Friday, January 22, 2010

Documentaries in the News, Pantsuit Edition

Well, it looks like there will be a bright shiny future for documentary filmmakers. As long you really want to be a corporate shill when you grow up.

That's right: one channel for influence peddling in the decade ahead will certainly be political documentaries funded by corporations. If you realize a particular candidate might restrict your Widget sales, just because they tend to be unsafe, unhealthy, unwholesome Widgets that maybe could use the tiniest bit of regulation, well: get a hit piece going. You probably only need to sway a small percentage of minds. So what a cost-effective way to buy an election: a whole fleet of "documentary" Swift Boats. A little fleet of films that "question" if that candidate isn't really hiding a taste for cannibalism, or a secret past filled with much, much worse. No real evidence needed.

You know, the type of film that wouldn't get out into the world without someone who benefits from creating fear, doubt and uncertainty wildly tossing distribution money around to clear the path ahead.

(Later, the opposition candidate -- who coincidentally supports a policy of complete deregulation of Widget production -- will say "I don't know why my opponent won't answer these charges of devouring children in Satanic rituals.")

You're probably way ahead of me here, because I know you keep up on your Supreme Court decisions. But just in case, let's review why a documentary film was at the heart of today's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to overturn limits for corporate spending for or against political candidates.

Citizens United used 'Hillary: The Movie' to take on McCain-Feingold

'David Bossie, a veteran Republican campaign operative who made his mark investigating the Clintons, thought his group could offer a conservative answer to Michael Moore's successful films. After Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" premiered in 2004, Bossie's Citizens United group released "Celsius 41.11."

And after it became clear that Bossie's longtime enemy Hillary Rodham Clinton would run for president, Citizens United released another flick: "Hillary: The Movie." Featuring a who's-who cast of right-wing commentators, the 2008 film takes viewers on a savaging journey through Clinton's scandals. The sole compliment about the then-senator comes from conservative firebrand Ann Coulter: "Looks good in a pantsuit."'
Follow the link, read the rest.

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