September 30, 2005

"Commander In Chief" or More Aptly Named "Get Ready for Hillary in 2008"

John Fund's column today concerns the new "Commander In Chief" series. Many on the right have complained that the series is, in fact, a Hollywood project to soften Americans up to the idea of a woman President in anticipation of Hillary Clinton's run for President in 2008. According to the creator of the show, conservatives need not be afraid of the show:

The series pits Academy Award-winner Geena Davis against the patriarchal world of national politics until her "You Go, Girl!" attitude puts to rest the doubts of her many detractors. The creator of "Commander in Chief," Rod Lurie, is apparently trying to broaden the show's appeal by promising that he won't be using it as a soapbox for his admittedly liberal views. He is quick to note that Ms. Davis isn't playing a Democrat. Instead she is an independent who landed on a Republican ticket in order to offset a conservative candidate's low approval rating among women.

Mr. Lurie insists that red-state viewers need not shun the show. He admits that he "can't write to a belief system that I can't swallow myself," but he says that he has hired some conservative writers to make up for his deficit. Not that a balanced approach was evident at last week's series-celebrating parties, in Washington and New York, hosted by the feminist White House Project.

O.K. sounds good. So, what does the first episode look like. It is not encouraging for those who are not Democrats:

Idealistic to some, stereotypical to others. We'll let the critics decide. Suffice it to say, for now, that the first episode involved an effort by the dying (Republican) president to shunt aside the vice president (Ms. Davis) so that a malevolently conservative House speaker can take over. (Right, that would happen.) A member of the vice president's staff says that the speaker stands for "the return of book burning, creationism in the classroom and invading every Third World country." The statement is not meant as a compliment. For balance, the new President Allen will supposedly have a few views that Mr. Lurie says are conservative, like abstinence education--although even Hillary has endorsed that one.

Mr. Lurie acknowledges that his TV series is a direct descendant of his film "The Contender," which starred Joan Allen as a Democratic senator who becomes a piñata for conservatives during her confirmation hearings to replace a deceased vice president. This movie was such an egregiously crude version of the "virtuous liberal vs. conservative slime-ball" genre that Gary Oldman, one of the movie's stars, called it "a piece of propaganda" designed to help Al Gore. The movie was released a month before the 2000 election.

Mr. Lurie recognizes that his show should stay "centered" to have the best chance at commercial success. But even he acknowledges the temptation to tug left. Last year he told the Baltimore Sun that "the world has become so partisan--and I'm as guilty of this as the next guy--that there is always a dark side of the force." President Allen, meet Darth Vader.

Yeah, that sounds like a plot that red-state viewers would certainly get behind. Republicans are the political equivalent of Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and the evil Empire. No doubt this is yet another Hollywood attempt to exert influence on American politics, and unfortunately, it is biased towards the left.

So, my question for Lurie is this: so, you hired conservative writers - to do what?? Fetch coffee?
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