Carol Platt Liebau: Reluctant to Remember?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Reluctant to Remember?

The disagreeable Tom Shales criticizes an A&E movie being aired tonight about Flight 93.

Not because it's bad, mind you -- he says "the film is unquestionably well made." No, Shales has "misgivings" because he thinks the network is "exploiting" the events of 9/11. And he sniffs disdainfully:

But the headline on a network press release reflects hype more than respect for the heroes: "A&E Network Proudly Presents 'Flight 93,' " it says of the film, described disingenuously as "a moving tribute" to those who died fighting terrorism on that plane. The film is airing about four months after the Discovery Channel offered "The Flight That Fought Back," which premiered on Sept. 11, 2005, the fourth anniversary of the tragedy. No doubt that film was meant as a "moving tribute," too.

Well, why not? Do the movies about Pearl Harbor or Iwo Jima exploit those events, or is it our culture's way of memorializing key moments in our national life?

Criticism like the ultimately incoherent bunk that Shales hurls makes me suspect that there are people who are uncomfortable with any Americans remembering 9/11 too vividly. Might drive up support for the war on terror, you know.


Blogger HouseOfSin said...

So whom are we to believe, Tom Shales or our own eyes?

This movie reports fact (best as we know). A Washington Post reporter admits, writes, and publishes that he sometimes regards factual reporting as exploitation.

Mr. Shales, you explain so much.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I would be interested to see if he has had the same negative reaction to other made for tv movies based on real life events. Are all such movies exploitation and therefore unworthy of being made? Or is it just anything that might lead people to have viewpoints he disagrees with that he considers to be exploitative?

4:36 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

This from a guy known more for his bad mustache then his reviews.

11:17 PM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

House, that was well put. I wonder if the ratings for an A&E movie will actually be higher than for a movie that has 8 oscar nominations based on gay shepherders?

Hollywood and the elite media journalists just love patting themselves on the back.

7:24 AM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Thanks copioneer - back at ya.

Much more seriously, my deepest of sympathies go out to everyone affected by that awful day. I know that if my life were personally touched by tragedy in this way, the least of my worries would be Tom Shales.

So I extend my best wishes and deepest sympathy to everyone affected.

12:47 PM  

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