Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


MinM's Journal
MinM's Journal
October 1, 2012

Mother Jones' Operation Hollywood cont...

There was a movie called “Air Strike” by a guy named Cy Roth. Now, Ed Wood is often credited as being the worst director in Hollywood history, but Cy Roth would really give him a run for his money. Roth decided around 1953 that he’d made a Western, he’d made a space movie, now he wanted to make a war movie. This movie was set on a World War II aircraft carrier, and the lead characters were a young Jewish flyer and a young black flyer who are constantly being subjected to anti-Semitism and racism on the ship.

The military said, “No, we don’t want to show any kind of racism or anti-Semitism in this picture, you’ve got to change that.” They also said, “We don’t want a World War II-era picture, we want a movie set in the modern jet age.” And Roth went nuts. He called his congressman, he wrote a letter to President Eisenhower -- and the day after the White House got his letter of complaint, they sicced the FBI on him to see whether he was a Communist or not. Well, he finally caved in; he made the picture the way they wanted. So it was no blacks, no Jews, no propellers. If you look at this film, it’s so bad, it looks like a home movie shot on an aircraft carrier. So this film was completely changed...

September 29, 2012

Operation Hollywood: Pentagon v Costner

One reason I believe that Kevin Costner was so touched by that Emmy® last week could be the backlash his career has experienced from trying to set the historical record straight in his movies (ie., Jim Garrison and Curtis LeMay)...

Operation Hollywood
How the Pentagon bullies movie producers into showing the U.S. military in the best possible light.

—By Jeff Fleischer
| Mon Sep. 20, 2004 12:00 AM PDT

“The only thing Hollywood likes more than a good movie is a good deal,” David Robb explains, and that’s why the producers of films like “Top Gun,” “Stripes” and “The Great Santini” have altered their scripts to accommodate Pentagon requests. In exchange, they get inexpensive access to the military locations, vehicles, troops and gear they need to make their movies.

During his years as a journalist for Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, Robb heard about a quid-pro-quo agreement between the Pentagon and Hollywood studios, and decided to investigate. He combed through thousands of Pentagon documents, and interviewed dozens of screenwriters, producers and military officials. The result is his new book, "Operation Hollywood." ...

...They also say it has to reasonably depict military operations. And if it’s based on history, they say it has to be historically accurate, which is really a code. They’re much less interested in reality and accuracy than they are in positive images. They often try to change historical facts that are negative. Like with the movie “Thirteen Days,” which was very accurate but very negative toward the military during the Cuban missile crisis, showing that they would have taken us down the path toward World War III. During the negotiations with the producers, Peter Almond and Kevin Costner, the military tried to get them to tone down the bellicose nature of Gen. Maxwell Taylor and Gen. Curtis LeMay -- who the record is very clear on, because before Nixon was taping in the White House, Kennedy was taping in the White House, and all the conversations from October 1962 are on tape. When Kennedy rejected LeMay’s insistence that we attack Cuba -- when Kennedy said let’s put up a naval blockade, we don’t want to get into war -- you can hear Curtis LeMay say, “This is the worst sellout since Munich.” He actually said that, when he didn’t think anybody was listening. Well, the military wanted to change it anyway, saying he was too bellicose and they had to tone it down. To their credit, Kevin Costner and Peter Almond stood up to the military, refused to buckle under, and made their film without military assistance...


Perhaps not to the extent that these guys paid...
Gaeton Fonzi, like Jim Garrison, and Richard Sprague et al., did some excellent work on that case. In spite of some extraordinary lengths that some went to in an effort to derail their efforts. Fortunately these guys were able to emerge from this relatively unscathed. Others were not so lucky...

Abraham Bolden, Mort Sahl, John Barbour, and Roger Feinman were not so lucky. They were among those that lost careers for attempting to pursue the case...


But a price nonetheless when you don't play ball with the ptb.
September 26, 2012

Kevin Costner's "13 Days" was a very accurate portrayal of this...

General Curtis LeMay: You're in a pretty bad fix, Mr. President.

President Kennedy: What did you say?

General Curtis LeMay: You're in a pretty bad fix.

President Kennedy: Well, maybe you haven't noticed: You're in it with me.


Good Morning America played the actual tape of that yesterday morning and the Costner movie got it spot-on.

NPR's On The Media was impressed too...
On The Media: Missile Crisis Memories (August 27, 2010)

FRED KAPLAN: Word of the tapes first came out in 1982, 20 years after the crisis, when several of Kennedy's advisors — McGeorge Bundy, Robert McNamara, a few others — wrote a little article in Time Magazine in which they admitted that the myth of the Cuban missile crisis was false. When I interviewed Ted Sorensen about this five years ago, he admitted that basically Kennedy, after that last ex-con meeting, he took seven people into his office and he told them that look, I'm sending my brother over to the Soviet Embassy and I'm going to accept this deal, but you can't tell anybody, and that after Kennedy was assassinated they all got together and pledged that nobody would ever reveal this. The first tape was revealed in 1987, and it was of the last day of the crisis where Khrushchev comes out with a deal and Kennedy says hey, this is a pretty good deal, and everybody in the room is shouting him down, saying this will wreck NATO, we can't do this, it'll, it'll ruin our credibility. Kennedy lets them talk on and at one point he says look, to any man at the United Nations or any other rational man it will look like a very fair trade. I'm reading from the transcript here. And later he also says, and this I think is the - is the telling point, he says, well I'm just thinking about what we're going to have to do in a day or so, which is 500 sorties. The Air Strike Plan called for 500 air sorties against the Cuban missile sites every day for seven days:

PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: I’ve been thinking about what, what we're going to have to do in a day or so, which is 500 sorties in seven days and possibly an invasion, all because we wouldn't take missiles out of Turkey. And I – we all know how –

FRED KAPLAN: Kennedy goes on: “All because we wouldn't take missiles out of Turkey. We all know how quickly everybody's courage goes when the blood starts to flow, and that's what is going to happen to NATO. When they start these things and they grab Berlin, everybody's going to say well, that was a pretty good proposition.”

BOB GARFIELD: Memoirists! Once these revelations came out in McGeorge Bundy's own memoir, how did journalism react, having been unwitting accomplices in a historical lie? Did newspapers jump on this story to kind of set the record straight, and do you think it had any effect?

FRED KAPLAN: I have to say, both among journalists and historians, this chapter of the Cuban missile crisis has not yet been fully incorporated into the dominant narrative, as academics might call it today, and to the degree that people do know there was a trade, it is as yet not generally well accepted how alone Kennedy was.

BOB GARFIELD: I'm curious about how much the truth of the Cuban missile crisis has found its way into the public consciousness. If it has, I suppose you can credit the film 13 Days from two years ago. Hollywood took another look at the history books and did substantially incorporate our current understanding in that film. Let's hear a little bit of that:

MAN: We've got time for one more round of diplomacy, and that's it. The first air strikes start in 28 hours. MAN: But we have to make them agree to it!

MAN: Right.

MAN: So how do we do that?

BRUCE GREENWOOD AS JOHN F. KENNEDY: Well we give them something. We tell them we're going to remove the missiles from Turkey — Hang on! But we do that six months from now, so it appears there's no linkage.

KEVIN COSTNER AS KENNY O'DONNELL: We also tell them if they go public about it, we'll deny it.

BRUCE GREENWOOD/JOHN F. KENNEDY: Right we deny, the deal's off.

KEVIN COSTNER/KENNY O'DONNELL: And we do it under the table so we can disavow any knowledge of it.

MAN: It's transparent, Kenny. The press'll be all over it.

KEVIN COSTNER/KENNY O'DONNELL: Six months from now we're not going to care, are we?

BOB GARFIELD: In your review of that film, 13 Days, you made another point about learning from history. It was about the supposition that a president, surrounded by a circle of trusted advisors, can be depended on to make the right decision. And you made a, a connection to the George W. Bush White House. Make it again.

FRED KAPLAN: [LAUGHS] The point was - I think George W. Bush had just been elected president, and a lot of people were wondering if he would be smart enough to deal with crises. And the common explanation at the time was well, don't worry, he has a lot of really smart people around him. And the point that you can take from the fourth draft of the history of the Cuban missile crisis is that the people around John Kennedy were really smart - I mean these were the people that David Halberstam later called, in a note of irony, "the best and the brightest," and yet John Kennedy realized that they really weren't very smart, after all. And the lesson of that is that you can have good advisors but the crucial thing is that you need a president. It's the president who makes the decisions...


I was reminded of this movie again when Kevin Costner was so humbled by winning the Emmy® this past Sunday night.
September 26, 2012

Salvador (1986) -- Jack Morgan - State Department Analyst

Dan Senor seems to be right out of central-casting, for the weasel-like State Department tool, in Oliver Stone's Salvador.

September 23, 2012

Fareydoun Abbasi-Davani sounds like he's afraid of getting 'blowed-up'

... again.

Fareydoun Abbasi-Davani's damaged car Photo: AP

Inside a secret bomb-proof building in a Tel Aviv suburb, which Google Earth does not include on its website, some of the occupants last week exchanged high-fives at their work stations. According to insiders, several sent each other the same message: The Chief’s Last Hit...

Iran: “We Lied!” — not really

By Cyrus Safdari | Iran Affairs | September 21, 2012

Naturally, the New York Times seized on this — the story that an official in charge of Iran’s nuclear program, Fereydoon Abbasi, has “admitted” that Iran occasionally tried to mislead on its nuclear program:

Iran’s top atomic energy official said in an article published Thursday that because of foreign espionage, his government had sometimes provided false information to protect its nuclear program.

Note the crucial bit of missing information here, left out by the NY Times in order to spin this sentence as some sort of “confession” by Iran of having hidden nukes: WHO WHOM? TO WHOM has he said Iran provided false information – to the IAEA or to Western spies?

Because that’s a real crucial bit of difference! Needless to explain: There’s generally no obligation on a country to allow foreign spying, especially when its scientists are being assassinated. However the NY Time’s simply runs with the assumption that this official is saying “We lied to the IAEA because we’re making nukes” rather than “We tried to mislead foreign intelligence agencies so they would not assassinate us”. Go back and read it again, better yet read the original Arabian news report. Or translate it. You won’t see him saying “We lied TO THE IAEA because we’re hiding nukes” Instead, he’s referring to foreign intelligence agencies. But that’s not how the NY Times spins it...
September 22, 2012

Ironically OTM tackled this issue last week...

but unfortunately they flipped it on it's head. Framing it in the old right wing canard -- Does NPR Have a Liberal Bias?

Although they were dismissive of any evidence that would have proved the opposite thesis. There was this little bone thrown to us at the end...

Conclusions on NPR's Liberal Bias
Friday, September 14, 2012

The final installment of our exploration into the question: Does NPR have a liberal bias? In this segment we hear from conservative listeners Sam Negus and Kevin Putt. Then FAIR's Steve Rendall provides his take on our endeavor. PEW's Tom Rosenstiel reports his findings in examining NPR's coverage for bias. And finally, Ira Glass returns to discuss what he learned from our coverage...

BROOKE GLADSTONE: That was Kevin Putt. Among our critics there were also a fair number of liberals who felt NPR actually leaned the other way.

Next up, Steve Rendall, senior analyst at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, or FAIR, a liberal organization that monitors media bias. In a controversial study released in 2004, FAIR counted up the liberal and conservative sources cited in news reports on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

STEVE RENDALL: And what we found was a very strong slant in favor of the GOP. Sixty-one percent of partisan guests who appeared on those two NPR shows in 2003 were Republicans.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: There was a Republican Congress, there was a Republican White House. I mean, doesn't that make sense?

STEVE RENDALL: You should see a few more Republicans on, but the number was 61% Republicans to 38% Democrats. And, we were repeating a study that we had done in 1993, when the Democrats had the White House and both houses of Congress. And in that study, we found that there was the same bias, 57% Republicans at that time and 42% Democrats. So it didn't matter who was dominating Washington. Republicans had more guests.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Now, I'm assuming that at least a third of our listeners, the third that identify as conservatives, and maybe a good number of the liberal listeners too are thinking you’re a liberal research organization, and you make no bones about it. Why should we trust what you say?

STEVE RENDALL: Well, our studies are replicable. You can check the numbers. Everybody comes from a point of view. But the thing is, we've had four decades of formal campaigning by the right, by groups like Accuracy in Media, the Media Research Center, the Heritage Foundation, to portray our media, corporate and public broadcasting, as being to the left of center. It’s paid off. And I think the fact that we're having this discussion here, the fact that there’s a debate in Congress, shows how much it’s paid off.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: And not because there’s a kernel of truth in it.

STEVE RENDALL: Well, I would love to see the studies. I have looked at the studies, I have combed the literature, and I just haven't seen anything that really shows that to be true.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: That was Steve Rendall of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

And here’s another study. Tim Groseclose, a professor in the Economics and Political Science Department at UCLA, and Jeff Milyo, an economics professor at the University of Missouri, analyzed 20 mainstream news outlets, counting each time they cited a think tank or policy group in a news story. They gauged the political stripe of a think tank by how many times it was cited by a conservative or a liberal member of Congress. The Congresspeople themselves were rated based on their roll call votes...


PBS went FOX on us…. CALL THEM ON IT!

Great Expectorations
September 22, 2012

Seems appropos coming from the Country that coined the term 'Deep State'

Peter Dale Scott: The term “Deep state” comes from Turkey. They invented it after the wreck of a speeding Mercedes in 1996 in which the passengers were a Member of Parliament, a beauty queen, a local senior police captain, and an important drug trafficker in Turkey who was also the head of a criminal paramilitary organization – the Grey Wolves – that went around killing people. And it became very obvious in Turkey that there were a covert relationship between the police who officially were looking for this man – even though a policeman was there with him in the car – and these people who committed crimes on behalf of the state. The state that you commit crimes for is not a state that can show its hand to the people, it’s a hidden state, a covert structure. In Turkey, they called it the Deep state, [1] and I had been talking about deep politics for a long time so I used the term in The Road to 9/11. This is why I have defined deep politics as all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged. So the term “Deep state” – coming from Turkey – is not mine.

It refers to a parallel secret government, organized by the intelligence and security apparatus, financed by drugs, and engaging in illicit violence, to protect the status and interests of the military against threats from intellectuals, religious groups, and occasionally the constitutional government...

September 20, 2012

Judge Oliver Diaz from "Hot Coffee"

This is great since it comes on the heels of a midterm election that handed all 3 branches of the Michigan Govt over to the GOP. John Grisham spoke to the importance of this in his book The Appeal...

The Appeal was a book I published. It was always a novel. It’s completely fiction and it’s completely true. It's the story of the purchasing of a Supreme Court seat in Mississippi. ~ John Grisham

"Hot Coffee"
Friday, July 08, 2011

We all think we know the story of the woman who spilled McDonald’s coffee on herself and then sued the fast food chain for millions. But in the new HBO documentary "Hot Coffee", filmmaker Susan Saladoff shows how the media got the story all wrong, and often demonizes civil litigation, using phrases like “frivolous lawsuit” and “jackpot justice.” ...

BROOKE GLADSTONE: There is a whole other media angle to this which involves Citizen United, that ground- breaking decision by the Supreme Court to accord corporations the rights of individuals to free speech and to enable them basically to funnel unlimited amounts of money into political advertising.

SUSAN SALADOFF: So in most of our states now we elect our judges. And that means they have to raise money. And what's happened over the last many years is that large corporate interests have decided well, we want to get rid of these judges who are on our State supreme courts who are more pro consumer.

And so, they started handpicking candidates and funneling money into their campaigns, again, through front groups like Citizens for a Stronger Ohio or Citizens for a Safer Community.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which most people don't know is the largest lobbying group for corporations in the world. They've been shown to be funneling money into these political campaigns.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: And this was long before Citizens United. In fact, you have John Grisham talking about his book, The Appeal:

JOHN GRISHAM: The appeal was a book I published. It was always a novel. It’s completely fiction and it’s completely true. It's the story of the purchasing of a Supreme Court seat in Mississippi.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: So tell us about the fate of Mississippi Judge Oliver Diaz.

SUSAN SALADOFF: Justice Diaz was on the Mississippi State Supreme Court, and he was targeted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because he wasn't pro-business enough.

MALE ANNOUNCER: Diaz even voted to overturn a cocaine conviction because evidence of a prior cocaine sale was allowed. Oliver Diaz, very bad judgment!

SUSAN SALADOFF: The statistics are that the candidate who has the most money for political ads will win about 90% percent of the time. He actually wound up winning the race, despite all of the money that was put into his opponent’s race, and when he won he was then brought up on false criminal charges and was acquitted but was off the bench for three years while he was fighting those charges.

And then, of course, his reputation was tarnished and he was unable to win in the next election.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: I think one of the most alarming images from your gripping documentary is simply the picture of a headline from a paper in Mississippi, which read, “Mississippi Victims Losing 100 Percent of Appeals. Court Ignoring Juries.” ...


Wisconsin Recall: Citizen United, Grisham, Hot Coffee, and Koch


September 18, 2012

Sununu went after OTM's Brooke Gladstone a few weeks ago.

"We're Not Going to Let Our Campaign be Dictated by Fact-Checkers"
Friday, August 31, 2012

This week, a Romney pollster responded to several critical fact-checks of a campaign ad by saying "we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers." Brooke talks to former New Hampshire governor and former White House Chief of Staff John Sununu about the ad and the institution of fact-checking.


Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu this week nominated Mitt Romney for President at the Republican National Convention. We couldn’t get anyone from the Romney campaign, so we called on him to give us his insight on what’s going on.

JOHN SUNUNU: With all due respect to the quote, “fact-checkers” that have called that ad wrong, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Let me explain to you why they’re wrong. That law was written specifically by a Republican Congress to make sure that a, a governor could not get waivers from the work component. President Clinton vetoed it twice over that provision that prohibited allowing anybody to grant waivers on the work component. The fact-checkers just don’t know what they’re talking about...

BROOKE GLADSTONE: This is the problem when everyone has the right to their own facts.

JOHN SUNUNU: Ma’am, you weren’t involved – you weren’t involved in writing the law. Rick Santorum was. You weren’t involved in writing the law. Speaker Gingrich was. You weren’t involved in fighting to make sure that a provision for waivers was not in the law. These people were, and they have attested to the fact, and the weasel wording that comes out of the President of the United States and NPR is not gonna change those facts. I’ve enjoyed being on the air. I’ve got to go to my next call.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Why didn’t the ad refer to waivers, rather than no longer having to work? Why not say what it is the President actually did?

JOHN SUNUNU: If you say that the ad is perfectly right with adding waivers, then you’re acknowledging the fact that the President broke the law by granting waivers.


BROOKE GLADSTONE: I think the ad is wrong.

JOHN SUNUNU: As, as usual, you, part of the liberal press that will cover this President’s butt across the board, you’re going to lose in November. But I’ve enjoyed talking to you. Thank you...


September 18, 2012

JFK had RFK go down to Atlanta to get MLK out of jail in 1960.

HBO documentary called 'Sing Your Song' about the life of Harry Belafonte.

It covers his life especially during the early Civil Rights movement.

I never knew this, but he goes onto saying in the documtary that in 1960, MLK was arrested in Atlanta for a traffic stop but they trumped up charges and were going to sentence him to work on the chain gang.

Belafonte and others in the movement went to the 2 running Presidential candidates and Nixon ignored them, while the Kennedys did something. JFK made RFK go down to Atlanta and got MLK out of jail.


Ben Stein has been another right wing propagandist who disingenuously pushes this MLK myth. During his regular segment on CBS Sunday Morning a few years ago Ben Stein made the claim that it was southern evangelicals that supported Martin Luther King Jr.

Of course what Mr Stein conveniently leaves out is that it was almost exclusively other southern black ministers that supported Mr King. The evangelical leaders of Ben Stein's ilk... Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson... et al., were very critical of MLK and opposed him at every turn.

Profile Information

Member since: Mon Oct 8, 2007, 10:23 AM
Number of posts: 2,650

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»MinM's Journal