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Bin Laden Movie Generates Controversy
By Kathryn Sommers and Tom Snyder
Critics and reporters have been questioning Sony Picture Entertainment’s new movie about the hunt for Usama bin Laden, the architect behind the 9/11 attacks on the United States who was killed on May 2011 by a secret team of Navy Seals.
They question the unprecedented access that the Obama administration seems to have given the filmmakers, including Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow, about the details behind the raid. An August 2011 letter to the CIA and the Department of Defense from Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security asked for an investigation into whether the White House had given Bigelow’s team access to classified material that could be used by America’s enemies.
In the wake of that letter, the watchdog group Judicial Watch recently obtained emails and meeting transcripts about the access the filmmakers received from the government. According to the documents, the filmmakers were able to talk with a Navy SEAL about the raid and toured a CIA facility where planning for such operations occurs.
Judicial Watch Director Tom Fitton expressed concern that the movie’s producers received “atypical access” to covert information about the famous raid in order to render the movie. Many have accused the Obama administration of leaking private information to the media in order to promote the view of a strong, leading president.
Some consider the movie to be a promotion of President Obama’s re-election, but one insider denied that charge, saying, “There is no political agenda, or partisanship.” Also, Sony Pictures re-released a statement saying that the movie has been “in the works for many years” and includes the efforts of the Clinton and Bush administrations.
Nonetheless, the movie’s release date was pushed back to December 2012 instead of November because of the political accusations.
The movie’s actors remain silent on any questions about the movie, telling the press they are “contractually signed to be quiet.”
Moviegoers may not attend or like the movie if it relies too much on revisionist history or left-leaning political propaganda. Movies of this type are shown to receive less money at the box office (see MOVIEGUIDE®’s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry). On the other hand, the Annual Report also shows moviegoers prefer movies with Pro-American and patriotic themes. So, if the filmmakers focus on the hard work and patriotism of the people who hunted Bin Laden and finally brought him down, the new movie may become financially successful.
Of course, whether the movie will give away any secrets useful to America’s enemies remains to be seen. If it does, all predictions on its possible success will have to be reconsidered.
– Sources: Washington Free Beacon, 06/21/12, and Los Angeles Times, 05/23/12.