Whoops! Sam Donaldson Reinvents History
June 1, 2001 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Whoops! Sam Donaldson Reinvents History More on the blurring of fantasy and reality in Pearl Harbor's promotion efforts. "This is no excuse, but we were all working against a deadline," says Donaldson.
posted by josholalia (10 comments total)
Sam Donaldson is but one example of the lazy, rich, talking heads that read someone else's words from the teleprompter. Being a shill for the corporation responsible for their wealth becomes no problem for these fakes who have the nerve to pass themselves off as journalists.
And that rug!! Ewwww!!!! Looks as bad as Trent Lott's!!
Hey, Sam, if it's no excuse, why did you use it as an excuse, huh?
posted by nofundy at 11:03 AM on June 1, 2001

i've seen footage from older movies used before in documentary films--as if it being in black and white makes it authentic.

on the flipside, a lot of the old war movies used actual footage, even when it didn't really match up very well to go from an actor-pilot in his fake cockpit to grainy, blurred footage of a plane being shot down.

that said...it is pretty disturbing. History isn't what happened, its how we remember it, and that changes all the time.

[nofundy, checked out your profile, you know landover is a joke, right? just have to make sure.]
posted by th3ph17 at 11:18 AM on June 1, 2001

Th3ph17, yes I do know that. Thanks for caring. And an excellent joke it is. Kinda scary how some people's "truth" can be our comedy, huh? Then of course, there's Bettybowers and sistertaffy, can't forget them! Those folks should tie into the Taliban somehow too, what with the recent faith based funding they've received.
posted by nofundy at 11:26 AM on June 1, 2001

Interesting aside from a linked anti-FDR page within the story linked above:

" After losing more than 115,000 U.S. soldiers in the first world war,
few Americans were eager to become directly involved in the second. A
Gallup poll in 1937 showed that two-thirds of the country believed the
United States had made a mistake in entering World War I."

Indeed we had, but who would believe the American public could display such wisdom? Too bad they could not keep their heads clear, and their politicians honest. I guess that is the problem of every age tho.
posted by thirteen at 12:18 PM on June 1, 2001

All of these articles are missing a fundamental point: except for the release of the movie, there was no particularly good reason why several major news organizations suddenly did in-depth reports about Pearl Harbor in the last month. It's not an anniversary; nothing new was recently discovered about it; nada.

There wasn't any news. It was all about promotion of a truly shitty film. The men who died and were maimed in the real event are being exploited for commercial gain.

The mere fact that ABC News did coverage of Pearl Harbor at this time is enough to tarnish their credentials as a news organization. There's no excuse for it -- except for the fact that Disney owns ABC. (But that doesn't explain MSNBC's comparable coverage. The only thing that excuses MSNBC was that they ran the first review of the film -- and panned it.)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:32 PM on June 1, 2001

Good point Steven, they could have--at the very least--opened the film on the anniversary of the attack or SOMETHING that would justify all of the hype disguised as nostalgia coverage. I read somewhere that even the new fashions coming out are going to be influenced by the film. sheesh.
posted by th3ph17 at 6:01 PM on June 1, 2001

As long as it doesn't enter the history syllabus, it's the stuff of fashion. It's upsetting, especially to those with direct memories of the event, but it's not insidious. Once you get "Pearl Harbor Teaching Packs", it's time to storm the school offices.
posted by holgate at 6:11 PM on June 1, 2001

Well, there is the ever-so-slight excuse of Memorial Day, plus the buzz regarding the WWII Veterans Memorial that will now be situated on the Mall.1 Plus, it's turning into a WWII movie summer, with at least 3 major studio releases to follow. Probably all about the project percolation time post-Ryan. Still, a pretty lame reason to suddenly get all teary-eyed about veterans. At least ABC had the excuse of doing cross-promotion! The others were just doing ride-alongs, kinda like Good Morning America's "Urban Survivor" game segments that brought a lawsuit, or at least an injunction, from CBS.

1 Mark my words: in 20 years we'll have some countercultural demonstration on the mall, and the veterans will be out in force because they disagree with the demonstrators, with the excuse that they're "desecrating" the memorial.
posted by dhartung at 8:44 PM on June 1, 2001

There have been many battles fought by American servicemen over the course of the last century. Pearl Harbor was just one of them. Was there comparable coverage this year at Memorial Day of Guadalcanal? Or of the Battle of Okinawa? or of the Battle of the Bulge? Inchon? The Tet Offensive? St. Mihiel?

Was there comparable coverage of Pearl Harbor last year for Memorial Day?

No. I find the whole thing completely despicable.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:04 PM on June 1, 2001

Let's hope not, th3ph17 - if we have to put up with a summer full of movie-inspired fashions, I'd much prefer inspiration to come from Moulin Rouge...

About the movie-release-as-news thing - maybe I'm just out of the cultural loop, but this utterly fails to surprise. I'm puzzled that the conversion of news into entertainment is still considered news.

posted by Mars Saxman at 7:30 PM on June 2, 2001

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