sympathizer of Irish related terror and the murder and mayhem sponsored or promulgated by the IRA.

So — do some oppo on that score and nail him to the wall! He’s a Gingrich Chickenhawk who does not posses the courage to
go to war or send his son to war — but he sure as hell will send money to the IRA and vote for your kid to die in Iraq anytime!!!

Shameless coward King he is.