Thursday, 16 November 2017

The Post: Hollywood Rescues The Fourth Estate

When Donald Trump won the U.S presidency in 2016 I remember sitting in a pub with an old friend having a few pints. As a couple of amateur film buffs we speculated on how Hollywood would search for ways to cleverly undermine Trump, how would it manifest itself ? what coded messages would the movies contain? 

One idea we kicked around was that liberal Matt Damon would reboot the Jason Bourne franchise, Bourne would come out of retirement and rejoin the ''Deep State'' to thwart the dastardly plans of a crazed lunatic who'd just become president.

 The Hollywood machine is actually rather cumbersome and it takes about a year from a film being given the green light to it actually appearing on the big screen, the movies which came out immediately after the Trump victory and into the summer missed the opportunity for some Trump bashing but the movies coming out now have had the full gestation period, so we can expect Hollywood's anti-Trump propaganda to begin hitting theatres now.

 And that brings us nicely to the trailer of the new movie ''The Post'' directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

Set during the 1970's ''The Post'' centres on The Washington Post and The New York Times attempting to publish leaked confidential information ''The Pentagon Papers'' which expose the lies of the Vietnam war, the U.S Government attempts to thwart their plans through threats and intimidation. 

 In Hollywood terminology the leaked Pentagon Papers are what is known as the ''MacGuffin'', an object, person or device which drives the motivation of the characters and the plot forward. The ring in Lord of the Rings is a perfect example of a MacGuffin, as is the Ark of the Covenant in Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark. 

The MacGuffin, then, is an excuse for ''stuff to happen'', and what's happening in The Post (Washington Post) is that a tyrannical government ruled by quasi-Fascist Richard Nixon is at war with the ''free press'' because they're trying to bring truth, not ''Fake News'' to the American masses.

 The message of Spielberg's movie is essentially ''Trust the press, not the psycho in the White House!'' I wonder why?:

I think it's safe to say that the Washington Post and New York Times have had a ''turbulent'' relationship with Trump and his huge base of support, but help has finally arrived.

Of course, given the extraordinarily heavy Jewish presence in Spielberg's production and at The New York Times and Washington Post, a cynic could be forgiven for claiming that this is nothing less than outright nepotism, with Jewish media outlets on the east coast of the U.S, withering under Trump's barrage of insults and accusations, calling on the assistance of their west coast brethren to give them a helping hand via a movie depicting them as heroes being attacked by a tyrant.

 Whatever the case maybe, what the ''normies'' get is a well produced and acted puff-piece saying ''Don't trust Trump, trust us, the liberal media''.

 In an era when journalism amounts to reading a Twitter timeline looking for something juicy to pad out into a full column, The Post acts as a form of role play for today's liberals in the media, it's an idealized vision of themselves, the Buzzfeed feminist can imagine herself as Meryl Streep receiving passive aggressive phone calls in the middle of the night, Trump's Watergate must be just around the corner.

 Both Hollywood and the liberal press have a deep nostalgia for the 1970's, they love it. 1970's journalism as depicted by Hollywood is the era when the hippies of the 60's grew up and applied their liberal values and ideals in the world of the media. 

People in terrible clothes smoke cigarettes and drink too much coffee while waiting for that vital lead which will reveal just how corrupt and repulsive the power structure is. There's a sense of urgency as the identity of the mole falls into the hands of the FBI or a senator from Kansas who was leaking info has an accident with a lift shaft. 
''You're under arrest for spreading fake news''

In the trailer to The Post Tom Hanks says ''The way they lied, that has to stop!'' but that's pretty much the exact accusation that's been hurled at the media for the last 2 years, thankfully for Tom, Big Brother Hollywood and Spielberg have arrived to set the narrative straight.

 Judging by the cast The Post seems to have tossed out the diversity quotas entirely, but Hollywood has a sharp understanding of demographic trends and knows that blacks and Hispanics will not be the least bit interested in a period movie about the press and politics. This is a movie for white liberals, it flatters their intelligence and gently rubs their egos, they aren't spoiled narcissists, they're flawed individuals holding the line against tyranny. 

 The big joke of course, is that they are the tyranny, that they can deploy the most far reaching and powerful propaganda machine ever created to serve their will, while Trump has a Twitter account. That all of the organs of the State share their values and work against Trump obsessively, that, as the saying goes...''You are the system, hippy!'' 

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