Tuesday, January 23, 2007


The New York Times has a story about the Hillary Clinton webcast; here's the gloss on that Times story at Lucianne.com:

Hillary and her fake movie memory busted right out of the box.


I go to the revelant Lucianne thread and learn that the alleged debunking is at Hugh Hewitt's blog. Here it is:

Asked about her favorite movie, she replied in part: "Probably when I was in college and law school, Casablanca.  You know, I watched it,  I don't know how many times, and you know it was always so just much fun, and by the time we watched it over and over again we were actually reciting the dialogue" ...

Mrs. Clinton graduated from Wellesley in 1969 and Yale Law School in 1973.  Perhaps  Betamax machines and VCRs made an early appearance at those campuses, or there was a  film theater nearby that showed nothing but Casablanca, but the idea that she watched it "over and over again," is one of those "hmmm" moments that catch your attention, like Al Gore's dog's Shiloh's medicine or John Kerry's magic hat.

Oh, Jesus. What is wrong with these people?

OK, kids, here's a little history lesson from a middle-aged guy. Back in the Jurassic Era, before Netflix and DVDs and VHS and Betamax, there were revival houses -- theaters that screened nothing but old (or relatively old) movies. They tended to thrive in -- duh! -- big cities and college towns. (I believe New Haven would qualify as both. Please fact-check me on this.)

Campus organizations also screened classics -- every weekend, as a rule. Usually these were film societies, but sometimes they were just non-film organizations looking to raise money.

Oh, and there was a telecommunications medium known as "late night TV," where genuinely old movies showed up on a regular basis. (Back then, virtually every TV channel was Turner Classic Movies after midnight.)

When I was a teenager in Boston, shortly after Hillary got her law degree, you really could see classic films like Casablanca every few months. If Hewitt claims not to know this, he's either lying or oblivious -- he's Harvard class of '78; what does he think was going on in the '70s and '60s at theaters like the Orson Welles Cinema and the Brattle? By the way, about the Brattle....

In the 1950s the Brattle Theater was bought by two gentlemen who started programming older films for the Harvard students. They chose 'Casablanca'...which wasn't an obscure film...it had won an Academy Award for Best Picture...but it was about ten years old and they screened it during final exams. Students started coming and then it became a mission among older Harvard students to bring freshmen, dates, and others to the film. Eventually, people started showing up in costumes and began speaking the dialogue and standing up to sing. It was the original "Rocky Horror Picture Show" -- the original audience experience in a movie theater in a way that had never happened before in movie theaters.

So -- at least in Cambridge, starting in the 1950s -- people did see Casablanca so often that they could recite the dialogue. Maybe Hugh even knew some of them. So why not Wellesley in the '60s or New Haven in the early '70s?

So there's one more phony scandal. I wonder how far up the media food chain this one will go. (Though you have to feel sorry for the wingnuts --they need something now that the Obama's-a-secret-Muslim lie has been thoroughly debunked by CNN.)


One more thing: In Hillary's webcast, she says her favorite recent movie is Out of Africa. Hewitt's gloss:

Finally, the "Out of Africa" reference may lose her the election.  Really.  That's frightening. 

Is this supposed to be a joke? And if not, does anybody have the slightest idea what he's talking about?

No comments: