Monday, September 22, 2014
Daniel Greenfield: Hillary’s $100 Million Hollywood Makeover
by Daniel Greenfield
The First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia described the reforms which resulted in the Prague Spring as “socialism with a human face.” The New York Times calls Madam Secretary, CBS’s extremely expensive prime time contribution to the Hillary campaign, “Hillary with a human face.”
A network series can cost between $3 and $4 million an episode. Assuming that Madam Secretary runs even one season, instead of being canceled ignominiously like Commander in Chief, the 2005 attempt at giving Hillary a human face, it will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million.
That’s double the $46 million that Hillary’s campaign spent on TV ads against Obama and it gives the Hillary 2016 campaign over 20 hours of prime time network unpaid ad space. If the series lasts long enough to run through the whole campaign that will double to $200 million. But the Hillary 2016 campaign is expected to cost around $2 billion. CBS’s $100 million donation is only a drop in a big bucket.
There’s more than a whiff of Kim Jong-Il, Stalin and Saddam Hussein about needing so many actors to portray a current politician. But Madam Secretary reeks of political insecurity. A similar series about Obama would have been worshipful. Madam Secretary is nervously revisionist. It’s desperately trying to glue an appealing human face over the Hillary mask that Hillary Clinton wears over her real face.
Hillary won’t be able to get anyone to play Hillary Clinton once she actually runs for office. Lori McCreary, the executive producer of Madam Secretary, said that she was inspired to create the $100 million Hillary infomercial by watching the Benghazi hearings. Her obvious unspoken thought was that the scene of Hillary doing her best Khrushchev imitation while self-righteously covering up the brutal murder of four Americans would have gone much better if someone else had been playing Hillary.
Hillary isn’t very good at playing Hillary the way that Obama was at playing Obama. The Obama character was a charming rogue who could always find the right put down to dismiss criticisms of his inexperience and extremism. No one could have played the fake Obama better than the real Obama.
Hillary’s liberal supporters wish that she could play the Hillary of their imagination as well as Obama portrayed their imaginary Obama. Two years before the Hillary campaign, they recruited Geena Davis to be Hillary’s human face in Commander in Chief. Now they know that they can’t count on more than a season of Hillary TV so they waited this long to debut Tea Leoni as Hillary in Madam Secretary.
Hillary Clinton isn’t the first Clinton to get an airbrushed fictional Hollywood substitute. Rob Reiner and Aaron Sorkin debuted a fictionalized version of Bill Clinton’s sex scandals with The American President. Not only did Michael Douglas class up the Clintons by playing Bill, but he was conveniently enough a bachelor romancing a liberal woman of his own class. It had as much to do with the reality of Bill’s groping frenzies as Madam Secretary’s take on Benghazi has to do with Hillary shopping for bad art while leaving a band of unpaid Islamic terrorists to “protect” the diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
The American President, like Madam Secretary, understood that it had to get rid of Hillary.
The Democratic Party has once again built up an elaborate pageant around a candidate. Gender will be swapped in for race. It’s a massive production that began with Hillary receiving virtually every award known to man and is meant to end with her political coronation that will secure the party’s image as progressive barrier-breakers. But Hillary doesn’t seem to know her lines and neither do her stand ins.
A professional actress playing Hillary could do better, but even Hillary substitutes don’t come out that much more popular than Hillary.
The Hillary Clinton book, written by someone else, was a flop. The Hillary Clinton book tour to sell the book was also a flop. The reviews are in for Madam Secretary and the word on the critic street is flopsville. No one really likes watching propaganda infomercials that take no risks and offer no rewards.
Commander in Chief went through three showrunners and barely one season. Madam Secretary will try to wring as much sympathy as it can out of her confrontations with the mean Dick Cheney substitute, scenes of her shoveling horse manure (all-too appropriate) and trying to balance work and family, but there’s only so much Hillary cynicism that even liberal television critics seem to be able to stomach.
The Huffington Post describes Madam Secretary as “contrived, predictable and seemingly allergic to ambiguity and subtext.” That’s also a really good description of Hillary Clinton. The two fictional Hillary Clintons, played by Tea Leoni and Hillary Clinton, have that much in common. They’re shallow creatures who would rather fish for sympathy votes and ratings than actually stand on their own merits
At press events, Tea Leoni insists that her Hillary lookalike is really based on Henry Kissinger. Hillary Clinton launched a book tour with stops at the Hamptons by claiming to have been flat broke. There’s something about being Hillary that makes one snap and tell crazy lies because the truth is just too awful.
The truth is that CBS, whose boss was a big Hillary donor last time around, is dropping a fortune on an illegal campaign commercial for a mediocre candidate who has never held any public office that she didn’t receive based on her husband’s political connections. The truth is that Hillary Clinton’s politics are both radical and boring and covering them up along with her corrupt dealings has made her paranoid.
The biggest threat to the creators of Hillary infomercials has been Hillary. Hillary Clinton disapproves of experiments to create a Hillary with a human face the way that Moscow disapproved of efforts to create Socialism with a human face. Like Brezhnev, Hillary responded by sending in the tanks.
CNN tried to develop a Hillary documentary. NBC wanted to air a Hillary Clinton miniseries which would have tasked Diane Lane with giving Hillary a human face. CNN and NBC were forced to abort after threats from David Brock, Hillary’s paranoid Media Matters attack dog, ended the Hillary Spring.
As the temperatures fall and the leaves die on the trees, CBS’s Madam Secretary is all that’s left.
Charles Ferguson, the leftist hack behind the CNN doc, attempted to reach Hillary to speak with her. ” He was told, “Over my dead body.”
That’s the real Hillary and it’s why she so desperately needs a human face. The real Hillary isn’t a mother figure. She’s the lawyer who laughed about how she freed the rapist of a 12-year girl who had been beaten into a coma. The real Hillary isn’t the open box thinker of Madam Secretary; she’s a hack who did her best to stay under the radar during her time as Secretary of State to protect her political ambitions.
Hillary is a creature of masks because what is underneath is both banal and evil. Socialism with a human face from the Communist Party didn’t fix Communism. Sticking Tea Leoni, Geena Davis or Diane Lane’s face on Hillary Clinton won’t make her human. It makes her an inhuman Hollywood Frankencreation.
Obama could play Hollywood’s idea of a fictional president. Hillary Clinton just freezes up and her smile turns into a grimace as she sits waiting for an assistant to feed her the next scripted line.
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Posted by Sally Zahav at 7:16 PM