This is worth highlighting, if not for the story itself, then for an exposure of the nonsense behind the October-surprise conspiracy theory of the election of 1980.  The same “expert” who floated that theory now says that actor/director Ben Affleck is actually a secret agent in the pay of the CIA … or the Mossad … or the Bush family … or possibly the Coen brothers.  All right, I made that last part up, but I’m not far off:

Writing for Iranian state news agency PressTV on Wednesday, Kevin Barrett presented a dubious case to support that claim. Citing a “leading [expert] on ultra-secretive covert operations,” but offering no hard evidence, Barrett ripped the film and wondered if Affleck should be “brought to justice” for his role in producing it.

“If the makers of Argo are deposed under oath, they may be forced to reveal that their film — like the fictitious film-within-the-film — is a covert operation disguised as a movie,” he wrote.

If Affleck is deposed under oath, he might have to admit that Daredevil was a really bad idea, too.

Barrett’s expert is Barbara Honegger, a former Bush and Reagan staffer with a reputation for promoting conspiracies based on scant evidence. In her bookOctober Surprise, she claims that officials close to Reagan colluded with Iran to prolong the infamous hostage crisis until after the 1980 election, in a deliberate attempt to weaken incumbent Jimmy Carter.

In an interview on Barrett’s radio show, Honegger said the point of Argo was to stoke Americans’ fear of Iran, and, by swaying public opinion, lay the groundwork for a military campaign there.

Yes … because holding 52 Americans who had diplomatic immunity as hostages for 444 days has nothing to do with our “fear of Iran,” and we never would have remembered the criminal nature of the mullahcracy without Affleck’s intervention.  Plus, Affleck slighted the Canadians, Brits, and New Zealanders that Iran loves — oh, wait, scratch that part.  Plus, Argo shows Hollywood people helping the CIA! What more evidence could there possibly be for a CIA conspiracy — right, Barbara?

“In my opinion, Affleck is a propaganda arm of the Central Intelligence Agency, and worse, probably,” she said.

That purported “worse,” she said, could be the “Bush crime family” or perhaps the Israeli Mossad. However, she did not offer anything other than speculation to bolster that speculation.

Meh.  Could be worse.  He could be working for Harvey Weinstein.  I kid, I kid. Honegger also pointed to Affleck’s involvement in the film Pearl Harbor, arguing that he wanted to prepare America to fight a war in the Middle East, a film which has … no connections to the Middle East at all.  But Donald Rumsfeld liked it, which is apparently super-secret code for an American tora tora tora, or something.

I do see a pattern here, though:

  • The Town — a covert CIA operation to undermine confidence in Boston-area banks
  • Daredevil — the Bush family plot to paint the disabled as superhuman, and thus to reduce disability programs
  • Boiler Room — a Wall Street conspiracy to smear small competitors, and stole Alec Baldwin’s “third place is you’re fired” schtick as a favor to Kim Basinger
  • Dazed and Confused imposed a subliminal message to bring back corporal punishment, disco, and bell-bottom jeans
  • Gigli — Er … um … hey, there’s just no explanation for this one.

Now that we’ve confirmed that Honegger is a nut, maybe we can assign the 1980 conspiracy theory to the ashcan — where it always belonged.