Categorized | Opinion

How Can HBO’s ‘Game Change’ Be ‘Fact-Based’ When It’s Based on Gossip and Lies?

I realize that a bit of ‘Game Change‘ fatigue may be setting in on C4P. But for those interested, Big Hollywood published a piece that I wrote for them today, about the book that the movie is based on:

A lot has been written lately regarding the upcoming HBO movie, “Game Change.” based on a book written in 2009 with the same name. Feeling the heat, HBO released a statement last week:

“HBO’s ‘Game Change’ is a balanced portrayal of the McCain/Palin campaign. ‘Game Change,’ the book, was applauded by audiences and pundits on both ends of the political spectrum when it was released in 2009. The events depicted in ‘Game Change’ have been thoroughly sourced by not only Heilemann and Halperin’s best-selling book, but also through our own research, including extensive first-person interviews with those involved with the campaign. HBO has a long track record of producing fact-based dramas, and our mantra has always been ‘get the story right.’ We stand by our movie and we hope that people will withhold any judgment until they have viewed the film.”

HBO claims that “Game Change, the book, was applauded by audiences and pundits on both ends of the political spectrum.” Really? If this is true, just like the writers of the book, HBO doesn’t name any of their sources to back it up. There are plenty of people on the record however, who did not applaud John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s work.

Howard Kurtz wrote that the authors not identifying their sources was a “recurring weakness” in the book, and later added: The most cooperative sources may have gotten to spin the narrative their way, and no one – such as Steve Schmidt, the former McCain aide who has publicly criticized Palin – was pressed to be on the record.”

Don Campbell from USA Today called it: “A gossipy, behind-the-scenes presidential campaign book once again illustrates how the public is poorly served by some in the political press corps.”

Doug Sosnik, a Democratic consultant said: ”It’s disgusting.”

Michael Smerconish wrote: “It reads like fiction. Indeed, many of those above claim that it is.”

I wouldn’t classify that as being “applauded.” And no, HBO, Heilemann and Halperin did not “thoroughly” source their research. To this date, only one person they used as a source for the Palin chapters has come forward to admit to talking with them. That was Steve Schmidt, who just did so last weekend.

There were people who were close to Palin during the 2008 campaign who took issue with Heilemann and Halperin’s work, however. During a conference call with reporters, Jason Recher, who worked for Governor Palin during the 2008 campaign, said that the book did not reflect reality. From the Associated Press: “Palin wasn’t the primary focus of the book, and he said he told screenwriter and co-executive producer Danny Strong that the book “absolutely, unequivocally” did not accurately reflect his time with the McCain campaign.

During the same conference call, Randy Scheunemann, who also worked as an adviser to Palin during the presidential campaign said: “If the book was very misleading, the movie’s going to be far worse.” Other current and former aides to Palin who attended the conference call, criticized Heilemann and Halperin “for writing about Palin when they weren’t physically there covering the things that were reported in the book.”

You can read the entire piece here.

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  • lorenzini

    Nice statement HBO…..I printed it out and used it for……..let your minds wander!!!!!

    • pipam12

       bird cage

      • lorenzini

        Uuummm…yeah….wish I had birds….sooooo….

  • palin45potus

    Fact:  There was a 2008 Presidential Campaign.

    Fact:  Sarah Palin electrified the country and terrified the Dems.

    Fact:  The left despises Sarah Palin, and has no problem telling lies.

    There ya go.  It IS fact based.

    • Garym

      Nicely played.

    • IsraeliCojones

       Not only the Left.

    • Caribou "PAYCUT" Barbie™


      She terrified the Dems. So much so, she lost.


  • Healthy Mom

    Hey Guys, I posted on Greta’s live blog.  Perhaps all of us should and maybe she will do as I asked which is: Could you please ask Sen. McCain to denounce the HBO movie Game Change tonight. Here’s the link:

  • Whitney Pitcher

    Thanks, Stacy. I like how you used the Dems/MSM to discredit the film. It gives your argument additional "omph". If even liberal sources  are bashing it, it must be pretty bad.

    • StacyDrake

      It’s the old Ian Lazaran rule. ‘Even a Democratic strategist’…

  • Kalena

    When do libs ever want to confuse any issue or situation with the facts?   

  • John_Frank

    I realize that a bit of ‘Game Change‘ fatigue may be setting in on C4P.

    No Stacy.

    Excellent article.

    We need to keep pounding on Schmidt, Wallace, Moore, the movie and its director/producers, HBO and Time Warner until people understand "no more."

    • carmtom13

      I agree with you john we need to keep this going. We have to send a message to them that they are not going to get away with selling fiction as fact. Keep the pressure up.

    • blackbird

       I completely agree John. I thought the same thing when I read that also.

    • StacyDrake

       Right on! I see you guys in for the long-haul with me then :)

      Let’s roll!

  • Lipstick

    I guess HBO likes standing by a big pile of crap. That has got to be hard on the nose.

    • nkthgreek

      And there is a similarity between a pile of crap and quicksand.

  • Nancy6

    I loved seeing your article at Big Hollywood!
    Great job, Stacy!

    • StacyDrake

       Thank you, Nancy.

  • JLAdevelop

    Great article. We can not be complacent in the face of Hollywood’s attack on Gov. Palin with their attempt to lock in a perception that she is incapable of being a future President. I believe it is important for C4P to rally to Sarah’s defense and not let this assault go unanswered. Thank you Stacy. 

  • MarkRNY

    I’ve written about this jokingly, but do you realize that this is turning into a PR coup for The Cuda?

    It also helps define the enemy (and they ARE the enemy).

    The Left are and have always been brilliant at acquiring and/or seizing Power but they’re almost mentally deficient at using it without eventually resorting to intimidation, force and terror (see the Bolsheviks, etc). Their ideology and their lives make it impossible for them to ever win over The People for any length of time, especially here. They only know each other and live in an echo chamber. They don’t know The People apart from what they hear about them from each other and what college professors (their bishops) tell them about us.

    They own everything–the networks, schools, colleges, newspapers, Internet, pop culture–everything, and they still get slaughtered in elections when they’re exposed (see 10). This is blasphemy to them and their worldview/religion. It’s like knocking out a pilar of their faith.

    Game Change is an example of just how mythically inept they are. What they thought of as a stroke of genius to stop who they assumed would be the frontrunner (see Byron York’s article) has turned into a debacle. Had Sarah been running, this movie would have boosted her numbers by at least 5 points. As it is, it weakens them and strengthens her.

    They’ll always make these blunders which is why they NEED absolute power–and they’re after it! Only "Republican elites" like  Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, etc are actually dumb enough to fall for what they spew, so they need FORCE. They need Mobs, they need the courts, until they have their "Green Shirts", "Green Guard", etc prowling our streets. 

    Obama’s already a colassal failure for the Left. They expected to be able to keep him at 70% approval with all the "aparatus" at their disposal–and they should have been able to!–but he’ll be lucky (very lucky) if he’s re-elected. They misread The People as always. This is a Leftist’s ubernightmare.

    Sarah’s O’s and Their natural counterpoint. She’s got virtually every power broker, news outlet and "cultural" monopoly (Big Culture) against her and she continues to scare them off their shrink’s couches and up their Prozac doses. They’re out to destroy Sarah Palin and Sarah Palin’s America. They thought they had!–but then she stepped out on the podium in 08–Live and in color, You Betchaing the hell out of them!

    I’M a Sarah Palin American! Make a reservation for me in your Gulag…you mouth breathing, killer cretins.

    • indemind

      Mark… Excellent Post… *_*


      • MarkRNY

        Thanks Inde.

    • Richard Dunnell

      Is it possible to bring this to court and have them release all E-Mails and other documentation pertaining to the publication of this defamatory trash? 

      • MarkRNY

        Could be! I’m no lawyer. I don’t know why there isn’t a massive class action
        suit against the entire MSM for their obvious and relentless bias.

        They’ve already lost on this one though. Everyone knows it’s garbage and that
        HBO’s running with garbage. Sarah wins.

  • Ting

    Perfect!!!! I loved the quotes you found.  I bet they never thought their words would be used to defend Gov. Palin.

  • independents4palin

    I am not suprised by this movie at all. I knew that Hollywood would go after Gov Palin, so I am not suprised, I wouldn’t be suprised if Julianne Moore won a Emmy or something, for going after Sarah Palin. When other people play you in movies, either good or bad, you know you have become a Icon and thats what Sarah Palin is, and the left can’t stand it. Alot of us would love to see a real movie about how Sarah Palin grew up in Alaska, how she became who she is, now that would be a good movie to watch. I am not suprised by all this, the haters have been going after her since 2008, and they will continue too. She has loyal supporters like myself and others on this website and many more in this country and around the world. She is a strong woman, and from what I read on this board, many others on here are also,we will support her and her ideas.

  • HuntingMoose



    I don’t have a subscription with HBO so I cannot call them and denounce my membership and stop their service.


  • nkthgreek

    You almost feel sorry for people with no conscience. They have nothing with which to contrast evil.

    • alien4palin

      The reason they have no conscience is because they represent evil.

  • Jean_A

    We need to be calling and emailing all in talk radio to get them to promote "The Undefeated" on the Reelz channel and stop promoting the piece of trash that Moore is in.

  • alien4palin

    Great Post, Steve!!! Thanks!!!
    This evil piece of "Hatchet Job" and those who are complicit to it needs to be exposed for what it is.

  • Escaped_Teleprompter

    Game Change deserves to be attacked and discredited totally, but there is a risk of piquing the curiosity of those who have not been following politics closely.  But this curiosity can be channeled to The Undefeated, a superior alternate showing the same weekend on ReelZChannel.  The Undefeated  should be mentioned at every instance that Game Change is mentioned, because there are still too few people who have heard of The Undefeated.  Everyone should be introduced to Gov. Palin, the conservative visionary, the bold, relentless reformer, and the champion of the people against big government socialism.  

  • indemind

    Nice Read Stacy,  … Thanks


  • barracuda43

    Why even write or talk about this liberal fantasy land movie and book.The story seems like to me to be dying out completely and then Republican side and conservative sites bring it right back up.Let it die!

  • ZH100

    “Main Stream Media Fails to Discredit Gov. Sarah Palin yet again!” | Jedediah Bila Reports  

    Jedediah Bila joins The Victory Sessions to discuss the main stream media’s failed attempt to once again discredit Governor Sarah Palin.                  

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