Patterico's Pontifications


The Washington Post on Films About Assassinations of Heads of State: Bad If It’s Kim Jong Un, Good If It’s Bush

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am

Washington Post writer Justin Moyer: Why North Korea has every reason to be upset about Sony’s ‘The Interview’

It’s impossible to summon much sympathy for Kim Jong Un. But now imagine this assassination farce was made not in Hollywood, but in North Korea or Moscow, and the leader assassinated in the film was a president of the United States. Or imagine the film was made by Iran, and the leader assassinated in the film was the prime minister of Israel. Where “The Interview” draws on stereotypes about North Korea’s ridiculous, yet terrifying isolationism, this hypothetical film makes jokes about African Americans and Jews — perhaps about the incompetence of a black man in the White House, or about Israel’s right to exist.

Not so funny, is it? The North Korean, Russian or Iranian version of “The Interview” would be called racist. It would be called anti-Semitic. And some might even say it encourages psychopaths.

This is a good example of moral equivalence. No, people would not view the assassination of a truly bad man like Kim Jong Un the same way they would view the assassination of someone the media sees as a good guy. Every time travel fantasy includes a stop to kill Hitler in his youth. Moyer confronts the Hitler example, and says we didn’t even dream of showing Hitler’s death on screen when he was alive:

[T]he annals of film history include few examples of movies gleefully imagining the demise of living foreign leaders — even Hitler. Movies like “The Great Dictator” took on fictional versions of the Fuhrer, but he didn’t die onscreen until after his death. “Inglorious Basterds” couldn’t have been made in 1942.

Of course, those America deems evildoers are humiliated in movies all the time.

. . . .

[I]f a future North Korean missile test, naval exercise, trip across the DMZ or future act of terror is blamed on “The Interview,” Rogen can’t say he didn’t have fair warning.

Indeed. Rogen needs to understand that he was warned that people would absurdly and unfairly blame acts of terror on his movie! And note the “those America deems evildoers” line. Kim Jong Un is not actually evil, you see; he is just deemed so.

Yes, imagining the death of a world leader during his life is certainly unthinkable to the Washington Post . . . unless the world leader whose death is imagined is George W. Bush. In which case the Washington Post critic may cluck her tongue a bit, but still praise the film’s “dexterity” and realism. Yes, when a documentary imagined the assassination of Bush, here is what the WaPo critic had to say:

Is it politically provocative agitprop or merely a cynical, exploitative stunt?

Probably the latter, but one that has been performed with unusual dexterity. Structured like an installment of “Frontline,” “DOAP” often has the taut urgency of that PBS series, with witnesses providing a detailed tick-tock of events as they unfolded. Indeed, “DOAP” is so convincing that, like most he-said, he-said documentaries, it eventually suffers from a fatal, talking-head inertness.

Still, “DOAP” gets off to a riveting start . . .

“DOAP” is “Death of a President.” And the “riveting start” was Bush getting assassinated.

Seems like a double standard, yes. But then, those whom Big Media deems evildoers are humiliated by our betters all the time . . .

45 Responses to “The Washington Post on Films About Assassinations of Heads of State: Bad If It’s Kim Jong Un, Good If It’s Bush”

  1. I’m thinking this is an NSA blackop, seeking to prop up their unconstitutional agency as a necessary, if barely competent evil.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  2. woe. Is this a first for me? Xmas come early!

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  3. Sony is finding out what playing with the big boys is all about.

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  4. Oh, now some poor wittle nork apologist who scribbles for a commieland agitprop fish wrap got his feelings hurt over dumb and dumber hollyfail foolishness. How sad.

    PPs43 (6fdef4)

  5. I find it amazing that DOAP did not come up anywhere in that navel-gazing. But the next day the same write covered the topic. Perhaps his editor read him the riot act? Or his readers did?

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  6. Another thing he seems to miss is that Seth Rogen is not a state-sponsored entity. If a dictatorship like Iran, Russia, or North Korea were to produce such a film, then it would be a state-sanctioned statement. Big difference.

    prowlerguy (3af7ff)

  7. a film that takes a look at the incompetence of a black man in the White House sounds very compelling and topical

    in fact they could loosely base the president in the movie on Barack Obama I think because he’s both black as well as incompetent

    keep the good ideas coming

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  8. The “brave” leftists, in reality are scared to death of every Islamist and Communist. Those folks kill people, and the media and Hollyweird are public personalities. The idea of some suicide bomber on the red carpet at some premier, keeps them awake at night.

    Mike Giles (b8b724)

  9. Someone should make a film wherein the assassination targets are SJLs.

    htom (9b625a)

  10. Leave it to Obama to prop up the Castro Bros. in Cuba.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  11. It has been said before: But if the media didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards at all.

    Loren (1e34f2)

  12. The Feds will need to Federalize all entertainment because they have sole Constitutional Authority over foreign relations!

    Dejectedhead (ec3741)

  13. Bad If It’s Kim Jong Un, Good If It’s Bush, And Racist If It’s Obama.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  14. The media created ‘Bush the cartoon bad guy’ so it was okay that a movie was made based on his assassination. That was just the end game of the ‘selected not elected’ and ‘Bush lied about WMD’ campaigns, as well as many other smears the Ds launched. If Bush had been assassinated, does anyone doubt that a majority of Ds would have secretly (and some not so secretly) cheered?

    East Bay Jay (a5dac7)

  15. {Forever Young film preservation}

    Hello! I’m Mortimer Young of Forever Young film preservation.
    First, I want to thank all of you who sent cards and letters expressing concern after our plant explosion outside Wilmington, Delaware June of last year.
    Forever Young films will no longer employ non-union labor, I can tell you that.
    No casualties. No serious damage outside of the loss of one Albanian coming of age film, Smitu Yourant, or Smitu finds a pebble.
    Destroyed before it could be transfered to videotape.
    We’re posting the original script to our website,, in the original Albanian. Visit us if you can download Shqipërian text.

    That aside, thanks to the Wilmington fire department which worked so heroically to save the entire Ma and Pa Kettle catalog. And a personal thanks to emergency room doctor Nate Isenburg. I had no idea what prolonged exposure to plant fumes was doing to my cerebral cortex.

    … Where was I?

    This evening’s title, the Grand Lebowski is one of our greatest success stories. Probably a title few of you are familiar with, it was originally produced in the late nineties by obscure Polygram Films, and slipped beneath the waves critically and commercially on it’s first release. It then washed hither and yon in the corporate paroxysm’s that shook filmdom during the catastrophic period of synergy. A period which saw Hollywood awash with money from Japanese electronic giants, a large Canadian liquor concern, and the French sewage conglomerate, Vivindi.
    Prints of the film had been languishing in an almost criminal neglect.
    Here for instance, is the hilarious toe scene from an unrestored copy.

    [insert John Goodman Jeff Bridges toe clip, garbled and underexposed here]

    Forever Young fieldworkers fanned out in search of undamaged reels. Our international tipline yealded an almost pristine Italian language print from the palazzo of a Lumbard collector.
    After our technicians bathed this print in our patented progressive alkalied solution, and then subjected it to a sonic giggle bath, look what emerged.

    [insert John Goodman Jeff Bridges toe clip, improved Italian language version here]

    Glorious isn’t it? Now, all that was left to be done was reassemble the original
    cast in the Forever Young studios to dub the movie back into English. Only John
    Goodman was unavailable. His voice was recreated by master impressionist, David

    [insert John Goodman Jeff Bridges toe clip, English language restored version here]

    Ah. Wonderful! By the way, did you know that in Italy, this film was released as
    Mister Marijuana, and was quite a success?
    Well, we hope you enjoy the Grand Lebowski, restored, rejuvenated, and
    still smoking.
    Until we see you again, this is Mortimer Young. Goodnight.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  16. Wa Post loves commies. Next you’ll be reporting that a dog bites a man.

    Nothing to see here.

    NJRob (d196d8)

  17. Monica Lewinsky is writing for Vanity Fair.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. This hits way too close to home!… my own granddaughter…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  19. NBC reports North Korea behind Sony hack, U. S. officials say.

    Sony on Wednesday dropped its plans to release the movie on Christmas Day after some of the country’s largest theater chains said they were holding back or dropping the movie following threats of violence made by the same group that claimed it had hacked Sony, Guardians for Peace.

    “Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business,” Sony said in a statement Wednesday, saying that it reached the decision after the top cinema chains pulled out. Regal, Cinemark, Carmike and Cineplex were among the chains that said it would not show the film on the planned Dec. 25 premiere, citing security concerns.

    Actually a Hot Air comment directed me to this article on Wiki ~~~ Sony BMG copy protection rootkit scandal
    About 22 million Sony CDs surreptitiously hijacked the computers of Sony customers, installing software at the administrator level that reported victim/customers personal habits back to Sony.

    Eff them. It’ not unprecedented at all. In fact Sony was way ahead of the pack regarding hacking other peoples computers.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  20. Haiku: Aww!

    nk (dbc370)

  21. re #19: Sony didn’t do the actual hijacking, it just allowed others to do so.
    Not to let Sony off the hook, they basically opened a locked door and then left it ajar.

    so …
    I also don’t feel all that sorry for Sony about the hack. But to link it to the movie “The Interview”? This hack must have taken a long time to get into place and then to download all those bits. i think this is borrowing from Pres Barak’s playbook of blaming something else to cover up the real motive.

    seeRpea (01f6d3)

  22. sony’s getting raped by north korea almost as viciously as toyota got raped by america

    happyfeet (831175)

  23. When did Sony become America’s problem? (Besides the mental pollution it markets to our kids.) It’s a Japanese company. Let Japan deal with North Korea over this.

    nk (dbc370)

  24. Re#20… Nk… at the age of 4.5 months, she is fond of the color red and loves watching basketball.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. CBS News reports:

    1) US assesses North Korea was behind the hacks.77667

    2) SONY will put on hold film opening Dec 25.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  26. The WH is workin’ on it. Well they’re talking about it. Or they’re thinking about it. Or debating what to do Oh hell, it’s the White House for heavens sake.

    elissa (ac3f37)

  27. the contributions sonytrash executives in america make to socialist whores like “barack obama” and other fascists are nothing to sneeze at

    and they can’t contribute if they’re wholly devoted to appeasing Dear Leader

    something must be done

    happyfeet (831175)

  28. 27 in tghe coddling dictators thread

    Dustin (2a8be7) — 12/17/2014 @ 3:16 pm

    North Korea really does appear to be declaring war on us.

    North Korea actually declared that the movie was an act of war.

    It is also, officially, denying they have anything to do with this.

    Come to think of it, we, and the United Nations, are at war with North Korea, because there’s only an armistice, since 1953.

    Active threats of more 9/11s and for civilians to flee homes near theaters?

    In bad English, too, which makes it really sound authentic..

    Except that it’s probably about as realistic as Kim Jong Un’s threat to drop an atomic bomb on Austin, Texas. His missiles can’t recah that far.

    Actively damaging American business? What is Obama doing about this?

    I don’t know. He might consider putting North Korea back on the list of countries supporting terrorism. It was removed as part of the nuclear negotiations by the Bush II Administration.

    WASHINGTON — The Bush administration announced Saturday that it had removed North Korea from a list of state sponsors of terrorism in a bid to salvage a fragile nuclear deal that seemed on the verge of collapse.

    Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman, said that the United States made the decision after North Korea agreed to resume disabling a plutonium plant and to allow some inspections to verify that it had halted its nuclear program as promised months earlier.

    The deal, which the Bush administration had portrayed as a major foreign policy achievement, began slipping away in recent weeks in a dispute over the verification program. Just days ago, North Korea barred international inspectors from the plant.

    That was under the old ruler, whom I think Jesse Helms once mistakenly referred to as Kim Jong the Second.

    Obama is starting the process of removing Cuba from the list of state sponsers of terror.

    He should move two carriers out there and send a force to seize the USS Pueblo.

    The carriers have better use near Iraq, and s the pueblo still there and what do we need it for?

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  29. Probably not he best site to link to for this story, but it’s one hour old:

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  30. Sammy, do you often quote people and respond to them in a completely different thread?

    Yes, the Pueblo is still in North Korea. It’s a show piece. They give tours. No, we do not ‘need’ it. Unless we need every carrier in Iraq, I think we really should make some sort of show of force in North Korea in response, else we invite more of this, especially with Sony’s reaction.

    You are mistaken that North Korea is not capable of pulling off an attack. They’ve downed passenger aircraft and sunk ships.

    Dustin (2a8be7)

  31. This was on the CBS Evening News tonight.

    Somehow Scott Pelley, in Havana, managed to finish off by saying something like that Cuba was the vestige of the Cold War. (he used different words)

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  32. Dustin (2a8be7) — 12/17/2014 @ 5:22 pm

    You are mistaken that North Korea is not capable of pulling off an attack. They’ve downed passenger aircraft and sunk ships.

    > I mean they haven’t got armed commandoes in the United States.

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  33. This is the play that opened on or just off Broadway on 25 August 2004. It’s how New Yawkas decided to greet the Republicans, who opened their national convention at Madison Square Garden on the 30th of the month.

    I’m Gonna Kill the President, a federal offense

    And what were the critics worried about?

    … I have no hard evidence that the people involved in this production are truly in any kind of danger of police harassment or threats of violence (I’m a theatre critic, not an investigative reporter.), but the company effectively creates an atmosphere where attending politically-based theatre could be a dangerous act….

    That’s right. They were worried the evil Bushitler and his fascist minions would harass or even do violence against the noble arts community as they spoke Truth To Power (TM).

    None of that silly handwringing over insulting a world leader who “has every right to be upset.” No, the handwringing was whether the world leader who had no right to be upset would oppress the dissenters, which we all were told was the highest form of patriotism.

    Good times, good times.

    Steve57 (b0b04b)

  34. It’s impossible to summon much sympathy for Kim Jong Un.

    Who do these people think they’re Grubering. No, it’s all kinds of possible for the LHMFM to summon mucho sympathy for Kim Jong Un. They demonstrate that they’ve never met an anti-American dictator they don’t secretly (and often not so secretly) agree and sympathize with every single freaking day.

    …Or imagine the film was made by Iran, and the leader assassinated in the film was the prime minister of Israel. Where “The Interview” draws on stereotypes about North Korea’s ridiculous, yet terrifying isolationism, this hypothetical film makes jokes about African Americans and Jews — perhaps about the incompetence of a black man in the White House, or about Israel’s right to exist.

    Not so funny, is it?…

    In which Washington Post writer Justin Moyer demonstrates he/she/it can’t separate fact from libtard mythology. NORK isolationsims isn’t a mere “stereotype.” And does anyone doubt that the Iranian version of The Interview hasn’t been made? And did the LHMFM condemn it as “racist” or “anti-Semitic,” or say it encourages psychopaths?

    Hell no. They attack anyone who points out that the Iranians routinely deny Israel’s right to exist and that they do in fact openly encourage psychopaths in their pop culture and from their mosques as an “Islamophobe.”

    Again, who do these people think they are Grubering?

    Steve57 (b0b04b)

  35. maybe not armed commandos

    but they’ve got sony corp actively working to advance their interests in the united states now

    nice piece of work, that

    happyfeet (831175)

  36. Like it would take a whole h3ll of a lot to get anyone in Hollywood to do that, Mr. Feets.

    Steve57 (b0b04b)

  37. Picked up on my phone in Houston
    Everybody answered, everybody answered but they won’t say why
    Then this dancer grabbed me down by the bus stop
    And she said I’m takin’ you with me to the Texas Rose Cafe
    I got a fast car, it’s a jaguar, and I’ll get you to the plane on time
    Drinkin’ Lone Star, play guitar, we’ll have a real good time
    I said love… love can be found in Austin,
    I said love… love can be found in Austin town.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  38. NoKo invasion
    Dennis bring Teh Red Menace
    hide the cats and dogs

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. Sammeh throwin’ down
    table for two but saucer
    of milk for jus’ one

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  40. it’s not like north korea is the highest bidder is all I’m saying

    happyfeet (831175)

  41. NoKo commandos
    bad ass ninja warriors
    with tiny li’l dicks

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  42. Putin and Kim Jong Un had a meeting. Everything went well, until Putin wanted to show off the loyalty of his men. Putin ordered one of his bodyguards to jump off the window. The bodyguard hesitated and begged, “Please sir! I got a wife and kids!”

    Putin relented and gestured the man to be at ease. Kim smirked at Putin, and turned to his bodyguard and nodded.

    Without a second’s hesitation, Kim’s bodyguard ran to a window to jump. Putin’s bodyguard, shocked, rushed to Kim’s man to stop him from jumping. And Kim’s bodyguard yelled, “Please sir! I got wife and kids!”

    nk (dbc370)

  43. Yeah, Justin WhatTheF*** wonders what would the world say if, IF, the Iranians made a movie that traded in anti-Semitic stereotypes.

    Trailer of Newly-Released Antisemitic Iranian Feature Film in Which Jews Build War Machine to Take Over the World

    They wouldn’t say word one about it. Just like the last time. Just like every time (as if the Iranians make any movie about Israel or the US that doesn’t deal in stereotypes).

    Just remember; when Egypt televises an anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”-based TV marathon every Ramadan (the series Horse Without a Horseman), you’re an Islamophobe if you notice.

    Steve57 (b0b04b)

  44. I’m afraid Putin has Obama’s number

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  45. Ok, even the FBI should be able to trace this. A Galveston plumber’s old pickup truck is being used as a gun carrier by Islamists in Syria. FBI, if you want to shut down terrorist supplies from the US … Follow That Truck! Fast and Furiously!

    nk (dbc370)

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