Monday, July 26, 2010

Andrew Breitbart's Next Target? - Oliver Stone

Since Oliver Stone confronted Bill Maher in late June, on Palestinian rights, on Maher's show, I've been waiting to see where the push-back would come from. We need wait no longer. Andrew Breitbart, desperate to regain his creds, appears to be ready to lead the attack.

At about 1:00 a.m. Monday, EDT, Breitbart's site, Big Hollywood, picked up on Alana Goodman's 9:00 p.m. EDT story at the far-right site, Newsbusters, which opens with:

Director Oliver Stone belittled the Holocaust during a shocking interview with the Sunday Times today, claiming that America's focus on the Jewish massacre was a product of the "Jewish domination of the media."

The director also defended Hitler and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and railed against the "powerful lobby" of Jews in America.

The Times only allows subscribers to view their full articles. The article was written by Camilla Long.

What's Breitbart's Big Hollywood site trying to turn this into? And who else is picking up on the story, and where it may lead? The Charlotte Conservative News is running the Alana Goodman piece almost in entirety. It may be time to start a timeline. Breitbart involvement timelines in the O'Keefe and Shirley Sherrod fiction events are fascinating.

I'm ready for Breitbart, smacked down pretty thoroughly last week, to make a move into new territory, away from his anti-Black racism. Stone is verdant territory for Breitbart's methods of taking advantage of cutouts to distance himself - at least in his own mind - from the originators of the stuff he likes to take credit for.

Stone's work has always been all over the map. I've never discovered a unifying element in his takes on history, politics, social mores or film making. There are no lack of documentaries that compare Stalin to Hitler. Stone's 10-part series isn't about that, though, even as his critics suggest otherwise. From all I can tell, Stone's series will be more Howard Zinnish than Kumbaya with Fidel, Hugo and Mahmoud.

Stone's upcoming Showtime documentary is about under-reported events in mid-20th century American history. It has been targeted since January by the far right. Articles from the far right press on Stone's newest TV effort center on terms that point out Stone's interest in Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and so on. The term "belittling the Holocaust" is Goodman's, not Stone's.

Essentially, regarding the "belittling," Stone said in the Camilla Long piece, "Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30 [million killed]."

I'm not sure why this is belittling the Holocaust, as it is true in terms of numbers of people killed, if not addressing those numbers as population percentages. Since shortly after the end of World War II, some portrayals of Eastern European deaths caused by conflict between 1939 and 1945 have been criticized for not being Holocaust-centric enough. American journalist and writer, Alexander Werth, may have been the first to observe this, in updated editions of his masterpiece, Russia at War 1941 to 1945. The official position of the USSR on how to deal with why the Nazis killed whom and when has always been suspect because of Katyn and the Soviet system's own holocaust against so many of their own citizens. The Soviet position that had Hitler been given more time, he would have turned to Slavs and others after he had liquidated all Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and Jehovah's Witnesses has resonance, based on captured Nazi documents from the war.

Stone's statements about Jewish influence in American media are the closest to real trouble I can find in these articles. The influence is pervasive. And it is often wonderful. Jewish voices like Amy Goodman, Phil Weiss and Glenn Greenwald would probably like to affirm Stone's message in his upcoming documentary.

Stone fails to describe what he sees accurately. The Jews he may be referring to probably don't represent where Judaism is going in the 21st century. He should have taken more time to define this influence for what it is, a sub-set of anything that can be identified as "Jewish influence." I'm not about to claim the generals in Myanmar represent Buddhism, anymore than I'm ready to claim militant Zionist expansionism's enablers who are Jewish represent Judaism.

Is there a move afoot to try to get Stone's series cancelled? Some are trying to get Sarah Palin's Alaska reality series cancelled, so?

Is Breitbart man enough to attack Oliver Stone more openly than his hit piece Sunday night might suggest?

We'll see.

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