Move over, Lonelygirl ...

A mostly political Weblog.
Sept. 16 2006 6:41 PM

Trapped in the Rubble

Plus--Move over, Lonelygirl

YouTube: Andrew Sullivan has decided to give out a Nancy Grace Award. Criteria (suggested by Sullivan's readers) include "a nauseating level of absolutistself-righteousness," an "unflappable self-assurance that [the nominee's] outrage represents the true moral high ground on any issue" despite a propensity to "flip flop"--and a habit of "excessive personal attacks." [Emphasis added]... You mean like righteously bullying anyone who fails to support a war in Iraq, then turning around and righteously attacking the people who are prosecuting it? ... Can you think of any nominees? I'm stumped. ... 12:34 A.M. link

'Hey, Let's Lose the Election!' Part II: Ramesh Ponnuru has second thoughts about his New York Times op-ed  calling for the GOP to "win by losing" the House. ... Do fatal doubts expressed in a corner of The Corner shape opinion more than an op-ed in the Times? I don't think we're there yet! ... I also attempt [here]  to mock Jonah Goldberg's point that even though a Democratic House might pass a sweeping semi-amnesty immigration bill, "that would hand conservative Republicans a dream issue for 2008." ('Waterloo went badly for Napoleon--but hey, it gave him a great issue!' etc.) ... Move over Lonelygirl: Many viewers suspect that the video cited above is simply the unedited one-camera confessional of a neoliberal fogey whose library has just been carted off by his creditors. But it really is what it seems: the project of a trio of high-powered would-be Hollywood filmmakers represented by CAA. The man calling himself "Mickey" is actually a well-known Slovenian actor. ... 3:27 P.M. link

Bluff Called:

The American people are not on the side of the House Republicans who favor toughened enforcement and nothing more. On the contrary, a national consensus has formed around what the president calls "comprehensive" immigration reform--that is, impenetrable border security plus earned citizenship and a temporary worker program. But there's a wrinkle in the Senate. Democrats are certain to filibuster legislation consisting solely of enforcement. So it can't pass.

-- Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard, May 29

The House on Thursday easily passed a bill calling for construction of lengthy sections of double-layered fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico, sending the legislation to a Senate that appeared inclined to approve that and other security measures.

-- Los Angeles Times, Sept. 15

[Emphasis added] 5:07 A.M. link

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Trapped in the Rubble: I finally saw World Trade Center last night. It wasn't as bad as I expected. A bit worse.

As expected, the filmmakers turn out to have bought the wrong rights--rights to the stories of the two uniformed cops who endured being trapped in the rubble for many hours. It turns out that brave, good men being trapped in rubble for hours doesn't make for great cinema. The real heroic drama was their rescue, including the actions of three private citizens who travelled to the pile of rubble on their own: Dave Karnes and Jason Thomas, former Marines, and Chuck Sereika, a lapsed paramedic just out of rehab. Karnes comes off fine, though the full story of what he did that day--including barreling down from Connecticut in his Porsche convertible at 120 mph--could have carried a whole movie. You can't help but feel his role was diminished because the uniformed officers resented him. Thomas is miscast as white, when in fact he's black--the filmmakers could have eliminated an entire crudely implanted final-reel scene of interracial bonding if they'd gotten it straight.

And Sereika's feats, as Rebecca Liss** notes, are vastly understated in the film, even though the truth would have been much more moving (Fallen Man Redeemed). Sereika, too, made the mistake of not being a cop or fireman. But he might be the first person portrayed as a hero by Hollywood who nevertheless has grounds for a defamation suit--because in fact he was much more heroic than WTC would lead you to believe. ...

What I hadn't expected was the way this suppressing of all the freelance non-uniformed bravery would wind up trivializing 9/11, turning it into a standard police hostage drama. Wives of cops injured in traffic accidents wait in agony and cry when their husbands survive too--but the attack on the WTC was something more, and one of the ways it was something more was the way it sucked in and tested large numbers of ordinary citizens.

Liss' fact-checking was more moving than the film it fact-checked. I can't believe the right blogosphere wound up hyping WTC's hackwork. ... 3:47 A.M. link

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