Nov 092003
 
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

The Republican Party has saved the American public, again. CBS

pulled its made-for-television movie “The Reagans” off its lineup

after outcry from conservatives voices called for a boycott of CBS.

According to reports, Republican Party chief Ed Gillespie told

reporters that he’s worried the biopic will be a smear job and

asked the network to let the GOP’s handpicked historians review the

film before it airs, or else run a crawler every 10 minutes

acknowledging that the movie is fictional. Gillespie made this

comment before he even saw the biopic. Everyone knows what to

expect from made-for-television movies; bad acting, a cheesy script

and to be overly overdramatic.

Shame on the Republican Party for trying to overstep its

boundary and shame on the spineless CBS for caving in so

easily.

And before people label me a radical liberal, I would shake my

finger at the Democratic Party if they tried to pull the same

stint. This is not the first time a past president has been subject

to a controversial movie. Oliver Stone has dabbled with past

presidents with “Nixon” and “JFK” and both of those movies made

both parties cry “foul.” The Democratic Party had to sit through

the book and movie “Primary Colors” that, without saying names,

portrayed the Clinton administration as snobs and full of

corruption.

I have no doubt “Reagans” was bias towards the Gipper but what

else did the GOP expect from the same network that brought you “The

Elizabeth Smart Story”? Gillespie’s petition that either the

network let handpicked historians review the movie for accuracy

(talk about being biased) or having CBS run a disclaimer at the

bottom was completely out of the question and is clearly

censorship. The fact that CBS pulled the movie off its lineup so

late only shows a yellow belly, CBS simply folded to the Republican

demands when they sold the movie to premium cable channel Showtime

(both are owned by Viacom). The movie was scheduled to be broadcast

on Nov. 16 and 18. A statement from CBS said, “(the) decision is

based solely on our reaction to seeing the final film, not the

controversy that erupted around a draft of the script…we believe

it does not present a balanced portrayal of the Reagans for CBS and

its audience.” As expected, CBS did not return the phone calls of a

small college newspaper column when trying to get an additional

statement.

This decision was made after the film already wrapped and with a

script approved by the network and its lawyers. According to a

story in Entertainment Weekly, all broadcast-network telefilms are

vetted by Standards and Practices and network attorneys.

If this caused the GOP any headaches, they better pull out

aspirin when Michael Moore comes out with his documentary

“Fahrenheit 911” about the supposed connection between the Bush and

bin Laden families, just in time for reelection. Moore is purposely

putting out this propaganda – I mean, documentary — to defame Bush

and hurt his chances for re-election. Moore, who gives real

liberals a bad name, is misusing his celebrity clout to change the

course of politics. If Moore has real news about the Bushes and bin

Laden doing business together, he should go through legitimate

media and let the public know but he shouldn’t try to persuade

people one way or the other with his films.

CBS was wrong in the first place to run with a slanted depiction

of the former president. In the film, the president utters the

line, “They that live in sin shall die in sin” when referring to

homosexual AIDS patients, according to people close to the

president and the author of the screenplay, the president never

said that line. The GOP was in the wrong with trying to censor

CBS.

But at least the GOP has the reliable Fox News Channel to show

the fair and balanced side of things.

 

 

 

 

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