October 01, 2013

#Hillary movie being killed? It actually wasn't THAT hard-hitting

Via the Queen of Neoliberalism, documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson tells us he's scrapping his Hillary Clinton documentary project.

He says neither Friends of Hillary/Bill nor GOP insiders will talk to him.

On Facebook, where I first saw this, some people in comments wondered if this were overblown.

I say, with due basic allowance for hyperbole, this is probably true.

First, neither side knows how this movie will help or hurt. Ferguson promises an honest, straightforward look (more on that below, per the header).

Second, per his Wiki page, Ferguson also has a Julian Assange doco in the works. Depending on how much he quotes from Assange's actual leaks and/or further comments by him, any muckety-mucks who knew this had additional good reason to stay way away from him.

Now, the not so hard-hitting part?

Starts here, from the Greek Goddess story, emphasis mine:
Wow, I thought, this guy is a really good actor. And I also saw one reason why Hillary Clinton might not be thrilled about my movie. I discovered others. In Arkansas, she joined the boards of Walmart and Tyson Foods. One of the largest donors to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is the government of Saudi Arabia. The Clintons' personal net worth now probably exceeds $200 million, and while earned legally, both the money's sources and the Clintons' public statements indicate a strong aversion to rocking boats or making powerful enemies.

It was not always thus. When Bill Clinton became President, he and Hillary initially attempted courageous reforms: allowing gays to serve in the military, a carbon tax, health care reform. But they got their heads handed to them: Colin Powell went on television telling America that if gays served in the military, morale would suffer. And the Clintons also learned about money, because back then they had none. When they were mercilessly hounded by Kenneth Starr and Congressional Republicans, culminating in impeachment, their legal bills soared and the Clintons fell many millions of dollars into debt. (To be sure, Bill Clinton poured gasoline on the fire by lying.) It is very clear that the Clintons then decided never to be at anyone's mercy again. And since Bill Clinton first became Governor of Arkansas, the cost of Presidential campaigns has gone from $66 million (both parties combined, in 1976) to an estimated $5 billion for 2016, when Hillary will run. So more than ever, the Clintons need money and the people who supply it.
That sentence in bold is simply not true.

The movie, if made, could have been interesting. However, Ferguson, although pretty honest about what Mr. And Mrs. Slickster were like after they entered 1600 Pennsylvania, is either naive, idiotic or self-delusional if he thinks they became this way only after the presidential life started.

Actually, contra Ferguson, it WAS always this way, at least to some degree. The Slickster, eyeballing the White House, became a hardcore supporter of the death penalty while still Arkansas gov, to the point of personally overseeing the execution of a mentally retarded black man during his 1992 presidential run. (Beyond that, he's been a slickster on the death penalty both before and after Ricky Ray Rector.) Sure, it became more "this" after he became president, but, c'mon. Clinton's famous comment about "suddenly discovering" his budget plans were subservient to the bond market, even though he had been big old friends while governor with Jackson Stephens, the biggest guru of the bond market outside of Wall Street while he was alive, is another example of how Bill Clinton was a "New Democrat" well before the White House. Hell, Ferguson even ignores that those Walmart connections started while the Clintons were running Arkansas, not DC.

Now, it's true, a lot of this above is about Bill, not Hillary. But, she's always worn a fair amount of the pants in the family, first. The WallyWorld connections developed via the Rose Law Firm. Jackson Stephens is probably the only one we can dump solely in Big Bill's lap.

I'm not going pre-enlightenment David Brock here, and can't anyway, because not only is this true, it comes from the Clintons' left, not the right.

The other thing, while I'm at it?

Even pre-2008, the idea that Hillary Clinton would let something like this not under her control go off? Not a chance. And Ferguson is either laughably naive or more than a bit puffed-up to think otherwise. His previous two docos were about subject matter (Iraq War, financial meltdown) that wouldn't reflect totally favorably either Clinton pere or fils. (Sic — you decide which is which.)

Meanwhile, speaking of post-1992 election, at CJR, Ryan Chittum documents the Slickster's neocon lies over deregulation.

No comments: