(UPDATED) Obama’s Got His Leni Riefenstahls All Warmed Up

Hey there. Wanna get sick on the QT?

This’ll do it. It’s a trailer.

Recognize the voice-over? Thought you might.

And the Leni Riefenstahl of this little operation played a similar role for that paragon of truth Al Gore

Those who claim Hollywood is an ant’s nest of Democratic and liberal activism are already riled up over Saturday’s debut of HBO’s Sarah Palin pic Game ChangeNow they will have more reason to shake a fist at the entertainment community with today’s unveiling of the 2-minute trailer for The Road We’ve Traveled, a new campaign video for President Obama’s re-election effort. Narrated by Oscar-winner Tom Hanks at his most passionate and directed by David Guggenheim (director of Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth), the 17-minute film will be released March 17. The trailer, which debuted this morning on social media sites like Facebook, features comments from Vice President Joe Biden, former Chief of Staff (and current mayor of Chicago) Rahm Emanuel, former economic advisor Austan Goolsbee and others. Republicans are already foaming at the mouth over the trailer, while the Obama faithful are waiting anxiously for the remaining 15 minutes. Such is life in the 2012 election season.

Don’t forget that Hanks is the dunce who ruined the rollout of The Pacific, which was an otherwise pretty solid piece of work, by saying that the fight against the Japanese was all about racism. Remember this?

Even when he pays tribute to this country he makes it sound like we suck. And he’s a dumbass, too. When he says you can sub in “ignorance” for “racism” anytime you want, and he’s saying this – at least it sounds like he’s saying this – within the context of Afghanistan, you can see it.

They make women wear burkas in Afghanistan, and they make little boys sex slaves there. Not just once in a while – all the time.

But the way Hanks talks about it, to say a place like that is full of the worst people on earth – which by the way is what you hear over and over and over again from people who haven’t just made a movie about Afghanistan that wasn’t shot anywhere even close to Afghanistan (unless you think Morocco is close to Afghanistan) but actually had to dodge bullets there – constitutes racism and therefore ignorance.

This is Tom Hanks’ mind at work. People who actually know something about a place and have a piss-poor opinion about the people there are ignorant, but Tom Hanks, who went to Morocco to make a movie about that place, isn’t. They’re racist; he’s enlightened. And now he’s qualified to tell you who to vote for. And if you don’t agree, you’re the moron.

And that’s a typical lefty in Hollywood. Meet Daniel Knauf, who’s been dealing with jackasses like Tom Hanks and Davis Guggenheim for a long time and can’t stand it anymore.

All that said, I was pretty much apolitical. The closest I came to studying issues was to pick up one of P.J. O’Rourke’s books for a giggle or two. But then, I also got a kick out of Michael Moore’s first film, Roger and Me. Politically, I was the proverbial wise-ass kid with a permanent seat in the rear of the classroom where I could safely heckle the nuns without collecting too many stripes across the back of my knuckles.

Then, on September 11th, 2001, everything changed.

I remember watching the collapse of the first tower and feeling–literally feeling the breath just leave my lungs, my chest filling with a terrible, ghastly void; a sense of distant screams in a windswept wasteland and loss loss loss oh my God all those people all those people they murdered all those thousands of people

Though it was but seconds, it seemed minutes, many long minutes before I could draw a breath. I quietly excused myself and hurried to the bedroom to spare my young children the memory of seeing Daddy collapse helplessly into a series of horrified, aching, gut-wrenching sobs.

As soon as I’d composed myself, I rejoined my family.  I really have no memory of the ensuing hours, only that my wife and I decided I should go to work, that we’d try to keep the kids calm by maintaining our normal schedules. Only God knew what the future held…

I was working my first network series gig as a staff writer on a show called Wolf Lakewhile Carnivale was in development at HBO.

Like every American that morning, I was greeted by coworkers in various states of shock, portable TVs turned to the news in all the offices. Like every American, I was approached by a number of colleagues who wished to vent and commiserate.

But unlike every American,  my coworkers expressed little or no anger toward the terrorists who had committed this atrocity. Rather, they directed their vitriol towards American Imperialism, American foreign policy, American arrogance, American warmongering, American racism and, most of all, our American President, the evil, unfathomably stupid, idiot-Christian, bumbling Texan oaf, George W. Bush.

And what did I say?


Not a damn thing.

I was just shocked silent. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Were these people crazy?

At one point, one of my fellow writers must’ve noticed that I wasn’t expressing my state-mandated, required ration of Bush-hatred, and confronted me like some rabid Dominican at the height of the Spanish Inquisition,

“So what do you think?” she hissed, eyes narrowed, scrutinizing me, as if vetting me for any possible variance from the accepted party ideology, “What would you do if youwere the President?”

“If I was President, I would make a speech before a joint session of Congress, demanding that Bin Laden be delivered within 48 hours to the steps of the White House–alive, dead or just his fucking head in a burlap bag, I don’t care. If not, then I suggest that all you assholes in Kabul lather up with some SPF 5,000, strap on some welding goggles and take a gander to the East, because we’re gonna fire a little 400 kiloton shot over the bow, so to speak. And that’s where the sun’s gonna rise–out there just East of your capitol, in a relatively uninhabited patch of shit you call a country. Let’s call that a preview of coming attractions, shall we? Because if another 24 hours passes after the deployment of our first missile, and I’m not trading bon-mots with your boy’s head here in the Oval Office, we will fire another, and this time it will be targeted to explode, oh, about 200 meters above the center of the rat-hole you call a capitol. Which is why I’m really, really glad that I’m not the President, because I’m pissed-off crazy as Hell.”

Actually, I didn’t say that.

Well… not all of it.

What I actually said, after a bit of hemming and hawing and averting of the eyes, was, “I’m just really, really glad that I’m not the President, because I don’t know what I’d do.”

(NOTE: Deliver the above in a Goofy uh-huh-yuk-yuk dopey-aww-shucks drawl to appreciate the full “Who, Me? No Ma’am!” gutlessness inherent in the speaker.)

She glared at me for a moment, as if attempting to x-ray my soul to determine whether I was a fellow-traveler, or something… else. Finally, she walked out to go write a check to PETA or shit herself over Global Warming or something. I was, for the moment anyway, safe.

Over the ensuing years, I continued to remain silent whenever confronted by the toxic, batshit-crazy, knee-jerk, anti-intellectual, when-in-doubt-blame-America Leftism that pervades Hollywood. I saw what happened to others if they spoke up or disagreed with the party line. I actually witnessed one writer, who foolishly expressed his support for the war in Iraq, set-upon and viciously berated by no less than six crew-members for almost 20 minutes straight.

That night, he found his car had been keyed in our secure lot.

Hmm… must’ve been a random vandal.

Incidentally, though he had a storied career, an amazing list of credits and is one of the most versatile, talented writer-producers I know, the jobs gradually dried up for him and now he can’t, as they say, get arrested in this town.

Tom Hanks, by the by, is super-tolerant of folks who don’t share his politics. Here’s what he said in 2009 about people who didn’t like the idea that two dudes should get married to each other and wanted to make sure that wasn’t the law in California (which, as it happens, is the way it is in most of what Hanks probably calls flyover country)…

“The truth is this takes place in Utah, the truth is these people are some bizarre offshoot of the Mormon Church, and the truth is a lot of Mormons gave a lot of money to the church to make Prop-8 happen. There are a lot of people who feel that is un-American, and I am one of them. I do not like to see any discrimination codified on any piece of paper, any of the 50 states in America, but here’s what happens now. A little bit of light can be shed, and people can see who’s responsible, and that can motivate the next go around of our self correcting Constitution, and hopefully we can move forward instead of backwards. So let’s have faith in not only the American, but Californian, constitutional process.”

In other words, the people who wanted to pass that Prop 8 thing in California – a lot of whom were Latino people and black people – were all bizarre offshoot  un-American Mormons. That’s what Tom Hanks thinks.

He’s a dipshit, Tom Hanks is. He’s made some good movies. Hell, this Leni Riefenstahl remake he and Googleheim put together might be a good movie such as it is. But that doesn’t deprive him of his dipshittery.

The Obama people are hoping this is a whole country full of dipshits. It was in 2008, though to give us a break the people who had to vote for John McCain certainly might have felt like dipshits even when they were doing the non-dipshit thing in pullin’ the level for him. But like the bumper sticker says, if you voted for Obama last time out to prove you weren’t a racist you gotta vote him out this time to prove you’re not a moron.

Too damn late for Hanks and Googleheim. But not for y’all. Smarten up and vote for the guy Hollywood isn’t making Leni Riefenstahl movies about.

UPDATE: Googleheim ain’t Leni Riefenstahl, he’s Goebbels.



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