The Writers Guild of America recently gave its best documentary screenplay award to the anti-law enforcement, anti-Republican and anti-Brandon Darby film “Better This World.”
In a sense, this is no surprise because the film plays right into Hollywood’s liberal excuse-making machinery by turning a domestic terrorist into the protagonist of the story. However, given the movie’s deep problems with veracity, the WGA would have been more correct to give the film an award for best fiction screenplay.
I’ve shown in the past some of the filmmaking trickery that was used in “Better This World,” but instead of compiling a laundry list of the film’s errors, let’s cut to the chase; the entire premise of the film is based on the alibi of an admitted, convicted domestic terrorist named David McKay and to a lesser extent the stories of convicted admitted terrorist Bradley Crowder, an unrepentant radical.
Here is the official film synopsis:
The story of Bradley Crowder and David McKay, who were accused of intending to firebomb the 2008 Republican National Convention, is a dramatic tale of idealism, loyalty, crime and betrayal. Better This World follows the radicalization of these boyhood friends from Midland, Texas, under the tutelage of revolutionary activist Brandon Darby. The results: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high-stakes entrapment defense hinging on the actions of a controversial FBI informant. Better This World goes to the heart of the war on terror and its impact on civil liberties and political dissent in post-9/11 America. A co-production of ITVS in association with American Documentary | POV.
See that bit about Crowder and McKay becoming radicalized under the tutelage of Brandon Darby? That is total fiction; a lie concocted by McKay as part of his defense strategy. When Crowder and McKay were first arrested for making Molotov cocktails and planning to use them at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota they initially took responsibility for what they had done. Then after they discovered that Brandon Darby had been a confidential informant for the FBI, their story suddenly changed.
But don’t take my word for it. The following is from the transcript of David McKay’s guilty plea.
Mr. McKay started off the case confessing to the FBI, implicating his co-defendant Crowder, never claiming to the FBI that Darby had anything to do with it, and on early jail calls with his father admitted he was guilty, there was nothing more to look into, “I’m guilty of possession, I am going to plead guilty.”
Then something changed – McKay discovered that Brandon Darby had been working with the FBI. McKay then starting claiming that the Molotov cocktails were Darby’s idea and that Darby was at the meeting were Crowder and McKay came up with idea. McKay said that Darby and the FBI entrapped him and he testified to that in his first trial.
Even “Better This World” is clear that McKay lied about Darby, but the movie doesn’t make this point until nearly the end of the film. By this time, “World” has created a narrative where McKay is the troubled protagonist and Darby is the sinister Svengali who influenced the childhood friends from Texas.
“World” essentially argues okay, maybe Brandon Darby didn’t actually SUGGEST that they make the bombs that he was an influence, right?
Wrong. Crowder and McKay both went to a meeting about going to the Republican National Convention on their own. Darby had never met them before that meeting. Everyone at that meeting knew exactly what the RNC Welcoming Committee was all about.
The above video was shown at that meeting, something this film “Better This World” never bothers to tell you about. You’ll note the Molotov cocktail – it’s fun! Nor does the film show you this “RNC Welcoming Guide”, which is described as “Everything you need to know to be smart and dangerous during the RNC.”
Darby didn’t influence anyone to commit violence at the RNC – the whole point of the RNC Welcoming Committee was to commit violence.
Nor does the film tell you that Crowder and McKay met the vast majority of times without Darby, and that Crowder was actually the Texas Affinity Group representative to a training event in Minneapolis.
The film also makes absolutely no mention of the wanted posters (literal wanted posters) that were put up around Austin, Texas to intimidate Darby. They don’t talk about the harassment that Darby because McKay lied and claimed that Darby had entrapped him. In fact, most people on the left who know the story still believe that Darby entrapped McKay and they often cite “Better This World” as a reason for their false belief.
I have reached out numerous times to the cowardly filmmakers Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega, but they continue to duck questions about their dastardly movie that has resulted in spreading lies that have resulted in death threats against Darby. They have helped perpetuate an intentionally false narrative because it helps to make law enforcement look bad, even though in this case law enforcement did absolutely nothing wrong.
I have contacted the WGA in the hope the organization will set the record straight on the true story behind the film they choose to honor.