Documentaries and disinformation

I recently got around to buying the 1996 documentary movie Fire On the Mountain, the story of the 10th Mountain Division in World War II and the contributions its members made to America after the war. Why would a bunch of hip filmmakers who show at Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival want to even make a movie about soldiers who killed people?

Well, first of all, the President at the time was FDR and Soviet Union was our ally, and  members of 10th Mountain Division went on to create a number of trendy ski resorts, found Nike Shoes and even The Sierra Club. Well, now the liberals could make a movie that shows they "support the troops" and show how the troops supported liberal causes after World War II. This is perfect, something for everyone. It even won a prize at the Sundance Festival. Wonderful.

Just one little, eensie, weensie, itty, bitty detail was left out. A trifle, by Hollywood standards. In showing all the sacrifices and accomplishments of the 10th Mountain Division members after the war, there is not even a 1 second mention of a certain member. As they say in the Mikado, "He surely won't be missed."

Who am I talking about? Former Republican presidential candidate and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. He only went on to recover from massive war wounds in battles described or alluded to in this film, graduated law school and became both the Minority and Majority Leader of the United States Senate. Isn't it amazing how a documentary that shows guys who became ski instructors after the war can "accidentally forget" to mention a major Republican politician? I kept waiting for even a one minute mention in the movie which would have shown some respect for the man, his office, his sacrifices, his accomplishments. Nothing. Nada. Zip. To quote Sen. Dole, "Where's the outrage?"

This film, by being too mean—spirited to show even a little bit about Bob Dole, showed the real "heart" of Hollywood and Sundance: they are perpetrators of revisionist history worthy of the novel 1984 or the old Soviet Union. Gee, maybe they should have hired Michael Moore as a consultant on how to make a more truthful documentary.

Do you think they would have left out a Senate Majority Leader from the 10th Mountain Division from this film if he were a Democrat? Does a big bear ski in the woods?

I am now going to move on to a criticize a mini—documentary made by a purported conservative in Hollywood (or so I read), Kevin Costner, just to surprise any liberal readers here. Recently I rented the two DVD set of Open Range, a 2003 Western with great character development, realism, and storytelling. I am in no way qualified to do a literary criticism of the plot and storyline, but I know that I like when I see it.

The problem came when Mr. Costner decided to include his own PBS—style mini documentary on the second bonus CD disk, narrated by Costner himself. It tells an interesting story about Old West settlers and adventurers, a lady photographer, and included Teddy Roosevelt's days in the West. But when Costner summed up at the end what happened to the prospectors, lady photographer, etc., he said Teddy got "elected President in 1902." I couldn't believe I was hearing this and replayed the piece three times, just to make sure.

For those of you who were listening in high school, we have Presidential elections every four years — and there was a rather talked—about election in 2000, so if you could figure (if you were listening in Third Grade Arithmetic as well) that we had a presidential election in 1900, followed by one in 1904. Apparently Mr. Costner and his professional staff were otherwise preoccupied back in grade school or in 2003—4 when this mini—documentary was being edited.

Mr. Costner's confusion was caused by an event I remember well from high school US History — and a guy who played Jim Garrison, a District Attorney in a presidential assassination movie should have, too: Vice President Teddy Roosevelt became President for the first time in September 1901 as President McKinley succumbed the bullets of an assassin delivered days earlier at the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo, NY. This error by Costner was almost as stupid as...making Waterworld. No, it was worse, because it attempts to be a history lesson for young and old alike.

Anyone quoting Costner's documentary in a high school class will be seen as stupid, as would anyone saying that Bob Dole didn't serve in the 10th Mountain Division because it wasn't in the movie documentary they saw. I am assuming high school history teachers and their students are even taught about Republican presidents and leaders these days. I could be on thin ice here with that assumption.

A few years ago, Jay Leno did a piece on the Tonight Show where he showed college students at the Cal. State LA graduation not being able to identify photos of presidents, including the famous profile photo of FDR with the cigarette holder. They said it was "The Penguin" from the Batman TV reruns. Sadly, I didn't make up that last joke up: it was one "student's" guess.

Last summer I was on a 5 day bus trip where the tour guide asked us some US History questions to pass the time on the road. I got a number of them right which lead to the 11 year old grandson of two of passengers befriending me, telling me that they don't teach any real US history in his school and he watches the History Channel all the time because he loves it.

There is a hunger to know about where we came from that will survive this liberal pap that we have been exposed to in the last 20—30 years.

Jack Kemp is not the the former football star, Congressman, and Vice Presidential candidate of the same name.

I recently got around to buying the 1996 documentary movie Fire On the Mountain, the story of the 10th Mountain Division in World War II and the contributions its members made to America after the war. Why would a bunch of hip filmmakers who show at Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival want to even make a movie about soldiers who killed people?

Well, first of all, the President at the time was FDR and Soviet Union was our ally, and  members of 10th Mountain Division went on to create a number of trendy ski resorts, found Nike Shoes and even The Sierra Club. Well, now the liberals could make a movie that shows they "support the troops" and show how the troops supported liberal causes after World War II. This is perfect, something for everyone. It even won a prize at the Sundance Festival. Wonderful.

Just one little, eensie, weensie, itty, bitty detail was left out. A trifle, by Hollywood standards. In showing all the sacrifices and accomplishments of the 10th Mountain Division members after the war, there is not even a 1 second mention of a certain member. As they say in the Mikado, "He surely won't be missed."

Who am I talking about? Former Republican presidential candidate and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. He only went on to recover from massive war wounds in battles described or alluded to in this film, graduated law school and became both the Minority and Majority Leader of the United States Senate. Isn't it amazing how a documentary that shows guys who became ski instructors after the war can "accidentally forget" to mention a major Republican politician? I kept waiting for even a one minute mention in the movie which would have shown some respect for the man, his office, his sacrifices, his accomplishments. Nothing. Nada. Zip. To quote Sen. Dole, "Where's the outrage?"

This film, by being too mean—spirited to show even a little bit about Bob Dole, showed the real "heart" of Hollywood and Sundance: they are perpetrators of revisionist history worthy of the novel 1984 or the old Soviet Union. Gee, maybe they should have hired Michael Moore as a consultant on how to make a more truthful documentary.

Do you think they would have left out a Senate Majority Leader from the 10th Mountain Division from this film if he were a Democrat? Does a big bear ski in the woods?

I am now going to move on to a criticize a mini—documentary made by a purported conservative in Hollywood (or so I read), Kevin Costner, just to surprise any liberal readers here. Recently I rented the two DVD set of Open Range, a 2003 Western with great character development, realism, and storytelling. I am in no way qualified to do a literary criticism of the plot and storyline, but I know that I like when I see it.

The problem came when Mr. Costner decided to include his own PBS—style mini documentary on the second bonus CD disk, narrated by Costner himself. It tells an interesting story about Old West settlers and adventurers, a lady photographer, and included Teddy Roosevelt's days in the West. But when Costner summed up at the end what happened to the prospectors, lady photographer, etc., he said Teddy got "elected President in 1902." I couldn't believe I was hearing this and replayed the piece three times, just to make sure.

For those of you who were listening in high school, we have Presidential elections every four years — and there was a rather talked—about election in 2000, so if you could figure (if you were listening in Third Grade Arithmetic as well) that we had a presidential election in 1900, followed by one in 1904. Apparently Mr. Costner and his professional staff were otherwise preoccupied back in grade school or in 2003—4 when this mini—documentary was being edited.

Mr. Costner's confusion was caused by an event I remember well from high school US History — and a guy who played Jim Garrison, a District Attorney in a presidential assassination movie should have, too: Vice President Teddy Roosevelt became President for the first time in September 1901 as President McKinley succumbed the bullets of an assassin delivered days earlier at the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo, NY. This error by Costner was almost as stupid as...making Waterworld. No, it was worse, because it attempts to be a history lesson for young and old alike.

Anyone quoting Costner's documentary in a high school class will be seen as stupid, as would anyone saying that Bob Dole didn't serve in the 10th Mountain Division because it wasn't in the movie documentary they saw. I am assuming high school history teachers and their students are even taught about Republican presidents and leaders these days. I could be on thin ice here with that assumption.

A few years ago, Jay Leno did a piece on the Tonight Show where he showed college students at the Cal. State LA graduation not being able to identify photos of presidents, including the famous profile photo of FDR with the cigarette holder. They said it was "The Penguin" from the Batman TV reruns. Sadly, I didn't make up that last joke up: it was one "student's" guess.

Last summer I was on a 5 day bus trip where the tour guide asked us some US History questions to pass the time on the road. I got a number of them right which lead to the 11 year old grandson of two of passengers befriending me, telling me that they don't teach any real US history in his school and he watches the History Channel all the time because he loves it.

There is a hunger to know about where we came from that will survive this liberal pap that we have been exposed to in the last 20—30 years.

Jack Kemp is not the the former football star, Congressman, and Vice Presidential candidate of the same name.