The original book had a fascinating portion about the 2008 Democratic presidential primary season, covering the implosion of John Edwards, the absolute mismanagement of Hillary Clinton's campaign, and the rise to prominence of Barack Obama. There were literally hundreds of pages of material detailing how, for example, even when Senator Clinton's campaign appeared to be doing well, it was still reeling. There were several moments when the Obama campaign was stressing over issues as well. Brought to life on the small screen, it would truly have been must-see TV*.
But no, HBO and the makers of "Game Change" decided that the portion of the book that needed to be brought to life the most was the portion involving Sarah Palin. And why not; the conventional wisdom when this movie was commissioned was that Governor Palin would be a huge factor, if not the front-runner, in the 2012 Republican presidential primary. And HBO planned for maximum exposure for their movie, scheduling it to air the Saturday after Super Tuesday, when, they were sure, Governor Palin would have had a huge day.
And why? Because they planned to kill her campaign with this movie.
This movie, as has been reported in many places, showcases a fictional version of Sarah Palin who couldn't spell "cat" if you spotted her the C and the A. Gone is the fighter who took on corruption in both parties, instead, you can find, as John Nolte discovered (to his disgust), some "cold, snippy, power-hungry and cruel" two-dimensional character who "is 'flipping' fascinated to discover Germany was our enemy during the world war", who "had no idea in 2008 that England has a prime minister", and who was "shocked to learn Saddam Hussein wasn't behind 9/11, [needed] a flashcard to memorize what NAFTA is and [had] never heard of the Federal Reserve."
Monica Crowley had little good to say about it or its network either:
The film centers on Palin's selection as John McCain's VP and what a "huge mistake" it was, because, you know, she was such a Big Dummy. There's a brief mention of how McCain actually went into the lead over Obama by about 5 points after her selection and dynamite convention speech. But other that that, she's cast as the sole reason McCain lost. (Never mind that McCain was a terrible candidate, wouldn't go full-frontal against Obama, and that the entire global economy was collapsing. No, it was Palin who single-handedly lost the election for the ticket.)
Her conservative values are mocked, from her belief in limited government to her faith in God. Each time she prayed in the film, the leftwing elites around me in the theater laughed at her. But really, they were laughing at US. This is what they really think of us. This is what Obama thinks of us: "bitter clingers," and all that.
But who is really surprised by this type of treatment given Sarah Palin by HBO? This is a movie in which the principal stars and executives have given over $200,000 to Democratic causes and absolutely nothing to Republicans. This is a movie with an executive producer (you might have heard of him...his name is Tom Hanks) refused even to take a copy of a much truer movie about Sarah Palin entitled "The Undefeated". Oh, and this is indeed the same Tom Hanks who can currently be heard narrating a Obama 2012 campaign video. Certainly he would produce an impartial movie about his preferred candidate's potential opposition, right? Don't make me laugh.
But I think the best response to this work of fiction came from SarahPAC:
Bottom line: "Game Change" on HBO is not worth your time or attention. Give it a pass, and while you're at it, you might evaluate whether HBO is truly geared toward someone on your side of the political aisle.
p.s. If you have not seen "The Undefeated", you can check it out tomorrow night on ReelzChannel, or you can buy it right here**:
And, for those interested in the original "Game Change" book, you can purchase that here**:
* I hope I can use that phrase without running afoul of any trademarks. I know NBC Thursday nights certainly don't deserve it anymore.
** As with all Amazon links on this blog, I get a pittance from all sales. PLEASE BUY SOMETHING!