Network television occasionally gets it right. On May 18th and 20th, CBS-TV will present a movie titled Hitler: The Rise of Evil. According to the April 12—18 edition of TV Guide, the filmmakers are hoping to portray Hitler's rise to power as "a cautionary tale for contemporary America. ‘It basically boils down to an entire nation gripped by fear, who ultimately chose to give up their civil rights and plunged the whole world into war,' says executive producer Ed Germon. ‘I can't think of a better time to examine this history than now.'"
TV Guide reported Germon's view that "fear fueled both the Bush administration's adoption of a preemptive-strike policy and the public's acceptance of it: ‘They will stand by and let it happen because of the fear of what will happen if they don't. . . . When an entire country becomes afraid for their sovereignty, for their safety,' he says, ‘they will embrace ideas and strategies and positions that they might not embrace otherwise.'"
The film's director, Christian Duguay, added: "'The person you elect — no matter how charismatic or how much they convey security and pride for their nation, are they really doing it for their nation,' Duguay asks, or for themselves?"
I am sending a letter to CBS-TV commending them for this film. (As my wife, Jane, observed from her experiences in public relations work at the Disney Channel, networks really do pay attention to such responses.) I suspect the neocons will be doing their best to get this pulled from the schedule. After all, how else are we gonna' maintain our "enduring freedom" if people can get away with criticizing our leader??
April 9, 2003
Butler Shaffer [send him e-mail] teaches at the Southwestern University School of Law.
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