Thursday, November 20, 2003

Saving Private Interests

Everything I've ever learned I learned from TV movies. For example, you can do anything as long as you've got your dreams and a swifty-edited montage; Medith Baxter-Birney needs to stop marrying creeps; and, it's ok to fudge facts unless it involves a fact-fudging president, then that's taboo. This last bon mot was all the rage a few weeks ago, when conservative groups stopped CBS from airing an upcoming TV movie about Ronald Reagan ( Boo hoo, Fox News, if you're more popular than CNN and NPR combined, stop acting like the liberals run the show.)

The Reagan miniseries has now been banished to Showtime, a fate I wouldn't even wish on Arli$$. No one saw the movie (myself included), but we read about it, and the stuff we read was enough. The facts were inaccurate; groups protested, justice was served...

...Until the following weekend, when the ElizabethSmart and Jessica Lynch TV movies aired. I didn't read about any protests on those two. I did read an AP interview with Private Lynch, who clarified some issues, while promoting her new book. Her rifle jammed, for example, and it was her fellow soldiers who shot Iraqis that fateful day, not her. She has also indicated that the hospital wanted to help the US rescuers and that she was taken back a bit from the videotaped "rescue." "It disturbed me," she said. "I knew it wasn't the truth." I doubt Saving Jessica Lynch covered any of that (Being a TV expert myself, I of course didn't watch it).

So why haven't the same groups poo-pooing The Reagans aren't also poo-pooing Saving Jessica Lynch? I do applaud them attacking inaccurate docudramas, but if you go after one, shouldn't you go after all?

Otherwise, it stinks of cheap politics, and that smells worse than any TV movie.

- Media Yenta's Brother