Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Behind the Smears of HBO’s "Game Change"

Many months ago, HBO announced it was planning to make a movie based on the book, "Game Change" by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. After reading John Nolte’s article, which indicated that the movie would be focused primarily around Governor Palin and it wouldn’t be portraying her in a very positive light, I decided to study up on it. I purchased a copy of the book, read the TWO chapters based on Governor Palin, and took down some notes.

As Nicole recently noted, HBO decided to release a trailer to that movie during this holiday week. The actual movie doesn’t air until March of 2012, or as John Nolte wrote in his follow-up piece on Wednesday:

The one dynamic HBO probably didn’t count on was Palin’s decision not to run for the 2012 nomination. The film’s promotion and the cable news chatter that’s sure to follow seems timed to hit on, before, and around March 6, which is Super Tuesday.

The one line from the notes I took back in March that stood out as I was reviewing them for this piece, was:

Even though this book is supposed to be a story about 2008, it’s really all about 2012.

This movie was orchestrated from start to finish as a way to damage Governor Palin during an election year by people who are not merely "artists & entertainers." Just look at the people involved in the making of the movie. First you have the director, Jay Roach who donated $2,300 to Barack Obama in 2008. Danny Strong, the person who wrote the screenplay, gave Obama $2,500 in 2008. Julianne Moore, the woman who does a poor impression of the governor, only gave $250 to Obama in ’08 but shelled out $2,500 to the DNC in 2010. And then there’s the film’s producer, Tom Hanks, who has one of the most nauseating donation lists I have ever seen, including giving a staggering sum of $345,000 to Obama. It’s safe to say that these people only donate large sums of money to causes they believe in. By looking at their donations, it’s easy to see what it is that they believe in.

Danny "Obama Victory Fund" Strong, based his HBO screenplay on a book that came under significant scrutiny after it was published, even by MSM types. The thing that stood out amongst most of it’s critics was the fact that Heilemann and Halperin didn’t source any of the accusations they made. They claim to have interviewed over 300 people during their research, but not one of those people are named. Heilemann and Halperin do however, name the people who where present during each instance during the ’08 campaign that they claim happened. I found it interesting that within the Palin chapters of the book, Nicolle Wallace, her husband Mark Wallace, Steve Schmidt, and or the mysterious "famous GOP strategist" are always present. It’s no secret that Nicolle Wallace has been trashing and undermining Governor Palin since the 2008 race. Most recently, she was caught in a lie by a former senior adviser to the McCain campaign, Charlie Black. From National Review Online:

Over at the Washington Examiner, Byron York reports that Wallace is claiming, in a new Time interview, that McCain’s team considered bumping Palin from the veep slot. “There certainly were discussions — not for long because of the arc the campaign took — but certainly there were discussions about whether, if McCain were to win, it would be appropriate for her to be sworn in,” Wallace tells the magazine.

[Charlie] Black says that’s nonsense. “Nicolle, like any author, is trying to sell books. This comment to Time, like her book [It’s Classified], is a piece of fiction. There were never any such discussions. At no high level of the campaign was there ever such talk. She’s probably doing this to sell her book.”

“Look, I was with McCain 90 percent of the time. If I wasn’t around, I knew what was happening. And nothing like this happened.” Wallace, he says, “is one of the few dissidents,” one of the “disaffected” staffers who continues to criticize Palin, and “she is inaccurate in doing so.”

Steve Schmidt also has a long history of trashing Governor Palin. In a 2010 post, Dan Riehl pegged the source of Schmidt’s animosity (emphasis):

The only modest bit of news in all this is that the pathetic Steve Schmidt continues to lack the class and intelligence required to simply shut up. Look at the basic facts even Schmidt is forced to confess. He would make it seem as though Palin was the absolutely worst thing about the McCain campaign, then he turns around and admits that, without her, things would have been much worse. That makes no sense.

On top of that, the fools running the campaign, including Schmidt, continued to consider Joe Lieberman for VP up until the very last minute, absolutely without realizing what a disaster that would have been. It took reactions outside the campaign to finally give them a clue how foolish they were in formulating and managing the campaign. Now suddenly, Schmidt is the all wise and wonderful know it all with the reputation, intellect and credibility to dump on Palin yet once, again? That makes no sense, either.

In continuing to not take responsibility for what a colossal failure he, as much, if not more than anyone else, was – all Schmidt has managed to accomplish with all his blathering is to put every potential national Republican candidate on notice that hiring Schmidt for perhaps anything other than coffee and sandwich fetching, would be an unmitigated disaster dooming them and their campaign to eternal hell across the Republican base.

It’s clear that McCain’s campaign failed on many levels. But former staffers who were responsible for that failure used the leftist media to shift blame from themselves on to Governor Palin, and that is reprehensible. Both the left and these former staffers had a motive to run this trash against the governor. They simply made up anything they thought sounded really bad then leaked it to an eager, Obama-rooting media who was more than happy to take their word for it. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Wallaces and Schmidt are consistently present during Heilemann and Halperin’s tales. But what does that say about Heilemann and Halperin as journalists?

Can you really be a "respected journalist" if you never cite your sources? Sources are used so that readers can judge for themselves the credibility of each claim. Without them, "journalists" are doing nothing but repeating rumors, which usually earns one the title, "Gossip Columnist." What about bloggers? Personally, I try not to write on an important topics without listing my sources and posting links to back up claims. It’s one reason that I’ve never wrote a piece about all of the rumors I’ve heard about Mark Halperin sexually harassing and making inappropriate comments to female professional acquaintances. After all, they’re just rumors, right? (note: I have actually heard these rumors before, I didn’t just make them up for effect)

For years now, I’ve held to the notion that Governor Palin’s foes will do whatever it takes to destroy perceptions of her in the eyes of Americans. From ex-staffers with an axe to grind, to smear merchants like Heilemann and Halperin, to the left-wing activists who "produce" all things Hollywood, this book and the movie that followed shows how folks with an agenda can work in concert to achieve their ends. While each player may have a different overall agenda, the goal is the same. In the United States, 28.2 million households subscribe to HBO. That’s a lot of people who, by and large, are not familiar with the antics of the Wallaces, Schmidt, the rumors about Mark Halperin, or how devoted Tom Hanks is to pushing liberalism with campaign contributions and through the use popular culture. A fact not unnoticed by those responsible for this production.




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  • patnatasha

    they fear her pure and simple.

    • ArmoneyWashington

      they have a goo zillion more dollars than she has so the fear factor was only good when she was actually on a ticket

  • DougBrady

    Awesome post, Stacy.  Just awesome.

  • PhilipJames

    Is there a reason why The Undefeated could not be on HBO?

    • patnatasha

      they don’t have the guts to fight the dems that is why they lose and when they do win it is in spite of themselves.

  • Hyman Roth

    What’s with the editors’ note?  I’m all for generally staying on topic, but there’s no need for a wet blanket right now in the guise of "respecting talented writers."

    The republic is on the line.  Can’t we respect talented writers some other time, and do what we need to do freely–on the ONE site on the Internet we can do that?

    • Steve_Flesher

      I think we can do it all and not just one of those things. 

      Whether or not a Palin candidacy is to be or was to be, we have the Gov.’s back and you’d never find another post like this anywhere. 

    • Nichama

      Somebody’s got their panties in a wad — was my reaction as soon as I read it.

      How about respecting our free speech or was this site set up to ‘showcase’ rino’s writing ‘talent’?

      Is it our task to make the "talented" writers look good? or to support Governor Palin in any way that each individual poster thinks will advance that cause?

      The ‘talented’ writers need a good Christmas ego adjustment.

      We’d better watch out or our betters will do whatever betters do to underlings.

    • Guest

      They’re so talented that they have to whine if we say something that gives the impression we don’t appreciate their talent. It’s not about Plain any longer, you see. It’s all about them, the writers.

      • Pete Daniels Band

        Next up:  "Please refrain from turing non-related threads into Editor’s Note discussions…"

    • WalkTogether

      It just makes it faster if you’re reading up on a subject, not to have to filter out unrelated posts.
      They’re asking us to concentrate topics together.

  • section9

    Superb post, Stacy. Well done.

  • VADMCollingwood

    Gee.  I’m trying to remember the thousands upon thousands of people who jammed into civic centers, ball fields, and other venues across the country screaming John John John.   

    Seriously, who cares what a bunch of coked up Hollywood degenerates say or think about anything? 

    Plus, its HBO; no one is watching.   I bet this trash gets more play on websites debunking it than it does when it airs.  

  • Steve_Flesher

    Wow, I am sending this out as a last minute Christmas Card.

  • Guest

    "Conservatives4Palin" is not a ‘Draft Sarah Palin’ site? So, why the name?

    • Quiet_Righty

      Comment removed.

  • aaron66krohn

    I agree with you that we need to stay "on topic" on C4P, except in the "open threads", where pretty much any subject is welcome!!

    As to this movie, I intend to buy the DVD (if and when it’s available) and watch it then.
    Knowing it’s a hit piece won’t faze me.
    Knowing Moore’s portrayal is bad won’t stop me.

    Because KNOWING Sarah Palin as well as I do, and having read Going Rogue THREE times (!!!), I’d also KNOW what are lies and what are distortions!!

    And why, as I’ve suggested before, wouldn’t it be possible for Sarah to go on the same shows Julianne Moore or Woody Harrelson do, and refudiate their bullcrap by simply saying, "You’ve seen the lies of Game Change, now read Going Rogue to find out the TRUTH!!!!!

    One more thing.

    Are there not LEGAL questions that need answering about even SHOWING this movie in the first place??

    IF…..IF Sarah "reconsiders" and runs, and assuming she does so BEFORE the showing of the movie, wouldn’t that make it illegal…..or at least unethical….to be shown, because it would be seen as propaganda against her campaign…….just as showing The Undefeated would be seen as PART OF her campaign??

    If I remember correctly, in 1980, TV stations were NOT allowed to air Reagan’s movies!!!
    It wasn’t because they were BAD movies (LOL), it was because they could be viewed as part of Reagan’s campaign……for or against!!!

    If anyone is a lawyer, or knows the answer to this question, please tell us.

    Bottom line, though, is that because I KNOW the TRUTH, watching the movie will NOT affect my convictions or my beliefs or change my support for Sarah for President!!

    As an avid movie watcher, book reader, and music listener, I try to separate the political or religious or other personal beliefs of the ARTIST….from their works!!!

    Otherwise, if I’m a conservative, or Palin supporter, I’d have to reject about…..what??………70 or 80…..or maybe even 90%….of all the movies, books, or CD’s out there….because I didn’t like the artist’s politics!!!!

    Thus, I WILL buy the DVD of Game Change when and if it’s available, DESPITE what this article says!!!

  • Quiet_Righty

    Game Change screenplay writer Danny Strong was an evil dwarf on Buffy The Vampire Slayer before he became an Obama worshiper. It makes sense, in a way.

  • Vincent Jappi

    What’s the point?

    • SaraPFan

      The book Game Change was about the 2008 elections ranging from alleged Clinton discussions with the late Ted Kennedy about Obama lack of experience, Harry Reid saying Obama’s main appeal was his light skin and Negro dialect, John Edwards and his mistress, Harry Reid’s discussions about Obama not liking his job as a Senator and more. This post indicates that Sarah Palin made up two chapters of the entire book but the movie promo is all-things-Palin. She is how HBO intends to market the movie interestingly around Super Tuesday during the Republican’s primary. This HBO production has been the talk for a long time. It’s odd that a network that is in the movie making business waited so long to market it and plans to release it 3 months from now.

  • mder4thegov

    Hollywood and the corrupt, liberal media claim they want Gov. Palin to "just go away"; however, they make a movie, based on an unsourced, fictional book…about the person they want to disappear.
    They really are a bunch of hypocrites and frauds.

  • JeannieBinVA

    Great piece, Doug, and it also explains why Halperin always struck me as not only arrogant but sleazy as well. Yet another gutless wonder who has somehow convinced himself he is God’s gift to women (obviously a nonpartisan/bipartisan failing). LOL

    • DougBrady

      Heh. Thanks for the vote of confidence, JeannieBinVA, but Stacy wrote this piece.

      • JeannieBinVA

        Stacy, I do apologize. I was just skimming through threads at the end of the day and somehow Doug’s name stuck in my mind.

        To clarify my comment, this is a REALLY GREAT piece! 

        (Doug, thanks for the correction!)

        And Merry Christmas to you both!

  • John_Frank

    Stacy, excellent blog post. Thank you.

  • poljunkie

    Like George W Bush, Sarah Palin will continue to let stupid movies like this one and liberal jokers like Tina Fey roll off her back and ignore their ignorance and hatred. 

    It’s just not worth the Gov’s time or angst.

    • Hyman Roth

      I disagree.  By never responding and ignoring his critics, Bush allowed the left-wing hate mongers to build up so much national disgust against him that it ruined his presidency and tore the Republican party apart.  He (and his supporters) thought that ignoring his critics was "Reaganesque" when it was anything but–Reagan OFTEN responded to critics, but did so by using self-effacing humor.

      Dare I say that OBAMA is more like Reagan in this way than Bush ever was. 

      • section9

        Yes! Thank you for posting that. You get it!

        Advance with a bayonet!

  • cuttingboardblues

    Lets see.  They don’t even bother to cast the winning side.  Of course it’s a hit piece. 

  • Timothy Jacques

    Why is this important?  Because Breitbart is right:  "politics is downstream of culture"

    • generictrainee

      That’s also why people shouldnt overreact on Palin doing "reality shows", popular culture is the main battlefield.

  • PhillyCon

    So-called standards of "journalism" are thrown out the window when it comes to Palin (or people like her).  But, with Obama, expect top notch research, citations, and nothing but facts.  

    Looking the other way with their sloppy reporting is just another "ends justify the means" for liberals. After all, was there any reporting done on the 2,000 page Obamacare bill?  Contrast that to Palin’s death panel comment, and therein lies the truth of our vaunted journalistic complex.

  • carltonwest

    "Respected journalist" is an oxymoron these days. It is all tendentious calumny & cavil. Sarah Palin drove them out of the woods & into the open field.

  • generictrainee

    Someone should ask hannity why he has wallice on some of his shows.

    • Hyman Roth

      Someone should tell Hannity to STOP having Wallace on his shows.  Let MSNBC book that harpy.

      • generictrainee

        I want to hear him explain it..

      • Penny

        Deleted by author – I shouldn’t show that much anger at Christmas time.

        • Hyman Roth

          I actually liked your original reply better.  ;)

        • StandProudNow

           That’s OK. Sometimes when you let it out it stops festering :)  Go beat your wall or something, then have a Merry Christmas!

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