I knew HBO’s Game Change was going to be a liberal left wing hit job on former Alaskan governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin long before she and her political action committee sounded off against the film which airs March 10 and is based on John Heiliemann and Mark Halperin’s book on the 2008 presidential election.
“Hollywood lies are Hollywood lies,” Palin said in a March 3, 2012 interview on Fox News. “They are going to do what they can do to drum up their money and their machine and their machine happens to be very pro-leftist, pro Barack Obama machine there at HBO that created this movie. Those campaign staffers who essentially threw John McCain under the bus, I think they should feel some shame and should feel some embarrassment because the movie is based on a false narrative as you can see in the trailer.”
Scenes from the HBO trailer prove the film, which stars Julianne Moore as the vice presidential candidate, will be a Palin bashing fest. “I’m not sure how much she (Palin) knows about foreign policy,” says McCain’s senior campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace (Sarah Paulson). No Palin film would be complete without a reenactment of her saying in an interview “You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.”
“Oh my God, what have we done,” says McCain strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson). “She’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I can’t control her anymore. She is a great actress right? Why don’t we just give her some lines?” The lines Moore’s Palin speaks echo the line “I am woman, hear me roar” from that 1971 song by Helen Reddy.
“It wasn’t my fault,” Palin says on the phone most likely to an adviser with the McCain camp following her disastrous TV interview. “I wasn’t properly prepared. They tell me what to say. What to wear. How to talk. I am not your puppet! I am going to do what I want.”
Conservative columnist and commentator Jedediah Bila wrote in a March 2, 2012 column on newsmax.com that “As for Hollywood’s attempt to re-define Palin as someone the McCain camp viewed as an unstable idiot, I invite them to give it their best shot. Because Americans aren’t stupid.”
Trouble is I am not the least bit convinced that ALL American viewers are smart enough to believe that a majority of these big and small screen adaptations of real life events are nothing more than big budget fabricated distortions of the truth.
It reminds me of what “the mad prophet of the airwaves” Howard Beale (Peter Finch) from Network (1976) said about the one-sided propaganda his television station peddles to viewers that could clearly apply to HBO when it comes to made-for-cable movies like Game Change.
“We’ll tell you any shit you want to hear,” Beale says. “We deal in illusions man! None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here.”
These days, I am better off believing a romantic film like this year’s The Vow, whose poster boasts the words “Inspired by true events,” about a woman who suffers from amnesia following a car accident who can’t remember being married to her husband actually happened than I am trusting Hollywood’s adaptation of what went down behind the scenes when Sarah Palin was chosen as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate.
Movies like Game Change should boast a poster similar to the advertisement for Michael Clayton (2007) that shows a smeared close up portrait of George Clooney’s character. Instead of Clooney, the studios making a biographical film about an actual person could just show a picture of Sarah Palin, for example, in the background with the words in bright red letters in the foreground saying, “The truth can be adjusted.”