This just confirms what I have suspected – that John McCain himself was emotionally unqualified for the high position that he aspired to. His staff was more interested in cutting down his Vice Presidential running mate then in actually defeating Obama. John McCain is an execrable politician. If you are judged by the company that you keep (or in politics the staff that you pick – think the Nixon criminal crew 1971 -73), then McCain was a miserable failure. I personally feel that the the treatment she got from Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt (and the bitterness it engendered) has influenced Palin’s choices (many of them in my opinion to be poor choices) since 2008. Ed Harris, Julianne Moore and especially Woody Harrelson – three ultra liberal actors – what could go wrong?
by John Podhoretz
Nicolle Wallace was the onetime consultant to CBS News and media aide to George W. Bush who was assigned to work with Sarah Palin after the Alaska governor was chosen as John McCain’s running mate. It was Wallace who assured the McCain campaign that her dear friend Katie Couric, a committed liberal with a history of interviewing Republicans and conservatives in a quietly nasty way, was the right journalist to conduct a major early interview with the extremely conservative vice-presidential nominee.
Palin has only herself to blame for how horribly she came off, but as she was the most hotly sought-after interview in the world at the time, the McCain campaign could have picked and chosen and been cleverly calculating about which journalist would win the prize. Wallace was responsible for one of the great blunders in political advance work of modern media history.
Now, imagine you’re making a movie about the Palin story, one that demonstrates a modicum of sympathy for Sarah Palin’s excoriation at the hands of the media. (I know, I’m talking crazy, but go with me here.) In such a movie, Nicolle Wallace’s catastrophic guidance could have been portrayed in several ways. It could have been played as a simple goof, a wrongheaded political calculation. Or as an example of a kind of golly-gee naïveté, with Wallace being snowed by a seductive Couric. Or as a careerist move killing two birds with one stone, with Wallace seeking to stay in the good graces of her former colleague Couric despite several years of working for Republicans.
Needless to say, that is not how Nicolle Wallace is portrayed in Game Change, the new HBO movie based on the John Heilemann-Mark Halperin bestseller. No, indeed. Wallace is the movie’s heroine. She is the voice of reason, the increasingly alarmed witness to the evil McCain has perpetrated by foisting Palin upon the world. It is through Wallace’s interactions with the vice-presidential candidate that we see confirmed every bad thing anyone has ever said about Palin (save that she is not the mother of Trig—it steers clear of that Sullivanian filth). Wallace (played by Sarah Paulson) delivers screenwriter Danny Strong’s inadvertently hilarious Blue State zinger when, dripping with righteous scorn during a confrontation with Palin, she says with disbelief, “Yeah, you’re just like Hillary.”
Yes, if ever you wanted circumstantial evidence that the sources within the McCain campaign who spent October 2008 dumping on Palin anonymously might have included Wallace and Schmidt, you need look no further than HBO’s Game Change. The movie presents a moral case for the disreputable conduct of aides who, we can presume, fearlessly drop dirty dimes anonymously to save their own standing in the liberal culture from which they desperately wish not to be excluded.
Whether you are titillated or not probably has to do with whether it shocks you that people who work in politics are in any way human. In this respect, Game Change handles Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore, blah) more charitably than you might expect. She is shown as a loving and caring mother with some kind of raw genius as a politician who is placed under almost unimaginable pressure at a moment’s notice when she is clearly unprepared for it. But in doing so, Strong and director Jay Roach exhibit not understanding but rather an almost excruciating condescension.
Game Change is mostly liberal catnip, but it does have a wider value. Every politician from now until doomsday should view it as a cautionary tale about choosing your aides wisely.
Read the rest – Back stab
Since I do not subscribe to HBO, I will never see Game Change and frankly I doubt that I would watch it any way if if I could.
by Stacy Drake
Defenders of HBO’s “Game Change” have fought back against those who criticize the politically charged film as a two-hour attack on Sarah Palin. They claim that unless a person has watched it in its entirety, they cannot judge its content or the people involved with the project.
Well, I’ve seen the entire movie, so don’t mind me while I go ahead and judge this piece of high-dollar propaganda.
“Game Change” is pretty easy to deconstruct. At its core, it’s a left-wing project designed to make one of their most hated political enemies toxic. They used people with an axe to grind to legitimize the story they want viewers to believe and help push their agenda. They also have no problem lying.
Honestly, it was difficult to narrow down this list because there were so many fabrications and distortions throughout the film, but here are the top ten lies produced by HBO.
Lie #10: HBO released a defensive statement to the press along with screeners of the film saying the project “is a balanced portrayal of the McCain/Palin campaign.” Having seen the movie in its entirety, I can say that that statement is beyond absurd. There was nothing “balanced” about the story they told. As someone who has studied Palin’s career for years, I can say that I didn’t even recognize the person sold as “Governor Palin,” here played by Julianne Moore.
Beyond the grotesque character assassination, there is a heavy partisan imbalance at work. “Game Change” portrays most Republicans in a bad light — everyone minus Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson), Nicolle Wallace (Sarah Paulson), Mark Wallace (Ron Livingston), and Chris Edwards (Larry Sullivan). One character refers to former Vice President Dick Cheney as “Darth Vader,” while the McCain/Palin rallies depict unhinged men yelling “terrorist” and “he’s a Muslim” at the mention of Obama’s name. Then, there was the the quote they placed toward the end of the movie which had Sen. John McCain (Ed Harris) warning Palin not to get “co-opted by Limbaugh and the other extremists.” None of these instances were balanced and were clearly told from a left-wing point of view.
Lie #9: Virtually every characteristic attributed to Palin in “Game Change” is false. They portray her as egotistical, ungracious, demanding, stupid, forgetful and, cruelest of all, mentally unstable. They do show her as a loving mother, even though they have her go into “catatonic stupors” when separated from her children. Even when they’re trying to be nice they’re mean. I don’t know Palin personally, but I know people who do. I have never heard any stories that fit the descriptions listed above; in fact, I’ve heard just the opposite.
An egotistical person wouldn’t put her state’s well-being before her own political career. An ungracious person wouldn’t spend her time making long phone calls to supporters, giving them shout-outs at rallies, or spending countless time shaking their hands on rope-lines. It also appears as though Alec Baldwin didn’t get the lefty memo. In October of 2008, after meeting her on the set on SNL, Baldwin describes Palin as “polite” and “gracious.” Oops!
“Game Change” also depicts Palin as highly forgetful. Around the 70 minute mark, Mark Wallace tells Steve Schmidt that Palin couldn’t remember “any” of the information he used to prep her for the debate. As it turns out, another Democrat didn’t get the memo. In 2008, former editor in chief of Ms. magazine, Elaine Lafferty wrote:
I’d heard rumors around the campaign of her photographic memory and, frankly, I watched it in action. She sees. She processes. She questions, and only then, she acts.Lafferty also said Palin was “smart” and “more than a quick study.” She, however, was not interviewed by “Game Change” screenwriter Danny Strong for the film. Seriously, if you think Palin is stupid, just read her emails. Dumb, mentally unstable people prone to falling into “catatonic stupors” don’t generally work their way up to governor. She did, and she did it all on her own. From top to bottom, the “Palin” character is absolute fiction. She is nothing more than a left-wing day dream of who they wish Palin was.
Lie #8: ”Game Change” depicts Palin as unwilling to go on stage with Jeb Bradley because he is pro-choice. At the 92 minute mark of the film, Palin tells a staffer:
There’s no way I’m going on stage with anyone who’s pro-choice.When HBO sends out statements telling people that they “ensure” the “historical accuracy” of the research they conduct, they’re lying. If this woman refused to go on stage with anyone because they’re pro-choice, why did she attend rallies with Joe Lieberman in Pennsylvania and Florida during the campaign? Why did she also allow the L.A. President of NOW to introduceher at yet another rally during the campaign in question? Palin doesn’t ostracize people for having a different opinion than she does. Frankly, that’s more in line with behavior I have come to expect from the left.
Lie #7: The movie suggests Palin wanted to flee Alaska. At the 89 minute mark, Palin whispers into Schmidt’s ear:
I so don’t want to go back to Alaska.Never mind Moore’s horrendous acting; the statement is ridiculous. If Palin “so” wanted to get out of Alaska, why does she still live there? And how exactly do you explain “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”?
Lie #6: At the beginning of the film, McCain’s staff is depicted as searching for a Vice Presidential candidate. The movie clearly tried to suggest that McCain’s team picked Palin because she was a woman. To back up this assertion, around the 10 minute mark in the film, McCain is seen saying, “so find me a woman.” The real Schmidt admits this never happened.
Lie #5: The sin of omission regarding the film’s depiction of the “Troopergate” (aka “Tasergate“) investigation certainly qualifies as an egregious lie. The movie briefly mentions it early on, but during a scene at around the 93 minute mark, Schmidt says:
You cannot say that you were cleared of all wrong doing … the report stated that you abused your power. That is the opposite of being cleared of all wrong doing.Really, HBO? And which “report” was that? The report they cite was headed up by Democrats in the Alaska Legislature and known Obama allies during the campaign. It was a political witch hunt, not an honest investigation. In fact, President Barack Obama rewarded State Senator Kim Elton, a longtime friend of Pete Rouse and Chairman of the Legislative Council who released the report, with a fancy job at the Interior Departmentin his administration after the election. It was a shining example of the blatant pay-for-play antics of the Obama administration during the early days.
Something else that HBO purposely leaves out of their movie is that Palin was cleared of all wrongdoing in an independent investigation just before the election in 2008. From the AP:
A report has cleared Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of ethics violations in the firing of her public safety commissioner.
Released Monday, the report says there is no probable cause to believe Palin or any other state official violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act in connection with the firing. The report was prepared by Timothy Petumenos, an independent counsel for the Alaska Personnel Board.
HBO leaves viewers with the impression that Palin had been found guilty of an ethical lapse, when in reality she had been cleared by the very board legally charged with investigating the matter.
After watching the film, I spoke with Thomas Van Flein, Palin’s attorney throughout both “Troopergate” investigations. Van Flein undoubtedly knows more about this topic than any other person in the country. He told me that HBO never contacted him.
He also reminded me about a statement released by Hollis French, an Alaska Democrat who was also involved in the Branchflower report. French had said openly that due to their actions, the McCain campaign now had “to deal with an October surprise.”
Lie #4: At approximately the 16 minute mark in the film, while interviewing the faux-Palin, Schmidt says:
Senator McCain supports stem cell research, you do not.While the movie is correct in pointing out that Palin differed with John McCain on the issue (McCain supported federal funding of embryonic stem cell research), they make no distinction between embryonic and adult stem cell research. There is a big difference, and Palin supports adult stem cell research, as she pointed out in her interview with Charlie Gibson:
We’re getting closer and closer to finding a tremendous amount of other options, like, as I mentioned, the adult stem cell research.
Lie #2:The movie portrays Palin as an absolute foreign and domestic policy dunce. The things they try to get their audience to believe are not only insulting to Palin but to the intelligence of the people watching. At around the 102 minute mark, while talking about the similarities in Obama and Palin’s charisma, Schmidt says to Rick Davis:
The primary difference being, Sarah Palin can’t name a Supreme Court decision, whereas Obama was a Constitutional Law Professor.
A. Obama was not a “Constitutional Law Professor.” B. A.B. Culvahouse has also stated on record that the Katie Couric interview left viewers with the “wrong impression” about Palin’s knowledge of the Supreme Court. He said:
She clearly did … My law firm represents Exxon in the Valdez matters,” he noted. “Until she became governor, Gov. Palin was a plaintiff in that case…
Lie #1: At the 106 minute mark of the film, Schmidt is talking to McCain after the election loss. He appears as though he wants to apologize to McCain but instead apologizes for “suggesting her.” The movie attempts to drive the message home that the primary reason McCain lost was because Palin was on the ticket. That simply isn’t the case.After the selection of Palin for the VP slot, McCain took the lead in national polls. It wasn’t until the economic collapse that the trend started to move the other way. The trend stayed in Obama’s favor due to the manner in which the McCain campaign handled that crisis. The decisions the campaign made did not inspire confidence in the American people, and they were not decisions made by Palin.
After months of research on this movie, this lie was certainly very telling to me. Never before has Schmidt’s motive for talking to the book’s authors and the makers of this movie been more clear. He is trying to absolve himself of responsibility for the bad decisions he (and the Wallaces) made and the campaign they ran. They told their convenient version of events to left-leaning activists in the entertainment industry who loved the lies so much they made a movie out of them. The result is “Game Change.”