Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HBO Has A Wrap Sheet


In case you missed it, I spoke about HBO’s upcoming movie Game Change in a segment called Lies Damned Lies and HBO’s Game Change.  I saw the HBO trailer about a month ago.  Like most Sarah Palin supporters, I smelled blood in the water.  It was easy to see from the trailer that HBO—clear to many as just another network acting as a propaganda arm for Barack Obama and the DNC—had no interest whatsoever in portraying Palin fairly.
Why did HBO Films produce a movie about the former vice presidential nominee who is sitting it out in this race for the White House in 2012?  It’s really quite simple—as myself and journalists like Big Hollywood’s John Nolte pointed out, the Obama administration thought Sarah Palin would run, easily assume frontrunner status and be the biggest threat to Obama.  It is, in the eyes of many, the only reason HBO made this TV melodrama based on a book written three years ago and filled with over 200 unnamed sources trying to trash Palin’s reputation.
There’s another story that needs to be told when exposing HBO’s deception and Game Change.  I spoke about it in my segment but it is worth repeating  because I didn’t want it to get lost in my rant.   HBO has a rap sheet.  Recall if you will a popular PBS series from the early 1970’s called An American Family.   It is known by many in the television industry as the first ever reality show.  It followed the daily life of the Louds, an upper middle class family from Santa Barbara, California.  It was the first television show to ever document a family dealing with a gay son, as well having the heads of the family Pat & Bill Loud end their marriage on camera.  

HBO released its own account of the Loud family’s journey into fame hell in the spring of 2011 called Cinema Verite.  The movie starring Diane Lane and Tim Robbins received poor ratings and was panned critically.  But this HBO production of Verite was also untruthful. 
Craig Gilbert, played by James Gandolfini in the HBO production, was the producer of An American Family.  He sat down with The New Yorker in the spring of 2011 and claimed that the HBO account of the PBS series was “utterly fallacious”.  In part, he was referring to a scene in the HBO movie that suggested Pat Loud and Gilbert had an affair while she was still married to her husband.  Both Loud and Gilbert have denied this vehemently over the years.  HBO still ran with it.   The Louds, according to Gilbert, were so bent over HBO’s final product that they were seriously considering a lawsuit.
HBO stopped the embarrassment of a lawsuit for embellishing and lying about the Louds by settling the matter out of court.  HBO waved a large sum of money in their faces, the Louds accepted and agreed not to discuss it publicly.   
So back to Game Change.  HBO has stated publicly that their story of the McCain/Palin campaign is a “balanced portrayal” of the events that unfolded in 2008 and no partisan agenda found here.   Yeah, okay.   HBO defended the authenticity of their portrayal of the Louds the same way they defend their portrayal of Gov. Sarah Palin while campaigning for vice president.  It seems strange that HBO would go through the trouble of paying off the Louds if their portrayal of the family in Cinema Verite was truly accurate.
Makes one wonder how many of these “based on real life” HBO Films productions have been embellished and flat out fabricated over the years. 
-Mr.L

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