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Post election-selection trauma: Still going strong in Hollywood

By Michelle Malkin  •  December 27, 2007 09:37 AM

Remember “Post election-selection trama”–or “PEST?” It’s the liberal disease that predated Bush Derangement Syndrome, causing lefties of all shapes and sizes (e.g., Michael Moore) to sink into depression and shock as a result of the 2004 election.

Symptoms linger. And a new Hollywood movie’s upcoming release is bound to help stoke PESTies further. Via Politico:

One of the most highly anticipated political telefilms being released next year is “Recount,” a fast-paced depiction of the behind-the-scenes drama that took place in Florida during the disputed 2000 Gore-Bush election.

Eager to avoid the last-minute flap over accuracy that beset the ABC miniseries “The Path to 9/11” last year, the makers of HBO’s upcoming docudrama allowed real-life figures depicted in the project to make script notes, visit the set and offer advice to director Jay Roach…

…“Recount,” which wrapped shooting in Florida earlier this month after six weeks of production and is scheduled for release in May, was written by actor Danny Strong (of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”).

According to the movie industry “Black List,” an unofficial but influential ranking of the “best-liked” screenplays making the rounds at studios, Strong’s effort has been acclaimed as the best script in Hollywood.

Centering primarily on Democratic operatives Ron Klain (Kevin Spacey) and Michael Whouley (Denis Leary), “Recount” also shows the moves and countermoves orchestrated by Republican icon James Baker III (Tom Wilkinson) and Bush/Cheney attorney Ben Ginsberg (Bob Babalan).

Gee, ya think a Hollywood movie about The Goracle’s election defeat could possibly be fair and balanced?

“We can’t project how someone will feel after watching the film,” added the HBO rep, saying the channel’s goal was to get the input of “all the key players” and “get the facts right.”

Earlier this year, the possibility was raised that this “Recount” might be swayed and history rewritten because writer Strong and executive producers Paula Weinstein and Sydney Pollack, as well as HBO Films President Colin Callender, are all Democratic supporters.




HBO is planning to make an unbiased film, titled “Recount” and scheduled to premiere early next year, about the 2000 presidential election.

That could be difficult, if not impossible, to pull off, because the director, executive producer, and writer of the movie are all Democrats. Oh, and Colin Callender, the president of HBO Films, is also a D.

The Hollywood Reporter this week quoted Callender as saying the movie won’t take sides and instead would be “a fascinating look at democracy.” Callender has made political donations to then-Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.), Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Executive Producer Paula Weinstein, who has given to Sens. Clinton, Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), praised Sydney Pollack for being the only director able to deal with the “dramatic twists and turns of the story with honesty and truthfulness.”

Pollack has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats over the years. Some of the recipients were Clinton, Boxer, and California Reps. Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters. In 1999, however, he gave to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Daniel Strong, the writer of “Recount,” has claimed he did detailed research and conducted numerous interviews with the people involved.

That is news to one Republican operative who was in the middle of the hanging-chad controversy, who said he knows of no Florida Republican — including former Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) — who was interviewed by Strong.

Len Amato, the senior vice president of HBO Films who gave $2,000 to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004, said he can understand the concerns, but noted that his company has a long track record of thoroughly researching its historical topics before filming them.

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