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FINEFROCK The Beaten "Path"
by Steve Finefrock - Hollywood Forum [scriptwriter] 9/9/06

Your Turn in the Barrel, Liberals!

Even as lefties were squawking on cable TV yaparama outlets, "Tora, Tora, Tora" was showing on AMC this Thursday night, as prefect of police Louis from "Casablanca" came to mind. ABC is coming to TV-towne this Sunday and Monday nights, with a two-parter entitled "Path to 911" and the liberals are shocked, shocked, shocked that there's someone in the conservative cinematic combat corps who can make a movie! They are shocked, shocked, and shockedinto awe that there is a POV which is not leftwing. As they whine, they forget all the leftwing movies -- stacked higher than an elephant's eye, including the pachyderm of the GOP's jaundiced eyes -- that have preceded this event.


Founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to "Bring the Potomac to the Palisades" on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called "A State of the Union"], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA's Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation's capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters.[go to Finefrock index]

Only "DC 911" by Lionel Chetwynd comes to mind in the tally-board score-keeping on whose POV gets the most airing in any given time-bracketed sampling of "bias" and "propaganda" -- and we're not even talking "West Wing" [all liberal production team, save for a token conservative, whose 'input' was regularly ignored] or "Commander in Chief" [it had a single conservative consiglieri to Dubya himself, as a "consulting producer"]. The liberals' whine? There are 'compressed events' and 'combined characters' which are not true, TRUE, TRUE. Thus Clintonistas across the fruited plain, and those who are just plain fruits [and nuts and flakes], are finding this broadcast event to be notably flawed. And demanding either their recommended changes be made, or it be cancelled altogether.

A Little Tutelage First

As to compressed characters, and contrived scenes, let's consider the contemporaneously aired "Tora, Tora, Tora" from the mind of someone drenched in the subject of WW2, and the Pacific in particular. In "TTT" there is a scene of commanders standing around Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, reading an analysis and de-crypted Jap signal. Marshall slowly reads it aloud, in pauses, for all his staff to "learn" of its contents. Do ya think it happened that way? With everyone having already read it, and Marshall quite capable of fast-reading a standard cable, would he read aloud, and waste time in deliberate pauses? Nope, unlearned students of cinema -- including the yaparama lefties infecting the box-with-wires airwaves -- you are witnessing exposition given for the benefit of the audience.

That is just one example of the film craft, which must compress a story of many hours into three or four. A film cannot be "War in Peace" -- even "War and Peace" the novel can't be fully translated to film, or the audience would soil their pants while waiting for the 40 or 50 hour marathon to finally close. "Midway" similarly gets that true-life story very accurate, but many compressions, including the creation of Charlton Heston's navy commander, who never existed. But following the commander to many venues gives a panoramic view that otherwise would be broken and erratic. Ensign George Gay's wave-riding viewing of the battle, once engaged after his torpedo squadron is obliterated, is also not quite as happened.

"Apollo 13" is full of liberties, though it gets the story close to true, with the biggest "lie" pointed out -- and forgiven by -- the mission commander himself, who noted there were no such dramatic scream-fests inside the liferaft spacecraft. Professionals chosen for such cramped, challenging missions don't scream at each other, and this crew was no exception. But Jim Lovell noted in an interview during the film's promotion that it was a liberty he found acceptable, since it conveyed to the theatrical patrons in comfortable seats, just a tiny bit of the tension that did exist.

Thus Came JFK

" Missiles of October" omits quite a few facts and events which are inconvenient to the JFK legend, the film being produced by chums of the Kennedy myth, as with "PT 109" and the more recent Cuban crisis output, "Thirteen Days" -- conservatives had great heartburn over those, and even a liberal historian chastised "13D" for its inaccurate portrayal of the military caste's supposed war-hawk excesses. Did any liberal squawk on those and other occasions? Nope, for there were politics afoot, but politics on behalf of an unchallenged set of cinematic myths. Unchallenged until recently, anyway.

As the two-parter unreels Sunday night, the rage-aholics will be champing at the bit, tasting a bit of the bitter leaves they've shoved in our faces so often. And there will be retribution: "Fahrenheit 911" was Michael Moore's retort to Chetwynd's "DC 911" -- and Lionel's roar in re-retort was "Celsius 41.11" only a few months later. Can we sustain a re-retort this time around? Will they hear us in a year, bragging "We're Back!"?

Let's Make A Deal

Films about FDR, JFK, LBJ, Truman and their lesser heroic subordinates in the liberal pantheon have been produced, directed and written [as well as mostly cast] thru liberal minds. The "West Wing" model prevailed, and their 'liberties' on scenes, compressed characters and fabricated expositions were by their own kind, on behalf of their own POV. They screwed the pooch when CBS' Les Moonves hired two queer-activist producers to create "The Reagans" for national broadcast. That bitter leaf forced the issue, but only partially. Now that the Reagan-return-shot is due this weekend, this time our story about ourstrength -- national security -- plays our way by virtue of our own POV, and the virtues of our own producers, director and writer [and many actors], the stage is set for a New Artworld Order.

It is this: YOU MAKE YOUR MOVIES ABOUT YOUR HEROES, and stay out of our zone so we can MAKE OUR OWN MOVIES ABOUT OUR HEROES. If your story takes a whack at one of our kind, that's fin and dandy -- SO LONG AS we get the same privilege.

Post-Moonves World Order

If Moonves had been savvy about the rising moon of conservative awareness in Hollywood, his decision on "The Reagans" proposed project would have been thus: Whoa, wait a minute there queer-activist producers, I'd never put a JFK or FDR project in the hands of rightwing polemicists. So, let's find some rightwing polemicists for the Reagan project, whatcha say, fellers? That should be the goal henceforth, as ABC has finally managed to "get it" in a manner Moonves missed. As a Bay of Pigs story would lionize the "brilliance" of JFK and likely show the Eisenhower predicates which contributed to that dilemma, it would be the "territory" of liberals to produce. Ditto for anything involving Reagan, Nixon [how's that, Oliver Stone?], Eisenhower [war years via Chetwynd already set that policy in place], et al.

To paraphrase the prefect of police, liberals are shocked, shocked that there is cinematic politics going on! These bitter leaves are suddenly not so tolerable, this 'diversity' and challenge to the Establishment not so admirable when it puts a skunk in their garden party, a turd in their punchbowl.

Welcome to our world. There will be watch-parties galore this weekend, as there were for Hilary's clan when "CIC" premiered, rooms filled with gawking gals adoring the TV screen filled with Geena Davis as a liberal president proving women can command in a "daddy party" setting. Chris Matthews' thesis, set forth this theme, in a pre-92 election season essay: there's a daddy party [which protects us, when we feel threatened] and mommy party for when we want hugs, kisses and free stuff. The left is certain they are entitled to the benefits of mommy-party designation but want to poach on daddy-party territory. This Sunday night, the daddy-party will be boosted by a conservative writer, director and production team giving our Point-of-View [POV] to a national audience on the fifth anniversary of the biggest daddy-party event since Pearl Harbor.

Chew and swallow those bitter leaves, liberals. More are due to be served, dozens and scores are overdue, for you've rigged the "history" game of TV and film well before "PT 109" advanced your leftwing agenda and contributed to the rigged Kennedy Myth. This turnabout is a tiny, single degree in a course-correction of 180-degrees, before we set things right, and Right. The last time a Cyrus had this kind of impact on America's fortunes, it was the reaper inventor, Cyrus McCormack. This Cyrus is reaping a new harvest of liberal angst.

Not amber waves of wheat, but blue-state waves of whining liberals. Who thought they would forever hold all the trump cards in the opinion-shaping power of film and TV. They once thought that about think-tanks, then came Heritage Foundation. Ditto for opinion-journals, then came National Review. So on to talk radio, Fox News, the blogosphere. And now a wee tiny conquest in film and TV venues.

Keep reaping, Cyrus. It is a target-rich environment. So many liberal shibboleths, so little ammo. Fire when ready, Cyrus.

copyright 2006 Steve Finefrock





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