Here we go again.
This Christmas another politically-charged film is set to hit theaters. And our media overlords want us to believe it’s:
- Not partisan
- Fair to its subjects
- Factually sound through and through
The movie is “Vice,” a depiction of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Christian Bale looks remarkably Cheney-esque in the title role, alongside Oscar winner Sam Rockwell (President George W. Bush) and Amy Adams (Lynne Cheney).
The film’s writer/director is Adam McKay, one of Hollywood’s most outspoken, aggressive liberals. McKay injects his politics into all manner of product. He produced and wrote the story behind “The Campaign,” the 2012 attack on the Libertarian Koch brothers. His 2015 film “The Big Short” took a hard-left look at the 2008 financial crisis.
He capped his 2010 comedy “The Other Guys” with a liberal lecture on Wall Street. He also contributed a short for the online progressive series “We the Economy.”
Even the comedy network he started with Will Ferrell, Funny Or Die, is hopelessly left-leaning.
The early buzz on “Vice” reveals a movie that will please Blue State audiences. This critic hasn’t screened the film yet, however. The trailer alone, along with recent McKay interviews, suggests the film comes down hard on Team Cheney.
Which leads us to The Hollywood Reporter. The magazine’s fawning “Vice” feature should be buried in a time capsule.
It’s a perfect example of how the entertainment press promotes and covers up projects with which it not so silently cheers on.
The article’s liberal bias is noteworthy, first and foremost. Here’s one pointed example:
For those still trying to grasp the Trump presidency and how America got here — a place where unitary executive theory is making a comeback thanks to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and John Bolton is promising to “squeeze” Iran…
This isn’t Mother Jones or The Nation, mind you.
The spin on the film’s behalf? It’s even more impressive in scope. It takes many, many paragraphs for the reporter to state the obvious -- did McKay bake his GOP hate into the “Vice” cake?
THR quickly rides to the rescue (with explanations in parenthesis).
Of course, given McKay’s support of left-leaning candidates (NOTE THE SOFT PEDAL LABEL), there was never much chance the right-wing outrage machine would give him a pass on this one (ONLY RIGHT WING PARTISANS WILL DISAGREE WITH ‘VICE’) — though partisans should know that his politics are more complicated than they might assume.
We’re then treated to McKay attacking President Bill Clinton for not being progressive enough. He also says his peers were too soft on Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal, while he bravely mocked Clinton while working at “Saturday Night Live.”
Twenty years later, McKay screws up the courage to slam Clinton for his reprehensible behavior.
Why, McKay is practically Rush Limbaugh, Jr.!
McKay goes further, saying Bale became an “advocate for Cheney” on the project.
“I was completely always looking for the good, for the positive, for the understandable aspect of why he would’ve made the decisions that he made. It was precisely to counter Adam and to counter what would be the assumed standpoint of the bunch of Hollywood liberals.”
It’s similar to the spin served up, without an ounce of skepticism, by the team behind “Miss Sloane.” The key players behind that gun control drama described the film as a fair look at the Second Amendment debate.
FAST FACT: McKay says in the THR interview that any politician who voted to invade Iraq shouldn’t be serving in politics. The same McKay cheered on Hillary Clinton, who as a Senator voted in favor of military action in Iraq, to become the next President.
The actors’ quotes are straight out of the “Oh, we actually have a fondness for the people we’re about to skewer.”
The talented Adams shows her bubble dwelling status with this precious quote about her character:
“I still feel the need to defend Lynne when people talk about her,” the actress says. “For me, it was my relationship with my grandmother. My grandmother who grew up in Provo, Utah, working-class. She reminded me so much of Lynne. I would just think of her and her offering me money to rub her bunions. ‘Amy, I’ll give you a quarter.'”
It’s worth noting that roughly half the country likely have no problem with Lynne Cheney. Many folks probably couldn’t pick her out of a lineup, to be blunt.
Here’s more Adams on Lynne Cheney:
“…it’s a film about Dick, but Lynne was very accomplished. I like that she wasn’t afraid to be ambitious at a time when ambition in women wasn’t as encouraged.”
The story wraps by letting McKay say “Vice” got “vetted hard,” via “scores of lawyers and professional fact-checkers.”
Worth noting: McKay groused after his company’s proposed President Ronald Reagan comedy got killed due to public pressure. The story would have shown a dementia addled Reagan, played by Ferrell, bumbling his way through his second term.
Does anyone doubt the very same McKay is capable of turning his ideological guns on the Bush family or the new film’s title character?
FAST FACT: The proposed Reagan dementia comedy Ferrell and McKay briefly considered united the late president’s children, Patti and Michael Reagan. They called it “cruel.” The script in question drew some recognizable stars for a public reading of the spec script, including James Brolin and Lena Dunham.
The THR ends with another laughable attempt at bipartisan reporting. The film’s creative team is expecting the inevitable backlash, the article says, including … wait for it … critical Tweets about the trailer.
The article then cites one Tweet suggesting McKay may bring his liberal bias to the project.
It’s not fair to single out THR for its defense of “Vice.” Other outlets are playing along, too.
Deadline.com, a hard-charging liberal site, declared the movie prime Oscar bait after one press screening. Left unsaid? McKay’s political leanings. Variety.com also praised the film without mentioning McKay’s leanings.
Audiences can decide for themselves how fair McKay and co. played it when “Vice” hits theaters Dec. 25.