Finally, and most dishonestly, the picture ends with Carter’s voice telling us how all the hostages were eventually released and America came out of the incident with its values intact. Well, crap. The hostages were eventually released on the day Ronald Reagan took office, because the Iranians knew they could no longer depend on the puling, indecisive weakness of Carter, who let the humiliating hostage incident drag on for 444 days.
This sort of Democrats-do-no-wrong and Republicans-do-no-right propaganda is subtle but pervasive in Hollywood historical movies. Consider Charlie Wilson’s War, a strong Tom Hanks film that celebrated a Democrat’s role in the Cold War. In both the film and the book, the right wingers who made Wilson’s efforts possible are denigrated. And just the fact that Hollywood found practically the only 80′s Democrat who did anything to help Reagan defeat the Soviets — whereas they’ve never made a tribute to Reagan himself — is telling.
This is precisely what Conservatives have to learn to counter. The newspapers and history books may get it right — may — but it’s the movies people will remember. I’ve quoted him before, but I’ll do it again. When former Ambassador Joseph Wilson had his questionable actions rewritten as heroism in the dishonest film Fair Game, he said, “For people who have short memories or don’t read, this is the only way they will remember the period.”
The imagination is the only nation where Democrats get it right. We need to conquer that country.