SELMA ON OUR MINDS: Confusions and cons!

THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2015

Interlude—In the realm of professors and journalists:
Early today, we were roused from sleep by a gaggle of sobbing analysts.

“Who the [#$%^] is Cara Buckley?” the youngsters sobbingly said.

Effortlessly, we familiarized ourselves with the problem. In this morning’s New York Times, Buckley writes a long, wondrously muddled piece concerning the current flap about the new feature film, Selma.

Buckley’s piece runs the gamut of contemporary pseudo-liberal conceptual chaos. In the course of her 1400 words, she quotes three professors, a husband/screenwriter and a director who positions himself as an “artist.”

She brought the analysts to tears—and we think they were sobbing for good cause. Her piece starts off like this:
BUCKLEY (1/22/15): The issue of historical accuracy continues to dog ''Selma,'' though it's hard to gauge how much the brouhaha contributed to the film's inability to land best director and actor Oscar nods.

Blame for those shutouts has also been laid at the feet of Paramount, for opening the film late and not blanketing Hollywood with screeners, and also on the Academy for being, at least as is widely beheld, a tone-deaf boys' club: old, out of touch and white.

In all likelihood, ''Selma'' didn't garner those crucial two nominations (despite earning a best picture slot) for all of these reasons, and a few more.
Is Selma “historically accurate?” The current flap about the film started with that question, which is perfectly sensible.

Last week, the flap leeched over to the claim that the film didn’t garner those two nominations at least in part for racial reasons—because the Academy is “a tone-deaf boys' club: old, out of touch and white.”

In all likelihood, that claim is true, Buckley says. But wouldn't you know it! She never says why we should think that!

In all her 1400 words, Buckley never explains why she voices that judgment. She never says why she thinks Academy voters passed over actor David Oyelowo on some sort of racial basis.

She never mentions all the other black actors and actresses who have received Oscar nods in the past fifteen years. She never asks the obvious question:

Is it possible that Oscar voters simply didn’t think Oyelowo’s performance was one of the year's five best?

That’s a perfectly sensible question. But Buckley forgot to ask!

Propaganda looks like this; so does pseudo-journalism. But this isn’t why the analysts sobbed this day. Their heartbreak came as Buckley tried or pretended to discuss the question with which she began her piece, the question of “historical accuracy.”

As shown on our in-house videotape, the sobbing began when the analysts read Buckley’s next paragraph. By now, she quoting her first professor. No wonder the analysts cried!
BUCKLEY (continuing directly): ''Every year, I know someone is going to call me about distortion of history when we hit the Oscars,'' said Jeanine Basinger, the former chairwoman of film studies at Wesleyan University. ''It makes you crazy when you confront, year after year, the fact that no one understands either the movies or history. We're trying to hold movies to a truth we can't hold history to. History is always someone's opinion.''
“History is always someone's opinion?” No wonder the analysts cried!

Don’t get us wrong! All sorts of historical judgments fall into the realm of what we might call “opinion.”

Documentary films involve endless matters of judgment. So does every history text and every historical drama.

That said, is “history” always “someone’s opinion?” Truthfully, no—it is not. There are all sorts of historical facts which simply don’t fall in the realm of opinion, at least until we let the professors present their familiar cant.

Poor Professor Basinger! In her aerie, she’s driven crazy, year after year, when we, the annoying lesser beings, don’t understand the world as brilliantly as she does!

We don’t understand the movies and we don’t understand history! We try to “hold movies to a truth” that history itself can’t be held to!

We don’t understand that “history is always someone’s opinion,” whatever that muddled claim means.

Things were already going badly. At this point, Buckley told us what the cineastes say—and a Hollywood figure by way of Norway lectured us about “art:”
BUCKLEY (continuing directly): Filmmakers and cineastes have talked themselves blue about the need for creative license when casting a version of the truth onto the big screen. Cinematic historical fiction should not, this argument goes, be taken as faithful history lessons. Time must be compressed, characters created and lost, drama injected, events synthesized. Cries of inaccuracy, said Morten Tyldum, the director of ''The Imitation Game”—which is itself a target of a few such cries—are akin to ''fact-checking art.''
Doggone it! The cineastes have tried to help us understand the need for “creative license.”

According to the cineastes, “historical fiction” (we’ll ponder that term in Part 4) should not be taken as faithful history! To create the “art” of giants like Tyldum, drama must be crammed into the finished product.

It’s true—the type of film called “historical fiction” will normally run on drama or pseudo-drama. With that in mind, how much drama did Tyldum inject into his current product—the product which is currently paying his mortgage in Beverly Hills?

A bit later on in her silly piece, Buckley deigns to inform us:
BUCKLEY: Charges of historical inaccuracy were also aimed at ''The Imitation Game,'' whose subject, Alan Turing, was evidently not fully closeted and was easily approachable, unlike the character portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. He also didn't single-handedly crack a Nazi code or work alongside a Soviet spy.
Say what? By our reckoning, Buckley seems to be listing quite a few “historical inaccuracies.”

But so what? Six paragraphs earlier, we seemed to be told, by the professor, that these are all matters of someone’s opinion! Four paragraphs earlier, we were told, by the cineastes, that this type of license is actually needed in some unexplained sense.

According to Buckley, we’ve been told, by Tyldum himself, that complaints about such inaccuracies “are akin to ‘fact-checking art.’” Throughout her piece, Buckley rolls her eyes at the way we rubes maintain such low-brow concerns.

In Buckley’s presentation, Tyldum seems to think that “art” is above such petty concerns. That’s why we always warn you to check your wallets when people like Tyldum tell you that they are producing “art.”

Can we talk? People like Tyldum don’t actually need to produce those inaccuracies. They aren’t required to compress time, create fictional characters or “inject drama” into their films.

They do so because they want to make money, or because they want to propagandize you, or because they aren’t “artistically” skillful enough to produce a winning script without a bunch of inventions. Then, they send their tribunes out to hand you all sorts of low-IQ malarkey about the way “history is always someone's opinion” and about the way we rubes don’t understand squat or squadoosh about their magnificent “art.”

Buckley is a flyweight. Rather, her piece is the work of a flyweight—or of a skillful camp follower.

Buckley repeats the standard cant which tends to come from our pseudo-liberal professors and “artists.” These are the types of people our modern camp-followers tend to follow. Our modern camp-followers defer to their logic, no matter how strained or murky it is.

Professor Basinger makes inane remarks all through Buckley’s piece. Then, as we near the end of our piece, we meet another professor.

In Buckley’s telling, Professor Christenson tells us that “several of the film's opponents were people with close connections to the Johnson administration.” Their criticisms of the film are “a question of reputation rather than accuracy,'' the mind-reading professor is quoted saying.

That's an ad hominem remark—and Buckley skips a second fact. Major figures with close connections to Dr. King have also rejected the accuracy of the film’s portrait of Johnson!

Buckley was picking and choosing her facts, the better to help us see the world through the lens of the professors. As Buckley reaches the end of her piece, Professor Christenson muses deeply—and we seem to be told, once again, that there’s no such thing as accuracy or fact:
BUCKLEY: But again, any misstep is in the eye of the beholder. Mr. Christensen said that in his viewing of ''Selma,'' Johnson comes across not as a malicious obstructionist but as a man in a tight spot. He said that some of the film's critics may be missing out on a larger truth: ''Selma'' is not education, it's mobilization—it's a movie that wants to move you,'' Mr. Christensen said. ''Its aim is not accuracy, but to be tragically and poignantly clever.''

''That movie is Ferguson,'' he later added, arguing that the film serves as a reminder that Texas and other states have instituted voter identification requirements to exercise the right to cast a ballot. ''Nothing has changed,'' he said. ''That's why Johnson in some sense can't be the hero of the movie. He can't be the white savior, because nothing was saved.”
Any misstep is in the eye of the beholder? There they went again!

Selma doesn’t want to be accurate, this professor finally explains. That comes at the end of the piece which had the analysts sobbing.

Objectively, Buckley’s piece makes little clear sense. Its author wanders the countryside, presenting a range of murky claims, some of which seem to contradict the murky claims which have come before it.

Buckley’s essay does make sense as a script. In this familiar script, we’re told that millionaires in the Hollywood Hills get to change basic facts in the pursuit of “art.” When we saw the great Tyldum making that claim, we thought of the one time when Maureen Dowd actually got something right:
DOWD (1/18/15): The “Hey, it’s just a movie” excuse doesn’t wash. Filmmakers love to talk about their artistic license to distort the truth, even as they bank on the authenticity of their films to boost them at awards season.
Exactly! Tyldum makes big Hollywood money by telling us rubes that we’ll be seeing a real historical story. But oh-oh! He has changed all those basic facts around, in service to his “art!”

It drives Professor Basinger crazy when rubes complain about such cons! For ourselves, we feel bad for parents who pay giant tuition to have their teen-age children instructed by flyweights of this type.

We liberals! We take our cues from a range of lightweights in the worlds of journalism, academics and (Hollywood) “art.” By the way, why does Buckley swallow this endless supply of misdirection and cant? This is the she was described when she moved to the culture beat at the Times, away from the metro desk:
BLOOMGARDEN-SMOKE (6/27/14): Before moving over to the culture section, Ms. Buckley spent seven years as on the metro desk.

“Her editor there, Wendell Jamieson, described her as able to cover both dramas and tragedies: a house blowing up on the Upper East Side, the view of the Rabbi about to bury the children of Newtown; and the quiet battles in many homes in December—shall we use colored or white Christmas lights?” Ms. Mattoon wrote.
According to her editor, Buckley is “able to cover both dramas and tragedies!” But then, as we have always told you, our “news” is increasingly a collection of carefully-crafted novels. In the minds of people like these, it’s story-line all the way down.

Might we tell the truth just this once? We’re silly and pompous and nobody likes us! Progressive interests got a bad break when their well-being was placed in the hands of ultimate rubes such as us.

Still coming: More from our concept-challenged journalists and our somewhat dishonest professors

90 comments:

  1. Whatever the academic term for "flimflamming" is is what "History is someone's opinion" is. Low-IQ progressives are satisfied with an assertion like that but no one else is or should be.

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    1. "... History is someone's opinion .... Low IQ progressives are satisfied with an assertion like that...."

      Not to mention virtually all Republicans and Libertarians.

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    2. Not to mention "science is a conspiracy"

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  2. "That movie is Ferguson."

    Good God. That is embarrassing to read. It has to take an extra-low IQ not to be embarrassed to write it.

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    1. You even say, "Good God"? How about "Gack," or "Can we talk"? Have you ever had an independent thought in your life?

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    2. God bless! We have needed someone to stand up to the cineastes invoking the excuse of “creative license.”

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  3. "Poor Professor Basinger!"

    Neither Muddle Musher Cara Buckely nor Scourge of the young And Feckless Bob Somerby bother to note that professor is a scant year shy of octogenarian status. I wouldn't want to waste the money I stashed for my teenager on someone of her vintage.

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    1. Dismissing an entire group of people based on an assumed capacity for valuable contribution. Typical progressive.

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    2. Indeed @ 2:47, indeed. Somerby is king of the pseudo-libs when it comes to dismissing the contribution of any journalist under 30 based on age. When he disagrees with them.

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    3. It is reasonable to assume a person under 30 may be inexperienced. It is not reasonable to assume that someone who is 80 is automatically senile.

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    4. It was reasonable to assume you should not trust anyone over thirty.

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    5. It's reasonable to conclude that permitting those only under 30 to create political policy would result in disaster, compared with only permitting those over 30 to do so. Development of a prefrontal cortex in early adulthood causes youngsters to conceive of all kinds of utopias and abstractions they don't know what to do with and they mistakenly also assume they are possible simply because they are conceivable. Living and the additional knowledge and information it brings tempers that excitable tendency which does not take into consideration that prescriptions for humanity involve humans and humans have never evidenced any long-term ability to behave in certain ways that benefit most, unless there are certain cultural conditions, the mention of most of which deeply offends progressives, many of whom never developed beyond post-adolescence and became the sorts of journalists or academics exposed regularly at this blog.

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    6. Much, much shorter 5:51 pm - I'm off my meds again.

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    7. How does prefrontal cortex development impact run-on sentences?

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    8. Easy to mock what you don't understand.

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    9. There are incomplete sentences as well.

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    10. Easy to mock the incomprehensible.

      FTFY - you're welcome.

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    11. Retired English teacher here. I see no run-ons or incomplete sentences. Nor did I find it hard to comprehend. I might have divided it into paragraphs

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    12. Get real, teach.

      Living and the additional knowledge and information it brings tempers that excitable tendency which does not take into consideration that prescriptions for humanity involve humans. Humans have never evidenced any long-term ability to behave in certain ways that benefit most, unless there are certain cultural conditions, the mention of most of which deeply offends progressives. Many orogressives never developed beyond post-adolescence and became the sorts of journalists or academics exposed regularly at this blog.

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    13. A complex sentence is not a run on sentence.

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    14. Retired teach forget to end his/her last sentence with a period.

      Can't make this sh*t up.

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  4. I blame postmodernism. It seems to have given license to ignore that there does exist a reality, even if any attempt to know or depict it must be inherently subjective. But people are supposed to be analyzing and interpreting the distortions introduced by subjectivity and motive, not asserting that they don't matter.

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    1. "I blame postmodernism."

      You left out Cultural Marxism.

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    2. How does that apply to the current situation?

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    3. Anonymous at 7:14 pm: it doesn't, that's why 2:46 pm never bothers to connect the dots.

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    4. I was referring to Marxism. I understand the other comment fine.

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    5. 7:41: because you're 2:46? then connect the dots.

      Sheesh!

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    6. Postmodernsim. Gimme a break.

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  5. It frustrates me that people keep saying critics want LBJ to be made the hero of the movie, a white savior. I heard them as saying they wanted LBJ to simply be represented as supportive of MLK's efforts and in favor of civil rights, not against it.

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    1. "In fact, Selma was LBJ's idea....Johnson was enthusiastic about voting rights and the president urged King to find a place like Selma and lead a major demonstration....The movie should be ruled out this Christmas and during the ensuing awards season."

      Some old white guy named Califano on the op-ed pages of the Washington Post 12/26/14

      It should be noted this Califano guy is married to the daughter of CBS founder William S. Paley.

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    2. This doesn't suggest that LBJ was the hero of the film or that he did anything to make the civil rights activities conducted by MLK successful. Making a suggestion that MLK and he coordinate their efforts doesn't mean LBJ was responsible for the whole civil rights movement. It is safe to give LBJ credit for his phone call. As I said, it doesn't make him a hero or the savior of anything. It means he was on the right side and an ally, which he was.

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    3. Actually Joseph Califano's op-ed piece, doesn't suggest anything, it demonstrates in fact, three things which refute your comment or amplify what Buckley was writing about.

      1) LBJ a hero:

      Joseph Califano, said if fact, LBJ was to the Selma march, what Al Gore's critics allege he said he was to the Internet: the inventor, the creator, the guy who thought of it.

      2) History is Someone's Opinion

      Califano is as guilty of distorting what Johnson urged King to do in the famous phone call as the Selma filmakers were in what Johnson urged King to do in their meeting.

      3) Tone Deaf Old White Boy's Club Campaign against "Selma"

      The eighty something Califano, associate of the LBJ crony who headed the Motion Picture Association of America for decades amd spouse of an entertainment giant didn't just demand fair portrayal of Johnson, he called for movie goers to skip "Selma" and the Oscar voters to snub it.

      Which brings us to a point about the sanctimonious Mr. Somerby.

      How many posts has Somerby devoted to this topic? How many times has he suggested journalists leave something out in their discussions? How many times have you heard him mention the role and efforts of Joseph Califano?

      Many, many, and zero.

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    4. Califano is not the only person crying foul. Why focus on him to the exclusion of the others?

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    5. Oh I dunno? Because Califano was at least among the very first if not the very first that got the whole "poor LBJ" ball rolling? Because his op-ed appeared on the hated Washington Post op-ed page, one of two newspapers Somerby reads and one of two he counts as the sum total of all newspapers in the United States? Because Califano didn't merely point out the inaccuracies but called for a boycott of the movie (some "discourse" there)? Because in accusing the film of wild inaccuracies, he committed a few himself?

      Should have been easy pickings even for Somerby. Could have been a halfway decent "both sides are wrong" post.

      Nope. Faced with another allegation of racism, Somerby once again dismisses it out of hand.

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    6. Both sides are not wrong.

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    7. Both sides do it.

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  6. "Can we talk? People like Tyldum don’t actually need to produce those inaccuracies. ,,,,They do so because they want to make money, Then, they send their tribunes out to hand you all sorts of low-IQ malarkey about the way “history is always someone's opinion”......"

    Bob Somerby, stickler for accuracy, describing how a forty something Norwegian filmmaker or someoine like him sends out 79 year old tribunes to keep you rubes in the dark.

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    1. If what you get from this column is the idea that Somerby's view is of a conspiratorial "someone" -- you are indeed in the dark.

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    2. What if they didn't get that from this column?

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    3. 2nd Anonymous: read comp fail. "Then they send their tribunes out ...."

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  7. "In all likelihood, ''Selma'' didn't garner those crucial two nominations (despite earning a best picture slot) for all of these reasons, and a few more."

    Cara the Flyweight

    Somerby, of course, catigates the author of the above words for not elaborating on the issue or race as it may have impacted Oscar nominations for "Selma." She does not elaborate on anything other than the issue of historical accuracy because that is what her article is about. She doesn't discuss Paramount's poor marketing campaign. Bob find no reason to castigate her there. She doesn't even delineate, much elaborate, what reasons might comprise "a few more," but Somerby lets that pass to a remarkable extent.

    One of those reasons could be that the performance of the director and lead actor were not that good. Somerby does castigate her for not mentioning that as a possibility, but it certainly falls within the category of "a few more." So does the possibility that neither actor nor director have much personal connection to the voting members of the acting and directing guilds.

    The fact is the author wanted to concentrate on the role historical accuracy and criticism about accuracy may have played. That was the topic she chose. Bob. like his commentariat here, chose to criticize her for focusing on what she wanted to write about rather than what he wanted her to write about. Suffice it to say if she had focused only on historical accuracy issues and not mentioned race, a Somerby-like critic could have written a similar piece to this Howler whine.

    Want a discussion of "a few more" reasons for the snubbing and a better view of the race issue? Try this:

    http://insidemovies.ew.com/2015/01/21/selma-ava-duvernay-oscar-snub/

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    1. Somerby complains because if you are going to accuse the Academy of "being, at least as is widely beheld, a tone-deaf boys' club: old, out of touch and white." you need to supply some evidence or support for that statement. She made the statement. She needs to back it up, because without backup, it is a serious slur against an important group of people.

      You cannot make a slur like that and then brush off complaints by saying, well, that wasn't the point of her article. If you aren't going to take the time to back up such a remark, don't make it.

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    2. "the author wanted to concentrate on the role historical accuracy and criticism about accuracy may have played"

      And failed quite miserably at that, but produced at the same time a propagandistic brief on behalf of "the artist" -- one which certainly earned the takedown it got.

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    3. Her failure or success on that score is, of course, 2nd A, a quite subjective opinion. Just like Bob naming "Blue Crush" one of the ten best films of all time.

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    4. Anonymous @ 7:26 said what Buckely wrote about the Academy was "a serious slur against an important group of people."

      Here is what she said, edited to remove blame aimed at Paramount:

      "Blame for those shutouts has also been laid at the feet of ....the Academy for being, at least as is widely beheld, a tone-deaf boys' club: old, out of touch and white."

      I highlighted one phrase for a reason. Does Buckley need to prove that the academy is white, old, and out of touch?Or does she need to prove that blame has been cast in that direction because a widely held belief that it is a bunch of tone deaf gringo geezers?

      I would suggest Somerby's entire series proves that, rightly or wrongly, the latter is true.

      As for proving the demographic bent of the Academy, which I contend she had no intent or need to do, should could have easily turned what Anonymous @ 7:26 calls a slur twice into an easily demonstrable and damning fact, something she and Somerby both could have, but have not,
      elected to do.

      In the only major study I have seen, the Los Angleses Times found three years ago:

      "academy voters are markedly less diverse than the moviegoing public, and even more monolithic than many in the film industry may suspect. Oscar voters are nearly 94% Caucasian and 77% male, The Times found. Blacks are about 2% of the academy, and Latinos are less than 2%.

      Oscar voters have a median age of 62, the study showed. People younger than 50 constitute just 14% of the membership."

      http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/academy/la-et-unmasking-oscar-academy-project-20120219-story.html#page=1

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    5. By listing those demographics she is accusing the Academy of racism. She needs to substantiate that because that is a slur. She implies this is racism because there is no other reason why being old, male or white would lead to exclusion of black people from nominations.

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    6. Or, by listing those demographics, she's stating a fact - what the frigging demographic/gender/racial composition of the Academy voters is. Does your head hurt when you move real quick?

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    7. Being white doesn't make someone automatically racist. It takes more than demographics to establish racism.

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    8. Hey Anonies 9:12-10:26, "she" didn't list those demographics.

      "She" said the perception of those kind of demographics led to them being blamed. "She" said those perceived demographics led to the Academy's image as a tone deaf boys club. "She" didn't say it was racist.

      "She" got criticized by Bob Somerby for not listing those demographics. I listed those demographics in a comment after saying "she" didn't need to because it was not the subject of her article. And I "listed" them after "lifting" them from a 2012 Los Angeles Times article I found through reading the Entertainment Weekly article I earlier linked.

      Before you two keep tiptoeing down this path I suggest you both read those articles.

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    9. She was criticized for not backing up her accusation of racism. This was never about demographics.

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    10. Except she made no accusation of racism.

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    11. She made an implicit accusation. That statement about the academy being all old, white men, a boys club. That is an implicit accusation of racism made against the academy. She didn't back it up.

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    12. When you state blame for declining Howler readership was placed on Somerby being repetitious and for allowing what others think are stupid comments it doesn't mean you are accusing Somerby of liking fools, explicitly or implicitly.

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    13. What do people have against Blue Crush?

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  8. "Who the [#$%^] is Cara Buckley?"

    Bob didn't mention she is over thirty. Or that she is Irish.

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  9. A bit off topic, but there is a striking contrast between Hollywood's claim of courage and their actual fecklessness. Here they are, in 2015, making a movie extolling MLK and other civil rights workers and criticizing racists who fought against black equality. But, where are the movies about Muslims who slit people's throats or who slaughter Jews in a deli shop? Not to mention the horrendous treatment of women. Hopefully Islamic extremism will be defeated. If so, maybe in another 50 years Hollywood will create a movie about it.

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    1. Go have another drink, slimebag.

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    2. Better yet, go see the Battle of Algiers, which was made back in the 60's, nearly 50 years ago, and explains a lot about why people engage in terrorism.

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    3. It's permitted to lie about LBJ because he's white. It's not permitted to tell the truth about Islam because it's largely brown.

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    4. Or "Christians" killing abortion providers.

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    5. Not everyone thinks the movie lied about LBJ and King, or that it presented an overall negative view of Johnson's role. There are other points of view. This article takes a different one and backs it up with historical references -- something Somerby and his unbelievably sycophant defenders here fail to do.

      "Why Selma’s Critics Are Wrong About Civil Rights History"

      http://inthesetimes.com/article/17512/selma_criticism

      It's interesting and disappointing how knee-jerk and predictable Somerby's reactions to any controversy over race have become.

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    6. Oh urban! If we disagree with you it's only because we're sycophantic, the favors of Somerby being so dear to us.

      You want it to be -- you insist it is -- a controversy over race. But it's not. That's your frame.

      Here we have a pathetic heap of writing with embarrassing, contradictory claims, dissected. If you have a defense of it, make it.

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    7. Yes. It isn't about race. Why, next week Bob will no doubt weigh in on all the media buzz about the inaccuracies in American Sniper.

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    8. Good comment above urban legend. And an excellent link.

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    9. 7:41 pm - Lionel, is that you?

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    10. I guess you would have to understand how much liberals hated Hoover to appreciate why it is so offensive to attribute that wiretap authorization to LBJ.

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    11. You are right 2:29. Better to understand the wiretap was ordered by RFK when he was Attorney General and just acknowledged by Johnson and his staff but not ended.

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    12. You don't know anything about Hoover do you, if you think that could have been stopped.

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    13. He invented the vacuum cleaner, right?

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    14. Yeah, or they could make a movie about Richard Nixon's back ally deals to kill the Paris Peace talks in 68, and then send 20,000 more Americans to die in Vietnam. He set the moral template The Republican Party stills lives by, and is therefore very relevant in understanding people like you David.

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  10. Good Howler today.

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    1. I am embarrassed to tell my friends about the Howler because of the comments.

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    2. I hope your friends forgive you.

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    3. No one blames a blogger for the comments.

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    4. Especially for yours and 2:54's.

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  11. Why throw an ally under the bus? I'm interested in motive. Is the distortion an intended backlash against white centered Hollywood civil rights movies of the past? Whatever happened to the reality based community?

    Anyone who's seen the movie, what type of audience reaction or emotion response were the filmmakers trying to achieve by misrepresenting Johnson's role in the story? What is the excuse?

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    1. Have you actually seen the movie? If so, explain what exactly happens that constitutes throwing an ally under the bus. I'm betting, however, that as of this comment you had not actually seen the movie, and were taking Somerby's descriptions as gospel.

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    2. Forget the content of the movie.

      Explain how either King or Johnson were allies of the filmmaker? Explain how a portrayal of events half a century ago involving two men dead for about that length of time constitutes throwing anyone anywhere.

      This particular theme or phrase has been mentioned a few times in this series by persons, or perhaps the same person, writing as Anonymous.

      What a maroon.

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    3. This film is part of ongoing racial activism and animosity. Pretending it is just a film is disingenuous. It lies about Johnson's support for civil rights in order to diminish his role in social change. The director herself said that was her intent. Johnson was an ally and his actions were inaccurately depicted, thus he was thrown under the bus. The net effect will discourage present day allies from becoming more involved, especially from sticking their necks out, because it suggests their efforts will not be welcome. This isn't rocket science.

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    4. Your comment seems to be part of the ongoing description Somerby likes to use for the liberal tribe you both belong to.

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    5. Selma is more than fair to LBJ.

      http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson

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    6. "This isn't rocket science."
      Absolutely correct. It's Bu**sh*t, especially the "net effect" part.

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    7. Red cabbage was never anyone's favorite.

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