The timing couldn't be more perfect because tomorrow Big Hollywood will run Edward Azlant's Sucker Punch Squad review of Kevin Spacey's "Casino Jack," which hits theatres December 12th.
Two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey stars as disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in "Casino Jack
," a new film directed by George Hickenlooper (who tragically just passed away
at the very young age of 47 -- RIP), and spoke with our friends at CNS News
about the issue of lobbying. While I appreciate Spacey's apolitical approach, there's no tone of voice reasonable-sounding enough to sell anyone on this truly horrible idea:
“I think if network television started to agree to run legitimate ads that you knew were true, if you’re going to say something about a rival, it can’t just be dirt. I think if they started to run these ads for free and were a part of being a public service, well then maybe some of this corruption, some of this insistence on raising ridiculous amounts of money, primarily for television ads would go away and maybe we would start electing people on ideas instead of on how much money they had in their coffers.”
Good grief, can you imagine allowing television networks -- or anyone -- to be the ultimate deciders regarding which political ads are and are not legitimate? First off, it's not hard to look a little into the future and see the corruption reversing itself where you now have politicians lobbying big business to get their ads approved. Secondly, the idea of left-wing television networks, networks like NBC that already offer up untold millions in in-kind contributions with liberal programming and "Green Weeks," enjoying the imperial power to give Democrats huge cash advantages through the legitimizing of leftist ads, running them for free, and delegitimizing Republican ads, is a nightmare scenario of Orwellian proportions.
As always, the answer is not to give staggering amounts of power to a very few, the answer is transparency. If Bill Gates gives Mitt Romney or Barack Obama 20 billion dollars for 2012, so be it -- as long as we know about it. Besides tax-exempt 501 (c)(3)'s like George Soros' Media Matters, the most disturbing political cash being thrown around these days doesn't come from big money donors and lobbyists -- because we know who they are -- it comes from the likes of the two million-plus individual donations Obama refused to disclose
in 2008. Who are these people? Why would Obama use a loophole to keep from disclosing them?
The other problem with Spacey's approach is that it carries the same subtext as Jon Stewart's crusade against cable news; this idea that the American people are dumb and need insect overlords to help them make decisions. But I have news for our Celebrity Nannies: the great unwashed are just as capable of seeing through the cable news noise as Jon Stewart and ultimately they are the very best arbiters to judge which campaign ads are legitimate and which are not.