“The Campaign” reviewed; some thoughts on the left’s finance hypocrisy

by Sonny Bunch on August 10, 2012

I’ve got a review of The Campaign over at the Washington Times; here are the first couple of grafs:

You have to admire Hollywood’s chutzpah.

The week began with DreamWorks Animation announcing a joint venture with state-owned Chinese partners that will offshore a massive new animation studio in China that will, for starters, produce the next Kung-Fu Panda movie. Jeffrey Katzenberg — who is worth $860 million and is the largest donor to the pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA — negotiated the deal with an assist from Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who helped arrange a meeting between Mr. Katzenberg and the Chinese heir-apparent Xi Jinping. The Katzenberg-Biden deal is now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commissionbecause of allegations that DreamWorks bribed Chinese officials to grease the skids.

The week draws to a close with the Friday opening of a new Will Ferrell vehicle, “The Campaign.” A farce set in the world of electoral politics, it rails against giving American jobs to cheap Chinese laborers, the corrupting influence of money in politics, and the wild world of mega-donors buying and selling candidates like so many stocks.

Are the movie’s nefarious mega-donors stand-ins for corrupt Hollywood moguls? Of course not. They’re named the “Motch brothers,” and they’re stand-ins for the left’s latest boogeyman: the Koch brothers, the billionaire industrialists who have contributed heavily to libertarian-conservative advocacy groups.

For the record: I do think the movie is funny, as I note later on in the review. And it had a chance to emerge as a real classic, an uber-cynical exercise in “money-has-corrupted-all-sides-of-the-aisle” cinema. But instead of delivering on that promise, the final ten minutes or so are dedicated to a hopelessly naive, absurdly one-sided civics lesson in which we learn that (conservative, libertarian) money is the root of all evil in politics.

Strangely, there’s no mention of the $4.4 billion that unions spent on electioneering and electing Democrats between 2005 and 2011.

Strangely, there’s no mention of the hundreds of millions being raised by millionaires and billionaires for an Obama-affiliated Super PAC that is running ads accusing Mitt Romney of killing a woman via cancer.

Strangely, there’s no denunciation of a massive corporation spending $56 million producing a film denouncing a political cause (and god only knows how many more millions advertising that film). Surely they see the irony, right? The Campaign is little more than corporate spending designed to influence a political debate. This is what they want to make illegal.

No no. None of those things matter. The Koch Brothers, they’re the real evil sonsabitches.

The hypocrisy of it all would be really goddamn hilarious if it wasn’t also sickening.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim August 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I highly recommend sneaking bourbon in when you watch the movie, it numbs the pain.


Gabriel August 11, 2012 at 11:47 am

Come on, you’re talking about advertising a film that has political themes within 90 days of an election. This is a totally different pattern of facts than in the notorious Citizens United decision.


Sonny Bunch August 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm

This is how I feel any time I have to argue with my friends on the left over Citizens United: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92IkddsjtAA


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