Ron Radosh

Showtime's Bad Gamble: An Oliver Stone Mini-Series

Oliver Stone shows his usual chutzpah, or at least his press reps at Showtime do, when their announcement of his new TV documentary series on the “Secret History of America” promises to focus on events that “at the time went under-reported.”

Sure, such as those they mention: Truman’s decision to drop the A-bomb; the origins of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and the “national-security complex.” Take any one of these three, and you can come up with perhaps fifty books and scores of documentaries and reports on television that already treat them. Has Stone, I wonder, watched CNN’s massive- if still flawed but nevertheless valuable- multi-volume Cold War history?

Of course, Stone promise us “newly discovered facts and accounts.” Stone is doing this for his children, he says, so that a “change in thinking can result” after they watch it. If we judge from Oliver Stone’s track record—-his hagiographical TV documentary on Fidel Castro; his conspiracy mongering and ridiculous movie on JFK; his scathing film on Nixon, and any of the rest of his would-be historical films, what we are going to get is more left-wing “revisionist” history made through his unique and damaged mind.

Well, for a long time I’ve been looking for an excuse to give up my cable sub to Showtime. Looks like they are finally giving me a very good reason.