Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Harvard, CBS, and Oscar

In a January 24 column in the Washington Times, Suzanne Fields looks at the recent PC controversy stirred up by Lawrence Summers, the President of Harvard University. Her take on the issue is interesting. She began:

Pity the president of Harvard. He's stuck at an institution of learning in the 21st century where to question innate "gender"differences is to ask for the abuse that Galileo took in the 17th century, when he questioned the notion, politically correct for his day, that the earth was the center of the universe.

* * *

In his "Media Notes" column in the Washington Post today, Howard Kurtz discussed "Bad News," a new book by Tom Fenton, a veteran CBS correspondent who takes the network to task for various failings. According to Kurtz,

The book's instant headlines will probably come from "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney, who tells Fenton there is "no question" the media are liberal and takes a swipe at Rather: "I think Dan has been -- I don't know why; he may not be as smart as they think -- but he has been so blatantly one-sided. . . . He uses little words that are absolute clues, giveaways to his political opinions. Like saying 'Bush,' instead of 'President Bush' or 'Mr. Bush.' . . . . A couple of years ago I heard him refer to 'Bush's cronies.' Well, Jesus, 'cronies' -- oh dear!"

* * *

The Washington Post reports that "Fahrenheit 911" got no Academy Award nominations. None. Nada. Ništa. Ничего. Zip. Goose egg. Sorry, Mikey. Why don't you take your Palme d'Or back to Cannes and see if you can trade it for some snails with a side order of freedom fries?

To add insult to injury, "The Passion of the Christ" got three nominations, but in lesser categories.

How did these two movies come to be the theme flicks of the left and the right, anyway? What does that say?


Blogger M said...

I agree that it's pretty sad that "Fahrenheit" and "The Passion" became the "theme flicks" for the left and right.

Let's face it, people like to cling to stereotypes. All liberals are mindless, pansy Bush-haters, and all conservatives are mindless, anti-Semitic Jesus freaks. These generalizations are easy to make and require very little thought.

So "Fahrenheit 9/11" becomes the latest addition to the ridiculous cariacature of liberals (sushi and lattes, anyone?), and "The Passion" is added to the cariacature of conservatives (tractors and NASCAR, anyone?)

Unfortunately, there is no end in sight for partisan drivel...

7:13 PM, January 25, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Amen, Mike!

12:44 PM, January 26, 2005  
Blogger carla said...


Mindless, pansy Bush-hater...is that what I am? LOL

Most likely F9/11 didn't get a nomination because Moore was submitting for Best Picture instead of Best Documentary. I commend him for shooting for the stars instead of taking what would probably be a surefire Oscar.

I didn't see The Passion of the Christ..mostly because I don't go to any slasher type films. It's my understanding that "Passion" was a study in Christ's physical pain. While that may do it for some folks...I don't enjoy films like that. It may be a very well done film...but not my cup of tea.

I've seen F9/11 twice. It's a very well done film, in general. It makes some valid points in some places...and in others it tends to be a bit weak. Moore's gift tends to be as that of storyteller. He really understands how to weave it all together.

Have you seen it either film, Tom?

5:17 PM, January 26, 2005  
Blogger M said...

Haha. Carla, anyone who has checked out your posts at Preemptive Karma will quickly recognize that you are anything but "mindless." I can not attest to whether you are a pansy. :-)

I'll admit that I haven't seen "The Passion." I like a lot of gory films that are violent for the sake of violence, but I don't want to see a movie like that that involves Jesus. I'm not a religious man, but I like focusing on the good deeds and words of Jesus rather than obsessing over his gruesome death.

I agree with you about "Fahrenheit 9/11." It has its moments, and Moore is a master with tear-jerker scenes (the Lila Lipscomb scene is pretty damn powerful). But he tends to reach a bit... ahem... a LOT in some parts. He probably would have run away with the Oscar had he gone for Best Documentary. I think the odds favor "SuperSize Me" at this point.

6:26 PM, January 26, 2005  
Blogger M said...

By the way, Tom, fantastic posts about the Holocaust! I haven't had time to comment on them individually, so I figured I'd leave my praise here. Great stuff!

6:28 PM, January 26, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Carla, I haven't seen either film and probably won't, not as some kind of protest, but simply because based on what I've heard neither really appeals to me.

According to a few thoughtful commentaries I've seen, "The Passion" is violent and bloody because the death of Christ was violent, bloody, and most certainly excruciatingly painful. If one is a Christian (I'm not) it would seem that a depiction of the horror of Christ's sacrifice would be seen as essential truth. In any case, I suspect that someone executed in that manner at that time would have suffered a pretty bloody and painful death. I just don't want to see it.

"911" undoubtedly has moments of truth and sensitivity, but it seems to be more a partisan political statement than anything else. That means it isn't a "documentary" film. I'm no more interested in it than I would be a film made by some right-wing zealot. Don't want to see it, either.

11:26 AM, January 27, 2005  

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