Who's Full of Jellybeans?


Is it A) CBS, for canceling the "The Reagans" mini-series under public pressure, and then compounding that cave by insisting, I-did-not-have-sex-with-that-woman-style, that "This decision is based solely on our reaction to seeing the final film, not the controversy that erupted around a draft of the script"?

B) Andrew Sullivan, for triumphantly declaring that this marks the day that "the new media saved the old media"?

Or C) Jeff Jarvis, for saying that "the real problem here is that we're turning ourselves into a nation of media sheep, namby-pamby, thin-skinned, coddled, babied consumers who are protected from offense and opinion"?

NEXT: The Wrong Arm of the Law

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  1. “I once read a book called IIRC The New Anti-Semitism. It accused several “passion plays” of anti-semitism, without mentioning that the offending lines were direct quotes from the New Testament. The one most often cited is when the crowd at Jesus’s trial cries ‘his blood be on us and on our children’.”

    Oh, well, that makes it okay then.

  2. CBS was dumb because their core audience is 60 years old and likes to think back to the good ole days of reagan.

    If the playboy station started showing the 700 Club, they would gets complaints from their main audience as well.

    Of course Reagan was a terrible president who traded weapons with terrorists to get back captured americans, sold drugs to finance his own private war, and preformed foreign relations before he was elected to unseat a sitting president. He also almost bankrupted the country with his war on drugs and the whole MX missle on a train schemes.

    He also bankrupted the USSR and revitalized and trained the army so we could take on the arabs when we wished to. Like all poresidents he was both bad and good.

    Thankfully, we’ll never see him on our money!!!

  3. I’ll clue in the less than clueless (Jesse.) Political correctness, in its harmful manifestations, is about not saying things which are true. People objected to the Reagan miniseries because it was saying things which they thought were not true. They are therefore not hypocritical in intent. I haven’t followed the story, so I can’t say whether the facts bear them out, but people seem to have gotten ahold of the script, and torn it apart, and I haven’t heard much about these tear downs being inaccurate.

    Just more insipid piling on with no real cause from the blogosphere.


    The Patriot is obviously different since it was not an attempt to smear any particular current political movement. I think anyone who watched a movie in which the slaves sat out the Revolution, having Bar-B-Q’s on the beach, and then thought it offered them any real historical information, rather than it just being an action flick, has no real hope anyway. I doubt anyone actually thought about it that way…

  4. The conservatives would have been much better off if they had let the show run so people could decide for themselves, then put their own spin on it. This way, it looks like they’re afraid of something. Plus, they’ve made a lot more people want to see it than probably would otherwise.

    BTW: I haven’t seen “The Passion,” but I’m looking forward to it. Jesus has always been one of my favorite fictional characters…

  5. The answer is (D) – Babs Streisand for her hypocritical stance that consumer pressure on CBS was “censorship” but her leadership in boycotting my homestate in the early 90’s was, in her words “a brave stance”. Streisand’s the big loser – and Mr. Streisand.

  6. Hands down “C”.

  7. Jesse,

    A beer? You are teasing us, right? We all know you like to smoke the Kief! πŸ™‚

  8. JDM,

    Yes, it just smeared the evil fascist British! πŸ™‚ Which as a Frenchman, I should not complain about – perfidious Albion gets its due! πŸ™‚

  9. Brady,

    Re: non-existant answers. I wasn’t saying the issue could not be explored and better understood, only that BFC failed to do that in any meaningful way, and that therefore it doesn’t make sense to accuse those who don’t like it of being scared of the answer to the questions it posed. (When I first posed my question to you, I actually expected you would have some “answer” that everyone was scared of.)

    And how about this for “an answer” to the plight of the poor: remove minimum wage laws and building codes and most of the homeless would no longer be. Not perfect, but I expect it would help immensely.

    To a large degree it’s true that most people of any political stripe (especially the most vocal ones) are more interested in the rightness of their opinions than the welfare of those who would be effected by them. That’s just human nature, unfortunately, and I see little to no reason to think libertarians are any worse than anyone else in that regard. Still, I’ll agree with you that most of us could stand to think more in real life and humanitarian terms than merely in theory and one upmanship. Howzat?

  10. fyodor:

    sounds like a reasonable response to me.

    perhaps instead of “answers” i should have said scared of others’ proposed solutions to a problem. the main point was that some fear of how others will want to change the status quo.

    i knew that is what you were getting at in your first question – i wish i had the answer. i think there are a wide array of things that need to be addressed, that is why it is such a difficult question.

  11. Have to disagree with nm156 here. I wouldn’t have patronized the sponsors of that thing, nor am I alone, and I think the sponsors realized this.

    Capitalism worked here, and for those of you who feel left out, pony up your own money and get Showtime already.

  12. JDM: Perhaps you objected to politically correct censorship (and censorship-like private pressure) only when the speech being attacked was “true.” Those of us who believe that the solution to bad speech is more speech, that it’s better to have certain conversations in the open, and all those other clich?s, objected on other grounds. Among the people who objected on those other grounds are many people who now are cheering because The Reagans isn’t going to air on CBS.

    And the reason you haven’t “heard much about these tear downs being inaccurate” is because no one’s seen the damn thing yet. Who knows how much resemblance the final miniseries bears the script that was leaked?

    I really don’t care that this isn’t going to air on CBS. The network can broadcast what it likes, and the series will soon see the light of day in another venue. But the affair does tell us something about the mentality of the people who lobbied so hard to stop it.

    (P.S. Since when have you, of all people, been opposed to “insipid piling on”?)

  13. Jean Bart,

    What JDM is saying is that he wasn’t the least bit bothered by the inaccuracies in the Patriot. Therefore he doesn’t see a problem there. Whereas he sees a problem with the Reagan miniseries because he worships at the shrine of Reagan.
    Note to JDM : British reviewers were generally apoplectic about the contents of the Patriot & also the one about the cracking of the enigma code. The way you are now about the contents of the miniseries.
    What was your tortured definition of “real” Political Correctness again ?

  14. It’s definitely “C.” This “Matt Bruce” character has missed the point. This is not about whether or not CBS was within its rights to cancel the Reagan series. It was.

    But we can certainly criticize their reasons, which –let’s be honest here– come down to fear of boycott and bad press. Why would CBS be subject to these?

    Because we have become “a nation of media sheep, namby-pamby, thin-skinned, coddled, babied consumers who are protected from offense and opinion.”

    This is not a phenomenon limited to TV. Nearly everyone is the US is required to avoid voicing any controversial opinion, or risk being labelled “insensitive” in one way or another — a label that can have very real and negative consequences for your life.

  15. Thanks, Frenk. God forbid someone should see/hear/read something that offends them. That’s part of the “reason” I stop by H&R, to be offended, or otherwise stimulated to respond. That is called living. I don’t know what to call the alternative.

  16. Thanks for the shout-out, Frenk, but if you please, I’m a living, breathing human being (read my blog if you want to) rather than a “character.”

    Also I call b.s. on your main premise. Show, if you would, at least a shred of common sense about who it is who’d actually be doing the boycotting. Ordinary everyday people? Pshaw. This boycott was coming from hardcore, red-state, red-blooded, dyed-in-the-wool conservatives (like me?), who in this case were flat-out pissed about the hatchet job they’d read about.

    You can call people like me wrong-headed if you want, overzealous if you want, but “namby-pamby, thin-skinned, coddled, babied sheep” is fightin’ words. πŸ™‚

    (Conservatives don’t get pissed very often–a vast majority of this kind of protest/boycott comes from the Left–but when they do, they get results.)

    Also, re nm156, there’s a vast difference between “something that offends” and flat-out blood libel. If you lived in Lebanon right now, would you think it wrong to withold your money from the people who put out that one anti-Semitic “documentary”?

  17. JB,

    A Frenchman should be all for Mel Gibson movies. He’s really got it in for the British – Gallipoli, Braveheart, The Patriot…


    My piling on is never insipid. I avoid insipidity mainly by never calling anyone a hypocrite. It’s a pointless accusation.

    I didn’t object to Matt’s “namby-pamby, thin-skinned, coddled, babied consumers.” I don’t think it’s necessarily great evidence of that, but you can really draw that line wherever you like. It is on it’s face, however, wrong to call it hypocritical. Again, there is a difference between attacking a network for airing a miniseries which makes up facts, and supressing facts which are unpopular, which is what I take the anti-PC crowd to be saying. In as much as PC involves making up facts which are popular, complaining about Reagan is entirely consistent with their views.

    Anyone who argued that all speech must be produced and aired without public interference, regardless of factual accuracy, and is now happy that Reagan was canned, is indeed a hypocrite. But that’s a long way from saying – “and every conservative who whines about ‘political correctness’ when the shoe’s on the other foot is a hypocrite.”

    “And the reason you haven’t ‘heard much about these tear downs being inaccurate’ is because no one’s seen the damn thing yet.”

    They had access to the script though, right? Which is what the conservative critics are objecting to. No one’s claiming to have seen the final thing, which will be different than it would have been because of the controversy.


    I wasn’t bothered by either, since I haven’t seen the Reagan deal yet. It’s not likely I ever will either. TV sucks. As a point of reference, I wasn’t bothered by JFK. I thought it was entertaining, if made up. I wish I’d thought to read some British reviews of the Patriot, it would have been good for a laugh. But I’m not calling British reviewers hypocrits for being upset about it, and not the Reagan miniseries, and no one rightly could.

    I’m not sure why “not saying things which are true” qualifies as tortured to you, but everyone is capable of dealing with different levels of complexity. Ginko Biloba can improve mental functioning. Try it for a few months, then revisit this thread. Hopefully the future you can forgive the presnt you for his poor cognitive abilities, otherwise you’d be in for a lot of teeth-gnashing shame.

    Conservatives aren’t objecting to historical license for all purposes in all venues. They are reacting to an attempt to smear them which consists of making stuff up about one of the leaders of their movement.

    This nonsensical hypocisy patrol is really just a matter of redifining your enemies motivations until you can match two of them up in such a way that you can call hypocricy. Nevermind what their actual thinking on a subject is.

  18. For fun, contrast this with the rumbles over Mel Gibson’s allegedly anti-semitic movie The Passion. For even more fun, try to find people who had issues with one and defended the other. None spring to mind, but considering the way pundits think they need to comment on every issue, there’s got to be some out there.

  19. JDM: “Political correctness” is a term with a lot of contradictory definitions — one reason why I don’t often use it. I can see how this might prompt you to come up with your own private definition, just as you apparently have a private definition of “insipid” in which the word doesn’t describe virtually everything you post to this forum. And I concede the point: If you read my comment without any regard for my obvious meaning, why, it just might sound silly.

    I am not “redefining [my] enemies’ motivations,” or even attempting to define those motivations in the first place. You, on the other hand, are taking delight in attacking what you presume to be everyone else’s motives. I can see why you dislike talk of hypocricy.

  20. On further review, “thin-skinned” is a pretty accurate description after all. (Might as well admit it since most of you were thinking it.)

    But sheep? C’mon. One of the biggest misperceptions people seem to have about conservatives and media is that the former are just mindless followers who get all their opinions from someone else. Quite the opposite:

    Everyone who’s ever been popular with conservatives lately, has accomplished it because they said what conservatives were already thinking, what conservatives were frustrated not to be hearing more places, what motivated conservatives to say to themselves (and then to each other), “It’s about damn time someone pointed that out!” (Or words to that effect.)

    Likewise with movements like this: Writing letters, spreading the word, and reaching the kind of groundswell where CBS suddenly realizes you exist–all that does take effort. Regardless of whether you think it’s a Good Thing or a Bad Thing that CBS discovered its financial interest in not slandering the Reagans after all, giving CBS that kind of epiphany isn’t the sort of thing “sheep” can accomplish.

  21. Jesse Walker,

    I shall take your silence to mean that you do the Kief! πŸ™‚


    I’ve often wondered why so many of his movies paint the British in such a bad light.

  22. BTW,

    How many TV movies have there been about JFK, and how accurate were they?

  23. I’m thinking in terms of :

    2. Lacking qualities that excite, stimulate, or interest; dull.

    (From the American Heritage dictionary)

    You think my posts are insipid? Good. I’m not a professional writer. I just need breaks from writing computer code all day. What’s your excuse? I find the constant cries of hipocrisy insipid because as I’ve said they don’t convey any real information, or insight about their target – which precludes them from being interesting on any other level.

    “Political correctness” is a term with a lot of contradictory definitions — one reason why I don’t often use it.”

    But you did use it here, not coincidentally choosing the definition which allows you to call your targets hypocrites.

    “I am not “redefining [my] enemies’ motivations,” or even attempting to define those motivations in the first place. You, on the other hand, are taking delight in attacking what you presume to be everyone else’s motives. I can see why you dislike talk of hypocricy.”

    This just doesn’t make any sense. You’re defining the motivation of conservatives who complain about the Reagan mini-series, or whine about political correctness in such a way as to be able to call them hypocrites, when their actual stated motivations doesn’t bear that out. I’m derriding that very game. Since I’m not playing it (by not calling anyone a hypocrite) it doesn’t imply hypocrisy on my part. I’m also not complaining about accurate characterizations of anyone’s motivations. Maybe you just don’t know what “hypocrisy” means.

    Lastly, just what do you think is the plain language meaning of, “and *every* conservative who whines about ‘political correctness’ when the shoe’s on the other foot is a hypocrite?” Maybe you just don’t know what “every” means either.

  24. As a few posters have noted, it was bad business for a network that targets America’s heartland (hell, I think that was one of their promotional campaigns a while back) to put out a Streisand-ized Oliver Stone-lite historical fiction on Reagan. The “censorship” cries are just silly, even worse the cries of “unAmerican,” as though there is now a right for TV movies to air on broadcast television.

  25. It likely wasn’t a very good idea to have a show which had showed a negative side concerning a Republican icon when the Republicans run the White House. Could not the government make a lot of trouble for CBS?

  26. Matt, I believe, makes the point for me. Without getting into the rights and/or wrongs of the show, Conservatives came out against it, mainly due to it’s unflattering content. The sheep in question are at CBS, too, for not having the stones to stick to their guns and run the program. The tiffany network fears a few well organized rock throwers.

  27. I see nothing in JDM’s latest post worth replying to, except perhaps to point out that while I know what “hypocrisy” and “every” mean, he seems to have trouble understanding the phrase “when the shoe’s on the other foot.” Readers interested in understanding the words in front of them, as opposed to bored programmers looking to pick a fight, will recognize this as an effort to refer to a specific set of conservatives with a specific set of complaints about “political correctness.”

    I suppose I’ll also note that the word “hypocrisy” refers to acts as well as intentions. If someone proclaims that it is wrong to behave in a certain manner, then later does exactly what he condemned earlier, he is a hypocrite. If he made his earlier proclamation while in high dudgeon, it may be worthwhile to comment on it.

    Finally, allow me to express my pleasure at the discovery that JDM actually has a job. If he wishes to waste more of his workday debating this, he can e-mail me; I think this thread has passed the point of diminishing returns.

  28. Man, Jesse, you sure are down on blog comments lately aren’t you? Oh well, it is good to see a Reasoner get in here and argue, at least. Usually you guys just play firestarter and run away.

    I call it fart-in-elevator syndrome. Lay it and leave. You smell something in here? Damn, the bastard ran away again!

  29. It’s a trick question–they’re all correct.

  30. HH,

    If it’s bad business then why did the republicans have to lean on the network ? Shouldn’t they just have let the program be aired ? They could then have surfed the backlash ?

    In other news, JDM spends most of his airtime denying that he is a hypocrite. Methinks the lady doth …

  31. Ok, Jesse, I’ll buy your revision if you can show me why the term “conservative” belongs in the sentence you initially wrote, since you weren’t trying to make a broad based smear of conservatives, and you are just trying to draw a logical conclusion. I mean, you were being so careful with your language, right?

  32. “Could not the government make a lot of trouble for CBS?”

    From what I’ve seen of the FCC so far this admin., they’re doing a lot that CBS’ owner Viacom would want and I seriously doubt that would ever change. From what I understand, Moonves was outraged about this thing before the RNC proper uttered a word.

  33. Sorry to call you a character, Matt; I mean(t) it in the best way possible.

    For me, it still comes down to: CBS was afraid they would offend some thin-skinned so-and-so by piercing Reagan’s halo (not to mention pricking his gravitas). This strikes me as exactly the same sort of “sensitivity” that pops up whenever anyone talks about race, religion, sex orientation, etc.

    Boycotts of this or that, marches in front of the office, piles of product burned on TV — these things are nightmares for executives.

    Frenkly, I think it sucks. Not that I was going to watch the show, but still…

  34. This is clearly a case of the invisible hand of the market becoming very visible and smacking CBS on the side of the head. CBS saw there was no market for a hatchet job on Reagan on broadcast TV so they sold it to cable. Frankly I get a kick out of their attempt to spin their decision as being made out of a desire to be fair. If they keep painting themselves into that corner they’ll be getting sued by FOX for trying to be fair and balanced.

  35. The real idiots in this whole mess: the producers and script-writers.

  36. To read a cogent piece explaining why non-sheep might take strong exception to the fiction-parading-as-fact of this miniseries, read Doug Kmiec’s piece at NRO, url to follow (how the hell does one put hyperlinks in these posts?). Kmiec was Reagan’s lawyer for constitutional issues, and taught me Con Law, and altho he is a raging social conservative with whom I vehemently disagreed quite frequently, I found him surpassingly intelligent and scrupulously fair. He actually bent over backwards to make sure liberal students did not feel he was giving them short shrift. Further, tho he is decidedly not a libertarian, he is buds with Cato’s Roger Pilon — with whom he disagrees about much — and to my satisfaction brought Pilon in to address our class. http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/kmiec200310230835.asp

  37. Barbra Streisand has dutifully posted a piece on her web site that says (paraphrased), “No one here but us free-thinking artists!”

    She now calls the film “not a documentary, a television drama.” This is not quite consistent with what she said on Oprah: “I just hope they get [Reagan’s] story right.”

    There is the typical lefty language about censorship and the first amendment, neither of which is relevant. This is a case of the public holding a corporation accountable for its product. The RNC did not ask, and still does not ask CBS to cancel the program.

    (It’s always fun to watch leftists, who always complain that corporations are not sufficiently accountable to the public, quickly change their tune whenever a company shows some discretion about media products.)

  38. StMack,

    Well, it may really be the “invisible hand” at work; doesn’t mean that the those working via the so-called “invisible hand” aren’t namby pamby, thin-skinned, etc. cretins. πŸ™‚

  39. I see a lot of references to this movie being libelous, inaccurate, a “hatchet job,” etc. — but as far as I know, none of the people making those claims have actually seen the movie. Neither have I, but I suspect that the real objection here was that the movie did not portray Reagan as a perfect, saintly, messianic figure. I wouldn’t consider these people to be namby-pamby or coddled, but certainly “thin-skinned” hits the mark.

  40. dragoon wrote:

    For fun, contrast this with the rumbles over Mel Gibson’s allegedly anti-semitic movie The Passion.

    Okay then, what exactly is ?anti-Semitic? about ?The Passion??
    I have no problem finding excerpts from the script of the Reagan mini-series (Drudge still has them on his site) to show that it was defamatory (which was the primary charge made against it by its critics) but have yet to see anything to justify a charge of ?anti-Semitism? against ?That Passion.? If you have some evidence, let?s see it.

  41. I am more inclined to think the answer is A myself, because no made for tv movie can be any good with out Mellisa Gilbert in it.

    Anyway, Fenk, I am not going to speak for anyone other than myself here, not conservatives as a whole. I would not mind anyone piercing Reagan’s halo if this movie was using actual events, statements, and honest portrayals of his personality, not sensationalized fiction driven more by the spin of his detractors.

  42. nm156 wrote:

    Without getting into the rights and/or wrongs of the show, Conservatives came out against it, mainly due to it’s unflattering content.

    Um no, despite the attempt by some to gloss over it, the primary objections to the proposed miniseries were that it was defamatory as in ?making up a bunch of things which that neither President Reagan nor his wife actually said in order to make them look bad.? In other words, it was the ?rights and/or wrongs of the show? which lead to the concern and CBS decision to send it to Showtime.

  43. Conservatives acting like the ADL- Priceless (nm156, Matt Bruce, this means you!)

    And about this “hatchet job”:

    His WORDS about gays vis a vis AIDS are irrelevant, given his vile, callous ACTIONS.

  44. Hal E. wrote:

    I see a lot of references to this movie being libelous, inaccurate, a “hatchet job,” etc. — but as far as I know, none of the people making those claims have actually seen the movie.

    Matt Drudge has been running excerpts from the script for about a week now on his site which are still up and include a number of defamatory comments that no one seriously believes Reagan actually said. There have also been trailers put out about the miniseries which have been viewed by a number of people, so yes there is ample information about the content of the miniseries which has been released to justify calling it ?defamatory.?

  45. Okay then, what exactly is ?anti-Semitic? about ?The Passion??

    It’s most likely not, but far too many people are pansies who want to have personal escorts so as to gag anyone or anything that hurts their wittle feewings. So it is with CBS’ little show. Of course it’s going to be biased, they’re liberals making a movie about a president whom liberals didn’t like. I hope that nobody expected some kind of fair and objective look at his presidency – they wanted people to come away from the movie with the sense that Reagan should go in the “Bad People” slot in history. I think it’s sad that the conservatives put so much stock in CBS’ ability to push propaganda. I don’t know that it would have made anyone who was on the fence about the Republican party for next November (and of course that’s what this is all about) think solidly one way or the other; it didn’t look like anything that was going to blow up people’s skirts.

  46. Ahh, well, supposedly the movie portrays Reagan, to be frank, as confused and as out of it at times. This is not exactly a new accusation, and there is evidence to back it up – the fact that Howard Baker, when he replaced Regan, had to dispell rumors of such demonstrates that there were concerns about Reagan’s ability to concentrate and otherwise deal with the day to day issues of governance.

  47. Also, anyone who expects historical accuracy from Hollywood, has never seen “The Patriot.” Of course no one much bitched about that movie, aside from professional historians, because it slathered on the “it feels good to be an American” and “those nasty English were just like the Nazis” trope.

  48. rst,

    Well one does get the impression from the Republican rhetoric that the folks watching this film will be brainwashed and are otherwise sheeple. πŸ™‚

  49. I would like to see it and judge it for myself. I’ll listen to the criticizism before hand, but don’t take it out my hands without giving me the chance to view it for myself. I don’t need to be sheltered, I lived in the 80’s, Regean was my president too.

    Therefore, It is obviously C!

  50. rst,

    I was not surprised that CBS was planning a less that favorable movie on Reagan. And had they chosen to do a movie that focused on every negative FACT about Reagan (and there are enough for a whoel mini-series) I wouldn’t have objected.

    The problem I have is with them making shit up.

  51. I wonder how many people that protested the film – wait, made-for-tv-mini-series – actually saw it (as mentioned above)? This “I’m so offended” bullshit is lame.

    The reason television creates boring, crappy broadcasting is because all the whiners force them to create safe, uncontroversial, advertiser-friendly shit.

    Absofuckinlutely C

  52. If a new movie covering the Clinton presidency were to be produced by the EIB network, starring actor David Limbaugh as Bill and Ann Coulter as Hillary…uh, I’m pretty sure we’d being hearing about the “right-wing conspiracy” the “right-wing corporate media” is putting out to destroy the Clinton legacy. How thin skinned of them. Come on, Barbara Striesand had her hand in this (had her husband’s hand in it too). I can’t wait for Osama Bin Ladens’s History of Judiasm to come out. I bet those Jews are going to be “thin-skinned” and claim its full of inaccuracies…

    Would it be considered thin-skinned to condemn Bowling for Comumbine as trash? I ASSume most people in this forum recognize Bowling as a non-sequitous (I think I just made up a word) and/or intentionaly sloppy piece of work.

  53. I once read a book called IIRC The New Anti-Semitism. It accused several “passion plays” of anti-semitism, without mentioning that the offending lines were direct quotes from the New Testament. The one most often cited is when the crowd at Jesus’s trial cries “his blood be on us and on our children”.

  54. StMack,

    So do you object to every “historical” movie where shit is made up?

  55. Joe2,

    Bowling For Columbine was funny, highly entertaining fake-umentary (well mostly fake). πŸ™‚

  56. Would it be considered thin-skinned to condemn Bowling for Comumbine as trash? I ASSume most people in this forum recognize Bowling as a non-sequitous (I think I just made up a word) and/or intentionaly sloppy piece of work.

    Well Bowling for Columbine was supposed to be a documentary:

    1 : being or consisting of documents : contained or certified in writing
    2 : of, relating to, or employing documentation in literature or art; broadly : FACTUAL, OBJECTIVE

    …while the Reagan biopic was not. There’s a much lower adherence to absolute fact expected with the later. I mean, what evidence, outside of Christina Crawford’s word, do we have that Joan Crawford was one crazy bitch? Yet does that diminish Mommy Dearest as a movie?

  57. They don’t call it “see b.s.” for nothing.

    An outside possibility: the finished miniseries was so horrendous that bumping it from CBS to cable will salvage precious prime time and will allow a sort of test market for the show. No matter how bad it is, if it’s a hit on cable, it may wind up back on the big network.

    However, I agree with rst. There’s plenty of authentic dirt on Reagan, so why fabricate?

  58. I still can’t figure out what all the shitstorm about BFC is all about. Who went into the movie not expecting there to be a hint of infotainment and a bit of a bias? Plus, the theme of the movie isn’t “let’s ban guns”, it is “why are americans so violent”. what the fuck is wrong with a movie asking that question? the only people i could imagine getting mad at that are scared of the answer.

  59. I don’t really think you can compare the historical license granted to a Reagan pic vs. a Jesus pic, given that there are undoubtedly hundreds of personal friends of Reagan still alive, while we have only about a book and half worth of stuff on Christ.

  60. This is simply hilarious! πŸ™‚

  61. Brady,

    “the only people i could imagine getting mad at that are scared of the answer”

    Just curious: what is the answer?

  62. My vote is (c). For further evidence see Limbaugh, Rush and Easterbrook, Gregg. It really disappoints me to see conservatives use the same we’re offended and going to boycott tactics that is so common to the left. I can’t say that it’s entirely surprising, but it still annoys the crap out of me. Maybe the upside is that it will help speed up the process of everyone realizing how silly all this business is and there will be a backlash against this sort of thing.

    Whatever happened to the good old fashioned solution to bad speech is more speech?

  63. Has anyone here had access to any portion of the script, audio or video of Gibson’s Passion movie? Now, how about “Reagans?” You can’t really compare the two.

  64. I can’t wait until the Clinton biopic comes out and everything gets reversed.

  65. The problem I have is with them making shit up.

    They have to make shit up, because real life is boring and anticlimactic. Not a single movie based on real events does not contain made-up garbage to some degree (for the record, a can full of pretty American sailors did not steal the Enigma device during WWII). What I find particularly disturbing (along the lines of what JB said) was that the republicans are acting as though all of the sudden a movie — which by definition, regardless of the events upon which it is based, has little to no factual basis — will have some mystical power to mislead more than Gibson’s Jesus pic or U-571. It looks like propaganda, it smells like propaganda, and in the end the greatest possible effect of that celluoid catastrophe would be to push the already polarized even farther into the abysmal depths of their doctrines, and in the political/philosophical sense, those folks are surplus anyway. It’s the overreaction to something so benign that paints the republicans in the kind of desperate light probably best left to the Democrats and their rainbow election cast.

  66. “This is simply hilarious! :)”

    I fully agree. This whole thing goes to show that Republicans have feelings too, and their own sense of what’s politically correct entertainment.

    Not long ago Rush gets booted for having an unpopular opinion, and now this is pulled for having an unpopular opinion.

  67. “I can’t wait until the Clinton biopic comes out and everything gets reversed.”

    Yes, when Castro-coddlers like Les Moonves, the most powerful man in television, if not all of entertainment, decides to hand several hours of his network’s programming over to Ann Coulter to make a movie about Clinton. Yeah, we’ll see that any day now…

    And again, this movie did not have an “unpopular opinion.” That would involve presenting opinions. Instead they were presenting rumor or out-and-out horseshit as fact.

  68. I’m sure the miniseries is a piece of shit. I mean, it’s a network miniseries. They’re always pieces of shit.

    But fer chrissake, I was looking forward to watching a chunk of the series with a beer in my hand, making smartass remarks, and then posting some cheap shots to the blog. Now I can’t do that.

    Anyway, I don’t think Matt is a sheep. But those network execs sure are. And every conservative who whines about “political correctness” when the shoe’s on the other foot is a hypocrite.

  69. Well, actually you can do that, if you have Showtime, purchase it in the meantime, or know someone who does… or if you have a DVD player about six months from now. This, by the way, is now “censorship.”

  70. fyodor:

    just curious…what is your point?

    my point is it is that some people want to remain ignorant in certain circumstances and attack those who question things.

    for example, if someone questions the existence of god, others get “offended” and ignore/try to shut them up. why? because they are scared of what may come of questioning such a strongly held belief. what may come up is hypotheses, answers, people changing the way they live, etc. All dangerous to the status-quo.

    i don’t have the answer in this situation, and giving one was very far from my point.

  71. ooohh don’t want to be a hypocrite.

    hypocrisy is an over-rated sin. it is a club libertarians use to beat people with, since normal think people are not “pure as white snow” like the true-believers.

  72. That’s the last time CBS uses Maureen Dowd as a consultant.

  73. Rush gets booted for having an unpopular opinion

    It’s not an unpopular opinion. Just controversial in the way that opinions are not “allowed” to be controversial in our society these days. Rush’s statement was completely fair game for a league that levies large fines against teams for not pursuing minority candidates for coaching positions. The issue of there being few black starting quarterbacks in the NFL had been raised on ESPN a number of times over the course of the last decade. All of the sudden Rush comes in and says that McNabb is overrated, which given his season so far (threw a 300 yard game for the first time since opening week of ’01 and currently enjoys a 61.5 QB rating) is absolutely on the money, and says he thinks it’s because he’s black and the media (ESPN, for instance) had been desirous of a black quarterback. The outrage was outrageous; that he had to quit was even moreso.

  74. HH,
    Sorry I should’ve said, “I can’t wait until the Clinton biopic comes out on Fox, …”

    At the very least it will be exciting and full of sex scenes (maybe they could make his mistresses cuter as a revision). Something tells me it could be a Lifetime movie of the week. πŸ™‚

    Look, yes the movie is full of outright falsehoods, but there aren’t many movies that are. Those that are are called documentaries (excluding those done by Michael Moore). We generally don’t mind if those falsehoods make the subject look positive (The Patriot, Thirteen Days, etc.), but get a lil antsy if it’s negative. If the lies made Reagan look good it would’ve made NRO’s movie of the week and K-Lo would annoy the hell out of us gushing over it. But it’s negative, so the right is upset (rightly so). Shouting CBS down before it airs does nothing constructive and screams of PC-ness.

  75. Shouted down? This was a BUSINESS decision. CBS read the market and realized that the backlash would damage its brand. CBS doesn’t exist to serve a political agenda, it exists to make money.

    Nothing like libertarians to politicize a non-political issue.

    In the olden days we wouldn’t have known about it beforehand and the uproar would have came after the fact. Drudge did CBS a favor.

  76. This, by the way, is now “censorship.”

    HH – not if it presents itself as a true story but has an obviously malicious slant (such as the paraphrasing of Reagan’s sentiment about AIDS in Africa). CBS was obliged to pull it; the next step for the Republicans was to muscle sponsors into backing out and generally making a big fuss about CBS presenting “lies” in an era where accuracy from the networks is of elevated concern to viewers. ‘Tis a money thing. Not that the Democrats wouldn’t have done exactly the same thing, our entire government has its penis in the huge dumpy ass of big business anyway. But the Republicans are usually giving a reach-around, not pulling out.

  77. Jeff Jarvis is full of it. This had nothing to do with “the nation” being offended. This was the project of a small, powerful, media savvy group of highly-connected, highly-motivated activists trying to get a leg up in political discourse.

    The RNC wasn’t afraid the American people would be offended by this miniseries. There were afraid they’d like it.

  78. joe, does CBS exist to make money for its shareholders or to “direct the nation’s poltical discourse”?

    Seriously, I am trying to understand the statist mentality.

  79. I can’t wait until the Clinton biopic comes out

    Ever seen Wag The Dog? πŸ˜‰

  80. Not CBS, the Republicans who pressured them.

  81. Yeah so…I am sure that Regan-haters were also pressuring them to do it. Do you think either tiny group pays the bills for CBS?

  82. The RNC wasn’t afraid the American people would be offended by this miniseries. There were afraid they’d like it.

    Isn’t a little early to be high, joe?

  83. OK, I’m a little confused here. The question was: “Who’s full of jellybeans?” I.e., who’s full of shit?

    Most people here are answering “(C) Jeff Jarvis.” Yet they then go on to defend and elaborate on Jarvis’ point.

    Did you guys not understand the question?

    For my part, the one who’s truly full of jellybeans is “(B) Andrew Sullivan,” for getting all hot and bothered about the purported power of “new media.” (Hell, for even using the term “new media” in the first place.)

  84. does CBS exist to make money for its shareholders or to “direct the nation’s poltical discourse”?

    Joe’s point (if I may) isn’t CBS’ motivation so much as CBS’ reaction. It’s a vocal minority. What Joe forgets is that vocal minorities dominate our political scene from right to left. This particular instance is not a novelty, it’s business as usual. The extreme views make the news, and sorry, but N.O.W. does not speak for women. It only speaks for its women members. I think Joe takes exception to this particular minority’s agenda…I don’t think he’s a populist.

  85. what the hell does “full of jellybeans” even mean? full of shit? sounds like something my grandma would say.

    anyway, C is the one i agree with and andrew (b) is the biggest ass.

  86. Jarvis is right-on.

    CBS is a ship of fools.

    Andrew Sullivan is full of beans.

  87. Why answer a question that limnits you to three incorrect answers?

  88. Yes, as I pointed out, “full of jellybeans” is a euphemism for “full of shit.” (It’s a way to coddle namby-pamby Reason readers and protect them from offense.)

    That’s why posters like Frenk don’t make any sense. He responds “(C) Jeff Jarvis” — i.e., Frenk is answering that Jeff Jarvis is full of shit. Yet he goes on to voice his agreement with Jarvis, expanding on the idea that we’re “a nation of media sheep…” etc.

  89. I don’t forget that vocal minorities have power, rst. That was my point – that the opposition to the series came from a vocal minority, and not from “a nation of media sheep…” as Jarvis states.

    Sharky, why do major media outlets give in, and slant things they way Republicans want them slanted? I have no idea. Perhaps 30 years of “working the ref” have cowed them. Perhaps the concentration of media ownership in Republican hands is influencing content. Perhaps their commitment to faux objectivity compels them to scrub anything that either side objects to. But it is demonstrably true that they do.

  90. I wasn’t even in kindergarten when he was elected, but I seem to remember that Reagan liked jellybeans.

  91. Nope joe, it’s because networks make all of their money appealing to the widest possible audiance and negative backlash might kill them in that market.

    This has everything to do with a marketing decision and jack shit to do with who has the “power,” but at least your statism is consistant.

  92. Joe – I hear you. I suppose it’s part of living in a republic that’s often mistaken for a democracy. The actions of the few powerful are often mistaken for the will of the millions who were only waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  93. No one has even brought up the government, little fishy, except you, so your overuse of the word “statist” is a little odd.

    I have no doubt that this was a marketing decision by CBS brass, rather than an effort to influence political discourse. What draws my attention is that CBS thought the bleats of the RNC’s media team (which is actively working to influence political discourse) somehow reflected popular opinion.

  94. Well, actually you can do that, if you have Showtime, purchase it in the meantime, or know someone who does… or if you have a DVD player about six months from now.

    That’s not as fun, though.

    hypocrisy is an over-rated sin. it is a club libertarians use to beat people with, since normal think people are not “pure as white snow” like the true-believers.

    Yawn. I’m not a true believer, this has nothing to do with purity, and I’ve never met a man who wasn’t filled with contradictions. There’s a big gap between that and someone who gets on his high horse when his political enemies commit some alleged sin, then turns around and does the exact same thing. “Normal think people” understand the difference.

  95. I don’t think CBS was so dumb as to think the RNC represented popular opinion. I think CBS knew on which side the bread was buttered, that the RNC likely has more powerful sponsors in its pocket who could have caused CBS problems on a long-term basis as “punishment” for attacking a character much loved by the right. Reagan is an icon of republican politics; I think in some respects it would be like making a movie portraying the worst aspects of MLK Jr. or Malcolm X. You’d have a big black riot on your hands.

  96. You are correct, rst. That was not CBS’s mistake, but Jarvis’.

  97. Brady,

    Whatever. When you accused people of being afraid of “the answer” I assumed you had one. I suppose it was just sloppy writing on your part, understandable when there’s a popular thread like this and we gotta write in a hurry to make our posts relevant. You’re sort of right, though, that BFC was not “anti-gun” in that it was too scattered to make any particular coherent point of any sort. Still, the self-congratulatory segments where he used gun violence victims to win ammo sales concessions from (I think?) K-Mart and then tried to make some sort of unarticulated point at Charlton Heston’s expense were clearly exploitations of the anti-gun expectations of his core audience. Anyway, there’s lots to loathe about BFC regardless of whether one is “scared” of getting non-existant answers.

  98. Sam I Was: thanks for the lesson. To be frenk, I didn’t know that “jellybeans” was a euphemism. When I want to say shit, i say shit.

    “I agree with C.” Is that clear enough for you?

  99. Someone, at some point, decided there was an audience for a Reagan mini-series. That’s the most amusing thing about the whole affair.

  100. Jean Bart

    “I’ve often wondered why so many of his movies paint the British in such a bad light.”

    As a fellow “Americo-Australian” (without the looks or the talent) I have no problem understanding this at all. Every April 25th (Anzac Day, the anniversary of the Gallipoli Landing) and November 11th (until I escaped from Van Diemans Land) I heard about the way our countrymen had fought for the King (with the unmistakable sound of betrayal & victimization). There was nothing so pathetic as the 1950’s celebration of the “National Sacrifice” of WWI & WWII in Australia but as a child I revelled in it thinking it was perfectly normal. Why shouldn’t I have; my older brother’s 6th grade teacher won the VC at Gallipoli, our neighbor 2 doors down won it in France. But while such heroes reinforced the value of service to our King and country they left us with nagging doubts about the cost of such sacrifice. Further reinforcement for the negative came from my parents recollections of “the old country” (which Mel got, in addition to which he was actually old enough to have gotten a good part of his education in the NY State school system) and the extremely sympathetic treatment the Tasmanian (and I assume other States) school system gave to the American Revolution (possibly because of already strong republican leanings; none of my friends, on the left or right when I visited in 1994 had any Royalist sympathies)(everyone should recall the “Eureka Stockade”). Mel & I seem to had had much the same conditioning even if there is time and circumstance separating our experiences.

    Add to that Mel’s Irish-Catholic roots (which I do not share) and I think you square the circle.

  101. Reagan was famously fond of jellybeans. Thats the joke.

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