One fun feature in my DirecTV service is that the “info” button shows movie ratings from RottenTomatoes.com as well as a brief description of the selected movie. Please don’t hold it against me, but for some reason the other day I decided to watch “X2: X-Men United,” partly because I wanted something that would not require any brain usage to watch, and partly because the aforementioned movie ratings for the film are quite good.
I scanned the movie description quickly before watching the film, thinking little of its statement of the basic plot line.
The story includes a vendetta/obsession by one Colonel William Stryker, apparently a rogue former military officer, who is bent on destruction of all “mutants,” including the movie’s heroes, living on earth.
After watching about one third of the film, I had this nagging feeling that something I had read in the movie description didn’t seem right, but I didn’t remember what it was. So I pushed “Info” again, and re-read the sentence: “Wolverine, Storm and the other mutants must fend for themselves after a right-wing militarist invades their school.”
Nowhere during the movie (made in 2003) did Stryker express a fondness for Republicans, George W. Bush, the John Birch Society, or even the Wall Street Journal.
So exactly where did the person writing the description get the idea that Stryker was “right-wing”? It can only be that in his or her view, someone who dislikes someone who is different from himself, i.e. a “mutant” versus an ordinary human, is the sci-fi equivalent of a racist, and further that racism is, obviously, a “right-wing” trait.
Never mind that the biggest racists in American history, the strongest forces against civil rights legislation, indeed the founders and earliest members of the KKK, were all Democrats. Never mind that some of the most vicious racism in America today is anti-white racism by blacks – whom nobody would call right wing. Never mind that officials the Obama Justice Department refuse to prosecute voting rights infringements if the victims are white. Never mind that in 2008, Barack Obama received the highest share of the white vote of any Democrat in a head-to-head matchup since 1976, or that he received votes from 9 percent of Republicans, a 50% jump from John Kerry’s tally among the GOP in 2004.
It’s not that one sentence in a description of a decade-old movie impacts voters. But the subtle persistent representation by Hollywood of anybody who doesn’t like somebody else (due to fundamental traits of that somebody else) as “right wing” is little different from ABC News’ Brian Ross deep desire to tie the Colorado movie theater murderer to the Tea Party.
Complaining about liberal bias in Hollywood and the media is much like complaining about a puppy peeing on the rug. You know it’s just what they’re going to do. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the occasional swat on the rump to let them know that we noticed, and we’re not happy. Unfortunately, neither Hollywood or ABC News is any more likely to clean up their mess than a puppy is.
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