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How Argo Blasts Hollywood And Why the Washington Redskins Need a New Name

The Oscar winner actually condemns the town for its anti-Americanism. And nobody notices.

Barry Rubin


February 27, 2013 - 8:44 am

Hollywood gave the film Argo the Academy Award for best picture. But wait a minute! Did the film industry members who voted for it understand what the film said?

To rescue five Americans trapped in Iran and hiding out from the Islamist revolution, the CIA seeks help from Hollywood. The plan is to pretend to make a movie in Iran and then smuggle out the State Department employees (who have been given refuge in the Canadian embassy)  as supposed members of the film crew.

BUT it is clearly explained in the film that the U.S. government knows that nobody in Hollywood will help since they don’t want to take a risk; cooperate with the CIA, which they regard as evil; or lift a finger to save the Americans. Only one man — an independent director — is enough of an outcast and rebel rogue to help. The film is thus not a celebration of Hollywood as hero but a condemnation of the town for its anti-patriotic, narrow selfishness. Naturally, nobody in Hollywood noticed this plot theme.

There’s a good parallel here with the kind of films Hollywood so often makes today which are consistent with this anti-patriotic theme. And, ironically, the Best Picture Oscar was handed out by Michelle Obama, backed by some soldiers in dress uniform. Yet here the irony builds. After all, it was the Obama Administration that did the opposite of Operation Argo: it refused to try to save four Americans, including the ambassador, who were killed in Benghazi.

So an award for a film about saving Americans is given by a representative of a government that did not save Americans in front of a cheering crowd of people who — according to that film — would have refused to help save Americans as both sides congratulate themselves on what great people they are!

Amazing chutzpah along with the assumption — almost totally correct — that no one would notice the hypocrisy.

Fixing a Big NFL Problem:

It has become fashionable of late to complain about the use of Native American names for football teams. One of those teams is the Washington Redskins.

But actually the Washington Redskins, the team of my home town which I still support, were not named originally after Native Americans at all. When the team originated in Boston in the 1930s it was named after one of the proudest moments of that city. Paralleling the theme of today’s Boston Patriots team, the Redskins were named after the Boston Tea Party.

Why Redskins? Because the white, male, patriots who threw the tea into Boston harbor dressed up as Native Americans. It was, of course, a joke as the British certainly knew who they were.

Presumably, in today’s framework the British would have called the operation a racist action and shamed the colonists into calling off the revolution. And one can envision students being taught today that it was doubly racist — I’m saying this as a joke but who knows? — because the patriots were also hoping that the British would blame the Native Americans and kill them off even faster!

Yet in 2013, with the criticism over the team being nominally named after Native Americans, it could be a good idea to rename the team. There is a precedent for this since the Washington Bullets basketball team was renamed the Washington Wizards. In keeping with the silliness of PC, it’s surprising that no one pointed out that wizard was the highest rank in the Klu Klux Klan. But I digress.

Thus, I propose an appropriate return to the team’s original roots and spirit.

Washington’s football team should certainly be renamed in a proper Politically Correct manner based on its original naming theme of commemorating the Boston Tea Party. That name, of course, would be :

The Washington Tea Partiers.

And keeping with that spirit its new logo could be a snake with the motto, “Don’t Tread on Me!” Which certainly fits into a football context.

I can’t see how President Obama could object to this idea in order to get rid of the “shameful” current team name. He might even be persuaded to lead the effort.

In addition, this idea could inspire him to create the National Panel for Naming Football Teams to Protect Sports Consumers which would come up with a list of approved names. The San Francisco Forty-Niners could be redubbed the Ninety-Niners; the Atlanta Falcons, the Atlanta Endangered Species; the New York Jets could be called the New York Solar Panels; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay IRS Agents; and, of course,  the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Imperialist Committers of Genocide. Having grown up in Washington DC I think last that name would be perfect.


Cross-posted from Rubin Reports – Visit for additional comments.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition, Viking-Penguin), the paperback edition of The Truth about Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan), and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports, at

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All Comments   (10)
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The Redskins should change their mascot to the Washington Bureaucrats. That by far would be the scariest, most intimidating team mascot in the NFL.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Nah. They don't look scary at all. That's part of the problem; looks can be so deceiving.

If we really have to replace the current logo, I like the snake from the Gadsden flag.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Couldn't find any empty block to post a comment about this Argo flick, so I'll put it here...
Readers are advised to read Tony Mendez's book, "Master of Disguise"...Google that for further details and some sensible a nutshell, it describes his C.I.A. career and you'll see that the Iranian caper is just one of the neater episodes in an interesting life.

Pasted blurb:
"From the author of Argo comes an unforgettable behind-the-scenes story of espionage in action. In the first ever memoir by a top-level operative to be authorized by the CIA, Antonio J. Mendez reveals the cunning tricks and insights that helped save hundreds from deadly situations."

This will give some needed perspective on all of this commercial bruhaha.

As a former international airline airport employee who has not bothered to see this .....dramatization.....I assure you that any car-chase down an active runway in pursuit of an aircraft under full power for takeoff is just plain silly, and fodder for teenagers' fantasy materiel.

In other words, this "Argo" movie should be seen as good entertainment, no more.

There's a good picture of Ben Afleck with his head back apparently in a big guffaw.....laughing all the way to the bank....OK....that's what it's all about I guess...very skillful entertainment out of Hollywood.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
This is a good paste from another article nearby:
Argo: With Apologies to Britain and Canada
If Ben Affleck wants to take the high ground he would run a series of adverts stating that his film is fiction and identifying the real life heroes he ignored."

This is where I saw that picture of Affleck laughing with his head back.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Dan Synder should just say instead of the team being named after the Boston Tea Party, the team's now named after occasional Washington resident, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. That outta quiet the protestors....
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
How about the Washington Gut-Eaters?

I mean, if we're gonna be called racists anyway (and we are), why not go whole hog?
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
I was about to blast the idea since I've been a die-hard 'skins fan for 50 years. But then I saw the sarcasm. Tea Party and Don't Tread On Me Snake it is.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
"Multicultural Sports Collective No. 1"
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
The Redskins need to change their name because? While I think not, here are a couple of suggestions: All Blacks, Africans, Federals, Idiots.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
I like Redskins, but Tea Party Snakes is pretty good.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
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