Skip to comments.HBO's 'Recount' Movie: Favors Democrats, Harris as Cruella De Vil
Posted on 05/18/2008 12:53:56 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY
An early review is in for HBO's upcoming movie, Recount, about the Bush-Gore battle in Florida after 2000 election. Gillian Flynn in Entertainment Weekly, which like HBO is part of the Time-Warner family, has described the film, to premiere next Sunday night, as tilted against the Republican characters.
In her review in the May 23 edition of the magazine, Flynn asserted: Recount may not be downright blue, but it's not as purply as it wants to appear. Saying Recount is an underdog story, and thus a Democrat story, Flynn reported that the Republican players here are coolly calculating -- Tom Wilkinson's James Baker III, the Bush team quarterback -- or they teeter on the edge of madness, like Laura Dern's Katherine Harris. In fact, in an interview elsewhere, the writer of the movie slammed Harris as a fraud. [Screen shot is of Dern as Harris]
Flynn awarded the film an A-, but concluded with caution about its imbalance:
Recount may not be downright blue, but it's not as purply as it wants to appear. Despite its ''equal time'' approach, Recount is an underdog story, and thus a Democrat story. While George W. Bush, like Gore, is only vaguely glimpsed, the remaining Republican players here are coolly calculating -- Tom Wilkinson's James Baker III, the Bush team quarterback -- or they teeter on the edge of madness, like Laura Dern's Katherine Harris. With flaming lipstick and helmet hair, Dern nails the Florida secretary of state's looks, cadence, and carriage to a disturbing degree, and she runs with Harris' Cruella De Vil vibe: At one point, before a press conference, Dern morphs her face from that of a human being into Harris' crazy-cuckoo public mask, and the moment is absolutely chilling. Fair? Debatable, but like Recount, it's a gorgeous bit of political theater.
That portrayal is not so surprising if you read an interview with the writer of the movie, Danny Strong, posted by HBO. Strong declared he didn't understand why there wasn't a state-wide hand recount of the ballots in an election this close, in which there were uncounted ballots, called the U.S. Supreme Court's eventual decision a shame because it was 5-4 and insisted that like a lot of people, I felt that Katherine Harris appeared to be somewhat of a fraud at the time.
Excerpts from Strong's comments:
....I was really frustrated and disgusted with the whole thing because I didn't understand why there wasn't a state-wide hand recount of the ballots in an election this close, in which there were uncounted ballots. It still makes no sense to me, and I know as much about the recount as a person can know. It's very obvious what needs to happen if it's down to 327 votes and there are 175,000 ballots that the machines have registered as non-votes. The laws of Florida say that you do a hand recount. In most states in the union, that's the law. That was the law in Texas; George Bush himself signed that into law. I didn't understand why Al Gore had only requested recounts in four counties. And I didn't understand the Republicans trying to do everything they could to block the recounts....
I had heard that the Florida Supreme Court was going to count the whole state and I thought, "Well finally!" And then I heard that the U.S. Supreme Court had shut it down! And I thought, "Well, maybe there's a reason, and I really hope it's a unanimous decision." And then when the decision was five-four, I remember thinking, "God, what a shame this is." I wasn't particularly suspicious of anyone. Like a lot of people, I felt that Katherine Harris appeared to be somewhat of a fraud at the time. But then I moved on with my life, like the rest of the country....
Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center
Dern’s great-grandfather was an FDR Cabinet Secretary, Utahn George Dern.
1. Called the closest election in history way too early for Gore, even before all of the state's polls had closed.
2. Whined about the butterfly ballot even though it was Democrats who had designed, approved, used and counted them.
3. Disenfranchised military overseas ballots, even though the servicemen overseas had totally acted in good faith.
4. Somehow, mysteriously discovered large blocks of Gore votes in at least two precincts in the ensuing recounts.
5. Started hand recounts in heavily Democrat districts, with the idea that they would quit when then had enough to win.
6. Arbitrarily changed the standards of what was a vote when they found that they weren't picking up enough.
7. Attempting to conduct the recounts in secret, while all through the recount process, chads were littering the floor.
8. They tried to disqualify legitimate absentee ballots for one county (Volusia?) on a technicality. Again the voters were acting in good faith.
The Democrats demonized Katherine Harris. Why? The vote took place, Bush won. The mandated recount took place. Bush won. Katherine Harris did what she was legally obligated to do by certifying the election. If she hadn't, the Democrats would have went to court to invalidate the election on that basis.
The Florida Supreme court twice overstepped their bounds. The U.S. Supreme court made the only logical decision that they could make. Mr Gore DID have a right to a full state recount. But only if there had been hearings in advance to determine what the standards of counting would be. There was a date certain specified by the Florida legislature when the state's electoral votes had to finalized. If I recall, that date was 45 minutes after the decision came down.
I'm sure that HBO will cover all this.
The media bias is evident once again. It’s absurd to blame Katherine Harris for simply obeying written law. Did it occur to HBO to point out how Gore & Co. cherry-picked for votes in only four counties? What BS!
For some reason, I never get tired of that picture of her on the horse.
Well, HBO got dumped after John Adams in my house. When I saw the ads for Recount, that sounded the alarm that it was time to dump it.
As for TV Guide, I stopped buying that when Degenres was on the cover every week and then they up the price of the darn thing. Why spend the cash when the local paper has a YV section in it anyways?
To the idiots who researched the movie:
The actual Supreme Court ruling to shut down the recount was 7-2, not 5-4. The myth of the 5-4 is that 2 of the 7 thought there might be time to recount the entire state.
The actual vote WAS 7-2!!
What the Demagogues tried to pull off in South Florida in 2000 was appalling, and they might have gotten away with it. Some tough, law-abiding Republicans stood up and stopped the Albore vote fraud proceedings, and ultimately were upheld by the SCOTUS because what the Gorebots tried to do was blatantly selective, one-sided, in violation of Florida election law and the US Constitution.
Well, I can think of TWO reasons. ;^)
Thanks for the comprehensive list. Good work.
Does anyone really care?
Internet Movie Database discussion board about “Recount”.
I’ll only watch this is an alien bursts out of Warren Christopher’s chest.
Those weren’t Brent’s words, but Danny Strong’s (the writer of the movie).
Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about how the Green Party candidate drew so many votes away from the “green savior”, Algore, to throw the election to Bush?
9. A local Democrat operative was caught with a voting machine in the trunk of his car.
You can be sure HBO won’t miss this one, either.
To Brent Baker, I apologize.
To Danny Strong, you are the moron.
Could anyone really be that stupid?