Ed Driscoll

Two Corporations In One

Back on January 19, 2011, during the height of the left’s brief “new civility” tirade, CNN, which for 23 years hosted a popular debate show called Crossfire (which featured crosshairs in its logo), had this treacly moment:

On Tuesday’s John King USA, CNN’s John King issued a prompt on-air apology minutes after a guest on his program used the term “crosshairs” during a segment: “We’re trying to get away from using that kind of language” (audio available here). This action stands in stark contrast to an incident over a year earlier where former anchor Rick Sanchez took four days to apologize for using a unconfirmed quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh.

Fellow CNN anchor Roland Martin would quickly echo King’s calls for increased civility. “If we are to embrace the notion of civility and humility in our discourse, that means not falling into our old habits,” the employee of Time-Warner, which owns CNN, wrote.

Time-Warner also owns HBO. Evidently that network either never received the memo regarding the dangers of eliminationist political symbols, or else they never distributed it to their producers:

HBO has apologized for a scene in its hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones” that showed the decapitated head of former President George W. Bush on a pike and said the scene will be removed from future DVD releases.

In the audio commentary on the Season 1 DVD release of “Game of Thrones,” the show’s lead producers, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, pointed out that a scene showing the heads of several vanquished warriors included Mr. Bush’s, obscured under a long wig but recognizable in profile.

“The last head on the left is George Bush,” the producers say in the audio commentary. “George Bush’s head appears in a couple beheading scenes. It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. It’s just, we had to use what heads we had around.”

Why was a George W. Bush head or mask, or whatever the prop started out as on the set? Did anyone on the set try to warn the director that using it might not be a good idea? And considering how badly the MSM wet themselves over Sarah Palin’s use of clip art, why the double-standard here?

Hollywood’s disdain for, and even hatred of, George W. Bush isn’t news. What is surprising, however, are the reactions of liberal media outlets. I09.com calls the revolting scene “one hell of a dragon egg.” The tone of a Huffington Post article is one of poorly restrained glee, the first line gives no hint of revulsion or even recognition of Benioff and Weiss’s poor taste: “For those who ever wanted to see former President George W. Bush’s head on a silver platter, ‘Game of Thrones’ is serving up something possibly even more gruesome,” suggesting that the desire to see a another human being’s severed head paraded around on a stick is a perfectly reasonable feeling, not one to be discouraged.

Had Benioff and Weiss chosen to use Barack Obama’s head instead of George W. Bush’s, it’s quite a stretch to imagine the Huffington Post shrugging it off with the line, “Who would have believed [King Joffrey] was a Republican?”

As the professor would say, “So much for that ‘New Civility’ bullshit.” And for those who don’t recall, the previous decade had loads of eliminationist fantasies regarding GWB coming from the Hollywood left.

The New York Times notes that HBO quickly issued the standard conciliatory boilerplate:

HBO said in a statement: “We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste. We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologized immediately for this careless mistake. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms and have halted all future shipments of the DVDs, removed it from our digital platforms and will edit the scene for all future airings on any distribution domestic or international.”

Fine. When will they apologize for this?