Skip to comments.Mark Cuban's Response to Me About Terror Film
Posted on 10/15/2005 6:10:31 PM PDT by Hildy
Earlier today, there was a thread titled: Mark Cuban's Film for Terror
I read it with interest because I've corresponded with Mr. Cuban before and I was surprised to read about the supposed point of view of this movie. The article, by Debbie Schlussel, encouraged people to email Mark. I did. The following is our back and forth conversation. I asked him permission to post it here at FreeRepublic and he said, "Go for it." I'm only leaving out the part where I remind him of who I am and our earlier emails. Please read it and judge for yourself:
I see you've made a choice as to what kind of movies you want to make. I'm sorry that I won't be seeing your recently released movie which, I hear, is sympathetic to terrorists. I don't need to be lectured to as to why terrorists hate me. I'm Jewish, I know they hate me. It doesn't really matter why, there's nothing I can do to make them NOT hate me or my people, except, if we were all to DISAPPEAR FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH. Do you even understand that?
I really wish you had stuck to sports.
I would hope you would have the interest to read more than a single website and then make accusations
Did it cross your mind that maybe the lady who wrote the article had an agenda, or maybe wasn't too bright ?
She is wrong
OK, Mark..if this really is Mark and not someone designated to answer emails, you tell me what you wanted this movie to be, and I will go and post it onto the conservative websites I belong to, where I found the original Debbie Schlussel article. She is not stupid, Mark. She has been doing what she does as long as you have been doing what you're doing. Do you realize how ridiculous you are to dismiss her criticisms as "stupid"? (That's what makes me think this response was not really written by Mark Cuban). I'm curious, and I know the conservatives will have an open mind if you explain what it is you were hoping to convey. I found this article on FreeRepublic.com. It's the foremost conservative website, with tens of thousand of members. If you want to write something yourself, I will make sure you have a forum. Or, if you want a question and answer there, I can arrange that as well.
I've always respected you, as a businessman and as a person, and I'd love to know what drew you to making a movie like this.
First, I wrote it.
2nd, I dont care what conservatives or liberals think. Im neither. I think for myself about every issue. I dont "club think".
I care what people who use their brains think.
As far as calling Debbie stupid, well maybe she only has an agenda,but her "criticism" doesnt reflect what happened in the movie. She picked her spots to create context that worked for what she wanted to accomplish. To make it seem like I am supporting terrorism, which is so far from the truth, its not only laughable. its stupid.
Forget the adjectives she used to describe me that had nothing to do with the movie. Forget that she gave up the ending, which if she had any professional pride as a reviewer , she would realize that hers is not the only opinion of the movie (many have liked it for the reasons below).
The War Within wasnt made to show empathy to terrorists. Just the opposite. It was meant to show the true cowardness behind terrorism
The War Within was meant to send several messages.
Right off the bat, we should the terrorist for the coward he is. He supposedly is full of conviction when he enters prison. Yet has no problem flipping. Would I show an American serviceman or woman doing this. No chance. A terrorist. Of course. Thats what cowards do.
IN this movie, the terrorist comes to the US under false pretenses and is taken in by people who care for him. Who grew up with him and came to this country and are living the American dream. They show him everything that is great about this country. Yet he is obvlivious to the truth.
Then he again does what terrorists do, he turns his back on people that love him and that he supposedly loves, in order to kill. Is there any lower act that any human being could do ?
Thats what cowards do. Thas what terrorists do.
It shows that the person next door to you may look innocent. Like any average guy, but could be the most horrific of people
Im sure the neighbors of Timothy McVeigh and the BTK killers never imagined the psychopaths they were having lunch and dinner with. In the War Within, we dont make the terrorist look like a crazed killer with a turbin and beard because they no longer are. THey are far more dangerous when they look and talk like us and walk among us.
The message is that we all must be vigilant and understand what this world has become. If we dont recognize it, our inaction only makes their job easier.
Thats what I find amazing about Debbie's comments. She says "And that's the point. Producers want you to sympathize with Hassan, understand his point of view. At the end of the film, viewers may find themselves actually rooting for this hail-terrorist-well-met to blow up Grand Central."
THanks for telling me what we want. She is completely wrong. But it sure made it so her blog could be passed around everywhere and she coudl get people to send me about 50 emails.
THen she uses that to take the Directors quotes completely out of context.
Criticize the movie all you want. But criticize the movie. Instead she lies about our motives in order to make the blog entry controversial.
It says more about her than the movie.
The reality is, that if someone doesnt point out that terrorists walk among us , we are doomed to be their victims.
This movie is a reminder.
Only a fool would think the message is empathy. Only a coward blows himself up and kills the innocent and people he supposedly loves. How in the world is that empathy for terrorism
As you have found out, if you question my patriotism or my motives in making this film, im not going to sit back .
As I told you, if you want to see where my politics lie, visit my fund www.fallenpatriotfund.org.
Great job in establishing a dialogue with Cuban - very interesting!
Aside from the inherent interest of what he had to say, I have to admit I found myself thinking: "this guy makes all sorts of terrible spelling and syntax errors, and I write almost perfectly. Yet he's a billionaire and I'm surely not. Goes to show you what's important and what's not when it comes to success!"
It does look like (at the very least) she missed the point--if Cuban has correctly represented this. He's right, you know, about the terrorists walking among us. No one suspected a thing when the 19 AQ terrorists were preparing to fly planes into our buildings. Everyone thought they were just nice foreign boys.
Alot of people just can't type! Just read a thread here! I also think he was probably typing quickly because he's visibly angry about this Schlussel article and being inundated with emails.
Sound reasonable to me.
Hildy, I don't know if Debbie "totally misrepresented this movie" because I have not seen it. I have seen Debbie push too hard on something that her heart is in, but I would NOT trust Mark Cubin. I can't recall ever seeing Debbie totally misrepresent anything she wrote about. I have seen a lot of people attack her because they don't like what she says because they have an agenda and she is exposing it.
Thank you for posting this...coming from the D/FW area, I see/hear a lot from and about Mark....but, this is the first long e-mail I have read...
And, the first I have read about this subject. I knew about his charity for our troops, because there are lots of fundraisers...I have been very impressed by what Mark has done for not only the troops, but just about anyone that he finds that needs help...he is a very generous guy!
I find his description of the movie very intriguing...and I will WANT to see it...but, I have to say, that the subject matter terrifies me.
Ever since Beslan, I have feared a repeat in a school in the USA...and I know that the terrorists COULD be people that are seen at the schools regularly....sigh
Why would you NOT trust Cuban?
Interesting thanks. I'm still not seeing the movie but I respect Cuban for the dialogue.
Out of curiousity, why won't you see the movie?
I would like to see some documentation on why NOT to trust him? I looked at his website, and I am extremely impressed with his Fallen Soldier Fund. I tried to find some liberal, or anti - war slant, and I didn't see it. I didn't find a pro - war slant either. What I found was a fellow American doing his part on supporting our men and women in uniform. For that I give him Kudos. Even if I find out tomorrow that he is a lefty, Kerry voting liberal, I will salute him for his generosity to our heros and their families.
I don't know if I will see his movie or not, but I do Thank Him for his support. If all of the Hollywood entertainers were like him, I would have much more respect for them too!
For what it's worth, I saw Mark Cuban on John McEnroe's short-lived show on CNBC last year and he said he was voting for Ralph Nader.
If anyone's interested, there's discussion about the film at "War WithinIMDB link"
Cuban's Fallen Patriot fund has donated over 1.1 million dollars to familiy members of those killed or injured in Iraq.
I wonder how much Debbie Schlussel's fund has donated.
You're right, but at least one of his errors wasn't a simple typos: "cowardness" for cowardice.
I'm nitpicking. In any case I admired his willingness to enter into the dialogue, and the evident passion and sincerity with which he wrote.
Again, congrats on developing the dialogue with him.
I've been reading Cuban's blog for about a year ago but have never e-mailed him. He has always struck me as someone who puts his views out there without trying to sugar-coat them. He certainly isn't afraid to embroil himself in controversey, and he has an amazing passion for everything that he does. I admire the guy.
I know zilch about Mark Cuban's website and have never been there. Cuban grew up in this area, started in business here, and made a great deal of money here before leaving. I PERSONALLY will not take his word over hers before seeing the movie as he has a certain reputation where his money is involved. Perhaps she has some axe to grind with him that I am unaware of, and thus, has a reason to totally misrepresent his movie.
Schlussel does have one good point about the Hassan character that I would be very interested in hearing Cuban's comments on, and that is the way he was "made".
She is correct in pointing out that the true terrorist are not produced by the USA, as the movie appears to show, but by a different means. A means of manipulation through religion and class envy.
If he wrote it, then why did he decide to create the character in the way he did? For it does appear disingenuous...
I can't stomach IMDB discussions...the majority of posters are under the age of 18.
The majority of movie-goers are under the age of 18.
well..maybe that's true..I just wish they didn't feel compelled to COMMENT on everything! It's so embarrassing. Have you ever read the boards over there?
Nope, I've just skimmed the surface. You have to register to go into the boards and, judging from the thread titles, it wouldn't repay the effort.
It sounds as if Debbie and Cuban saw 2 different films. It could be that Debbie did not see it, but was relying on advance word that turned out to be bogus (a similar thing happened with advance word on Disney's Alamo film of 2004. Joseph Farah, among others, described the film as revisionist, and anti-Texan/American, when it was no such thing.)
Or, perhaps the film Cuban produced got tweaked at the last minute by a director with an agenda, and maybe Cuban has not seen the final edited film, but maybe only saw some pre-release rushes? It'll be interesting to find out.
If it really shows what losers the terrorists are, and how they can be "the middle-eastern guy next door", then it could be an interesting and important movie.
"Yet he's a billionaire and I'm surely not. Goes to show you what's important and what's not when it comes to success!""
I don't know much about it but I know this. Like a lot of people, Cuban started a hi-tech company in the '90s that quickly soared to absurd evaluations. Most of them immediately assumed they were geniuses and the next Bill Gates. They held onto their companies and prepared to be powerful moguls for the rest of their lives. By 2001, most of them had nothing.
Cuban, on the other hand, realized that he had gotten lucky and the country was crazy. he sold out at or near the peak for pure cash. Which was over $1 billion.
Hildy, "you rock"! What little I knew about Mark Cuban made me think he was an interesting guy who indeed was independent-minded, and not one to easily fall into doctrinaire thinking of any kind. I have heard of THE WAR WITHIN but at this point know little about it. His lengthy response to you did in fact illuminate it for me, and makes me want to see it also. The maturity shown in the way he answered you indicates that he is a mensch, and your directness
in taking him to task (even though, as you acknowledged, you may have jumped the gun) raises the level of this forum several degrees: THIS is what Free Republic is supposed to be about and SHOULD be about.DIALOGUE!
It sounds pretentious. I think I'd be bored rather than entertained, enlightened or educated.
And Debbie Schlussel and I seem to have similar tastes in movies judging by previous reviews (IIRC, she liked the Matrix, Buffy) so if she didn't like it/missed the point, I probably would too.
But that Cuban would engage in the debate makes me think he's not an rip-down-America whiner like Robert Redford.
And just because an artist misses the mark doesn't mean he shouldn't get points for trying.
And Debbie could be dead wrong. Word of mouth might be enough to make me give it a look. If it came on TV & I happened to catch it while channel surfing, I probably would.
On the movie plenty of people will wait. too bad that didn't happend with the SC nomination of HM. / republicans eat their own.
It sure seems as if people misjudged MarK Cuban badly.
I went to the website he mentioned:
"The Fallen Patriot Fund of the Mark Cuban Foundation was established to help families of the US military personnel who were killed or seriously injured during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Thanks for taking the time for doing this and for posting it. And a thanks to Cuban for responding to your questions.
WHoops! Maybe it was me that jumped the gun. I returned to the top and read the original article by Schussel from Frontpagemag.com. It is obviously polemical, a la Ann Coulter, but she is persuasive in the points she makes, which include direct quotes as to the real message behind the film
Maybe Mark Cuban is being disingenuous and is pretending not "to get" the points Debbie is making; maybe his intellect is not subtle enough to see or appreciate the subtext to the film that Debbie sees; hard to say. I'll have to see it myself. But my instincts tell me that the film may be overly sympathetic to terrorists in the usual cowering and craven sense of "it's -really -as- much -our fault- as -anyone's " we've gotten used to hearing from Liberals in the last 4 years.
MARK CUBAN TO DONATE $1 MILLION TO FALLEN SOLDIERS
The Mark Cuban Foundation has announced the formation of the Fallen Patriot Fund, established to help families of U.S. military personnel who were killed or seriously injured during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Fallen Patriot Fund will be matched dollar for dollar from the general funds of the Mark Cuban Foundation, up to $1 million.
Now is a good time to take steps to support our troops, said Mark Cuban, President and Chairman, HDNet and Owner, Dallas Mavericks. I am very excited to be working with Bank of America to accept donations to the Fallen Patriot Fund to provide support to the spouses and children of our service people who have sacrificed themselves in service of our country during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In support of the Fallen Patriot Fund, I will be matching up to $1 million in total contributions to the fund. I encourage everyone to support our fallen heroes and find their closest Bank of America banking center and truly show their support.
Just wanted to add my two cents.
I know Mark Cuban. Not well, but have interviewed and corresponded with him over the years.The radio station where I was working at the time was the first station to stream via Mark's broadcast.com.
Mark Cuban is a great guy. I don't care if he was a pauper. He'd give you the shirt off his back. He just likes to live life to the fullest. He is always involved in new projects. He is a passionate guy. He would never create anything building up terrorists. Bizarre. My impression is politically Cuban is his own guy. Involved, but not ideological. I really like Mark Cuban. Period.
The above # 35 should have been posted to HILDY
Why would you believe someone "interpreting" the movie over the person who actually made the movie. Sometimes we just see what we want to see and God knows, we on the right are very, very touchy right now.
I Love This Place!!!
How crazy are you? Have you seen the movie...did you read what he said? All I have to say is ... wow. if if if...
I think that needs to be restated.
Can we authenticate these messages? Do we know he wrote them? Would an educated man write "cowardness" for cowardice, or "should" for showed?
Believe me, he wrote it. You'll just have to take my word for it.
If you're vouching for it, I'll accept that. I guess becoming a billionaire requires a "big picture" approach, rather than a schlub like me who sweats the small stuff. ;O)
You said it, not me. :))
Then, he is called several obscene names and violently nabbed by American agents. We next see secular, innocent Hassan in a dark Karachi, Pakistan dungeon--questioned, tortured, and mutilated. Throughout the film we are treated to views of his various ugly scars and his flashbacks of the torture.
I really doubt Schlussel is lying. Perhaps you think she is. Knock yourself out.
A main character subjected to torture speaks volumes about the the dramatist's intention in establishing audience sympathy. These tricks are as old as Hollywood, indeed, as old as Greek tragedy.
See post #29..
Thanks for clarifying and I had a feeling Debbie was off base. I don't always agree with Mark Cuban but he is not stupid. He understands where his "bread is buttered." Dallas is a very conservative town and he could not afford to make a pro-terrorist or pro-Islam movie.