Ed Driscoll

Blue on Blue: Hollywood Versus Hornaday

Hollywood Obama supporters Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen are angry with far left Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday for her racist, socialist slant on Elliot Rodger’s attack in Isla Vista, California. As Twitchy asks:

How is Rogen to blame, anyway (hypothetically speaking)? Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday laid out her case in a piece about the killings published Sunday. Hornady writes:

For generations, mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white men, whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment (often, if not always, featuring a steady through-line of casual misogyny). [Elliot] Rodger’s rampage may be a function of his own profound distress, but it also shows how a sexist movie monoculture can be toxic for women and men alike.

How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like “Neighbors” and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of “sex and fun and pleasure”? How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, “It’s not fair”?

Jonathan Hunt of Fox News responded:

But Hornaday has admitted in the Washington Post that she finds socialist theory preferably to reality. Back in 2010, Hornaday reviewed the Sean Penn film Fair Game, on DC’s Valerie Plame affair ignoring, as P.J. Gladnick wrote at NewsBusters at the time,  that “the person who leaked the name of Valerie Plame to Robert Novak, Richard Armitage, never appears in the film.” As Gladnick added, “Imagine a movie about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination that neglects to include the character of John Wilkes Booth:”

So how to excuse such an absurd situation? Simple. Just write off complaints about this as political insider nitpicking. That is what Washington Post writer Ann Hornaday has done in her article that sets up laughable excuses in advance to what is sure to be a firestorm of criticism about the absence of the very leaker responsible for why we even know the name of Valerie Plame. The photo caption accompanying her story encapsulates her excuse:

In Washington, watching fact-based political movies has become a sport all its own, with viewers hyper-alert to mistakes, composite characters or real stories hijacked by political agendas. But what audiences often fail to take into account is that a too-literal allegiance to the facts can sometimes obscure a larger truth.

Gladnick added that “Hornaday concludes her justification of political film fact twisting with some stunning reasoning straight out of ‘1984’ that is painful to read:”

As long as dramatists seek to make protagonists out of mere humans — to reduce their tangled webs of contradictions, complexities and banalities to a set of single-minded motivations and fatal flaws — audiences will need to approach these narratives with a blend of sophistication and skepticism. But maybe the best way to understand these films isn’t as narrative at all, but an experience more akin to ritual. When religious pilgrims travel to the sacred sites of the Holy Land, for example, the locations they visit often aren’t the literal places where a biblical figure was born or baptized. Instead, they’re the sites that, through centuries of use and shared meaning, have become infused with a spiritual reality all their own.

Thus, the movies about Washington that get the right stuff right — or get some stuff wrong but in the right way — become their own form of consensus history. “Follow the money,” then, assumes its own totemic truth. Ratified through repeated viewings in theaters, on Netflix and beyond, these films become a mutual exercise in creating a usable past. We watch them to be entertained, surely, and maybe educated. But we keep watching them in order to remember.

Wow! So the “truth” of a “usable past” can be “ratified” through repeated viewings in theaters? That is the Orwellian reasoning that makes Valerie Plame name leaker Richard Armitage a non-person. Armitage never existed because he doesn’t appear in “Fair Game.”

Two years later, as Ken Shepherd wrote at NewsBusters, “The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday today gave readers of the paper a 12-paragraph puff piece about ‘Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States,'” in order to promote Stone’s Hollywood attempt at introducing yet another usable socialist past — read myths — into pop culture.

As Christian Toto writes at Big Hollywood, Apatow and Rogen “got to spend a day in Sarah Palin’s shoes over the holiday weekend,” adding that “Sure, Hornaday’s argument crumbles under even a cursory examination, but the fact that these two men were brought into the discussion is a sorry sign of the times. It’s also something conservatives routinely experience after national tragedies.”

Hollywood and the MSM usually have no qualms about bending “a too-literal allegiance to the facts [that] sometimes obscure a larger truth,” in the process of creating “a usable past,” and other postmodern “fake but accurate” techniques when they’re employed against more conservative targets. Curious how they react in anger when they’re employed against them.

Related: As Glenn Reynolds noted on Sunday in a post at Instapundit that wasn’t directly related to Hornaday’s meltdown, “I also love the way that half-Asian/half-British Rodger is somehow transformed into a typical white American. That’s even better than the George Zimmerman ‘white Hispanic’ transformation.”

Update: If Hollywood, academia and the MSM didn’t have double-standards, they’d have none at all:

And speaking of the Valerie Plame story