Kathy Shaidle

Shocker: Oliver Stone manipulates history in new film

Posted on July 26 2010 4:00 pm
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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Oliver Stone is basically Michael Moore on Slimfast (or maybe some other white powder.)

(Then again, given today’s revelations, maybe that should read “Mel Gibson without the Tourette’s…”)

When it comes to Stone’s on-again, off-again relationship with the facts, don’t get me started on JFK (no, seriously: don’t).

Now Stone has a new film out called South of the Border, and I hesitated to even bringing it up because, well, more people will read my post about it than will ever view the actual film.

But when a “cultural reporter” for the New York Times accuses Stone of  peddling inaccuracies, I pay attention.

Larry Rohter explains:

One month ago, I incurred the wrath of Oliver Stone for stating the obvious in an article I wrote:  his new movie South of the Border, ostensibly a “documentary” about Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and a group of supposedly like-minded South American colleagues, is so riddled with errors, misrepresentations, fabrications and fraudulent statistics as to be useless except as an example of over-the-top propaganda.  At the screening for the movie that I attended, I counted more than two dozen assertions that are demonstrably incorrect, but chose, in the limited space available to me, to focus on but a handful.

Rohter places much of the blame on the film’s co-screenwriter, Mark Weisbrot:

Weisbrot is an economist, not a historian, and apparently not a very good one.  Either he is so incompetent that he can’t read a simple table or he is deliberately manipulating the numbers.  The latter seems more likely, since reputable economists have chastised him for such lapses in the past.  For example, Francisco Rodriguez, a Venezuelan who once was chief economist for the Venezuelan Congress and now teaches at Wesleyan University, has written a scathing paper called “How Not to Defend the Revolution:  Mark Weisbrot and the Misinterpretation of Venezuelan Evidence.”  (…)

South of the Border is riddled with other errors and misinformation like this, but Stone and Weisbrot refuse to acknowledge them.  They continue to insist, for instance, that Chavez’s main opponent in the 1998 election was not Henrique Salas Romer, the former state governor who got 40 percent of the vote, but Irene Saez, the beauty queen who received a mere 3 percent.  By that novel and bizarre standard, George Bush’s main opponent in the 2000 election was not Al Gore but Ralph Nader, and Ronald Reagan’s main opponent in the 1980 election was not Jimmy Carter but John Anderson.

Oh, dear.

It gets better, as Rohter takes up that “Carter” ball and runs with it, slamming the former President at length.

Rohter’s article is long and may try the patience of anyone not passionate about South American politics and history, but it is worth reading as a righteous takedown of Stone, Carter and Chavez. Read it: it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Stone manipulates history in an attempt to promote his socialist buddy, Hugo Chavez.

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