Behind the Smears of HBO’s “Game Change”

Many months ago, HBO announced it was planning to make a movie based on the book, “Game Change” by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. After reading John Nolte’s article, which indicated that the movie would be focused primarily around Governor Palin and it wouldn’t be portraying her in a very positive light, I decided to study up on it. I purchased a copy of the book, read the TWO chapters based on Governor Palin, and took down some notes.

As Nicole recently noted, HBO decided to release a trailer to that movie during this holiday week. The actual movie doesn’t air until March of 2012, or as John Nolte wrote in his follow-up piece on Wednesday:

The one dynamic HBO probably didn’t count on was Palin’s decision not to run for the 2012 nomination. The film’s promotion and the cable news chatter that’s sure to follow seems timed to hit on, before, and around March 6, which is Super Tuesday.

The one line from the notes I took back in March that stood out as I was reviewing them for this piece, was:

Even though this book is supposed to be a story about 2008, it’s really all about 2012.

This movie was orchestrated from start to finish as a way to damage Governor Palin during an election year by people who are not merely “artists & entertainers.” Just look at the people involved in the making of the movie. First you have the director, Jay Roach who donated $2,300 to Barack Obama in 2008. Danny Strong, the person who wrote the screenplay, gave Obama $2,500 in 2008. Julianne Moore, the woman who does a poor impression of the governor, only gave $250 to Obama in ’08 but shelled out $2,500 to the DNC in 2010. And then there’s the film’s producer, Tom Hanks, who has one of the most nauseating donation lists I have ever seen, including giving a staggering sum of $345,000 to Obama. It’s safe to say that these people only donate large sums of money to causes they believe in. By looking at their donations, it’s easy to see what it is that they believe in.

Danny “Obama Victory Fund” Strong, based his HBO screenplay on a book that came under significant scrutiny after it was published, even by MSM types. The thing that stood out amongst most of it’s critics was the fact that Heilemann and Halperin didn’t source any of the accusations they made. They claim to have interviewed over 300 people during their research, but not one of those people are named. Heilemann and Halperin do however, name the people who where present during each instance during the ’08 campaign that they claim happened. I found it interesting that within the Palin chapters of the book, Nicolle Wallace, her husband Mark Wallace, Steve Schmidt, and or the mysterious “famous GOP strategist” are always present. It’s no secret that Nicolle Wallace has been trashing and undermining Governor Palin since the 2008 race. Most recently, she was caught in a lie by a former senior adviser to the McCain campaign, Charlie Black. From National Review Online:

Over at the Washington Examiner, Byron York reports that Wallace is claiming, in a new Time interview, that McCain’s team considered bumping Palin from the veep slot. “There certainly were discussions — not for long because of the arc the campaign took — but certainly there were discussions about whether, if McCain were to win, it would be appropriate for her to be sworn in,” Wallace tells the magazine.

[Charlie] Black says that’s nonsense. “Nicolle, like any author, is trying to sell books. This comment to Time, like her book [It’s Classified], is a piece of fiction. There were never any such discussions. At no high level of the campaign was there ever such talk. She’s probably doing this to sell her book.”

“Look, I was with McCain 90 percent of the time. If I wasn’t around, I knew what was happening. And nothing like this happened.” Wallace, he says, “is one of the few dissidents,” one of the “disaffected” staffers who continues to criticize Palin, and “she is inaccurate in doing so.”

Steve Schmidt also has a long history of trashing Governor Palin. In a 2010 post, Dan Riehl pegged the source of Schmidt’s animosity (emphasis):

The only modest bit of news in all this is that the pathetic Steve Schmidt continues to lack the class and intelligence required to simply shut up. Look at the basic facts even Schmidt is forced to confess. He would make it seem as though Palin was the absolutely worst thing about the McCain campaign, then he turns around and admits that, without her, things would have been much worse. That makes no sense.

On top of that, the fools running the campaign, including Schmidt, continued to consider Joe Lieberman for VP up until the very last minute, absolutely without realizing what a disaster that would have been. It took reactions outside the campaign to finally give them a clue how foolish they were in formulating and managing the campaign. Now suddenly, Schmidt is the all wise and wonderful know it all with the reputation, intellect and credibility to dump on Palin yet once, again? That makes no sense, either.

In continuing to not take responsibility for what a colossal failure he, as much, if not more than anyone else, was – all Schmidt has managed to accomplish with all his blathering is to put every potential national Republican candidate on notice that hiring Schmidt for perhaps anything other than coffee and sandwich fetching, would be an unmitigated disaster dooming them and their campaign to eternal hell across the Republican base.

It’s clear that McCain’s campaign failed on many levels. But former staffers who were responsible for that failure used the leftist media to shift blame from themselves on to Governor Palin, and that is reprehensible. Both the left and these former staffers had a motive to run this trash against the governor. They simply made up anything they thought sounded really bad then leaked it to an eager, Obama-rooting media who was more than happy to take their word for it. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Wallaces and Schmidt are consistently present during Heilemann and Halperin’s tales. But what does that say about Heilemann and Halperin as journalists?

Can you really be a “respected journalist” if you never cite your sources? Sources are used so that readers can judge for themselves the credibility of each claim. Without them, “journalists” are doing nothing but repeating rumors, which usually earns one the title, “Gossip Columnist.” What about bloggers? Personally, I try not to write on an important topics without listing my sources and posting links to back up claims. It’s one reason that I’ve never wrote a piece about all of the rumors I’ve heard about Mark Halperin sexually harassing and making inappropriate comments to female professional acquaintances. After all, they’re just rumors, right? (note: I have actually heard these rumors before, I didn’t just make them up for effect)

For years now, I’ve held to the notion that Governor Palin’s foes will do whatever it takes to destroy perceptions of her in the eyes of Americans. From ex-staffers with an axe to grind, to smear merchants like Heilemann and Halperin, to the left-wing activists who “produce” all things Hollywood, this book and the movie that followed shows how folks with an agenda can work in concert to achieve their ends. While each player may have a different overall agenda, the goal is the same. In the United States, 28.2 million households subscribe to HBO. That’s a lot of people who, by and large, are not familiar with the antics of the Wallaces, Schmidt, the rumors about Mark Halperin, or how devoted Tom Hanks is to pushing liberalism with campaign contributions and through the use popular culture. A fact not unnoticed by those responsible for this production.




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