Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Will 9/11 Films Give Bush a Bounce?
Will the current crop of major studio films reliving the events of 9/11, in combination with the recently publicized suing of Michael Moore serve to give a beleaguered President George W. Bush, and his administration, a much needed bounce in public opinion polls by reminding Americans of the time they rallied around the President? My guess is no. Too much has already been done in response to 9/11 by this administration with which the American public seems to disagree (including the administration's current decision to cut funding for terrorist prevention and seemingly dole out the money to states with close elections rather than states that are legitimate targets -- a move that even has fellow Republicans outraged). Lawsuits aside, Fahrenheit 9/11 remains a powerful argument against the Iraq War. Baghdad E.R. has also now joined the fold, exposing the true horrors of the war to the American public. So, embracing 9/11 films such as United 93 as the President did by hosting a screening of the film at the White House with families of the victims seems to be more politically motivated than genuine. Why hold it now, more than a month after the film opened? Was Bush waiting to see if America approved of the film before having the screening? How will he handle the upcoming film World Trade Center from outspoken, and left-of-center director Oliver Stone? Will there be a White House screen for that film as well? I wonder. The movie industry is now finally addressing the fallout of 9/11 (bravely led by Moore's film a couple of years ago). Had the administration's actions in response to the attack been genuine at the time (such as immediately pouring troops into Afghanistan to catch Bin Laden, rather than sending a token platoon in, months later), perhaps there would be no need for the President to embrace the 9/11 films. But doing so now will not change public opinion.