Friday, November 28, 2003

Tim Robbins, Lying Liar?
Well, Fox News has published William La Jeunesse's formal copy of the story I yakked about earlier.

There are differences. For instance the unnamed woman who provided a short soundbite was named.
"It is not propaganda. It is a voice of dissent, which is different than propaganda," said audience member Kadina Dayal-Halday.

They chopped off the end of her statement. It should read, "It's not propaganda, it's a voice of dissent, which is different from propaganda. I think Fox News is propaganda." I kinda understand why Fox News chopped the end off, but it did give insight into what kind of person she was. The way it reads now it sounds much more reasoned, and it's no longer clear that Kadina Dayal-Halday sounds like a typical leftist. I'm guessing that her statement combined with her name would bring visions of ISM to people's mind or because they couldn't get the condescending sneer across in print that was evident in her voice.

When Laura Israel, another audience member, was asked if she thought the play was accurate, she replied: "Yes, not only on what is going on there, but it also showed how we are being lied to by all the networks."

Considering what happened to Dayal-Halday's soundbite, I'm left wondering what else Laura Israel said that Fox News didn't mention in the copy.

Another difference is that the copy mentions that that the play opened to two rave reviews. The number of rave reviews was mentioned in the first instance of the story, but not in the second, but I only managed to record the second instance of the story I saw.

They also name the USMC officer as Maj. Rich Doherty, and I'm glad they did that, since he remained anonymous in the news story.

They do, at the end of the article, mention something that was in the first instance of the news story that wasn't in the second, was that even after the viewing (despite his offer) Robbins refused to be interviewed by La Jeunesse.

The cry of defense from the cast, crew, director and writer is the same used by many who seek to defame; satire. As I've mentioned before I'm not a rocket scientist, but I'm pretty sure I know the difference between satire and a lying slam piece. This is Spinal Tap is satire, Monty Python's The Life of Brian and ...The Holy Grail are satire. Heck, MASH dished up a healthy dose of satire, it even had over the top characters that satirized aspects of some pretty whacked out people. From the way La Jeunesse describes some of the characters in Embedded, however, we're not talking about satirized characters based on factual outrageous people, we're talking about imaginary mean-spirited characters totally invented in the author's mind without any basis in reality or real people.

Military members who are mis-characterized in nothing new, but considering the source of this mischaracterization I doubt there was real satire invloved. La Jeunesse reported that "the cast and audience that we spoke to swore that Robbins' version of the war...was what really happens (check out the previous post for what the elipses cut out)." That tells me that their defense of satire is a lie. They know they're bashing the military, they believe things the play claims happens are fact, but they'll claim satire in an attempt to justify, or simply get away with their lies.


Update: It turns out someone came here looking for this actual topic, so I tried a google search also and found this commentary on a blog I'm unfamilliar with, Say Anything. Much better written and thought out than mine and I enjoyed reading it. From the progressive community we read a superficial review that reveals very little about the play unless you've already heard about it. Mind you, Richard Slayton of the LA Times says it's, "a surprisingly touching and balanced play," and we all know that the LA Times wouldn't be biased.

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