You have to hand it to Sen. Tom Daschle. If anything, the Democrats’ minority leader is predictable – no matter the issue, he can always be counted on to take the wrong side. But maybe he can’t help it. Maybe he’s just been a member of a party with no morale compass for so long, he is unable to distinguish right from wrong. Democrats, you know, rarely make such black-and-white distinctions – unless, of course, they’re disparaging white people as racists in order to court black votes.
The most recent example of Daschle’s mindless, predictable liberalism comes at the expense of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, in the form of supporting a film reviewers have described as a disgusting, unfair and hateful attack on a man who, at this point in his storied life, can’t even defend himself anymore.
Earlier this week, CBS executives decided to pass on their own production of a miniseries called “The Reagans,” a film which, over two nights, was bound to serve as an embarrassing hatchet job of a good man and woman who did great things for our nation, and whose primary faults, in the eyes of Hollywood and D.C. liberals, were to be conservative in values and Republican in political affiliation.
This is no small deal. Remember, CBS is the same network that looked the other way when its prime-time news reader, Dan Rather, spoke at a Democratic fund-raiser in Austin, Texas, in April 2001. (Rather later apologized, said the gig was “an embarrassing and regrettable error,” but given his longtime Democratic connections, you have to suspect it was an “embarrassing … error” because he got caught).
But recognizing the economic consequences due to befall it if the Nov. 16 and 18 telecast went forward, CBS decided to pass on the project to its sister pay network, Showtime. It would have been much braver if a) CBS killed the film outright or, preferably, b) never made the film in the first place. But conservatives have to take mainstream media victories where we can get them.
Daschle, of course, doesn’t see it as a victory. He sees it as some sort of loss for free speech. He sounds as if the production is something on the scale of “Ben Hur” or “Gone With The Wind,” an instant classic that was intentionally destroyed.
Regarding CBS’ decision to cancel the telecast, Daschle said, “It smells of intimidation to me. It sounds to me like they were intimidated and making decisions that reversed earlier ones. And I’m disappointed.”
“I think any time occasions arise when the essence of the judgment made by television producers is influenced by outside forces, we have to call into question whether that level of intimidation is appropriate,” he moaned. “Clearly, we’re all paying the price.”
You have to wonder if Daschle’s phony outrage would be the same if, say, a network made a disparaging, unfair film about Bill and Hillary Clinton (or an accurate one – the truth about the Clintons is bad enough). Were that to happen, voiced opposition would no longer be “intimidation,” but instead would be hailed as an “exercise of free speech.”
Instead of piling on the anti-Reagan bandwagon, why aren’t Daschle and Co. asking questions that should be asked in the wake of this cinematic disaster? For instance, why is no one asking CBS why it made the film now? Why not a decade or more ago, shortly after Ronald Reagan left office? Why wait until the man is too incapacitated to correct the record?
Did CBS think audiences have been so desensitized by all the garbage the networks regularly broadcast no one would care about a factually incorrect movie that wrongly disparages a former president? Are liberal filmmakers at CBS trying to put a popular Republican president in a bad light to, say, upset the re-election of another popular Republican president (Mr. Bush, are you watching?) Or are they just too afraid of conservative thinker-fighters like Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Larry Elder and David Limbaugh to take them on instead?
Liberal Hollywood’s hatred of all things Republican is legendary. Daschle’s behavior, on the other hand, is inexcusable. By failing to come to the defense of a fellow elected official – especially a president – because that president belonged to a different party makes Daschle more than just a two-bit political opportunist. It makes him a coward.