MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Circles Of Lies

Oy… this is what I get for watching The View.
The ladies spent 5 minutes discussing how the Western Wall prayer that was taken out of the wall and published in Israel was, according to the paper that published the presumably private document, Ma’ariv, pre-approved for publication by Obama even before the note was stuck in the wall. The claim from an unnamed Ma’ariv editor was legitimized by publication in The Jerusalem Post as part of a story about a potential legal probe and boycott of Ma’ariv for publishing the note.
The Wall Street Journal pushed the story further by publishing a series of web attacks on Obama without bothering to do what they do best… report news.
“Maariv’s response: “Obama’s note was published in Maariv and other international publications following his authorization to make the content of the note public. Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem. Moreover, since he is not Jewish, there is no violation of privacy as there would be for a Jewish person who places a note in the wall.”
Problem is… the story was a lie.
An editor at Ma’ariv, on the record but once again unnamed by the Associated Press for lame reasons that follow NYT’s lame blind quoting guidelines that follow the line of ligic that created this lie in the first place, acknowledged flatly: “”We did not get permission, formal or informal, to print the note,” said the Maariv editor, who asked to remain anonymous because of the touchy nature of the dispute. “This kind of snowballed and got out of hand.”
Further, the website that the Wall Street Journal features, IsraeliInsider.com, cites The New Republic’s Zvika Krieger, writing in TNR’s “The Plank” Blog and then updates: “I just got off the phone with a Ma’ariv spokesman who says that the accusation is ‘completely false,’ and that he has no idea who these papers were quoting from Ma’ariv. ‘No official spokesman for Ma’ariv told this to any of the papers.'” Krieger added: “He told me definitively that “the Obama campaign did not give us a copy of the letter or approve it for printing.”
Of course, IsraeliInsider’s report about getting caught spreading lies is not contrite. Instead, the headline is – Video source claims prayer note snatched by man in Obama’s “entourage”.
Stick and move. Stick and move.
The note that goes along with the footage from the “videographer,” a guy whose YouTube post claims to be named David Cohen, doesn’t say that Obama’s people took the note, but rather: “Seconds after Obama left the stones, some of his entourage stepped up to the wall (seen dressed in suits) while young men began gathering notes in their hands in what appeared to be the search for Obama’s freshly placed personal note”
And indeed, there is no footage of the two men in suits, who may or may not be part of the Obama team, taking anything out of the wall. In fact, they seem to be taking a moment to do what people do at The Wall, reflect and pray and perhaps add a note of their own. But we do see three young, apparently-orthodox men who seem to have noting to do with Obama start foraging and pillaging people’s private and sacred notes.
So much for that false conspiracy.
And I have to say, I am a bit disgusted with The Huffington Post and others who have NOT covered this controversy, either by aggregating or reporting. If it were true that the Obama campaign gave out the Western Wall note as a press release, it would be news. If they let the idea that it – still not confirmed to be his personal note by anyone – was pulled out of the wall immorally even though they leaked or released it… that would be very bad news indeed. They did neither, from all indications, including official statements by the publisher of the note.
I suspect we will now hear the outrage from the left-leaning media about the lie being spread. Too late.
My point is, if it’s in the Wall Street Journal, it is news of a kind. And it must be addressed, even if it is only to point out skeptically that the pieces don’t seem to fit. (My first reaction to hearing this thing about Obama allegedly approving publication of the note was that if it was approved for an Israeli paper, why just one, and how did all those American news people miss getting approval if Obama was okay with it? It made no sense on its face.)
The responsibility of the newsperson is greater than ever. It’s not business as it once was. Every disagreement need not be assumed to be a personal vendetta. False news needs to be challenged. Fellow MSM news people are just as dubious, at times, as web people… in this case, the WSJ and the Jerusalem Post.
And if you are wondering how this all leads back to movies… well, journalism is journalism. There are variables. But we know a lot in entertainment journalism about people taking information out of crevices where they don’t belong and publishing it and then claiming it was the fault of the person whose private information it was. And the better the story, the more people want to believe it, even when it turns out to be a lie.
By the time the lie hits The View, it’s going mainstream and you may never get the truth to overcome it out into the public. Paul is dead, Pop Rocks killed Mikey, Nikki Finke is interested in the truth… you know, the big ones.
And even as I rage about all this, I smirk on the inside, because there is nothing I enjoy more than watching people who really, really want to be right making up their minds about something based on a poorly reported rumor only to have the truth shoved back in their face.
If the allegation that Obama orchestrated the publication of his note in the Western Wall shows something about his character, what does the fact that he did not and was maliciously attacked for it by the right wing media in the last 48 hours mean about the character of his attackers and the lengths to which they will go to discredit him?
Oh… it was just a mistake? Oh… this stuff happens? Oh… sorry… but what was he doing in Israel anyway and where is his poll bounce?
The best goes on…

Leave a Reply

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas