WaPo columnist: Say, this 13 Hours actually is political

posted at 8:41 am on January 18, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Define political. Washington Post columnist Ann Hornaday offers up an acerbic look at 13 Hours that objects to the supposedly dishonest marketing of Michael Bay’s presentation of the sacking of the Benghazi consulate and the nearby CIA annex, based on the book of the same name written by the men who fought the battle. She accuses Paramount and Bay of talking out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to the political nature of the film, and the film itself of a dishonest approach to the story of Benghazi.

First off, Hornaday has a problem with the release date:

Presumably to avoid being Zero Dark Thirtied, the parent studio of “13 Hours,” Paramount Pictures, declined to show the film in advance to journalists and policymakers, eschewing the usual program of “influencers” screenings in Washington, which can garner valuable buzz for hot-button films. While they’ve run from the obvious political implications of “13 Hours” in the District, they’ve enthusiastically embraced them elsewhere, scheduling the film’s debut just weeks before the first presidential primaries and showing it to a select group of conservative publishers and commentators. (When critics began accusing “Zero Dark Thirty” of being an infomercial for Obama during the 2012 presidential campaign, it was bumped to a slot after the election.)

This is a very curious argument. Few people would presume that a recap of Benghazi would hurt Hillary Clinton or Democrats more broadly right before their primaries. The original release date for Zero Dark Thirty was October 2012, not January 2012,  a date which would have had obvious implications for the general election. Furthermore, January is traditionally the worst time of the year for movie releases, usually reserved for films that studios think have little chance of gaining any traction. Those films have to compete with blockbusters released over the Christmas holiday and with a consumer environment in which most people are just starting to pay off their large holiday bills and don’t have much time for movies. If any political tinkering went into choosing a January release (and it almost certainly didn’t), it would be in the opposite direction Hornaday thinks.

She then accuses Bay and Paramount of setting up Republican PR efforts:

Even with Iowa and New Hampshire looming, with Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz ending his recent debate performance by urging his constituents to see “13 Hours” the next day, with conservative media saturated with ads for the movie and with Republican super PACs America Rising and Future45 showing “13 Hours” in Georgetown on Friday night in a spirited attempt to make Benghazi “a thing,” in the words of journalist Mary Katharine Ham — Paramount has insisted that the film is “not political.” That’s a whopper, even for an industry that has so brilliantly perfected the art of relieving itself on consumers and telling them that it’s raining.

What Paramount only pretends not to have known all along is that, of course, “13 Hours” is political, even if it isn’t explicitly partisan. Despite its dog-whistle marketing, the content of the film might disappoint the most rabid Hillary haters. Secretary Clinton is never invoked by name in the film, and the president is only mentioned in passing, when a character says that “POTUS has been briefed.” Rather than a red-meat attack on the Obama administration, “13 Hours” engages in a kind of diffuse, all-purpose cynicism about Washington as a familiar metonym for incompetence, corruption and bureaucratic inertia.

If it’s not partisan, then what’s the problem? That Republicans like it and recommend it? Hollywood has been making films “about Washington as a familiar metonym for incompetence, corruption and bureaucratic inertia” since Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Perhaps that makes it a clichéd film (hint: it doesn’t), but hardly makes Paramount or Bay dishonest in their approach to the film.

The real problem for Hornaday is that 13 Hours doesn’t fit her Benghazi narrative:

The villain of the piece, played with sniveling pusillanimity by David Costabile, is the CIA base chief (known only as “Bob”), who is portrayed as fatally impeding the rescue of the ambassador and his staff. Although the real-life chief insists that he never gave orders for his security team to stand down, as portrayed in the movie — and although a 2014 House Intelligence Committee report found “no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support” during the attacks — “13 Hours” conveys an unmistakable message: Unlike the arrogant elitists of the intelligence community or the naive idealists in the diplomatic corps, it’s the military (and their counterparts in the privatized world of security contractors) that has the know-how, technical chops and physical courage to make tough decisions and execute them correctly.

Actually, Hornaday gets this conclusion wrong — very wrong. The men who decide to act in 13 Hours worked for the CIA as security contractors, not the military (they were former military Special Ops), and the film takes some care in making that clear [see update]. The American military never shows up in the film, and they never showed up in Benghazi either — a point made repeatedly in the film. Hornaday seems to forget that Bay based the film on a book written by the men who made it out of Benghazi alive, and they insist that the stand-down order was given. (They aren’t alone on this, and the House investigation is still interviewing witnesses.) This film presents the point of view of the men who fought to stay alive that night for hours without any help at all from their country, and the film takes care to stick to their perspective. Questions about why the US was unprepared to assist an American outpost under attack for more than nine hours in the most dangerous setting in the world on the anniversary of 9/11 are left for the viewer to ponder. All these men know is that the US never acted, and that’s not political — that’s a plain fact.

Let’s get back to defining political. An attack on a consulate is a political act, in this case terrorism for political means. The response to such an attack involves politics at many levels. The reporting of such an attack involves politics, too, even when it comes to the first-person accounts of those who fought it and the full context of what preceded it. Films routinely cover such material, and become political, from the aforementioned Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to Stand and Deliver and The Hurt Locker.

The real objection is when a film becomes partisan, not political. The American President would have been a fine comedy if it had not been ruined by its harsh partisan bent. My Fellow Americans was a much better film because it poked fun at the partisan divide. Both were political, but only one was dishonest about its intent. That’s the issue, and Hornaday admits smack in the middle that she doesn’t have a case; she just wants to gripe about the narrative.

After having seen the film on Saturday, I found that C. T. Rex’s review covered almost everything I wanted to say. The only quibble I have is on his rating, a 5 on the Hot Air scale:

  • 5 – Full price ticket
  • 4 – Matinee only
  • 3 – Wait for Blu-Ray/DVD/PPV rental or purchase
  • 2 – Watch it when it hits Netflix/cable
  • 1 – Avoid at all costs

In this case, I’d give 13 Hours a 5+3 — see it in the theaters, and then buy the Blu-Ray when it becomes available. It’s not a quibble as much as it is a way to emphasize our recommendation to readers to see this film now, before it falls victim to the January blahs.

Update: As Warren notes in the comments, two of the men who came in from Tripoli with the late Glen Doherty were Delta force commandos — but they went on their own, without orders. I had forgotten about that, but the film only makes an oblique reference to their presence.


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Comments

WaPo columnist

…I think it should be…WaPoop communist!

JugEarsButtHurt on January 18, 2016 at 8:43 AM

Things are only political when they make life…difficult for Democrats.

Make a film about a sitting Republican president being assassinated, it’s art. Tell the truth about a Democrat F’up (Path to 9/11, 13 Hours, etc) it’s a political hit piece.

Rogue on January 18, 2016 at 8:47 AM

she was probably ok with michael moores movie about W

cmsinaz on January 18, 2016 at 8:48 AM

If Hillary and the WaPo thought Cankles did a stand up job, then should be no worries–right Ms Unicornaday?

hillsoftx on January 18, 2016 at 8:50 AM

Rogue on January 18, 2016 at 8:47 AM

this

cmsinaz on January 18, 2016 at 8:51 AM

$119 million box office sales for Fahrenheit 911, anti-Busy flick —-let’s see how this one tabulates to see if it may have an impact on Shillary…

hillsoftx on January 18, 2016 at 8:53 AM

Far and away my favorite “review” of the film was delivered by Pat Smith.

Lolo on January 18, 2016 at 8:58 AM

“……based on the book of the same name written by the men who fought the battle…”

Not to mention the same men who sat through every segment of production of the movie to make certain it was accurate.

If the liberal media, and their lemming pundits care to refute the depictions of this movie, ask them “who’s lying”? The men on the ground, or Obama, Hillary, and those who orchestrated this failed gun-running mission.

Rovin on January 18, 2016 at 9:03 AM

The American military never shows up in the film, and they never showed up in Benghazi either — a point made repeatedly in the film

Didn’t 2 Delta troops go with the relief force from Tripoli?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/01/two-us-commandos-involved-in-benghazi-rescue-to-be-privately-honored-for.html

warren on January 18, 2016 at 9:04 AM

Another movie problem for Hillary.

Karma.

fogw on January 18, 2016 at 9:05 AM

Hey trolls, time to throw in straw men and hijack the thread.

Maybe one of them can come up with a new argument?

Nah……

itsspideyman on January 18, 2016 at 9:11 AM

The real problem for Hornaday is that 13 Hours doesn’t fit her Benghazi narrative…

How quaint. She complains about the film being political – as she makes a political argument against it because it doesn’t fit what she wants or believes is the proper narrative around Benghazi. And if did fit her preferred narrative around Benghazi, she would be touting that to on high as she calls for the Special Committee to be summarily shutdown.

The hypocrisy within the whinge is unmistakable. The irony is – based on her pathetic whinge, it’s very likely even more people will go to see it and wonder just how political it is versus how close to the truth it might be…. all the way to the craven way Obama, Hillary, and the rest of his team handled this about 7 weeks before a Presidential election.

Athos on January 18, 2016 at 9:11 AM

Rather than a red-meat attack on the Obama administration, “13 Hours” engages in a kind of diffuse, all-purpose cynicism about Washington as a familiar metonym for incompetence, corruption and bureaucratic inertia.

And we can’t have that, now can we.

antipc on January 18, 2016 at 9:17 AM

warren on January 18, 2016 at 9:04 AM

Thanks — updated and hat-tipped.

Ed Morrissey on January 18, 2016 at 9:18 AM

The Husband & I went to see it yesterday and it was SOLD OUT. Going on Wednesday.

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 9:20 AM

Paramount Pictures, declined to show the film in advance to journalists and policymakers, eschewing the usual program of “influencers” screenings in Washington

Awww. Did po widdle columnist have her feewings hurt that she wasn’t special enough to get an early free screening?

And she was clueless enough to use that as a criticism of the movie! Mindboggling.

talkingpoints on January 18, 2016 at 9:22 AM

The Husband & I went to see it yesterday and it was SOLD OUT. Going on Wednesday.

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 9:20 AM

Try getting advance tx on line.
I refuse to go to the movies but there is a theatre which has reserve seating so we’re thinking about next weekend.

talkingpoints on January 18, 2016 at 9:24 AM

The hypocrisy within the whinge is unmistakable. The irony is – based on her pathetic whinge, it’s very likely even more people will go to see it and wonder just how political it is versus how close to the truth it might be…. all the way to the craven way Obama, Hillary, and the rest of his team handled this about 7 weeks before a Presidential election.

Athos on January 18, 2016 at 9:11 AM

Funny how they support Hillary, who laughs at a rape victim and covers up her husband’s molestation, then lose their lunch over an opposing view.

Poor child. Go run and find your safe place.

itsspideyman on January 18, 2016 at 9:26 AM

I thought this part of the argument was kinda interesting.
“Of course, that’s what happens when you court a narrow market for your movies: The audiences you neglect don’t come (which probably cost Paramount money, in that viewers of all ideological stripes can enjoy “13 Hours” as a tense, hyper-kinetic action-adventure).”

Unlike children’s movies, chick flicks, Sherwood Films and Tyler Perry enthusiasts, I would have never known that Hollyweird made movies to niche audiences.

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 9:27 AM

talkingpoints on January 18, 2016 at 9:24 AM

If I tell you that we are cheap, you will understand that I’m not paying extra and indeed plan to take full advantage of the old people discount.

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 9:29 AM

I saw it yesterday with my husband. We thought it was extremely well done. You get so drawn in, you feel like you are a part of it. We had no words for a while after it was over. It really leaves you feeling this deep sense of helplessness that they were there alone with no end in sight and most likely not going to make it out alive. I don’t generally see movies like this, because of the violence, but I felt like this was a very important movie to see. Our government failed to help our people. It’s despicable. It does make the Obama administration look incompetent on every level.

Mother of Pearl on January 18, 2016 at 9:30 AM

spirited attempt to make Benghazi “a thing,”

Um, it IS a “thing”. Brave Americans died trying to save others (including an American ambassador who was hung out to dry) and our “responsible leaders” in charge elected to ignore, re-direct, and obfuscate, all for … political advantage@ She and her politically slanted ilk are simply trying to make it another “thing”; a cover-up!

IrishEyes on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM

republican candidates literally trying to market this movie at debates. never seen that before.

and its box office still stinks.

everdiso on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM

!, not @

Typing in half-light!

IrishEyes on January 18, 2016 at 9:34 AM

republican candidates literally trying to market this movie at debates. never seen that before.

and its box office still stinks.

everdiso on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM

Yeah, let’s listen to the wake-and-bake pothead, he knows what he’s talking about.

itsspideyman on January 18, 2016 at 9:35 AM

I think what she means is the she wishes there was nothing political about the Benghazi event. The trouble is, that cat was let out of the bag when the administration sought to lay the blame at the feet of some third rate producer and a C grade video rather than telling the truth.

antipc on January 18, 2016 at 9:36 AM

As Warren notes in the comments, two of the men who came in from Tripoli with the late Glen Doherty were Delta force commandos — but they went on their own, without orders. I had forgotten about that, but the film only makes an oblique reference to their presence.

I’m confused. How does the fact that a film includes characters with dialogue become “an oblique reference to their presence” ?!?

These guys were IN the film. And they have dialogue. I don’t know how true it was, but one of them claimed they had orders to destroys sensitive material at the CIA annex.

In my book that is absolutely NOT some kind of “oblique reference”.

deadrody on January 18, 2016 at 9:37 AM

I keep thinking it would be so helpful if they could just answer one question that no one seems to even consider asking………What was Amb. Stevens doing in Benghazi?

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 9:41 AM

Hey, when is Disney going to release on DVD the movie about Flight 93? Why has that been embargoed?

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 9:43 AM

republican candidates literally trying to market this movie at debates. never seen that before.

and its box office still stinks.

everdiso on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM

And Democrats never tried to market or campaign off of the crappola from Al Gore (An Inconvenient Truth) or Michael Moore? How about the Democrats who celebrated and touted the Bush 43 snuff film? You’re as big a hypocrite as Hornaday, Lester.

As for it’s box office – $16M (4th pl) in 2389 screens. 2nd best open for the weekend. Not too bad compared to, say many leftie’s fanboi, Quentin Tarantino’s latest. On 2385 screens, it only brought it $3.44M, for 10th place.

Athos on January 18, 2016 at 9:46 AM

Hey, when is Disney going to release on DVD the movie about Flight 93? Why has that been embargoed?

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 9:43 AM

How about Disney / ABC releasing this year the ‘The Path to 9/11’ which the Clinton’s ensured was not just embargoed, but flushed down the memory hole after it aired just one time?

Oh, and United 93 was released in 2006 and remains available. The studio was NBC Universal. Was that the one you were thinking of?

Athos on January 18, 2016 at 9:51 AM

Athos on January 18, 2016 at 9:51 AM

I’m sorry, the movie you mentioned is the one I am talking about.

Cindy Munford on January 18, 2016 at 9:54 AM

‘Boy, this film on the Holodomor sure is political and one-sided. It doesn’t even mention Stalin or present his point of view!’

– Ann Duranty Hornaday

Lime in the Coconut on January 18, 2016 at 9:57 AM

But, as Secretary of State John F. Kerry secured the release of American prisoners in Iran just hours after “13 Hours” opened, the movie’s simplistic, shooting-good-talking-bad moral scheme began to ring impressively false.

The whole incident could have been avoided if they were armed with James Taylor music.

RadClown on January 18, 2016 at 9:58 AM

everdiso on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM

Loathsome.

vityas on January 18, 2016 at 9:59 AM

I have worked with Special Operators for many years. If the vast majority of people in this country actually knew what these guys do on a daily basis, they would in awe. These are the guys (most military personnel, as well),running towards danger, not away from it. I will be seeing this movie today.

Static21 on January 18, 2016 at 9:59 AM

As for it’s box office – $16M (4th pl) in 2389 screens. 2nd best open for the weekend. Not too bad compared to, say many leftie’s fanboi, Quentin Tarantino’s latest. On 2385 screens, it only brought it $3.44M, for 10th place.

Athos on January 18, 2016 at 9:46 AM

Boy, if there is ever a hate-filled actor-filmmaker-whatever, he’s the one.

itsspideyman on January 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Here’s the problem as I see it; Like a child that continuously lies to escape consequences, our government can’t be believed on anything. Just recently the EPA was found out to have lied by omission about the life threatening lead danger in Flint, MI for maybe for a year.
As to the attack in Benghazi why haven’t we heard directly from Gen. Ham who controlled the forces in the area? Why was the force dedicated to react to such problems away from the ME on 9/11 training and with the attack on the Egyptian embassy, just before the Benghazi attack, not redeployed? We hear different stories about the availability of Spectre gunships and their location. Now we hear the F-16s or 18s in Italy were not armed, but nothing about the carrier aircraft. If the Obama really believed the Benghazi attack was by demonstrators, a low flyover of fighter aircraft would have scared the heck out of the unprofessional attackers.
It is time somebody went to jail.

amr on January 18, 2016 at 10:01 AM

She wouldn’t mind the political nature if she agreed with the politics of it, making her objection moot.

changer1701 on January 18, 2016 at 10:02 AM

deadrody on January 18, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Fair point; I wasn’t really very clear there. I mean that the status of the two men in the film as active-duty military was made obliquely.

Ed Morrissey on January 18, 2016 at 10:03 AM

Thanks — updated and hat-tipped.

Ed Morrissey on January 18, 2016 at 9:18 AM

Wow first ever hat tip! Thanks

warren on January 18, 2016 at 10:03 AM

republican candidates literally trying to market this movie at debates. never seen that before.

and its box office still stinks.

everdiso on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM

You’re just pissed that The Memory Hole keeps spitting the Benghazi Clusterfoik back out. The fact that no one has been or never will be held responsible for this failed outgrowth of Oboozle/Clinton policy is repugnant, but you’re only interested in seeing it just go away.

Shame is too mild a term for what you should be feeling, but I hold no expectations when it comes to you and your ilk.

hillbillyjim on January 18, 2016 at 10:11 AM

everdiso on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM

I would think you would really enjoy watching a movie where the terrorists win.

tommyboy on January 18, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Saw it yesterday and thought it was incredible but it’s also so frustrating to watch. Obama and Hillary were lying through their teeth about what happened at the same time these guys are still waiting for help to arrive. You CANNOT watch this movie and still believe that help wouldn’t have arrived in time to save at least Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. It made my blood boil.

KateNE on January 18, 2016 at 10:34 AM

Heh. The CIA hates the movie. Liberals hate it. Looks like a box-office hit!!!

n0doz on January 18, 2016 at 10:37 AM

Yes, Ms. Hornaday, I’m sure Michael Bay is all-in with the Republicans, which is why he featured Obama by face and voice in Transformers 2 but portrayed Bush as a nameless caricature behind a pair of red fuzzy socks in the first one.

The Schaef on January 18, 2016 at 10:39 AM

It had a somewhat disappointing opening weekend, coming in 4th (at just under $20M) against admittedly tough competition. I’m not sure if the studio made the wisest decision picking this particular weekend. While it was never going to do as well as Clinton Eastwood’s American Sniper (mostly because Eastwood wasn’t involved and AS opened in December in considerably more theaters, it still probably under-performed relative to expectations. Maybe a weekend in February, after the Super Bowl, would have been smarter considering you’re targeting are more male audience.

Atlantian on January 18, 2016 at 10:51 AM

republican candidates literally trying to market this movie at debates. never seen that before.

lester on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM

Major US TV Network named C-BS commissions and starts showing a free 2-year Hillary campaign ad in 2014, deceptively disguising it as a TV series called “Madam Secretary”. never seen that before.

F-#1.

and its box office still stinks.

So do your Montreal Canadiens.

But hey, if you want “box office stink”, just look at the Mary Mapes-Dan Rather film “Truth”, which is bombing even worse than Bob Redford’s other new bad movie, “A Walk in the Woods”.

F-#2.

Del Dolemonte on January 18, 2016 at 11:07 AM

It had a somewhat disappointing opening weekend, coming in 4th (at just under $20M) against admittedly tough competition.

Atlantian on January 18, 2016 at 10:51 AM

I would say that it honestly also didn’t help that Bay was the director, as he is actually a pretty garbage director. But you’re right, the timing was poor as it was going up against some big time films. But still a pretty good opening weekend, and word of mouth should help this one have legs.

Also side note, 59% positive reviews from critics, 87% positive from users. Go read the “reviews” from the experts and you’ll just feel their liberal brains freaking out over this movie.

nextgen_repub on January 18, 2016 at 11:11 AM

It’s despicable. It does make the Obama administration look incompetent on every level.

Mother of Pearl on January 18, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Obama and his Administration is incompetent and a joke on the Global platform. 12 more months and we can flush the toilet of this nightmare group and start building US back to #1.

Goodie on January 18, 2016 at 11:14 AM

republican candidates literally trying to market this movie at debates. never seen that before.

Hadn’t seen a Democrat President sit idly by while one of his ambassador’s was murdered before, either.

and its box office still stinks.

[everdiso on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM]

That’s not surprising. It’s difficult to get Americans to pay to see a movie where the bad guys win and the good guys die because the government didn’t lift a finger to save them.

How do you think the cheers and the movie’s take will play here when it opens in Tripoli and across the Middle East? We might see those results in later debates, and in some campaign ads, if Her Cankleship is nominated.

Dusty on January 18, 2016 at 11:24 AM

[Dusty on January 18, 2016 at 11:24 AM]

Oops. Sorry. My bad. The Democrat president figuratively sat idly by. He literally went to bed.

Dusty on January 18, 2016 at 11:28 AM

“Political” is only a dirty word when it’s Republicans supposedly exploiting the media.

The alleged misdeeds of Bob the station chief are exaggerated anyway. He is seen leading the station pretty effectively, urgently making calls trying to get support in, and at the end he’s given one of the feel-good takeaway lines of the movie. The criticisms of the CIA culture implied in the movie are, according to a friend of mine in the intelligence community, pretty much accurate. Bob doesn’t get in the way because he’s evil or incompetent, but because they all have been sent there to accomplish a mission that’s unclear, with unclear parameters and no support. Bob also rightly asks “if you get ambushed, who rescues you?”

The real hot potato raised by the movie, in my view, is the scene where the CIA is shown buying weapons from enterprising locals in order to supposedly get them off the streets. Once Americans connect the dots and realize these weapons were then sold into Syria and are likely now in the hands of ISIS… But that will never happen if Democrats succeed in hushing it all up or if Republicans bungle the investigation further.

evergreen on January 18, 2016 at 11:41 AM

Another movie problem for Hillary.

fogw on January 18, 2016 at 9:05 AM

So, when she loses to Sanders, she’ll blame a video?

GWB on January 18, 2016 at 11:41 AM

The fact is, Mrs. Clinton knew on the same night/day that the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was a planned and coordinated terrorist attack; yet she (and others in the Obama administration including the president himself) misled the American people by telling them it was a spontaneous demonstration that got out of hand and which was started because of an Islamophobic video posted on YouTube. They lied, plain and simple. Mrs. Clinton needs to be indicted; she is a criminal.

Aizen on January 18, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Aizen on January 18, 2016 at 11:42 AM

If the media Candy Crowley types hadn’t been carrying their water back in 2012, the whole lot of them wouldn’t even still be there to darken our days.

The state of the media in America is a national disgrace.

hillbillyjim on January 18, 2016 at 11:46 AM

You CANNOT watch this movie and still believe that help wouldn’t have arrived in time to save at least Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. It made my blood boil.

KateNE on January 18, 2016 at 10:34 AM

I can’t say that help would have definitively arrived in time to help those two survive. But it certainly couldn’t have *hurt* them. At a minimum, having a presence in the sky would have definitely ended the ordeal whenever it arrived.

There was obviously a “stand down” order given somewhere in the chain of command, because any soldier, sailor, airmen or marine worth the title who knew this was happening would have been chomping at the bit to launch a rescue attempt – even if didn’t get there in time. We’ve gone to the limits (sometimes beyond) for lesser events.

Maybe this is one I’ll pay to see in a theater.

GWB on January 18, 2016 at 11:55 AM

If the media Candy Crowley types hadn’t been carrying their water back in 2012, the whole lot of them wouldn’t even still be there to darken our days.

The state of the media in America is a national disgrace.

hillbillyjim on January 18, 2016 at 11:46 AM

True. But if we had a Republican nominee that actually knew how to debate and could kick ass when necessary, thinks might have been different.

Aizen on January 18, 2016 at 11:57 AM

Major US TV Network named C-BS commissions and starts showing a free 2-year Hillary campaign ad in 2014, deceptively disguising it as a TV series called “Madam Secretary”. never seen that before.

F-#1.

Del Dolemonte on January 18, 2016 at 11:07 AM

As excellent a point as the point on top of Lester’s Dunce Cap…

Athos on January 18, 2016 at 11:58 AM

“Political” is only a dirty word when it’s Republicans supposedly exploiting the media.

The alleged misdeeds of Bob the station chief are exaggerated anyway. He is seen leading the station pretty effectively, urgently making calls trying to get support in, and at the end he’s given one of the feel-good takeaway lines of the movie. The criticisms of the CIA culture implied in the movie are, according to a friend of mine in the intelligence community, pretty much accurate. Bob doesn’t get in the way because he’s evil or incompetent, but because they all have been sent there to accomplish a mission that’s unclear, with unclear parameters and no support. Bob also rightly asks “if you get ambushed, who rescues you?”

The real hot potato raised by the movie, in my view, is the scene where the CIA is shown buying weapons from enterprising locals in order to supposedly get them off the streets. Once Americans connect the dots and realize these weapons were then sold into Syria and are likely now in the hands of ISIS… But that will never happen if Democrats succeed in hushing it all up or if Republicans bungle the investigation further.

evergreen on January 18, 2016 at 11:41 AM

Makes you wonder what the government agencies reading through Clinton’s emails are NOT planning to release.

AesopFan on January 18, 2016 at 12:27 PM

Concerning box office, I’m hoping the movie will have some “legs” and continue pulling in cash.

Jack_Burton on January 18, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Major US TV Network named C-BS commissions and starts showing a free 2-year Hillary campaign ad in 2014, deceptively disguising it as a TV series called “Madam Secretary”. never seen that before.

F-#1.

Del Dolemonte on January 18, 2016 at 11:07 AM

As excellent a point as the point on top of Lester’s Dunce Cap…

Athos on January 18, 2016 at 11:58 AM

NewsBusters has a story up today about Sunday night’s exciting new episode of “Madame Secretary”, which they describe as:

(known hereafter in this post as Madam Hillary, since it is the election of Hillary Clinton to which this entire show is dedicated)

In last night’s episode, “Hillary’s” Chief of Staff tells the story about how the Cold War ended, but left out one rather large detail, totally ignoring the name of the US President who was Commander in Chief when that Cold War ended.

But hey, that’s what Democrats do best, rewrite history!

Fun fact-in the series, the role of Hillary’s Chief of Staff (in real life, Huma Abedin), is played by…

Dr. Lillith Sternin Crane.

You can’t make this stuff up, kids…

Del Dolemonte on January 18, 2016 at 1:04 PM

What Paramount only pretends not to have known all along is that, of course, “13 Hours” is political, even if it isn’t explicitly partisan.

And then we have Ann’s three star review of a political and partisan film:


“Truth” also does a good job of establishing the stakes of a story that was positioned to impact the presidential election.
Although the story that Bush (and other sons of prominent Texas politicians) received preferential treatment during the Vietnam War had been kicked around for years, Mapes didn’t get her hands on a paper trail — in the form of revealing internal memos from the Guard — until 2004, just as the Swift Boat attacks on Bush rival John Kerry were heating up.

RadClown on January 18, 2016 at 1:08 PM

republican candidates literally trying to market this movie at debates. never seen that before.

and its box office still stinks.

everdiso on January 18, 2016 at 9:31 AM

And Obama making political hay for killing Bin Laden when all he did was authorize the SEALS to execute the mission and sat in his war room watching on video feed. He acted like he planned and led the mission himself. Never heard of that before.

BMF on January 18, 2016 at 3:12 PM

Considering that nearly all the crap that Hollywood puts out is an attack on conservative values, politics, and culture, pardon me if I don’t shed any tears over a single movie that a WaPo columnist finds to be “political”. Cry me a frigging river.

quikstrike98 on January 18, 2016 at 3:15 PM

As for it’s box office – $16M (4th pl) in 2389 screens. 2nd best open for the weekend. Not too bad compared to, say many leftie’s fanboi, Quentin Tarantino’s latest. On 2385 screens, it only brought it $3.44M, for 10th place.

Athos on January 18, 2016 at 9:46 AM

Hateful Eight wasn’t opening this weekend so the comparison is a little disingenuous. To date the hateful 8 has made $65M worldwide which is not great given it’s $40M budget

Tlaloc on January 18, 2016 at 3:37 PM

Questions about why the US was unprepared to assist an American outpost under attack for more than nine hours in the most dangerous setting in the world on the anniversary of 9/11 are left for the viewer to ponder.

These are questions the entire nation has been left to ponder. That is to say, the entire nation excepting the pusillanimous partisan piss-ants who mindlessly defend Obama and Clinton no matter how incompetent and depraved their conduct.

To be perfectly frank, I don’t think we will ever know. The fecal Democrats have shown their willingness to delay and obfuscate any investigation into the facts lest the truth prove politically damaging; the gutless and incompetent Republicans are incapable of getting to the bottom of it.

But not knowing doesn’t change the big picture drawn from what we do know. In service to their delusional Middle East policies and their craven personal political agendas Obama and Clinton left Americans exposed to grossly unreasonable risks in Libya, had no backup plans to protect them if the worst happened, and when the worst did happen they refused to send help of any kind, lied about the cause and significance of the events and then tried to pretend there was nothing they could have done anyway.

That these two cretins weren’t run out of Washington on a rail after Benghazi says much about the political sickness that grips the nation.

novaculus on January 18, 2016 at 4:04 PM

Benghazi: The Cover-Up Timeline

novaculus on January 18, 2016 at 4:45 PM

Presumably to avoid being Zero Dark Thirtied, the parent studio of “13 Hours,” Paramount Pictures, declined to show the film in advance to journalists and policymakers, eschewing the usual program of “influencers” screenings in Washington, which can garner valuable buzz for hot-button films. While they’ve run from the obvious political implications of “13 Hours” in the District, they’ve enthusiastically embraced them elsewhere, scheduling the film’s debut just weeks before the first presidential primaries and showing it to a select group of conservative publishers and commentators.

BULL-FEATHERS!!! Yet another WHOPPER coming out of Washington D.C.!!!

I personally attended an advance screening of 13 Hours on Tuesday January 15 in San Francisco. (See my comment recommending 13 Hours on QOTD on Jan 16.)

The advance screening for 13 hours was just like any other normal advance screening that Paramount would host for any other new movie with film critics invited to sit in the reserved seats while regular folks, like me, can get lucky enough to sit in the remaining seats to fill the theater. In fact the line for the advance screening of 13 Hours was right next to the line for the advance screening of “Ride Along 2” that night.

The location of these advance screenings differ depending on the movie. There is no requirement for any movie to hold an advance screening in Washington D.C.

Not holding a screening in Washington D.C. is not evidence of a secret plot to avoid being “Zero Dark Thirtied.”

It is hard to believe that Paramount would host a screening of 13 Hours in San Francisco as part of a marketing strategy to target conservatives!!!

I assure you the San Francisco audience was overwhelmingly filled with liberals!

If you look at the web site for advance screenings for 13 Hours, you will see that Paramount distributed passes for the screening via 115 Gofobo.com codes, 86 contests, etc. This is more proof that Paramount did not limit the advance screenings to a “select group of conservative publishers and commentators.”

http://www.advancescreenings.com/movie/13_hours_the_secret_soldiers_of_benghazi

Me thinks Ann Hornaday is just jealous that she didn’t get invited to see an advance screening of this excellent “hot-button film.”

wren on January 18, 2016 at 5:08 PM

wren on January 18, 2016 at 5:08 PM

Oops! Calendar Confusion. Sorry!

The advance screening of 13 Hours that I attended was on Tuesday January 12th and my QOTD comment recommending 13 Hours was the next day on January 13th.

wren on January 18, 2016 at 5:29 PM

http://shadowwarriorsproject.org/who-we-are.html

This project was started by Mark Geist who was injured at Benghazi.

Mother of Pearl on January 18, 2016 at 10:12 PM

As Hillary finishes her speech she hears a rumbling sound through the back of the crowd. It almost sounds like one word in unison but as the crowd chanting it grows but the word is being spoken softly. Then a smile on her face suddenly becomes a look of a white ghost. As the crowd chanting becomes louder from the back of the room…… Benghazi…. Benghazi……. Benghazi…….. Benghazi……….. Benghazi……. Benghazi……… Benghazi…………… Benghazi……….. Benghazi………… Benghazi……….. Benghazi…….. Benghazi……………………..

scruplesrx on January 18, 2016 at 11:09 PM

Questions about why the US was unprepared to assist an American outpost under attack for more than nine hours in the most dangerous setting in the world on the anniversary of 9/11 are left for the viewer to ponder. All these men know is that the US never acted, and that’s not political — that’s a plain fact.

I just left 13 Hours. At the time this happened and shortly after I tried to dig into the information on the internet. It was enlightening but i left sad and then angry. How could this happen. We need to know even more. I remember the reference to the alamo near the end of the movie. Then the compound was hit with artillery that was later mentioned ….. had to be set up in advance. WAS THIS PLANNED WELL IN ADVANCE. And what did our intelligence knew in advance.

scruplesrx on January 18, 2016 at 11:26 PM

Great movie, very intense, full of coarse language so don’t take your mother. It shows the incredible bravery and fantastic fighting skills of our military and former military. We should unleash these guys on the terrorists.

The movie did not contradict anything I had learned and thought about Benghazi. The federal government did not protect and fortify the ambassador or the CIA Annex before the attack. They did not unleash the several available forces in the Mediterranean which could have flown air cover, forces which had “spun themselves up” in preparation for permission to fly, permission which never came. They did not even fly into the airstrip from which the entire force immediately left Benghazi, nor provide cover for the evacuation from that airstrip.

The entire affair should go on everyone’s list of reasons why you know that Democrats and the left are “unfit for command”.

RedBaker on January 19, 2016 at 11:46 AM