'Comey Rule' exposes entertainment reporting's blinding partisanship

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  texan1211  •  2 weeks ago  •  34 comments

By:    Christian Toto, opinion contributor 38 mins ago (MSN)

'Comey Rule' exposes entertainment reporting's blinding partisanship
It's as if Showtime revisited Geraldo Rivera cracking Al Capone's vault and pretended it held all the surprises we expected instead of … bupkis.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



'Comey Rule' exposes entertainment reporting's blinding partisanship

If you only read the news surrounding "The Comey Rule" - Showtime's two-night series based on fired FBI director James Comey's memoir, "A Higher Loyalty" - you'd think it accurately shows how Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

© Getty Images 'Comey Rule' exposes entertainment reporting's blinding partisanship

And you'd be wrong, of course.

We've known since the Mueller Report dropped last year that the narrative surrounding President Trump and Russia wasn't what we were told. It wasn't for lack of trying or a dearth of investigative cash.

That hotly anticipated report dealt the collusion narrative an uppercut. The last few months supplied the knockout punch. Consider what we've just recently learned:

  • FBI agents snatched up liability insurance during the Russia investigation, knowing how rickety the framework was at the time.
  • The Steele Dossier, a key source driving the investigation, disintegrated upon inspection. The latest sign? We just learned that a suspected Russian operative served as a primary sub-source for the report.
  • The New York Times, of all outlets, confirmed there were no Trump-Russia ties revealed by the president's taxes.

You'd think some of this information would have made it into the entertainment stories covering "The Comey Rule," starring actor Jeff Daniels as Comey. After all, those three items alone broke in the last week or so.

And you'd be wrong, of course.

The Los Angeles Times waxed philosophical about actor Brendan Gleeson's turn as President Trump in the production, while playing cutesy with writer/director Billy Ray. NBC News ran an op-ed dragging Comey for a variety of reasons - and then letting the Russian collusion hoax off the hook.

Nothing even remotely tough about the exchanges. No awareness that the story in play distorts reality. No hard but fair questions posed to Daniels or his colleagues about the film's thesis.

It wasn't just the news stories tied to "The Comey Rule" that ignored the Dumbo in the room. TV critics weighed in on the Showtime miniseries by rarely, if ever, mentioning these oh-so-critical facts, let alone the Mueller Report.

Seems important, right? It's as if Showtime revisited Geraldo Rivera cracking Al Capone's vault and pretended it held all the surprises we expected instead of ... bupkis.

IndieWire calls President Trump a monster, repeatedly, in its cartoonishly biased review. Nothing outrageous there; it's just hyperbolic opinion. Then we get this splash of "reportage": "The show doesn't offer any breaking news about the Russia investigation, but it's clear in its message that Trump already destroyed one election - via meddling, blackmail, and all-around discord - and he's absolutely trying to do it again."

Rolling Stone certainly doesn't blink about the film's massive flights of fancy. It endorsed them: "We don't need to tell you how Comey and Trump's 'relationship' sours, or how this story ends. It's as gut-wrenching fictionalized as it was in real life."

Critics could still enjoy the dramatics behind "The Comey Rule" while acknowledging that the story doesn't come within a mile of the truth. A reviewer can admire, for example, Oliver Stone's "JFK" without adhering to its conspiratorial theories. Except, in this case, critics treated the material in "The Comey Rule" as the gospel truth when it's "fake news" on steroids.

The film's key players, from lead star Daniels to writer/director Ray, hit the promotional circuit and smacked the softball queries lobbed at them by professional journalists.

Had those scribes somehow missed the Mueller Report's rollout? It clogged up the news cycle for weeks, if memory serves. Yet, nevertheless, reporters filed puff pieces about "The Comey Rule." Chortled Ray to one outlet: "Oh, will Trump be mad at me for making this."

Well, he'd have a right to be grumpy, no?

Let's flash back to another politically-charged TV miniseries and recall how the press treated it:

ABC's two-part series, "The Path to 9/11," came under heavy attack in 2006 for what critics claimed was an inaccurate look at what preceded the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and an unfair depiction of former President Clinton's lack of action against al Qaeda before the attacks occurred. Democratic senators weighed in on the matter, demanding changes and even threatening ABC's broadcast license for allowing the miniseries to air.

ABC backpedaled, and then some. The network wiped commercials from the presentation, presumably costing itself millions in lost revenue. It aired a disclaimer to help people process the notion that it had "dramatized" actual events. And then, ABC memory-holed the highly rated project.

Reporters covered every twist in that story, repeating the critiques lodged against it from the political left, an appropriate response.

What happened with "The Comey Rule," then?

Showtime has a partial excuse regarding the maddening distortions rampant in the miniseries, which debuted Sept. 27: Some of the most damning revelations about the Russian collusion narrative broke in recent weeks. Still, the film started production last November, months and months after special counsel Robert Mueller dropped his signature report.

Weeks later, the report by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz went public, revealing serious mistakes, miscalculations and other behavior unworthy of the FBI. Even Rolling Stone - a far cry from Breitbart News or the Daily Caller - noted how the inspector general shredded the collusion narrative: "(The) Horowitz report shows years of breathless headlines were wrong."

Yet, the brave, hard-working FBI agents depicted in "The Comey Rule" would make Boy Scouts look suspect by comparison.

Now, miniseries events are allowed to have their creative biases. The same is true of newspaper op-eds, documentaries and other cultural products. A film can argue, for example, that President Trump's unconventional style proved a tonic for a reeling nation - or that his sharp-elbow shtick intensified our political divide.

All fine. And no one should call for "The Comey Rule's" cancellation.

When something as dishonest as the Showtime miniseries appears, though, it's up to news organizations to let readers know that the fix is in - not regurgitate the miniseries' fictional talking points to attack the president.

That so many outlets did nothing of the kind reminds us why trust in so much of the media continues to crater: They've earned it.

Christian Toto is the editor of the conservative entertainment site "HollywoodInToto.com, the Right Take on Entertainment," and host of the weekly "Hollywood in Toto" podcast.


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Texan1211
1  seeder  Texan1211    2 weeks ago

If any collusion happened, maybe we should be looking at the media and the Democrats.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1    2 weeks ago

If any collusion happened, maybe we should be looking at the media and the Democrats.

head-buried-in-sand-1170x638.jpg

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1    2 weeks ago

You have successfully captured the very essence of those who trumpeted the Russia/Trump collusion theory for 4 plus years, only to be disappointed when they discovered the truth.

Great work there!

jrSmiley_28_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ozzwald
1.1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.1    2 weeks ago
You have successfully captured the very essence of those who trumpeted the Russia/Trump collusion theory for 4 plus years

So your claim is that everyone BUT Trump buries their head?

When you are driving your car and every other car on the street is driving directly towards you, is your 1st assumption that everyone else is driving on the wrong side of the street?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.3  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.2    2 weeks ago
So your claim is that everyone BUT Trump buries their head?

[deleted]

 
 
 
Ozzwald
1.1.4  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.3    2 weeks ago

Don't bother me with trifling nonsense like that again.

Nonsense, like facts?  [Deleted.]

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.5  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.4    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Ozzwald
1.1.6  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.5    2 weeks ago
removed for context

[deleted]

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.7  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.6    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Ozzwald
1.1.8  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.7    2 weeks ago
removed for context

They do.  That's why they all know the lies you keep claiming.  And why it is so easy for me to show them as lies.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.9  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.8    2 weeks ago

see, you keep displaying how little of my post you understood.

I made no claim, In fact. asked you to prove your claim, which I notice you still can't do.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.10  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.9    2 weeks ago
how little of my post you understood.

Nothing new there ..... SOSDD considering.

The only question is ..... is it intentional or not.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.11  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @1.1.10    2 weeks ago
is it intentional or not.

Now, THAT is a tough one.

Very, very hard to tell for sure if it is just ignorance or obtuseness.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
1.2  Jasper2529  replied to  Texan1211 @1    2 weeks ago

Rick Grenell and John Ratcliffe are peeling away more layers of the corrupt Obama/Biden/HRC/MSM onion.

 
 
 
JBB
1.2.1  JBB  replied to  Jasper2529 @1.2    2 weeks ago

I thought Trump was depicted quite truthfully, as the guileless corrupted monster that he really is. It was a docudrama...

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.2  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @1.2.1    2 weeks ago

Docudrama? Is that the liberal word for farce?

 
 
 
JBB
1.2.3  JBB  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.2    2 weeks ago

A docudrama is dramatization or reality. Of what happened. Go look it up if you are not familiar with the word. It is in the dictionary...

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.2.4  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @1.2.3    2 weeks ago

So, a farce in this case is perfect!

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.2.5  Sparty On  replied to  JBB @1.2.3    2 weeks ago

The problem here is, and likely always will be ..... how one defines "reality."

Your "reality" and many others reality, is almost perfectly inverted, polar opposite, two ends of a magnet, etc, etc .....

 
 
 
Jasper2529
1.2.6  Jasper2529  replied to  JBB @1.2.1    2 weeks ago
I thought Trump was depicted quite truthfully, as the guileless corrupted monster that he really is. It was a  a docudrama...

Drama » Docudrama

A cinematic and television subgenre that aims to present a fictionalized account of real people and/or actual events . Essentially, this form blends the heightened emotional conventions and traditional narrative structure of dramatic fiction with the convincing didactic tone of the documentary in an attempt to capture accurate portrayals of historical and social events. In a search for authenticity, filmmakers often hire real people involved in the portrayed incidents as on-set consultants. One of the subgenre's first and finest examples, In Cold Blood, not only used consultants but shot many scenes in the actual town and the homes of the real people involved. Despite this agenda, numerous docudramas employ poetic license and manipulate facts for visceral entertainment purposes -- a practice many documentaries also indulge in. Typically, the subject matter of a docudrama revolves around tragedy or mystery surrounding death (Reversal of Fortune, Silkwood). Because of this criteria, docudrama crossed over from the screen to the television, where the form has been adopted repeatedly to capitalize on high-profile news stories, twisting them into often-dubious TV-movies-of-the-week. Cinematically, much like documentary film, the form of the docudrama continued to loosen. JFK and The Thin Blue Line, films that openly acknowledged fictional manipulation , pushed for other subjective, artistic interpretations of once-concrete terms like "authenticity" and "truth" when it comes to the filmic presentation of reality.

https://www.allmovie.com/subgenre/docudrama-d543

 
 
 
Jasper2529
1.2.7  Jasper2529  replied to  Sparty On @1.2.5    2 weeks ago

and Texan 1.2.4

Please see 1.2.6 for the real definition of "docudrama".

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.2.8  Sparty On  replied to  Jasper2529 @1.2.6    2 weeks ago

Yeah, whoever highlighted that one pretty much wrote the cliff notes for that topic ....

 
 
 
Jasper2529
1.3  Jasper2529  replied to  Texan1211 @1    2 weeks ago

Comey has apparently contracted Hillary's "I don't remember/I don't recall" virus.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.3.2  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Jasper2529 @1.3    2 weeks ago

Truly unbelievable.

 
 
 
Sparty On
2  Sparty On    2 weeks ago

Lost some respect for our home-slice for doing this one ..... c'est la vie .....

 
 
 
JBB
3  JBB    2 weeks ago

I saw it. It was kind of boring because it was line for line exactly what had already been reported before!

If you don't like what went on don't vote republican!

The reality of how Trump got elected is a travesty...

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @3    2 weeks ago
The reality of how Trump got elected is a travesty...

yeah, it is  just a real BITCH when he got 77 more electoral votes than his opponent.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
3.1.1  Jasper2529  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1    2 weeks ago
yeah, it is  just a real BITCH when he got 77 more electoral votes than his opponent.

But ... butt ... buttt ... Hillary ... 3 ... million ... popular ... votes!

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.1.2  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Jasper2529 @3.1.1    2 weeks ago

You can always tell who hasn't accepted the Hillary loss when they start reciting meaningless stats.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
3.1.3  Jasper2529  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.2    2 weeks ago
reciting meaningless stats.

Ad nauseam for 4 years.

 
 
 
Sparty On
3.2  Sparty On  replied to  JBB @3    2 weeks ago
The reality of how Trump got elected is a travesty...

The reality of how Trump got elected was .... is ..... reality.   

Not some trumped up (pun intended) cockamamie conspiracy theory developed, generated and massaged by a butt hurt, fanatical left wing resistance movement

And that's all she wrote!

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
4  Sean Treacy    2 weeks ago

All of the talk about Russia collusion and propaganda and now we know the main source of the debunked Steele dossier that congressional Democrats and the media lied about while promoting was a suspected Russian agent.  

the greatest intelligence coup in history may be Putin  getting the Democrats and their  Allied media to do his work for him.  

 
 
 
JBB
4.1  JBB  replied to  Sean Treacy @4    2 weeks ago

That isn't what was revealed. Did you even see it?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
4.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  JBB @4.1    2 weeks ago

I was talking about reality not comey propaganda.  

 
 
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