Conservatives may cheer the news, hoping the film will force news outlets to re-examine Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s role in the government’s attack response.
That’s not very likely.
A Bay Benghazi film has little chance of influencing how the public at large views Clinton’s connection to the matter for five key reasons.
- The Media Won’t Help Spread the Word: Mainstream media reporters often jump on films if they approves of their content or agenda. Voila, instant free publicity. Consider the copious press coverage “Obvious Child,” a movie applauding abortion, received earlier this year. Any Bay movie tackling Benghazi will either be diminished in press outlets, ignored or fact-checked in a fashion that doesn’t occur with most films.
- Critics Will Assault It Should the Message Read as Political: Bay isn’t a critical darling. He’s more like a punching bag pundits work over like Rocky tenderizing a cow. That’s under normal conditions, like when Bay directs a “Transformers” sequel. Should Bay’s Benghazi project indirectly cast the current administration in a harsh light those reviews may appear kind by comparison.
- The Public Isn’t Invested in the Controversy: Conservative news junkies know plenty about the Benghazi attacks, including how both Clinton and President Barack Obama tried to pin the blame on a YouTube video despite evidence to the contrary and how even former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta grilled the president on his handling of the situation. Casual news consumers, by comparison, likely have little knowledge of that fact or others in the case.
- Little Chance of Awards Season Glory: Politically charged movies often attract Oscar voters’ attention. Think “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Argo” and “Frost/Nixon” for three recent examples. A Benghazi movie won’t connect with voters less than eager to revisit the ugly chapter of recent history, let alone one with implications to the 2016 presidential race.
- Bay Doesn’t Do Soapbox Storytelling: Bay is better at numbing our senses than any other auteur. He might throw in a fluttering U.S. flag or modest tip of the hat to the American military, but that’s as political as he’ll get. There’s little chance Bay will turn a Benghazi film into a cinematic op-ed in Michael Moore fashion, let alone include Clinton’s famous line, “What difference at this point does it make?” regarding the Benghazi assessment.