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New Spitzer Doc = Great Propaganda

Posted on April 27 2010 10:23 pm
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New Eliot Spitzer documentary is the best propaganda film this year

By Roger Stone – The Daily Caller | Published: 04/26/10 at 1:23 PM | Updated: 04/26/10 at 1:24 PM

Guggenheim, the early political auteur, who helmed films for the Kennedy brothers, has found a successor. His name is Alex Gidney.

Gidney’s untitled documentary on Eliot Spitzer, which previewed at the Tribeca Film Festival, is no doubt evidence that the filmmaker is great. He is a fine fellow to hoist a few and dine with. He’s also great at swapping stories. But his film is a terrific piece of campaign art — nothing more than pro-Spitzer propaganda.

Of course, Gidney guilds Spitzer’s reputation as the Sherriff of Wall Street. It tells us about the crusading Attorney General, busting Merrill Lynch, and pursuing the New York Stock Exchange’s Chairman Richard Grasso for undue compensation. The film, however, is notable for its omissions.

It fails to tell us about the Marsh McLennan settlement in which Spitzer blackmails the company into purchasing an investigative agency and making its CEO, a Spitzer protégé, the new head of Marsh McLennan, a condition of settlement. When this hack is forced out of Marsh McLennan, he gets a $30 million golden parachute. Didn’t Spitzer pursue Grasso for excess compensation?

The film also never speaks of the illegal financing of both Eliot Spitzer’s 1994 and 1998 campaigns for New York Attorney General, where his father guaranteed loans illegally to finance the campaign and transferred property to Eliot that was used as collateral for a loan to pay off the preceding illegally guaranteed campaign loan. This scheme was intended to violate New York State Election Law, which limited Bernard Spitzer, Eliot’s father, by spending no more than $100,000 toward his son’s campaign. Mike Daley, now of the New York Post, formerly of the New York Daily News, has written extensively about the shady financing of Spitzer’s early career. That Gidney would not interview him tells you this film is a polemic, not a documentary.

Spitzer is not questioned about why he lied repeatedly to the New York Daily News and the New York Times about the source of his campaign’s finances until ultimately admitting his lie and pledging to pay off the loans. After election, as AG, he declines to show evidence of the loan repayment, and the loans are subsumed into a larger note with his father. If Spitzer’s very election as attorney general was illegally financed, how can he be the arbiter of right and wrong? It makes everything he did as attorney general illegitimate. He cheated the system and won.

Read more at The Daily Caller

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