Friday, November 20, 2015

The hoaxing ground.

AND NOW THE PLOT SICKENS. Sunday morning: Yes, I will still watch this film, but as it begins to appear more and more that this is Rolling Stone in spades, I will watch with an intense "where do they get their nerve?" fascination. (Among other things, how do you feel no qualms about going so very public with horrifying claims against men who, in all likelihood, did little if anything wrong?) And now that I know what to look for, I suppose I'll also feel some of the same thrill you feel when you spot one of a classic film's well-documented goofs: like those famous scenes in Spartacus where Roman senators are wearing Rolexes or gladiators gladiate in flip-flops. (Or there's Braveheart's notorious white van.) But Spartacus and Braveheart, of course, redeemed themselves. Not so here. Are propagandists like this unaware of how much they hurt not only this cause, but the cause of feminists and other SJWs working on any variety of social ills? 

This will damage CNN's brand as well. CNN is a news network; viewers assume that what goes on-air has been vetted, or at least subjected to routine journalisic scrutiny. This would especially be the case with a documentary, where there's plenty of time for fact-checking and prudent editing. Does CNN not already have enough of a credibility problem with a large segment of the population? What does it now tell viewing America that the network says, in effect, Yeah, we know the film is a tendentious mess, but it makes a point with which we sympathize, so we're airing it anyway? And remember, CNN has been put on notice: So any defamation becomes a case of willful malice. 

Why is this one film worth all that? 

AND THE PLOT THICKENS, SAT. morning: QB Jameis Winston (see main post) now threatens to sue CNN if the network goes ahead with its broadcast. I hope this prompts a wider examination of so-called advocacy journalism. To me, there are serious questions about whether a primary source of news like CNN should be inviting doubts about its objectivity/integrity by embracing "causes" like this.

UPDATE, 9:50 p.m. Here's an even more pointed indictment of the film, urging CNN to cut its losses and pull the plug. I tend to doubt that will happen. But it's hard to grasp why the network would open itself up to another Rolling Stone-like debunking/humiliation.
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Here's a stunning indictment of The Hunting Ground, an alleged documentary on the campus "rape crisis" that airs on CNN this Sunday. A must-read. 

One is particularly struck by the note at the end, detailing a crew member's admitted practice of editing Wikipedia entries to conform to the movie's arguments and themes; a literal rewrite of history. He even edited Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston's page, removing exculpatory material surrounding rape allegations against Winston from his days at FSU. Three separate investigations exonerated Winston.

The "true believers" have no shame nowadays. Nothing is beneath them. I'm almost surprised the film's insiders didn't erase the Wikipedia entry on the Rolling Stone/UVA scandal, or revise it such that it supports the disgraced reporter's original story.

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