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The Republican National Commitee appears ready for a public-relations disaster in demanding that CBS allow them to preview the Reagan miniseries prior to broadcast:
The Republican National Committee Friday asked CBS to allow a team of historians and friends of former President Ronald Reagan and his wife to review a miniseries about the couple before it airs. ... Gillespie said that if CBS denies the request, he will ask the network to run a note across the bottom of the screen every 10 minutes during the program's presentation informing viewers that the miniseries is not accurate.
Well, ouch, won't that hurt! Is the RNC the last group of people on Earth that hasn't figured out that Hollywood is almost never historically accurate? Here's a list of educational items if they've just stumbled onto this:
* The British did not burn down churches full of people during the American Revolution (that was WWII Nazis), and free blacks were illegal in South Carolina during that era, let alone them having beach villages full of laughter, dancing, and carefree moments for lovestruck lead actors. (The Patriot)
* The Americans did not secretly capture an Enigma device from a German submarine during WWII; that was the British. (U-571)
* Bobby DeLaughter did not singlehandedly convict Byron De La Beckwith of Medgar Evers' murder. (Ghosts of Mississippi)
* In JFK, ... nah, way too easy.
* Pocohantas married, traveled to London, where she died as a young woman. (Pocohantas)
* And in The Untouchables, an otherwise entertaining film is marred by the fact that Eliot Ness wasn't the man who put Al Capone away (it was an entirely different group of people), none of his men were ever killed during the duration of their task force, Frank Nitti took over for Capone instead of being tossed off the courthouse roof, and of course Kevin Costner stunk, which if you see enough of his films, qualifies as a certain sort of historical accuracy.
No one in their right mind would expect Hollywood to turn out a historically accurate film on anything -- if Warner Brothers produced a film on the Boston Red Sox, they'd show them winning the 1986 World Series. The only practical result of this RNC grandstanding is to generate a hell of a lot of publicity for what promised to be a mediocre and thoroughly forgettable effort (c'mon, it stars James Brolin, for Pete's sake), and to allow the left-wing elements associated with the film to argue that Republicans stifle free speech ... which certainly seems to be the case here. The notion that CBS will run a crawl every ten minutes explaining that the film is not historically accurate stretches the limits of credulity. What's next, a demand for equal time whenever The American President or The Contender is shown on broadcast TV?
Perhaps someone at the RNC can fill us in on the Grand Strategy at play here. Because unless the idea is to depict Republicans as tight-assed, self-defeating paranoids, they've gone off the rails. Wouldn't their time be better spent on generating support for Justice Brown and thereby promoting free speech?
UPDATE: Check out this post at Jessica's Well, a great blog, if you want information on contacting CBS to express your views on this subject. CBS management, and stockholders, will be much more impressed with howls of outrage from millions of viewers than petty and unlikely demands from the RNC.Sphere It View blog reactions
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