Movies

Richard Jewell Shows What a Conservative Hollywood Would Look Like 

Clint Eastwood's masterful true-life drama about a wrongly accused American hero doubles as an awkward brief for Trump. 

|

I am not entirely sure whether Richard Jewell is a great movie—probably it is—but I am certain that it is a fascinating cultural document. For in addition to telling a startling true story, it acts as a feature-length thought experiment into the question: What would Hollywood look like if it were stridently, self-righteously conservative instead of comparably liberal? 

Directed by Clint Eastwood from a screenplay by Billy Ray, Richard Jewell tells the true story of the title character, a socially awkward security guard whose swift and decisive actions amidst a bombing at the 1996 Olympics probably saved dozens or even hundreds of lives. Yet instead of being hailed as a hero, Jewell was subjected to a brutal, manipulative FBI investigation and an onslaught of callous media coverage, simply because he fit a demographic profile.  

Judged strictly on its cinematic merits, Jewell is a masterclass in understated craftsmanship. Eastwood coaxes top-notch, empathetic performances from his leads, especially Paul Walter Hauser in the title role. And the screenplay by Ray, who has previously chronicled both media and law enforcement failures in Shattered Glass and Breach, acts as a guided tour of the journalistic and law enforcement failures that led to Jewell becoming a federal target and publicly humiliated as a person of interest. It is tense, terse, startling, and, for the most part, incredibly effective. 

But Eastwood, one of Hollywood's most prominent non-liberal filmmakers, has more in mind than simply telling Jewell's personal story. Instead, he uses him as an example, a case study in the failure of a broad cross-section of elite institutions that resulted in the unwarranted and counterproductive harassment of someone who had performed an immense public service. 

The first of those institutions is academia. Jewell was once fired from a security job at a local college for misbehavior, and the FBI's investigation kicks off when an administrator reports him as suspicious. The second is the media, which rushed to report that Jewell was a person of interest, and which, in some cases, exaggerated the strength of law enforcement's case against Jewell. (NBC's Tom Brokaw is shown confidently saying: "The speculation is that the FBI is close to making the case. They probably have enough to arrest him right now, probably enough to prosecute him, but you always want to have enough to convict him as well.") 

The final culprit is law enforcement itself, which the movie shows inappropriately sharing Jewell's name with a reporter for the local Atlanta paper (the paper has contested the movie's version of this particular event) and engaging in a series of deceptive tactics in hopes of playing on Jewell's earnest naivete and essential trust in authority. 

Even more than the sections dealing with the media, the sequences involving law enforcement are among the movie's most damning, as they show the FBI subjecting Jewell to an intense and humiliating investigation, often under misleading pretenses, based on no substantive evidence against him—and then concocting ever-more-implausible theories to explain his guilt when the facts don't prove their suspicions. 

Some of the focus on Jewell comes from a genuinely checkered past: He was fired from a job as a sheriff's deputy, and we see him abusing his power with a couple of drunken college students. But some of it comes from the way in which he fit a cultural and demographic profile, as an uncultured, unsophisticated, overweight white man who collected guns, adored police, and lived with his mother. Jewell, the movie suggests, was a victim of elite snobbery, which misjudged him not only as a rube, but as a grave danger. 

You can see where this is going. In the opening stretch of the movie, we hear Jewell say "you can't have a country" without law and order and see his down-and-out lawyer, Watson Bryant (a feisty, deceptively brilliant Sam Rockwell), sitting in front of a bumper sticker that says "I fear government more than I fear terrorism." There's even a brief discussion of the phrase "quid pro quo." By the end of the movie, Jewell and Bryant are having extended discussions in front of a prominently framed Georgia flag, which at the time incorporated the Confederate battle flag into its design. The contemporary political parallels aren't exactly subtle. 

Donald Trump's name is never uttered in Richard Jewell, but his presence looms over the movie, and at times it plays as much as an implicit defense of him—another uncouth outsider mocked, dismissed, and vilified by the elite trio of media, academia, and federal law enforcement—as a true story about a wrongly suspected security guard. 

As a movie about Trump and today's political climate, I'm not sure it entirely succeeds, if only because the facts about Jewell are so clear cut and the debates about Trump are not. But as a movie about Richard Jewell, the individual, and the ways that he was treated with systematic unfairness by America's elite cultural and legal institutions, it's a marvel of empathy, clarity, and righteous indignation. That the movie seems to want viewers to transfer these feelings onto today's political landscape is somehow both beside the point and impossible to ignore. 

Which is to say that Richard Jewell presents an unusual version of Hollywood politics in negative, one in which the filmmaking and storytelling are undeniably excellent even as the filmmaker's political views are embedded in ways that both distract from the underlying film and provide its reason for being. The movie's politics are so thoroughly integrated into its narrative and its assumptions about the world that they are in some sense inseparable from the quality of the filmmaking itself. This is not just a movie that tells an essentially conservative story; it's a movie that tells its story from an essentially (if idiosyncratically) right of center perspective—and that probably wouldn't exist without it. 

So to watch Richard Jewell as a liberal, I imagine, is something like what watching movies as a non-liberal is like so much of the time—bringing a similar blend of pleasure and frustration, irritation and engagement, enlightenment and outrage. If nothing else, then, Eastwood has done what only the best filmmakers manage to do, and made a movie that truly helps viewers see through another person's eyes. 

NEXT: Seating in the Courts of Appeals

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. So making a movie that shows media and law enforcement bias against a white conservative is a conservative movie?

    1. Thats what he said. Who knew exposing media idiocy and FBI misconduct was a conservative value. Could make the same story about a number if issues too. The Arthur Anderson story featuring liberal darling Weismann (losing 0-9 at the USSC and being scolded for major prosecutorial abuse). The Steven Hatfill story. A white conservative framed for the Anthrax attacks by Mueller because investigating the Muslims with anthrax burns on their arms is racist. A frame job that led to Hatfills suicide.

      Wait sorry… this puts too many of the “good conservatives” like Mueller and Weismann in a bad light. They are the ones liberals like.

      1. @JesseAZ Did Hatfill commit suicide or Bruce Ivins?

        1. I may have mixed them up. I was going off memory.

        2. You are right. It was Ivins who committed suicide. Hatfill sued the government after years of harassment.

          1. And ended up with several million dollars of our money.

            Thanks Mueller!

            1. Loser, Mueller, should have paid or been thrown in debtor’s prison if he couldn’t cough up the millions. That’d put the quietus on trumped up BS cases.

      2. Who knew exposing media idiocy and FBI misconduct was a conservative value.

        Anyone who understands the left.

        1. Seems to me that’s a solidly libertarian outlook. Wonder where the irritation on watching came in.

          1. Have you ever watched the series West Wing? It goes along pretty well, then all of a sudden you get some idiotic trope about conservatives being subtle racists or a Republican politician says something denigrating about women. Or you get a mini-rant disguised as a heroic defense of gun control. Or compassion for cross-dressing dwarfs. Tiresome caricatures.

            1. West Wing is a horror show where power and “top-man” philosophy are openly praised as some sort of Platonic Ideal. And a recurring theme is that the only thing stopping the do-gooder top men from fixing the world’s woes is those icky Republicans.

              Oddly enough, the foreign policy is real similar to that of the Bush Administration.

        2. I watched the Waco hearings on CSPAN. I have no illusions about the media or the Democrat National Party.

    2. If starting a movie from the perspective of elitist prejudice against the white, blue collar, middle class doesn’t sound like a conservative movie to you, you may be the target audience. Those who are so far gone that when asked why the white, blue collar, middle class thinks progressive hate them, they change the topic to why the white, blue collar, middle class should be hated probably won’t get a movie like this at all.

      1. Suderman sees himself as an urbane sophisticate and hates proles like Jewell.
        He’s not actually looking at this from a right vs left perspective, but as a 17th century, high-ranking clergyman would view a serf.
        From his point of view “How dare they” implicate the First Estate, “I’m going to call it the worst word I can imagine… Conservative”.

        1. Can you cite anything that Suderman actually wrote that supports that take? The whole piece sounded rather sympathetic to Jewell and positive about the movie to me.

      2. lol. word.

    3. It’s a movie that doesn’t mention Trump at all, but it’s a movie about him?

      1. The Crucible wasn’t really about the Salem witch trials.

        1. It was about Moral Panics. It could just as easily be applied to the Kiddie School Satanic Ritual Abuse cases in the 80s and 90s.

          1. Because it could be recast as being about some other panic doesn’t change the fact that it was about the Red Scare.

            The use of parable is at least as old in western tradition as the Bible itself. Plato’s story about the cave isn’t really about a man in a cave.

            1. Holy shit, it makes so much more sense now.

        2. The trouble is, there are still movies to be made that actually deal with the Salem Witch Panick and McCarthyism both.

      2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory never mentioned socialism.

        1. But it did have a spoiled brat. Does that mean it was about the liberal left?

          1. Yeah, when it comes to the liberal left, it’s spoiled brats all the way down.

        2. Hey the movie was wierd but good, but I mean the Willie Wonka version with Gene Wilder. The remake was super creepy. And yeah, Mr. Wonka was a bit of a slaver, but I love that movie anyhow.

          1. I’m sure it was told from Wonka’s perspective, but I was unaware of any Oompa Loompas working at the factory against their will.

      3. Suderman strangely calls this a “conservative” move, yet more accurately calls libertarian Eastwood a “non-liberal filmmaker”; thus, contradicting himself unless one assumes libertarians would make conservative films. I attribute this to his TDS (which has infected some of the Reason writers). A typical “conservative” movie, wouldn’t throw this kind of light on the government, and instead it would be a government victory of some sort. E.G., Clint might have celebrated and focused on those that exposed corrupt elements in the MSM and government; thus, vindicating Jewell such as US attorney Kent Alexander who sent Jewell a letter formerly clearing him.

        As to your point about Suderman’s fixation that this is about Trump, that’s what happens with TDS. People with TDS can’t ignore Trump or think of anything else without bringing him into the picture. LOL I hope Suderman gets well soon. After all, IMHO Trump is the most libertarian president since Reagan, and more so. I suspect he holds even more libertarian positions, but can’t do much given that Congress is controlled by Democrats and RINOs with only a small subset of the GOP being somewhat libertarian.

        1. I also wanted to bring up that the Atlanta Journal objects to Eastwood showing the female reporter having an affair with her government source (Suderman doesn’t mention it).

          Personally I think it’s fair, but untrue AFAIK. But the reporter published false info about Jewell, while Eastwood hasn’t claimed all the elements in the film are true AFAIK. She’s getting a bit of her own medicine. Further female reporters have slept with sources (see Ali Watkins of the NYT who slept with a Senate Intelligence Committee staffer who was a source, and the NYT was aware), so I think it further supports the truth of reporters getting in bed with government sources, and who’s trustworthy.

          1. The initial story, that Jewell was a suspect, was true, he was a suspect. It was the FBI that had it wrong, not the reporter. Thus, in reality Eastwood is doing to the reporter what the FBI did to Jewell.

            1. Uh, no…………

            2. Several news agencies paid Jewell settlements for defamation. Wikipedia says “the news media focused aggressively on him as the presumed culprit, labeling him with the ambiguous term “person of interest”, sifting through his life to match a leaked “lone bomber” profile that the FBI had used. The media, to varying degrees, portrayed Jewell as a failed law enforcement officer who may have planted the bomb so he could “find” it and be a hero.”

              Eastwood is correctly representing the media – she and they got it wrong.

        2. You know what? People without TDS can’t ignore Trump either because he’s the fucking president of the US and probably the most dominant and recognized cultural and political figure in the world at the moment. So, yeah, a lot of stuff is going to be about Trump in some way or another.

          1. Something that happened 23 years ago had nothing to do with Trump. I’ll grant the movie is based on a 1997 “Vanity Fair” article and a 2019 book (yeah, probably something about Trump in that), and it was made recently. Yet Suderman writes “As a movie about Trump”??? Eastwood did have the female reporter sleep with her government source, which didn’t happen then (we’ve no evidence and the reporter disputes it), but it did happen recently with Ali Watkins of the NYT sleeping with a Senate Intelligence committee staffer.

            If Suderman looked at this with less emotion and more reason, he might conclude Trump got elected, because his message that both the MSM and political class are dishonest is honest, as events like the movie depict have shown us for decades. Eastwood is telling us via his movie about true events, with some artistic license.

      4. Wit was a movie about the French Revolution but doesn’t mention it much.

      5. Trump is a filter through which the scribbling and chattering classes see everything these days.

        1. Nailed it.

    4. “stridently, self-righteously conservative instead of comparably liberal?”
      Sorry but that should be instead Stridently, self-righteously communist not liberal.
      After all Hollywood has all the hallmarks of communism, rich self absorbed , self righteous dictators who go around telling all the commoners how to live. All the while leading lives of indolence and debauchery.
      From the women and men who exchanged sex acts for a chance to make it to the men and women who accepted them. The town is a live that most rational people in this country would avoid if at all possible.

      1. I don’t think that quite covers ALL the hallmarks of communism.

  2. History, tragedy , farce.

  3. I’ll definitely have to check it out. Thanks.

    1. Morgan Freeman voice: “neutral” jeffrey never did check it out.

      1. I don’t know where this “neutral” thing came from. I’m not neutral. I never claimed to be neutral. You bet I’m biased. I have a strong pro-liberty bias. I have strong opinions about many things. This is ridiculous.

        1. Your sockpuppet said it prog.

        2. You dont have a strong pro liberty bias. Your pro liberty rantings are only based on allowing people to do what they want but not allowing them to also fail. You only discuss government enforcement actions and why away from government paternalism.

          True freedom includes the freedom to fail, which you have never advocated for.

          Your neutrality moniker comes from your wanting solely in one direction against one party while claiming you never said the other side was good, you’re just a mute about it. If you were truly neutral your ire would be both directions.

          You are also not pro liberty as you have blatantly defended the use of IC to undo an election. You’ve shown to animosity to the use of CHS against an opposing party. You’ve shown no ire against the burying of exculpatory evidence. You just tacitly approve while remaining silent.

          I think both parties are bad but freely admit I hate democrats and their statist desires and their future goals. You refuse to admit you only hate one side.

          On top of this you use sophistry and “thought experiments” instead of facts and argumentation to debate people.

          1. He’s an authoritarian, statist progressive and he knows his lies aren’t fooling anyone.

            1. Hes a sophist. He doesnt actually understand his arguments. He repeats them often bit fails to actually back them on a firm basis. Why he resets to thought experiments all the time. He also refuses to acknowledge human nature is complex and not singularly driven with the exact same motivations. He thinks if everyone just listened to him and thought like him his views would work. He is naive.

              One day he will realize that human sociology is chaotic and his views are childish. There will always be some form of control because some people want their security provided by others. There will always be people who value socialism. His anarchist like thoughts dont work in reality. Humans have and always will group together. You just have to push the nexus of control towards freedom with nudges and realize it will never be truly pure libertopia.

              Just wondering how long it will take for him to realize the party of expanding government is the Democrats as shown in every urban enclave they control. But he is ignorant, so it will probably never happen.

              1. One day he will realize that human sociology is chaotic and his views are childish. There will always be some form of control because some people want their security provided by others. There will always be people who value socialism. His anarchist like thoughts dont work in reality. Humans have and always will group together.

                I AGREE WITH THIS! That is why it is important to push for greater liberty. That way the socialists can do what they want, in their own little commune, and they can leave the rest of us alone to do what we want with our lives. Only liberty permits this arrangement of affairs. So what is the disagreement here? That I don’t virtue-signal enough about hating socialism?

                By the way:

                Why he resets to thought experiments all the time.

                I use thought experiments in order to clarify the underlying philosophical issues surrounding a particular event, without getting caught up in the emotions of tribalism or the particular details of one specific event. This is what actual thinkers do. This is what SCOTUS litigators do in oral arguments. If your idea is a good one, it should be good *generally*, and not just because it gives results you like in one specific case.

                1. That way the socialists can do what they want, in their own little commune, and they can leave the rest of us alone to do what we want with our lives.

                  You’re not doing anything to refute his contention that you’re nothing more than a fantasist. In reality, you really ought to change your handle to “radical solipsist,” it would at least be more accurate.

                  I use thought experiments in order to clarify the underlying philosophical issues surrounding a particular event, without getting caught up in the emotions of tribalism or the particular details of one specific event.

                  That’s what is known as “fiction.”

                  1. Sure it’s fiction. It is fiction that is intended to make a point and to clarify issues. That is why they are called “thought experiments” and not real experiments.

                    I don’t understand this resistance to thinking about issues in a deeper way that goes beyond the inanities of daily life.

                    1. That is why they are called “thought experiments” and not real experiments.

                      That is what’s known as “fantasy.”

                    2. So all thought experiments, speculation and counterfactual thinking are “fantasy”? You sure that’s what you want to go with?

                  2. I’m having a hard time thinking of any commenter here who isn’t either a fantasist of one sort or another or a complete cynic.

          2. “If you were truly neutral your ire would be both directions.”

            This is true. No poster complains about any party as much as Jeffmike complains about Republicans.

          3. Are you quite done with your little “No True Scotsman” rant?

            So I’m not “pro-liberty” because I don’t believe in the same things you do. Got it. Do you realize how self-absorbed you sound? This black/white thinking of yours?

            This is like the previous discussion we had. You have a doctrinaire narrative of the world that you demand others must accept in totality before being considered as a “reasonable person”.

            If you were truly neutral your ire would be both directions.

            I’M NOT NEUTRAL! I don’t know how clearly I need to say this. I dislike both parties. I don’t dislike both parties equally. I never claimed to dislike both parties equally. I think Team Red has gone off the deep end with their paranoid xenophobic victim mentality and embrace of Trump cultism. I want nothing to do with that. I also don’t like Team Blue’s march towards socialism. I don’t want anything to do with that either. But, generally speaking, at least they don’t treat foreigners, or people who deviate from the mainstream norm, like human scum and don’t objectify and dehumanize them. They have that going for them at least.

            And here’s the biggest whopper:

            I think both parties are bad

            You are a shill for Team Red. You come here day in and day out citing nothing but right-wing sources and making excuses for Team Red players. Every single fucking day. You support Hawley’s internet censorship bill. You tried to argue that Trump’s tariffs aren’t really taxes because it’s possible to avoid paying them. You completely buy into the right-wing narrative of DEEP STATE COUP. Even now you use the phrase “overturning an election” to describe the whistleblower complaint – as if, even if impeachment & removal are successful, we’ll get President Hillary! No, it is not “overturning an election” but a whole lot of right-wing demagogues want you to believe it is, don’t they? And you are happy to carry their water and push their narrative for them. Sure you think “both teams are bad”. Suuuure.

            1. I never said you had to think like me to be pro liberty. I was actually very clear on why you’re not pro liberty. I said it 3 times in fact. This is why you’re a fucking dumbass. Paternalism is just as restricting as a police state. Youre just too naive to recognize it you support paternalism.

              Thank you for finally admitting you think one party as worse. It just took you 3 days to do so.

              I am going to fucking laugh my ass off at you though for thinking you can openly and freely import socialists from other statist countries with open borders and maintain the barrier against socialism. Again, you’re naive. Laughably so.

              1. Paternalism is just as restricting as a police state.

                Umm, no it isn’t.

                Police state = government throws you in a cage, tortures you and executes you.
                Paternalism = government smothers you with self-righteous good intentions.

                Paternalism restricts your choices and takes away some of your initiative.
                Police state takes away ALL your choices and ends your life.

                I’m sorry, but it’s not even close.

                But we can’t have a reasonable disagreement on this issue, can we? Oh no, if I disagree with you, I’m not “pro-liberty”. That is the No True Scotsman part of your rant.

                import socialists from other statist countries

                Gee, just one more way you’ve adopted the Team Red party line around here. What a coincidence.

                Where is your commitment to freedom of association?

                1. Yes it is. This has literally been understood since biblical times. The borrower is slave to the lender. A created dependency is by definition a form of control through the offering of substance. There is a reason all the democratic candidates are promising free shit, it is in exchange for power. People are giving up their freedoms in an exchange for a good. Just like they give up freedoms in exchange for security. Dependence is absolutely a controlling ethos.

                  This is why you’re naive.

                  1. The paternalism pushed by the left is at least as bad as a police state. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies…those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

                    That’s our “we know better than you” modern left in all of its hubris and arrogance.

                    I think there is an argument to be made that libertarianism and conservatism are similar in ways that libertarianism and leftism can never be. The way I usually like to frame it is to imagine a person who is about to do something which is almost certainly stupid:

                    The conservative says to that person, “don’t do that-there will be terrible consequences.”
                    The libertarian says, “do what you want, suffer the consequences.”
                    The lefty says, “do what you want, we’ll subsidize the consequences.”

                    So the person does the stupid thing and the conservative says, “I told you not to do that, but if you follow these time tested principles you can probably recover.”
                    The libertarian says, “sucks to be you, but if you learn from it you can improve yourself.”
                    The lefty says, “you poor thing! It is obvious that you are a victim of (insert standard lefty demon) ‘the patriarchy, heteronormativity, capitalism, etc.'”

                    It seems pretty clear to me that one of those things is not like the other and that the left is content to assume that large parts of society are “…on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will…” That can’t ever be reconciled with any sort of libertarianism.

                  2. This is how stupid this argument has become. Both of us agree that the police state and paternalism are bad. Both of us agree that they restrict people’s liberties. But because I won’t agree with you that they are EQUALLY bad, then I am to be thrown out of the pro-liberty tent according to you. This is just dumb. As I said in a previous discussion, you just won’t take yes as an answer. It is not enough that I broadly agree with you. I have to agree with your narrative *in totality*. That is the No True Scotsman crapola that you bring out.

                    1. That isn’t it Pedo Jeffy. The reasons you are despised have been explained, and do not resemble your laughable strawman.

                    2. Maybe you missed this part Jeff,

                      those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

                      This makes paternalism more offensive – it’s everlasting in its cruelty. Some police state actors can see the evil in their ways and repent; see Wallace, George. Paternalists, never.

            2. By the way… the federalist and washington examiner is more libertarian than your sources which are ratical.org, wapo, and the NYT. Fucking hilarious when you call them right wing simply because they dont think Trump is Hitler.

              1. Sometimes he cites the council on foreign relations.
                Totes liberty biased

                1. Also just security org. Just a liberal think tank out of NYU. Totes libertarian.

            3. “I also don’t like Team Blue’s march towards socialism. I don’t want anything to do with that either. But, generally speaking, at least they don’t treat foreigners, or people who deviate from the mainstream norm, like human scum and don’t objectify and dehumanize them. They have that going for them at least.”

              Lol
              Psychoticjeff is so very resentful of real life

              1. He also doesnt get that nobody is actually advocating for closed borders, they just think 1 million a year is a good cap. They also arent treating legal foreigners as scum as he implies. But jeff resorts to these attacks when exposed.

              2. “I also don’t like Team Blue’s march towards socialism. I don’t want anything to do with that either. But, generally speaking, at least they don’t treat foreigners, or people who deviate from the mainstream norm, like human scum and don’t objectify and dehumanize them. They have that going for them at least.”

                Precisely speaking, it is the policy of the left to demonize anyone who disagrees with them, regardless of their race, religion, immigrant status, sexual orientation or national origin.

                They DO censor, boycott, get people fired, get people attacked, get people’s access to their funds cut off OPENLY.

                The rare leftists who suggest that this might not be right, however timid and equivocating they are eventually wind up getting destroyed with all the other foes of the leftist monolith.

                THIS is what you find preferable to attempting to use the legislative process to maybe set some kind of cap on immigration, to use existing law to enforce our borders, to accepting the biological fact that there are only two genders, etc.

                You are not pro liberty, Jeff. Not at all.

            4. “You completely buy into the right-wing narrative of DEEP STATE COUP. Even now you use the phrase “overturning an election” to describe the whistleblower complaint”

              Evidence is a bitch when one is devoted to his bigotry

            5. You may just dismiss this out of hand, but nevertheless, Curtis Yarvin has some useful insights in regards to the supposed left/right dichotomy in this country as it relates to party politics…

              To the extent that democratic politics still exists in the Western world, it exists in the form of the two-party system. The parties have various names, which they have inherited from history. But there are only two parties: the Inner Party, and the Outer Party. It is never hard to tell which is which.

              The function of the Inner Party is to delegate all policies and decisions to the Cathedral. The function of the Outer Party is to pretend to oppose the Inner Party, while in fact posing no danger at all to it. Sometimes Outer Party functionaries are even elected, and they may even succeed in pursuing a few of their deviant policies. The entire Polygon will unite in ensuring that these policies either fail, or are perceived by the public to fail. Since the official press is part of the Polygon and has a more or less direct line into everyone’s brain, this is not difficult.

              An Open Letter to Open-Minded Progressives Chapter 7: The Ugly Truth About Government

              I might be confusing you with someone else, but I recall that you’re not an anarchist of the Hoppe variety, so I don’t know if you’d give Moldbug an honest read (I know he’s not an anarchist), but I could be wrong.

              I say all of this to suggest that there is a legitimate reason why the left/inner party inspires the resentment and suspicion it does among reactionaries of all types. Surely this isn’t lost on you?

              1. Well, that’s an interesting story. He certainly has a way with words.

                No I’m not in favor of a corporate dictatorship. No I’m not a reactionary as this fellow defines the term.

                1. There are many different types of reactionaries. Rothbard would be a type of reactionary. I would say the only common thread is opposition to the left as that is the direction that power has flowed almost exclusively for the entirety of this country (inner party/outer party). Today’s conservative was yesterday’s leftist.

              2. Dismissed out of hand.

                Is there any way we could find a single alt-right “philosopher” who isn’t a pro-slavery Hitler apologist racist? Like, is that a necessary predicate for the other ideas or what?

                1. Is there any way we could find a single alt-right “philosopher” who isn’t a pro-slavery Hitler apologist racist?

                  How predictable, the modern equivalent of accusing someone of being a heretic. With two syllables any idea can be dismissed and never addressed again.

                  There is no dogma as impenetrable as that which is taught in the church of the left.

                  1. Hitler was bad.

            6. Haha. “Victim mentality” from “team red”?

              Team blue has a pretty clear strategy of mining every nook and cranny for ever more victims. Racial, gender, income inequality, hell, not being addressed by preferred pronouns are grounds for grievance. If you ain’t pissed off, you cannot be a democrat. Happy people need not apply.

              And then you bitch about how foreigners are treated as if this is unique in any country. Those poor victims.

              Haha. Wow.

        3. He certainly believes in the unrestricted freedom of movement for child rapists to move to the US and rape our children.

  4. Eastwood makes great movies. I thought he was dead.

    1. He’s only dead in Hollywood.

      1. I hear he will be the first actual zombie to appear in a zombie movie.

        1. The Good, the Bad, and the Undead.

          1. Nice.

  5. Sounds like he’s continuing themes he presented in “Sully” and “Changeling.”

  6. “As a movie about Trump and today’s political climate, I’m not sure it entirely succeeds, if only because the facts about Jewell are so clear cut and the debates about Trump are not.”

    We’ll never really know whether or not Trump was colluding with the Russians as a traitor.

  7. A true story that doesn’t bash white people

    “conservative”

    1. A story that labels lies — about journalists — as a ‘true story’
      . . . very conservative.

  8. Of course, it is entirely possible Clint was just making a movie about corruption.

  9. Isn’t it possible Eastwood just made a movie about Richard Jewell? That there is no other subtext?

    Witches, witches everywhere!

    1. Donald Trump’s name is never uttered in Richard Jewell, but his presence looms over the movie, and at times it plays as much as an implicit defense of him

      The review was OK until that popped out. What the fuck? Really??

      1. What’s really off about that inference was the screenplay was written before trump was elected.

        “Richard Jewell has been in development since 2014, with Jonah Hill originally scheduled to play the title character and Leonardo DiCaprio tapped to co-star as a lawyer (both are now listed as co-producers). ”
        https://screenrant.com/richard-jewell-movie-2019-release-date-clint-eastwood/

        And as you can see was always intended to have a big production value. Glad jonah was cut from the movie though.

        1. Not having him in the film was the right decision. Even in roles where he’s not portraying some Portnoy’s Complaint stereotype, he’s not a very sympathetic actor.

          Narrative aside, I want to see this just for the chance to watch Sam Rockwell chew the scenery again.

          1. I’m glad neither of them are in it.
            Leon isn’t an actor, he’s a movie star.
            Like Denzel Washington, Leo plays Leo in every movie he’s in.
            Very overrated

            1. Very true, but wolf of Wall Street was outstanding. And both those guys were great.

              A movie that starts with dwarf tossing and only gets better from there. Loved it!

              1. They were awesome in Wolf of Wall Street.
                I like that movie very much.
                And they were good choices, because they essentially got to play themselves

        2. And screenplays never change between when they are written and when the movie is produced. Nope, they are carved in stone and a director can’t do anything about it.

          1. But if you think the intent of this film was to make some Trump allegory, the fact that the screenplay was already extant in some form before Trump was even a potential candidate should undermine that claim.

      2. Donald Trump’s name is never uttered in Richard Jewell, but his presence looms over the movie because he inhabits every crevice of my mind

        FIFY

    2. Then why make a movie? The facts are there for everyone to see. Seems to me the whole point of making a movie that isn’t just pure spectacle is to add subtext.
      In any case, once the movie is out there, Eastwood doesn’t get to control what it means to people.

      1. I think the point of the film is to bring to light a compelling story where a man acted heroically and then was smeared. You can latch on other contexts to this-the bunk science of criminal profiling, the dangers of speculating on unfinished investigations, or perhaps the flaws of a society that reports rumors and opinions as news.

        If you wanted, you could easily claim this is an allegory about the Covington Catholic kids. But if your mind is always focused on Trump, then you’re going to see Trump in this tale.

  10. “I fear government more than I fear terrorism.”

    Amen.

    1. So obviously that lawyer was not a modern conservative. Must be one of those eebil conservatarians always going on about the constitution and shit. Because we all know that terrorism is the number one evil in this nation. Next to Hillary, that is.

      1. The real real conservatives know that DRUMPF is the number one evil in this nation, amirite?

        1. Brandy is just a little bitch who’s pissed that the McCains, Romneys, and Bushs of the “right” are no longer in control.
          “The party left him” says the progressive Republican

  11. “Donald Trump’s name is never uttered in Richard Jewell, but his presence looms over the movie, and at times it plays as much as an implicit defense of him—another uncouth outsider mocked, dismissed, and vilified by the elite trio of media, academia, and federal law enforcement—as a true story about a wrongly suspected security guard.

    As a movie about Trump and today’s political climate, I’m not sure it entirely succeeds, if only because the facts about Jewell are so clear cut and the debates about Trump are not.”

    I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t comment on the validity of this association, but the film doesn’t need to make it all about Trump himself. Elitist snobbery against those who support Trump is a big enough story in itself. In fact, suggesting that Trump supporters deserve any legitimate consideration at all is probably more controversial on the left than suggesting that Trump himself is worthy of legitimate respect.

    I maintain that the left’s disgust with Trump is grounded, primarily, in his willingness to pander to the white, blue collar, middle class. Being willing to tell “the deplorables” what they want to hear is what the elitist left finds so completely unacceptable. Cancel culture, signaling, censorship on social media, etc., etc. is all about trying to make it seem as if the standards of the white, blue collar, middle class are socially unacceptable. Trump giving those people a voice is by far his greatest crime–in the eyes of the left.

    1. The closest association to Trump is Eastwood signing on this January. But the movie was being pitched in 2014.

      1. It wouldn’t have been hard to predict that people would be preoccupied with Trump in an election year, and I’m sure Eastwood could see what he wanted to do with it from back in January.

    2. Well, Ken, there is a fine line between “serving the people” and “demagoguery”. To genuinely serve the people, a leader has to be able to, from time to time, tell the people that certain things that they want, they just can’t have. Such as, for instance, when the people want to trample on certain fundamental rights. A true leader interested in liberty has to be willing to tell the people “no, you can’t do that” even if it means going against the will of the people. A demagogue, however, will try to appeal to, and rationalize, the prejudices of the people, even when those prejudices are unfounded or irrational. Suffice it to say that there’s a lot more demagoguery in today’s politics than there ought to be, and Trump – along with a lot of other leaders too – are just riding the populist wave in this manner. Bush did a lot of things wrong, but one of the things that he did do right is not to tolerate some of the darker anti-Muslim sentiments on the right. That is what a statesman should do. What would Trump have done, on the other hand? Probably not as statesmanlike as Bush’s response.

      1. Do you or don’t you make distinctions between deplorables, Trump supporters, and the white, blue collar, middle class?

        If Refusing to make sacrifices for global warming is ignorant, if opposition to affirmative action is racism, if the desire to build a wall is xenophobic, if Christianity is homophobic, . . .

        What distinctions to you make between the white, blue collar middle class who refuse to sacrifice for global warming, oppose affirmative action, want to build a wall, and continue to think of Christianity as a good thing, on the one hand, and deplorable Trump supporters on the other?

        1. Freeloading morons the rest of us will end up having to support as they are dragged kicking and screaming out of their own ignorance, as per usual.

          1. Haha. You’re such a hero.

      2. Ahahahah what a weak and obvious attempt to blunt Jesse’s criticism you sad stupid fuck lololol

        “SEEE SEE I SORT OF DEFENDED BUSH BECAUSE I WANT TO PRETEND IM NOT A PROG”

        L O L

        1. The irony is baby jeffrey doesnt recognize his own prejudices as prejudice.

        2. cytotoxic was always a fan of Bush’s proclivity for glassing the middle east and importing the survivors.

      3. Bitch, every criticism you make is childish projection.
        You throw around words like “demagogue” without having a clue what they mean (and I’m confident you’ve never heard of Cleon).
        You’re a good example of everything wrong with progressive “education”

      4. “Some of the darker anti Muslim sentiment…….”

        Sigh. It always comes back to virtue signaling about terrible white people, eh chem? So boring.

        But don’t change a thing! Haha.

  12. I caught a sneak preview of the movie and the “Trump 2024” tattoo on Rockwell’s face was definitely a distraction. Personally, I think Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V was a much better film because it underplayed Shakespeare’s Trumpist leanings. They’re obviously still there, of course, for anybody who knows Shakespeare’s political views, but they’re much more subtly presented.

    Nobody can possibly suggest that Eastwood’s movie isn’t clearly all about Trump, I mean, c’mon, the guys presenting a story about a wrongfully accused person the cops are trying to frame on their usual “who’s the nearest suspect?” mindset and leaking to a complicit press the juicy details of their “investigation” to convict the guy in the court of public opinion? This can only be Trump, nobody else has ever been treated this way. Well, possibly Randy Weaver and David Koresh might sympathize, as would Brandon Mayfield, but they were all guilty of being horrible monsters so who gives a shit?

      1. Right?

        Perhaps the movie about the Central Park 5 was really about Trump too.

        1. The group of teenagers who beat a woman to the brink of death but didn’t rape her?

          1. That were falsely prosecuted for the rape. Yeah.

            1. Totes great icons for injustice

              1. Dog Day Afternoon was definitely all about Trump.

                1. And: Demolition Man.

                  Best
                  Movie
                  Ever

                  1. You misspelled Highlander 2.

    1. I really liked Amadeus – even if they mischaracterized Salieri it’s not hard to see through him, the movie warns of Trump coming one day to threaten civilization.

    2. Hillary Clinton has a better claim than Trump. The FBI smeared her right before the election and Comey was fired for doing that. We didn’t even know Trump’s associates were under investigation during the election. Bill Clinton also has a better claim than Trump. The investigation that led to his impeachment was completely manufactured. Trump welcomed the Russian crimes committed for his benefit. He didn’t participate in those crimes because Russia would have been dumb to personally involve Trump. That’s why Russia used Wikileaks.

      1. The only lie the fbi told about Hillary was that she was too stupid to understand how classified material was handled. They only did so to protect her from convictions.

        1. Agent Strzok changed the wording in the report to protect her from being prosecuted.

          1. The FBI lies to get FISA warrants on Trump.

            The FBI lies to protect Hillary from prosecution.

            No evidence of bias there. Nope, none at all.

      2. Also david corn from mother jones had written articles about the CI prior to the election.

      3. There were also over a dozen convictions of fraud related to whitewater, a civil suit won by an accuser against clinton, multiple settlements outside of court, and a stained dress proving clinton committed perjury.

        Yeap. Nothing to see there pod.

        1. A Trump supporter voluntarily introducing conviction counts, fraud adjudications, misconduct investigations, and the like to a debate?

          Expecting anything better from superstitious slack-jaws and half-educated bigots would be a mistake.

      4. Hillary is an incorrigible, corrupted, dark soul.

        I can’t believe anyone would even mount any kind of defense of her or support her on any level.

        1. Open wider, Rufus. Your betters won’t be done with you until the day of your replacement.

          1. Considering your betters have been kicking your ass for close to ten years now, you’re hardly in a position to be bragging about replacement, hicklib.

            1. He’s so irrelevant it’s hilarious

          2. Aw. The little left-wing racist responded.

            A lefty talking about betters giving it to them deep and hard.

            Oh, life’s sweet ironies.

            1. Homophobe, too.

          3. Such an egalitarian. Progressives are all about a more fair, more just world, just so long as they can still consider themselves the self-appointed elite–masters of the lower castes.

      5. “” Bill Clinton also has a better claim than Trump. The investigation that led to his impeachment was completely manufactured. “”

        hahahahaha.
        The stupid is strong with this one.

        We all know Bill did had sexual relations with that woman but he had to lie about in court. Actual friggin prejury and you are willing to excuse it because it’s not a republican.

        1. I thought presidents were immune from prosecution for normal crimes.

  13. A non-leftist Hollywood would always have an anti-leftist, anti-socialist, anti-Marxist, anti-Stalinist, anti-PolPot bent.

  14. “What would Hollywood look like if it were stridently, self-righteously conservative instead of comparably liberal? ”

    Come again? Small guy getting crushed by the Police State. This is a movie that should be pure liberal Hollywood.

    1. Small guy getting crushed by the Police State. This is a movie that should be pure liberal Hollywood.

      If only the left were liberal that would be true.

    2. If you’ve haven’t noticed, the Police State has gotten rehabilitated by Hollywood. Finding a movie in which the Police State is put into a bad light is rare, and when it happens, it’s invariably because they were being manipulated by an eebil corporation. This has been going on for quite a while now.

    3. ” This is a movie that should be pure liberal Hollywood.”

      If Hollywood was liberal. They aren’t. They are full on deep state progressives.

  15. “”As a movie about Trump and today’s political climate, I’m not sure it entirely succeeds, “”

    Because it’s not a movie about Trump, dumbass.

    This is really some stupid shit. Why do some people want to make everything about Trump? They want Trump to disappear but they want to include him in everything. It’s an obsession.

    1. It’s not an obsession. TDS is a virus. It can’t be cured but comes in different strains. Before it was Bush Derangement Syndrome.

      The syndrome is characterized by strange ‘gap’ in dissonance whereby a person is outraged by actions of a leader they don’t like but suddenly; go silent when the same action is perpetuated by someone they support.

      There’s no cure.

      1. Contracting TDS gives the appearance of holding principled thoughts but in reality are just faux self-righteous selfishness. This trait is common among those with excessive self-esteem combined with illiterate ignorance. Another trait is the ‘NPC’ version whereby ‘low information’ or indifferent minds just follow the narrative script. Another aspect still are those who should know better but still buy into a scrip ‘just in case’. Together they form what we call ‘useful idiots.’

        Again. There is no known cure.

  16. So what you’re saying is Rotten Tomatoes will give it a ‘10%’.

    1. Didn’t they give Chappell a 0%? So perhaps their system is more like scoring golf.

  17. That the movie seems to want viewers to transfer these feelings onto today’s political landscape is somehow both beside the point and impossible to ignore.

    Are we at all certain that it’s not reviewers who want the movie to want to transfer pro-Trump, anti-elite/-deep state/-media feelings?

    1. It’s projectionists all the way down!

  18. “ Yet instead of being hailed as a hero, Jewell was subjected to a brutal, manipulative FBI investigation…”

    Timely. How did Eastwood arrange for the IG report to come out right before his movie?

  19. Lol. So your take is conservatives make, good movies…. Because they aren’t pure propaganda or something and have complex multidimensional characters? Suderman what was the point of this? If you like it just say it’s good even though you disagree with Clint Easwoods politics. It’s more honest and consice and wouldn’t waste everyone’s time. Liking or not liking something doesn’t have to be a political statement lol. Also not everything is about Trump, in fact surprisingly enough in the real world most aren’t.

    1. Why does Suderman think this is about Trump? The events happened over 20 years ago. Trump isn’t mentioned in the movie. It is a story of actual events. It doesn’t involve a politician. Is every movie about a white person being screwed by law enforcement and the media now about Trump?

      It makes no sense. The only way the movie is about Trump is because Sudderman demands it be. That he does that and then deems the movie a failure because it doesn’t achieve a goal that he ascribed to it makes his review pretty stupid.

      The message I take from this review is that Jewell is an excellent movie and Suderman isn’t very happy about that. So, he invents a new standard by which to judge it so he can say something bad about it.

      1. Perhaps he should leave the movie reviews to Kurt Loder.

        1. Loder writes for the purpose of reviewing movies, and politics creeps in.

          Suderman uses movie reviews (and pretty much every other topic) to emote his politics in print.

      2. The parallels to Trump are obvious. What isn’t obvious to people who hate Trump is that they are parallels because what the government did in the “Russia investigation” was wrong.

        This is what causes the cognitive dissonance. They deeply believe that Trump is terrible and should be caught and arrested and taken away. So they want for the spying to be justified. They need it. Because they are invested in the conclusion – that Trump is terrible and must be taken away in chains.

        So an attack on the FBI and CIA for spying on the Trump campaign is an attack on them. And they must put up a wall to protect from that attack.

        This is how cognitive bias works. This is also how conspiracy theory thinking works. Once you have a deeply held belief, presenting contrary facts does not change your mind. It only makes you dig in deeper and it actually strengthens your beliefs. This has been studied quite a bit. It works for any deeply held belief of the sort – whether it be a religious belief, or some conspiracy theory, or our opinions of other people in our lives. Once we have a deeply held narrative, only facts that fit the narrative are accepted. Everything else is either dismissed or twisted to fit the narrative. It is a basic feature of how our pattern-matching brains work.

        1. Exactly. See: Know-it-all Society by Michael Patrick Lynch for an in depth discussion of this (from a progressive perspective no less).

      3. Suderman sees the world through orange colored glasses.

  20. What I get from this review is that the movie is good and the reviewer is insane.

  21. Shattered Glass

    Great movie.

    we see him abusing his power with a couple of drunken college students.

    It’s revealing “conservative” efforts include the full range of detail compared to left wing products (say, The Truth) which depict events entirely in a left wing = good, else = evil framework. Whenever they posture as nuanced recall these differences.

    Consider the law professor performances at the recent impeachment hearings. The “Republican” witness Turley was balanced within his own testimony. The Dem witnesses were hyper-partisan and acted as if any balance or even honesty should be provided by others, their role was advocacy analogous to a defense attorney.

  22. Is Megan at home, secretly preparing for Peter’s dementia?

  23. Donald Trump’s name is never uttered in Richard Jewell, but his presence looms over the movie

    R E N T F R E E

    1. lol.

      TDS can feel like a storm raging inside you

      1. TDS can feel like a storm raging inside you

        And LOL. Please tell me you lifted this phrase directly from some big pharma TV ad.

        1. I want my own personal roller coaster like that one chick

          1. Perhaps that was an euphemism for her relationships.

  24. If you’re at all interested in a non-demented review, you can catch one here

    1. No, not really. Dawson seems to be making excuses for the press and law enforcement.

      Heaven forbid somebody just review the movie without trying to introduce another dimension to it.

  25. “Richard Jewell Shows What a Conservative Hollywood Would Look Like ”

    They would make good movies that people want to see? Pass. I just want a movie about a brave journalist and their epic struggle against a hillbilly vaping industry CEO trying to hook immigrant orphans onto their poisonous wares. (a business model which somehow would result in enormous profits?? it makes sense if you feel it does)

    1. Tobacco had a similar model and they seemed to do OK for a few centuries.

  26. it would look like it was run by the mom in Detroit Rock City and Tipper Gore.

  27. Richard Jewell Shows What a Non-Batshit Leftist Hollywood Would Look Like

  28. I just can’t imagine the Trump movie doing as well as the Obama biopic. The Obama movie was universally praised by critics and did over a billion dollars at the box office, even if there were a lot of silly memes concerning them changing the name of Obama’s homeland from Kenya to Wakanda.

  29. Eastwood’s best picture was an extended one-sided discussion with an empty chair at some political event.

    1. That was excellent live theater. Too bad so many missed the point.

      1. It was excellent theater and I don’t think it was that difficult to understand, though it could have been a little too ‘modern’ for its intended audience.

  30. We are not surprised that you would think that was his best.

  31. But some of it comes from the way in which he fit a cultural and demographic profile, as an uncultured, unsophisticated, overweight white man who collected guns, adored police, and lived with his mother. Jewell, the movie suggests, was a victim of elite snobbery, which misjudged him not only as a rube, but as a grave danger.

    The MSM purposely ignores that young adults can make mistakes and mature into upstanding Americans.

    Instead the MSM shifts attention from shitty Americans like W. Bush, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Beto, FDR, LBJ….

  32. My main memory of the Olympic bombing is that, even as the story was still breaking, my father pointed out Brokaw’s sloppiness in denouncing Jewell and the irony that Bob Costas — who was “the sports guy” — was being much more careful in his statements about Jewell’s possible guilt and was even trying to rein in Brokaw.

  33. Maybe it doesn’t “entirely succeed” as a movie about Trump and today’s political climate because it wasn’t made “as a movie about Trump and today’s political climate”. Believe it or not, some of us really do think about things other than Trump once in a while.

    Projecting your own opinions and biases onto a movie then criticizing it for failing to live up to those projections … Well, I’m not sure what that is but I’m pretty sure it’s not now movie reviews are supposed to be done.

  34. So the movie never says Trump’s name but you have to inject him into your review? Fuck the hell off with your TDS.

    1. Looks like you have TDSDS.

  35. Donald Trump’s name is never uttered in Richard Jewell, but his presence looms over the movie, and at times it plays as much as an implicit defense of him—another uncouth outsider mocked, dismissed, and vilified by the elite trio of media, academia, and federal law enforcement—as a true story about a wrongly suspected security guard.

    Or perhaps it’s a movie about Richard Jewell, an uncouth outsider mocked, dismissed and vilified by the elite trio of media, academia and federal law enforcement.

  36. So to watch Richard Jewell as a liberal, I imagine, is something like what watching movies as a non-liberal is like so much of the time

    He “imagines”? Did Suderman just confess to being a liberal?

    1. Dude. Just because someone doesn’t have his head shoulders deep up Trump’s @ss doesn’t make him a liberal.

    2. Note to foreign readers: the American Liberal party published a plank to repeal alcohol prohibition in 1931. The Democrats copied this plank and won five elections in a row. Beginning the 1932 campaign, republicans began spitting the word “liberal” the way German National Socialists pronounced it, and the habit has been gleefully nurtured by Fabian socialists and communists. In Canada, the UK, India, Australia and Hong Kong, “liberal” retains its pre-nazi meaning.

  37. if it were stridently, self-righteously conservative instead of comparablystridently, self-righteously liberal?

    FTFY

    1. Is there nothing so small that you people won’t whine about it?

      You know how spending all your time whining about perceived slights to your precious vaginas, like using “comparably” instead of adding the same words over again to the sentence, prevents you from spending any time actually having any good ideas?

  38. This movie sure did bring the knives out amongst reviewers.

    1. Pissing off blue checkmarks and establishment reviewers is now a blood sport. And terrifically easy to do.

  39. So a movie that explores the overreach of law enforcement, the media and elitists to ruin an innocent man is “conservative”? Huh, I would have called it libertarian. What is it that libertarians believe again? I would have thought writers at Reason would know.

    1. We need a butthurt form on aisle C!

    2. Are you so sure this “Jewell” guy is so innocent? And Eastwood, he strikes me as more of a liberal than conservative.

  40. Someone break it to Peter that “Hitler’s Hollywood” came out in 2017. Nothing oozes smug religious conservatism like Hitler’s National Socialism. Granted not so much ring-kissing or cardinals giving Nazi salutes made it into NSDAP movies. But when a dozen drooling televangelists all lay hands on The Don, Brad, Leonardo and Matt don’t rush to rehearse that scene either. Which reminds me… did Nixon ever decide either way if “Song of Russia” was a communist propaganda movie?

  41. Libertarians waste so much time trying to sound intellectual by being against everything.

    1. Actually, that is our god-given right. It is kinda our only super power. Except only True Libertarians can do it right.

  42. Well, as a self-described “liberal,” (but most certainly not a “progressive” as the AOC crowd would determine us) I think such a film is quite welcome. Though I don’t think Reason or any non-left outlet does the film any good by trying to publicize it as a “conservative” film. Eastwood is the quintessential libertarian–to the extent it sometimes gets him in trouble w/ both left & right. His films generally highlight the idea that basic right should beat wrong . . . but that doesn’t always happen.

    If you want a true “conservative” filmmaker–actually, a true right-winger–go watch Mel Gibson’s latter movies. He is a true nut job. A total illiberal in the historical sense of the word. He gained applause just because he made himself a pariah. His films all could have been rubbish, but he would still be a hero among the right wing simply because he was “different.”

    In actuality, many of his films were very good and I give him credit for being open about his alcoholism and anger management issues.

    But Eastwood is not a conservative/right-wing filmmaker. He’s truly just a “get off my lawn” filmmaker . . . which, I grant you, leads to different perspectives than many left-wing Hollywood directors who basically advocate for “Everyone–get ON my lawn! I’m so guilty of ‘privilege’ that I don’t deserve my lawn!!” Ha!

    1. One quibble…. it is “get on everyone else’s lawn”. Nobody wants the on their lawn. They just assume that it won’t apply to them – usually because they are pushing intrusions that don’t apply to them.

      I don’t smoke, so nobody should mind if we ban..
      I don’t have anything to hide, so nobody should mind if the FBI collects….

      That actually cuts statists of every stripe, left and right. They all want the government to use their guns to force other people to live according to their personal code, even if they don’t follow it themselves. (witness all of the politicians who smoked pot an yet happily tossed other people in jail for the same offense) So people of the right are happy to ban porn and even rap music (both of which rather bizarrely wrap around and get the extreme left too)…

      People just don’t mind government intruding on other people’s rights. Note all the conservatives who have suddenly decided that maybe having secret courts that allow wire tapping and surveillance of Americans isn’t such a great idea. …. and the depressing number of “progressives” who have decided that using that power to spy on a presidential candidate and even the elected president in waiting is just fine and dandy.

      No, it seems that everyone except the weirdo libertarians over in the corner is just fine with stepping on “other people’s” lawns.

      1. Real proggies want to regulate the land your house sits on,so that your lawn has to be “just so” – in some parts of the country that would mean appropiate native foliage,but nothing so crass as a “lawn” of “invasive, water-intensive” grass.

        https://www.ecolandscaping.org/07/installing-and-maintaining-landscapes/lawn-care/lawns-killing-us-time-kick-habit/

    2. Apocalypto and Hacksaw Ridge? It would be hard to find 2 better movies

  43. Just saw the movie tonight. I assume that Mr Suderman, the author of this Reason article, is relatively young. For me at 66 yoa, it’s illustrative that younger individuals see this movie as “conservative” or “right-of-center”. As I was departing the theater, I was thinking how much the movie reminded me of the great films I saw decades ago made by a Hollywood that valued liberty, the Constitution and other “American” values, one which exposed the corruption and avarice of a coercive government against the “little guy”. They were considered “mainstream” and enjoyed by the vast majority of Americans.

    Now such films are a novelty and no doubt derided by vast numbers of Americans who desire larger, more powerful government to take care of them and force others to comply with their “progressive” views.

    How times have changed for the worse.

  44. The second is the media, which rushed to report that Jewell was a person of interest, and which, in some cases, exaggerated the strength of law enforcement’s case against Jewell.

    I take it you are too young to have really been around for the Jewell investigation. It wasn’t “in some cases exaggerated”.

    You know how the media cycle is these days? With CNN talking heads on 24 hours a day offering opinions that they just pulled out of their rear ends on all the events of the day? Well, CNN was around then, and the talking head circuit was well developed.

    So when they named Jewel as a “person of interest”, the pundit machine went into overdrive. They didn’t talk about what evidence they had, or any such mundane stuff. They speculated wildly based on the tiniest leaks – many of which began life with the AJC.

    CNN had on former FBI “profilers” who explained how people who bomb events like Jewel did have a hero complex. They explained how living with his mother fit the profile. And how being over weight fit the profile. How working as a security guard fit the profile. In other words, whatever the detail was about Jewel that they learned – it was offered up as proof that he bombed the Olympic park.

    I suppose you had to be there to really appreciate it. But you do have examples in today’s media. We have a cultural knowledge because of it – knowledge of gentle giants being gunned down for absolutely no reason whatsoever…. cute little 12 year old boys being gunned down by white supremacist vigilantes for the crime of wearing a hooded sweatshirt…. and many others…. with a 24 hour news cycle on multiple cable stations and a political agenda to push, it has become even easier to go down that road these days.

    But you had to be there to really get the idea of how the media treated Jewell. They talked for hours over loops of him walking into his apartment or out of a police station or of the bomb going off… And they speculated wildly. When the FBI took his mother’s Tupperware, they immediately began explaining that this would show bomb making residue and this is how Jewell cooked up the bomb. The details leaked by the FBI were immediately pushed into the public consciousness and expanded upon by what was a national water-cooler rumor mill of speculation. The media was absolutely in Witch Trial mode – everything was proof that he was guilty…. Living with his mom was proof. Finding the bomb was proof. Saving people was proof. Having tupperwear was proof. Having a mustache was proof. Being overweight was proof. Talking to the press was proof. Not talking to the press was proof.

    You are way, way too easy on the media… probably because you identify with that group. And if you weren’t there, just hearing “Jewell sued for being mistreated by the media” doesn’t really do it justice. It was a 24/7 smear job run across the nation by a media eager to push that narrative. Of course they believed they were right. That isn’t the point. The point is “what did they do?” And what they did was pick up a few nuggets dropped by the FBI who were eager to make a case under tremendous national and international pressure – and then they ran with them as hard as they could.

    Unfortunately, looking around the media today, it appears that nobody takes this as a cautionary tale. The AJC still maintains that they were pure as the driven snow and did no wrong. A few people did some second guessing right after the real bomber was identified. But not many, and not for long.

    As is apparent by their behavior today, nobody is studying this as a lesson in how not to cover a story. Which they should be, because this can be very dangerous – and not just for a one-off guy like Jewell.

    Once a moral panic gets started, bad things happen. In the late 80’s and early 90’s the media drummed up a day care center abuse panic. They covered cases with fantastical claims credulously – and the communities and the nation were whipped into a fever because of it. People were actually sentenced to life in prison on fantastical and not just highly implausible, but actually impossible charges. They would eventually be exonerated, but only after many years and because of the efforts of pro-bono lawyers fighting long after lesser men would have quit.

    And sure, there are parallels to today’s media and their breathless coverage of “17 Federal Agencies Agree That Trump Was Colluding With The Russians!!” But the fact that this makes you uncomfortable isn’t an indictment of the movie. It should make you uncomfortable whether you bought in to “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” or “Saddam was training Al-Qaeda and plotted 9-11” or any of the other false narratives that have been pushed in the media over the years.

    In the case of Richard Jewell, people were just covering a story. But they were doing it in a “bunch of guys around the water cooler” way… wildly speculating and then each guy running with the last person’s wild speculation as if it were fact. That part would be bad…. no, horrible. But it wasn’t just the media doing it… the State was doing it as well, bringing the full force of the power of the Federal Government to bear on putting this one guy away. And they had tunnel vision. They changed from “find the bomber” to “prove that this guy did it”.

    It is a cautionary tale that needs to be heard and taken to heart, not just by the media, but by every American and particularly those in power. Because all of the logical fallacies that lead to bad decision making were on display in this case. And sticking your head in the sand and pretending that they either don’t exist or that they don’t apply to you is how to ensure that you repeat the same mistakes.

    1. Maybe it has gotten worse. Recall the Covington Catholic School kid as presented by npr and other media:

      https://www.npr.org/2019/01/20/686988268/video-of-kentucky-students-mocking-native-american-man-draws-outcry

      Selectively edited video is pure propaganda.

      1. There was more propaganda than simply showing selective clips of video.

        The Today Show had Savannah Guthrie interview both the “Native Elder” and Sandman. These interviews happened after the full videos had made it to the internet and after the reaction to that had already started on the internet. In fact, these interviews were probably a response to all of that, of sorts.

        She interviewed Phillips in an “I have to rehabilitate and get the narrative out” way. She never asked him about any of the contrary facts that had come out – his prior activism, his claims that he was just marching to the Lincoln Memorial and these kids surrounded him and blocked his way and tried to intimidate him, his claims of racist statements.. none of it – she asked him very leading questions that were clearly designed to show that the weight of a national news organization was behind him and supporting him 100%.

        Then she had Sandman on the very next day, and proceeded to grill him as if he were a Klansman caught on tape burning a cross in someone’s yard. She repeatedly asked him to apologize for his actions, and asked him to explain how he thought Phillips felt when he was being intimidated by this high school kid.

        It was pure propaganda. There is no “this is just good journalism” angle to this. Even if you had not seen all the extra video, no “down the middle” journalist who was trying to get the story would have done those interviews in that manner. Pravda would have been happy with her efforts.

    2. ” But it wasn’t just the media doing it… ”

      The media are just responding to the demands of their audience. They are a business and higher ratings are their lifeblood. This means accuracy takes a back seat, all too often. That doesn’t excuse the FBI, who come out of the fiasco much worse.

    3. Thank you. What a wonderfully thoughtful and cogent reply. I was a kid, but with a parent hooked on CNN, I can remember the craziness. Also I of course was crazy over the gymnastic “Dream Team” at the time, so I was riveted to everything Olympic-related that summer.

    4. Cyto, I watched CNN during the Jewell investigation and you are not exaggerating: as I recall. CNN and its commentators and experts acted like a lynch mob run amok.

      In my not so humble opinion, we have not had mainstream media Journalism since the 1960s: we have had a steady diet of advocacy journalism, not factual reporting, but “creative nonfiction” graduates pushing a nonfactual “poetic truth” always in support of progressive agenda talking points– reportage on GW Bush’s guard service, the Duke LaCrosse team, the Martin-Zimmerman case, the Katherine Eban CNN Fortune piece on Operation Fast and Furious painting David Voth as hero and John Dodson as villain (contradicted by the DoJ OIG Report on OFF). The mainstream media have squandered their credibility.

      1. “The mainstream media have squandered their credibility.”

        But you know the truth of the lacrosse team, Martin, Fast and Furious, and others entirely due to the reporting of mainstream media. They apparently still are credible in your eyes.

        1. After polluting the pool of public opinion with speculation and surmise, some elements of the media actually did basic journalism 101. In general, the mainstream media have not reformed, the BSers do not correct themselves.

          I

          1. “In general, the mainstream media have not reformed, the BSers do not correct themselves.”

            But they corrected themselves in every case you mentioned as an example. That’s how you know the truth. If you know of any media outlets that still maintain that Jewell is a terrorist, let me know. There should be plenty if media has not reformed and don’t self correct.

  45. What I love is people whining about the suggestion in the movie this female reporter was banging an FBI agent for info. The paper she worked for is saying it’s not accurate. Keep in mind this SAME paper reported inaccurately on Jewell lol.

    1. It’s the media trying to distract from the movie itself. The (now deceased) reporter undisputedly used her looks, had a wild social life that included being involved with people in her vocation, and who ended up naked in a cab later on. The book that was published does a better job than the movie of addressing this nuance on balance, but the movie isn’t a documentary and it is about what happen to Richard Jewell.

      My advice is ignore the MSM media….especially on this, which demonstrates their failings

  46. “The movie’s politics are so thoroughly integrated into its narrative and its assumptions about the world that they are in some sense inseparable from the quality of the filmmaking itself.”

    Have you seen “Captain Marvel”?

    1. Yeah. Zachary Levi was great as “The Big Red Cheese!”

  47. another uncouth outsider mocked, dismissed, and vilified by the elite trio…

    Donald Trump’s entire “career” has been to establish his brand as “elite.” He pretended to be a billionaire so he could pretend to be better than you. This whole “Trump’s an outsider populist” thing is the very definition of absurd. What he is, is an idiot. That’s what his people want most. To feel good about themselves in a world full of people smarter than them.

    Just because some fat white men are whiny bitches doesn’t mean they’re anything other than whiny fat bitches.

  48. “white men are whiny bitches”

    Tony’s been reading Jezebel again.

  49. I’m a liberal and I wasn’t outraged or frustrated by the film. I thought it was terrific. I didn’t view it as a thinly veiled Trump apologia and I think like all “based on a true story” movies people can quibble with how it portrayed things, but I’ve always thought Jewell was treated horribly and I’m amazed it took this long for someone to bring it to the big screen. It’s a good story well told by an excellent filmmaker (even if I’m sure Clint and I would disagree on many issues if we ever hung out and talked politics).

  50. “simply because he fit a demographic profile.”

    Welcome to how the ruling Oligarchy’s corrupt and murderous security forces operates.

    I’d believe that Conservatives are sincere in giving a rat’s ass on this issue if they also made, or supported, movies about the significantly greater number of innocent Blacks who have been incarcerated on, at best, circumstantial evidence.

    1. Given that Conservatives are treated like dirt by Liberal Hollywood, your belief will be sustained and confirmed by the rarity of Conservative films on any subject.

  51. Peter Suderman sees a movie about a man (Richard Jewell) falsely accused by the FBI and the news media as “an awkward brief for Trump”.

    I think that is because Suderman sees the parallels, and like a true modern media person presumes his surmise is true in his head. May be so, may be not, but more revealing about Peter Suderman than about Clint Eastwood. Suderman concludes “Eastwood has done what only the best filmmakers manage to do, and made a movie that truly helps viewers see through another person’s eyes.” I suspect what people see in this movie is dependent on their point of view and their life experiences. Trump Derangement Syndrome is a heavy set of blinders to be wearing at the movies. So Tony’s remarks above.

    1. Turns out very few people are seeing the movie. Which is a shame, because I hear it’s good.

      What would it take for it to be OK to criticize Trump? What would he have to do for it not to be derangement anymore?

      You are in a cult. You are in a goddamn cult and it is running the government in charge of my country. Fuck you and all your other cultists. Keep it to yourselves.

      1. “What would it take for it to be OK to criticize Trump?”
        Stick to facts and not treat surmise and speculation as poetic truth.

  52. Until I heard about the movie coming out, I had thought they had convicted that security guard years ago. I remember the Olympics. I remember the bomb threat. I remember them accusing the security guard. I don’t recall hearing how it was all bogus. Did they ever capture the real culprit? I now know they trashed this guy’s reputation and ruined his ability to ever work anywhere. Hell, I assumed the guy was a terrorist from what was reported. Eastwood is a great director, though sometimes he makes dumb movies, like the Mule, but nobody is perfect.

    1. ” Did they ever capture the real culprit?”

      The ‘real’ culprit was Eric Rudolph, if the media is to be believed. CNN doesn’t think highly of Rudolph, either, if that’s any consolation.

    2. Eric Rudolph was arrested 31 May 2003 suspected of burglary after spending five years hiding in the national forest just south of the Smokey Mountains.
      Rudolph pled guilty to multiple bombings, gave the FBI direction to caches totaling 250 lbs of dynamite AND released a statement rationizing his bombings.
      I think they finally got the right guy. After wasting resources building a case against Jewell.

      1. “I think they finally got the right guy. ”

        But all the information you base this judgement on is garnered from media sources. The same sources that insisted Jewell was the terrorist.

  53. A conservative Hollywood?
    Oh the horror! The Horror!
    And the 50 % of the audience that might intuit the analogy with Trump (without having been forewarned)… they might conceivably begin to doubt the competence, veracity, and honesty of their representatives. Good lord. That could mean the collapse of the republic.

  54. This movie has nothing to do with conservative vs. liberal. And it damn sure has nothing to do with Trump, rather only that “fake news” existed a long time ago.

    No, this is a cautionary tale about giving the federal government too much power; whether it happens to be run by Democrats or by Republicans at any given time, government in practice exists only to take more and more power for itself, at the expense of the people.

    Whether the reporter swapped sex for the story is kind of irrelevant. Eastwood was kind to the reporter character by portraying her as being at least somewhat remorseful when her scoop blew up on her and proved to be false.

    No such character arc was afforded to Jon Hamm’s FBI douchebag. He was morally repugnant from beginning to end. And that is precisely the point. The fibbies behaved in an atrocious manner, and free citizens must assume that is what they will always do if they are not properly checked by a) the judiciary, b) the Congress, and c) the press. No one in power can be trusted to check his/her own power. (And that is most certainly not a pro-Trump message).

    No, this is neither a conservative nor liberal film. It is squarely a libertarian film. We know that the false Trump angle will deny this film any significant recognition during Hollywood’s self-congratulatory awards season. But the fact is, the goliath Federal government has the power, and if unchecked by a skeptical media, the unfettered ability to crush any innocent person it wants to crush.

    Eastwood, in what might be his swan song, does America a great service. He reminds us all of the indispensability of the presumption of innocence.

    1. “He reminds us all of the indispensability of the presumption of innocence.”

      The presumption of innocence is fine for the courts, but a lousy place to start if you’re in the news business, which incentivizes the fast and the lurid about all else.

    2. This was a better comment than Suderman’s review

  55. Journalists will literally suck government cock for the privilege of spreading government propaganda.

  56. A story where police and the FBI are the bad guys is a “conservative story”?

    … you don’t talk to very many conservatives, do you Suderman?

    1. Surprised Eastwood didn’t take a shot at the military while he was at it because, you know, that’s the only thing liberal Hollywood adores more than the police and the FBI.

  57. Eastwood’s pretty much a “Question Authority” guy. I wondered how he was going to make “Sully” into a full-length movie, but then you watch it and, lo and behold, the NTSB is doing all they can to run Sully “out of town.” Is that true? I don’t know. I had never heard that before the movie.

  58. Donald Trump’s name is never uttered in Richard Jewell, but his presence looms over the movie because he inhabits every crevice of my mind.
    http://xlagu.wapska.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.