'Occupy Unmasked' Q&A a Spirited Debate for Opposing Viewpoints
The much-anticipated screening of the Andrew Breitbart/Citizens United production of Steven K. Bannon’s "Occupy Unmasked" was an object lesson in the difference between the left and the right in ways that went far beyond just what was on the screen. The progressive establishment has become the enemy of free speech in America, and the new conservative movement, as typified by the late Andrew Breitbart, has become its bastion.
So when a noticeably large contingent of leftist media and organizers including Code Pink showed up at the RNC screening of "Occupy Unmasked," they were welcomed rather than turned away. The hope was that the guests would follow Andrew Breitbart’s advice to CPAC occupiers and behave. Fortunately for everyone, the audience was perfectly well-behaved and there were no outbursts or violent attempts to stop the film.
This led to a lively and dynamic question-and-answer session with stars of the film, including Anita Moncrief, Brandon Darby, Mandy Nagy, Lee Stranahan, Bryan Carmody, and producers David Bossie and Steven K. Bannon.
Not surprisingly, the film and its critical depiction of the Occupy movement was received well by the conservatives in attendance and not especially kindly by the defenders of the movement.
The most common criticism was that Occupy Unmasked was “not representive of the movement”, which has been a constant refrain for defenders of the far-left movement since Breitbart News begin seriously investigating it.
Of course, the leftist press in attendance at the screening never criticized the overwhelmingly positive media coverage of the Occupy movement Bannon’s film clearly shows. Nor did the pro-Occupy chorus say a word about mainstream press coverage of the Tea Party as unfair or not representative. Moreover, the left’s narrative of the Occupy movement as some sort of Shangri-La is an even more unfair, unbalanced depiction.
When Rebel Pundit / Jeremy Segal interviewed Code Pink founder Jodie Evans, she presented Occupy as some sort of fairyland where the participants came together in a karmic whirlwind and achieved a mystical higher level of consciousnes.
As the film demonstrates, the problems at Occupy arose out of the movement's ideology, not despite it. Violence and chaos were a completely unsurprising outcome given Occupy’s socialist/anarchist underpinnings.
The back-and-forth between questioners in the audience and the cast and filmmakers was spirited and open -- exactly the sort of thing one would never expect to see at a left-wing event nowadays.
There are plans to screen the film next at the Democratic National Convention. Here’s hoping open, civil dialogue about the two different visions of America represented by the Tea Party and Occupy continues.