In February of 2007, sick of being mercilessly skewered by those damned evil liberals on The Daily Show, Fox News took its charge of "fake news" just a little bit too seriously and commissioned a half-hour comedy of its own called the 1/2 Hour News Hour. The series went into regular broadcast in March and was canceled in September. Lesson learned: hate isn't all that funny.
I always believed that HHNH failed because the underlying principle was flawed. Fox News brass wanted to make fun of and smear liberals, so they created a show with the express intent of making fun of liberals. What was apparently lost on them is that The Daily Show sets out to make people laugh -- making fun of conservatives is simply the means to that end, and as host Jon Stewart has gone on record saying many times before, he'd happily make fun of liberals and Democrats as well.
If they'd stand up and actually say something.
From the Fox and conservative perspective, the game is to insult and benefit from the injury of others. Laughing is just the byproduct, which is why nobody laughed at HHNH. If they ever figure that out, I'm sure the competition for news satire will flourish. A quick look around Hollywood though and it appears as if the message still hasn't been delivered.
David Zucker has directed some legendary comedies over the years, including Airplane!, along with his brother as well as Jim Abrahams. Although Zucker isn't exactly known for his writing skills, his next film epic targeted squarely at liberal America is so off target that even Fox must be embarrassed.
Well, probably not.
According to a story in an LA Times blog, Zucker is "scared to death of [Senator/Democratic Presidential Candidate Barak] Obama", believes he's not qualified to be President, and that his potential election would "be a disaster." While I'm not sure you'll find very many voters who are "scared" of Obama outside of West Virginia, Zucker certainly isn't the only American concerned with what the future may bring. Contrary to popular opinion, there are a number of conservatives living and working in LA like Zucker, many of them quite prominent and not content to sit on their hands after placing this country in the hands of a tyrant for the past eight years.
Two failed wars and a wrecked economy isn't enough for them, it seems. Someone who advocates more intelligent domestic policy and world peace rather than perpetual war is "dangerous" and a "disaster" waiting to happen. Given that Zucker is a filmmaker, he's going to do what he does best.
Zucker's new film which has reportedly secured release through Vivendi sometime in October, doesn't appear to be the kind of comedy that makes The Daily Show so popular. To the contrary, it's every bit the sad, misguided attempt to malign and smear those whom he and those who share his political ideology dislike and disagree with.
A number of well known celebrities such as Michael Moore aren't merely parodied, but are warped and framed with such forceful hatred that one wonders if Zucker has lost touch with reality and swallowed whole by the GOP's "Democrats are the enemy" hate speech machine. Rather than using exaggerated situations with deadpan deliveries to critique and comment, Zucker imagines a world where liberals want to ban Independence Day, where they "all hate America." I'm not sure what's worse, that conservatives which apparently include Zucker continually lower themselves into the gutter by fantasizing these perverse scenarios where the only thing worse than terrorists are liberals, justifying their evil feelings and embarrassing actions and pure hatred of their fellow countrymen, or that they think these grade school constructs are somehow helpful to public debate in this country which is necessary to addressing our most pressing issues.
Where as Zucker sees all liberals "hating America" symbolically, I see conservatives hating liberals -- hating fellow Americans -- both symbolically and literally.
As did Fox to a degree, Zucker wants to show us how liberals really act and what they really want from life, even if it means exaggerating reality so far that fantasy replaces drama, and all conservatives are left with is the hatred they share in common with the domineering communists and scary terrorists.
This isn't comedy folks, it's dementia. It's ironic, too, where in Zucker's film you have terrorist-loving, America-hating liberals making movies to help the enemy, in reality, it's people like Zucker that are using movies such as this to attack their fellow Americans, importing hate from abroad into our cities and our homes. This movie is a caricature of itself, and Zucker doesn't even know it.
There also appears to be an irrational, misguided religious subtext to the film which supposedly features Dennis Hopper as a "judge who defends his courthouse by gunning down ACLU lawyers trying to take down the Ten Commandments." In this reality -- not the sick fantasy constructed by Zucker but out here in the real world -- the court system has consistently ruled that the separation of church and state is critical to, and an important foundation of our democracy. Where as Zucker portrays the ACLU as freedom hating barbarians -- even though the ACLU has a long documented history of fighting for religious rights when appropriate -- as opposed to a group of idealists standing up for the basic principles of a free society. In fact, in Zucker's demented imagination, you have a judge taking the law into his own hands and murdering his fellow countryman to stop them from upholding the constitution. In what context or reality would that conservative judge be anything other than a psychotic, domestic terrorist spree killer?
One of this country's greatest strengths is its resistance to religious dominance, allowing for both freedom of religion, and freedom from it. Yet people such as Zucker celebrate those the idea while attacking the results. The courts have ruled not that God should have no place in law, but that God should not be a substitute for law. In other words, the constitution comes first, and the bible second -- that is what this country stands for and what makes it great. Zucker celebrates that by smearing the ACLU as if the ACLU was fighting against that rather than tirelessly working to uphold those principles.
When people like Zucker celebrate our heritage and this country's sacred principles, what they are really doing is worshiping the principles of religious tyranny and monarchy and using their sick imaginations to impose those principles onto America, with judges gunning down lawyers who were simply seeking to uphold the constitution.
And finally, I leave you to ponder the following, from the LA Times story:
The film also has a chubby comedian named Rosie O'Connell who's promoting a documentary, "The Truth About Radical Christians," which, among other things, examines the growing phenomenon of nuns as suicide bombers--showing two nuns, strapped with explosives, boarding a bus and inspiring fellow passengers to shriek, "Oh, no! Not the Christians!"
The sins of radical Christians throughout history are well known to all and beyond the scope of this subject; I hardly think there is room of throwing stones here.
While conservatives attack facts as biased, liberals as their enemy rather than their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who all bleed red, white, and blue, never in history has there been an Atheist suicide bomber.
Just try making a movie about that.
The text of this article is Copyright © 2008 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. :: Follow me on Twitter.