Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

26 February, 2007

Getting your story straight before you talk to the press

By a lovely little bit of synchronicity, the NYT today published a piece about a film produced by one of Horowitz's Liberty Film Festival alums. Unsurprisingly, the film is raising hackles on college campuses. You may remember Horowitz's effusive praise for the film "Obsession":
Successful films launched at the Liberty Film Festival include "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," which had its World Premiere at the 2005 Liberty Film Festival and went on to be aired five times on Fox News the weekend before the 2006 election.

And in case you forgot the raison d'être of the Liberty Film Festival, it's
... Hollywood's first pro-American, pro-Israel, conservative film festival and cultural organization [whose] purpose is to create the kind of film product of which Americans who love freedom and love their country can be proud.

In light of the gushing accolades from someone who can only be described as a right-wing nutjob, I found this little tidbit (from the NYT piece) to be interesting:
["Obsession" producer Raphael] Shore describes his film as nonpartisan and balanced, and many viewers agree with him.

Nonpartisan and balanced, you say? Your reputation precedes you!

And what would Mr. "I ♥ Academic Freedom" Horowitz have to say about this?
The documentary has become the latest flashpoint in the bitter campus debate over the Middle East, not just because of its clips from Arab television rarely shown in the West, including scenes of suicide bombers being recruited and inducted, but also because of its pro-Israel distribution network.

When a Middle East discussion group organized a showing at New York University recently, it found that the distributors of “Obsession” were requiring those in attendance to register at IsraelActivism.com, and that digital pictures of the events be sent to Hasbara Fellowships, a group set up to counter anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses.

“If people have to give their names over to Hasbara Fellowships at the door, that doesn’t have the effect of stimulating open dialogue,” said Jordan J. Dunn, president of the Middle East Dialogue Group of New York University, which mixes Jews and Muslims. “Rather, it intimidates people and stifles dissent.”

So there you have it: a nonpartisan, pro-American, balanced, pro-Israel conservative film on "radical Islam" that is trying to reach a broader audience by forcing potential viewers to register at a pro-Israel website and have their pictures sent to an organization who monitors "anti-Israel sentiments" on campus.

Now answer me this question: if it weren't for the wingnut welfare, would we have to pay attention to Horowitz and his film protégés?

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