Friday, January 11, 2008

A Few Movie "Choices"

Well, we have Hillary's tears yesterday, so how about a few Hillary laughs this morning? A conservative group called Citizens United has produced a 90 minute movie about Hillary (naturally entitled "Hillary: The Movie"--take a look at the trailer) which they would like to show in selected movie theaters across the nation. All well and good, but Democrats claim television trailers for the movie constitute political advertising and need, by law, to be labeled as such. A three judge panel of Federal appeal judges yesterday nearly laughed a Citizens United lawyer out of court when he tried to claim that calling Hillary a "European Socialist" is not an attempt to prejudice people into voting against her.
A ruling is still to come, but it doesn't look good for "Hillary: The Movie" trailers to run unless they are labeled as political advertising. The whole brouhaha reminds me of the trouble stirred up back in 1964, when the Barry Goldwater campaign was on the receiving end of a very dirty campaign waged by Lyndon Johnson's forces. So, naturally, it fought back. A group calling itself Mothers for a Moral America (in the later words of a Goldwater aide, a “front group” for the Goldwater campaign) made an extremely controversial pro-Goldwater film called "Choices," which showed Americans that they had a “choice” between good and evil.” On the good side, the film portrayed conservative young people having good clean fun, the American flag flying high, the Statue of Liberty gleaming in the sun, and Barry Goldwater giving impassioned speeches.
The "bad" side shown included pornographic books with names like Jazz Me Baby and Men for Sale, dances like the Twist, women in topless bathing suits, black kids dancing throwing rocks during rioting, and a speeding Lincoln Continental from which beer cans were being thrown (this latter was a knock at LBJ, who loved to drive at high speeds on his Texas ranch while tossing down a few cold ones).
The film was sold privately to local Republican groups and scheduled to air on television late in the campaign, but Democrats found out about it and raised such a fuss about its racist content that Goldwater was forced to pull it.

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