Media Bias 101: 'The Kennedys' vs. 'Game Change'

Media Bias 101: 'The Kennedys' vs. 'Game Change'

When Joel Surnow announced he would be producing a miniseries based on the Kennedy family, the media world went ballistic.

Surnow, who is of course well known as the man behind “24” and a conservative, became the target of the media left. They accused him of slanting the historical record to harm the Kennedys – a laughable charge, considering that nobody had yet seen the miniseries.

Robert Greenwald, a left wing documentarian and founder of the political video assassination squad Brave New Films, immediately created a website, “The script for the upcoming ‘The Kennedys’ miniseries on The History Channel is right-wing character assassination, not ‘history.’ Until The History Channel stops running politically motivated fiction as historical ‘fact,’ I will refuse to watch their programming,” a form petition on the site reads.

Greenwald wasn’t alone. David Talbot, author of the Kennedy-lauding book “Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years,” criticized the film as “soap opera as character assassination and an egregious distortion of the historical record.” Once again, this was without actually seeing the miniseries, which had yet to be cast.

Theodor Sorenson, Kennedy’s hagiographer, predictably attacked the miniseries as “mean spirited and vindictive,” especially complaining about the supposed depiction of Kennedy as a womanizer (a laughable criticism considering this). All of this criticism was based on the fact that Surnow was a Republican. The scriptwriter, by the way, was liberal Democrat Steve Kronish. The History Channel dumped the series, and it ended up on ReelzChannel.

Fast forward one year. Today, HBO is getting all set to drop a bombshell on the Sarah Palin camp. This bombshell is called “Game Change,” and it’s based on the heavily biased and terribly sourced book of the same name, which many saw as Sen. John McCain strategists’ attempt to sandbag Palin for McCain’s loss. The film is written by Danny Strong, the same fellow who produced the liberal hit piece “Recount.” Strong maxed out his contributions to Barack Obama in 2008. The director, Jay Roach, is similarly liberal – and he also worked on “Recount” (as well as the masterpiece “Meet the Fockers”).

The trailer is wholly fictionalized from the look of it – it has Palin (Julianne Moore) whining, “We have to win this thing. I so don’t want to go back to Alaska.” That’s absurd. Palin still lives in Alaska. Painting her as a manipulative witch desperate to avoid the snowy wilds is simply Hollywood liberalism at its finest.

Yet the media is completely silent about the distortion of the historical record here. Where is The New York Times, digging up old friends of Palin’s to ask them about the accuracy of the film? Where is Greenwald now? The same media that decried largely accurate portrayals of the Kennedys is now ignoring an incredibly inaccurate portrayal of Palin.