Both right and leftwing media outlets have been running wild with the idea that Sony's October 12, 2012 release date of Kathryn Bigelow's new film "Kill Bin Laden" is somehow meant to influence the next presidential election. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd mentioned it, after the L.A Times's media blog first suggested a potential political connection, in which the film could help give the Obama administration a boost in November 2012 by showing its involvement in assassinating Osama Bin Laden.
I'm all for exploring the connections between film and politics, but I've found this all pretty silly, especially since my contention is that the film will be conservative and reactionary (as I've argued before, about "The Hurt Locker").
And to suggest that the film would actually sway voters is ludicrous. Everyone thought that about "Fahrenheit 9/11"--a persuasive agit-pop piece of argumentative filmmaking, and Bush still won. "Kill Bin Laden" promises to be a thrilling tale of macho military exploits. Come on, what plays into Republican fantasies of American might more than that?
Bigelow has offered her own statement -- see below -- which essentially bares this out.
Republicans are jumping on the rightwing media bandwagon, however. Peter T. King, the New York Republican who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is asking the inspectors general of the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency to investigate the administration’s cooperation with Bigelow's film, according to the New York Times.
Citing Dowd's column, which stated “the moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history,” Mr. King told the inspectors general he was concerned about “ongoing leaks of classified information regarding sensitive military operations.”
King also asked for an investigation and classified briefing on any discussions between Mr. Obama or other White House officials with the military and C.I.A. about assisting the filmmakers. He asked whether the filmmakers’ reported attendance at a C.I.A. ceremony honoring the Seals in the raid had compromised special operations officers’ identities or methods.
I'll agree here with White House spokesman, Jay Carney, who called King’s suggestion that security was being compromised for political reasons “ridiculous.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, here is the statement made by Bigelow and writer Mark Boal: “Our upcoming film project about the decade long pursuit of Bin Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation. This was an American triumph, both heroic, and non-partisan and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise.”