Frank Bruni of the Times warns us that the upcoming movie about the killing of Bin Laden won't be the Obama-booster Hollywood seemed destined to make:
I’M betting that Dick Cheney will love the new movie “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Who could have predicted that? Hollywood, after all, is supposed to be a West Coast annex of the Democratic National Committee, and the makers of this gripping thriller, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, were expected to repay the Obama administration for its indulgence of them with a tribute to the current president’s wisdom and grit.
But the movie of the year is also the political conundrum of the year, a far, far cry from the rousing piece of pro-Obama propaganda that some conservatives feared it would be. “Zero Dark Thirty,” which opens in theaters on Dec. 19 and presents itself as a quasi-journalistic account of what really happened, gives primary credit for the killing of Bin Laden to neither the Bush nor the Obama administrations but to one obsessive C.I.A. analyst whose work spans both presidencies. And it presents the kind of torture that Cheney advocated — but that President Obama ended — as something of an information-extracting necessity, repellent but fruitful.
Even as David Edelstein, the film critic for New York magazine, named “Zero Dark Thirty” the best movie of 2012 in a recent article, he digressed to say that it “borders on the politically and morally reprehensible,” because it “makes a case for the efficacy of torture.”
ERRATA: This old post has more background, including the obvious caveats: sources from both Teams Cheney and Obama will promote their own agenda, and the CIA had a bit of an institutional interest in dissuading an Eric Holder prosecution of their interogators.