“Game Change”, HBO’s new Democrat-umentary

democratumentary – (def) a media production presented as a “documentary” when it really only addresses issues and events from a subjective point-of-view favorable to the Democratic Party. 

I try not to be a cynic.  I really do.  But when it comes to politics, I am no longer a match for the machinations of those on the National political stage.  And when they are joined by willing sycophants in the media and entertainment industries, it’s about all I can stand without blowing a Cranky Man gasket! 

My latest migraine comes courtesy of the abomination made by HBO of the best-selling book Game Change, authored by John Heileman and Mark Halperin following the 2008 presidential election. 

If you happened to watch this HBO democratumentary this past Sunday (I didn’t, and won’t; and why will become obvious to you as you read this.), please take a moment and read my review of the book Game Change, written for this blog back in January 2011.  And as you read my review, see if you can identify what was left out of the HBO democratumentary.

(Cranky hums the Jeopardy theme song as he patiently waits for his readers as they enjoy another brilliant Cranky Man piece.)

That’s right!  Not a single mention, character casting, or on-screen appearance of any significance by any Democrat that participated in that 2008 presidential election!  Not a single one …

This despite that the dominant theme of Game Change – the book –  was the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama battle in the Democrat primaries, and the harrowing details of John Edwards’ disastrous campaign and failing marriage! 

Not a peep …

I had seen several of the teasers and promos for the HBO democratumentary, and kept wondering where was the Clinton-Obama characters?  What about the confrontation between the two on the tarmac of Reagan National Airport?  Where was the controversy over the Clinton campaign’s speculation on past drug use by Obama and rumors of his Muslim roots?  Where was the grab-you-by-the-collar stories of John and Elizabeth Edwards’ constant fights and dysfunction?      

Nowhere, that’s where …

It’s gets even uglier – as in Rielle ugly – when you peruse the political donations of the cast and production executives that worked on the democratumentary. 

Tom Hanks, producer well over $100, 000 to the DNC since 1994, $36,500 to liberal causes like SEN Al Franken’s Midwest Values.  Republicans: not a dime

Ed Harris (SEN John McCain), $9500 to Democratic candidates, $11,975 to liberal special-interest groups like MoveOn.org.  Republicans: squat, nada, nil

Woody Harrelson (Steve Schmidt, McCain-Palin chief strategist), $4,300 to Democratic candidates, $3,500 to liberal causes like GreenVote.  Republicans: zip, zero, zilch

Jay Roach, director/co-executive producer, $15,800 to Democrats; Republicans?  You should be recognizing the theme by now!

Julianne Moore (Sarah Palin), $2,250 to Democrats, $7,500 to DNC, Democratic White House Victory Fund and special-interest groups.  Republicans: Everybody join in!

Danny Strong, co-executive producer, $2500 to Obama Victory Fund.  Republicans: a big wet willie 

You don’t need someone to draw the picture for you.  It’s just sitting there plain as day.

You would think the movie-based-on-the-book would have at least addressed in some way the REAL Game Change in 2008, Barack Obama as the first African-American President.  But that story had to be ignored, to avoid the ugliness of the Democrats’ 2008 campaign and to maximize the spotlight on the Republican-Sarah Palin debacle.

Afterall, you never want to beat the horse you’re betting on.      

(Shout out to reader Mark D for tipping me to the donation information.)

4 thoughts on ““Game Change”, HBO’s new Democrat-umentary

  1. How is it surprising that actors who usually lean heavily liberal as well as directors would have all donated to democrat causes. I think the more important thing is that Steve Schmidt though it was a fair representation of his side of the story. Honestly I thought the movie portrayed many people extremely fairly, McCain came off as an extremely Honorable man and Sarah Palin came off as someone who wanted to do her part but was a bit out of her element and didn’t adapt well initially to the pressure of being a vice presidential candidate though she seemed to find that she got the hang of it by the end. As someone who was heavily involved and in tune with the 2008 campaign I didn’t see anything portrayed inaccurately. I would love to see Game Change 2, which focuses on the Democrats (actually I thought this was a miniseries that was going to focus on the entire election initially) maybe because it was pretty successful they will do the Democratic side.


    • The fact is they gutted what was an excellent look at the 2008 campaign, by deciding – quite intentionally IMO – to focus solely on the Palin debacle. What was the “point” in doing that?

      Quite obviously it was two-fold:
      1. They could avoid the story of personal animosity that built up between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during the Democrat primary season, and the many other facets of the Obama story that played out that year (Rev Wright, his lack of national political experience, his liberal activist background, etc.), especially during a re-election year. Not to mention (OK, I am mentioning it.) the horrific John Edwards-Riell Hunter saga.
      2. They get to take another swipe at Sarah Palin and indirectly her conservative Republican base.

      It’s really a simple question. Which story would you THINK would be a more compelling National story? The march to The White House by the FIRST African-American President, the denial of “the Clinton claim” to Hillary’s turn at the head of the DNC table, with the Edwards-Riell Hunter escapades as a sidebar or the failure of an unknown Alaskan Governor who was not ready for the national stage?

      All you have to do is read the book to determine which story the authors thought was more compelling. The majority of the book from the very beginning of the story dealt with the Democrat primary story. And believe me, it was a much more engrossing story than the McCain-Palin episode.

      Honestly, I do not see how you completely ignore the Democrat side of that election cycle … unless of course you have a good reason. As the data shows, the people who put this together obviously did (i.e. a re-election year).

      Thanks for commenting!


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