The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Is 'Angels and Demons' soft on Muslim terrorists?


Just when Ron Howard thought he was in the clear, having avoided being attacks by the Vatican for any anti-Catholic story lines in his upcoming "Angels and Demons," he now finds himself under fire from the one and only Debbie Schlussel. Revered as a truth-teller in conservative circles, the blogger-critic is actually a trigger-happy anti-Muslim zealot -- she went nuclear last year when "Defiance" Ed Zwick director refused to condemn Hamas -- who's now taking aim at "Angels and Demons," which she (big surprise) thinks is soft on Muslim terrorists.

How did the Howard-directed thriller go from being anti-Catholic to pro-Muslim? According to early press reports, Howard apparently changed the identity of an assassin, who is Muslim in the Dan Brown bestseller, to someone who is now Danish. For the rest of us, this is -- how should I put it -- not such a big deal. But for Schlussel? She writes:

"Over the years, I've written about the many movies in which Hollywood changes the villain or the terrorist in the original script or novel from a Muslim to something else out of politically correct deference to Islam, the religion of whiners (and ultimately, murderers). Now, Hollywood continues in this tradition. ... I'm already learning that ['Angels and Demons'] has been 'disinfected' by Islamopanderers (director Ron Howard) not wanting to upset our dear friends in the 'Religion of Peace,' who might do something 'peaceful' if the movie had stayed true to the book."

This is just part of a prolonged Schlussel shame campaign, often based on the flimsiest of evidence, to belittle Hollywood for not treating Muslims as wild-eyed villains. In one of her classic posts, she attacked Marvel Comics for giving academic internships to Arab students from the United Arab Emirates, using that as evidence to support her outrageous claim that "Spider-Man and the Hulk are embracing the new Nazis." She also recently ridiculed the Wall Street Journal for allowing one of its reporters ("with a Muslim-sounding first name") to write admiringly about a Muslim author doing a DC comic book.

I don't exactly have a direct line to Ron Howard to talk to him about his casting process. But here's my suggestion: The next time Howard does a Dan Brown thriller, if there's a good part for a terrorist, I think he oughta make sure Debbie Schlussel gets first crack at the job.   



Photo of Tom Hanks in "Angels and Demons" by Zade Rosenthal/Columbia Pictures.

Comments () | Archives (22)

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No wonder I barely ever read the LA Slimes. Look what worthless drivel they print!

Whiners and murderers?.... don't throw any rocks if you live in a glass house.

A contemporary extremist!! isn't she.

shes just on the other side.

No offense but people like her spread more hatred than good she is a perfect example of a western extremist.
For me she & her counterparts the Al-Qaeda boys are literally the same, the difference is just of the attire and the language. They both are essentially doing the same thing; spreading hatred that is.

Doesn't what Debbie says shows a quality point for which all Muslims should answer ? Why on any hint of their religion being dragged in, they start bombing and killing people and start issuing fatwas in their leisure time. And then send in their Jihadis, trained in their madrasas to kill and maim peaceful people.

It's always sad/funny to read about these deranged folk and marvel at what passes for logic in their world.Still, giving them publicity only encourages them. Better to leave such reporting to World Nut Daily and hate radio. Let them be deafened in their own echo chamber..

Wow, Patrick, you get more and more cowardly with every "blog" post. I use quotes because you just don't get anything but your old columns/reviews and branching out to what "the kids these days" are doing is just pandering and reverse-anachronistic - like a T-Rex with a digital watch; yeah it can wear one but it still can't tell the time.

Why don't you take the time to address the substance of her criticism rather than her? You approach that methodology with your rants, but you use it to mask the fact that she actually come up with a salient point finally. But you have such a personal beef with her you can't even admit she has a point.

This might be fine for a 7th grader with a blog. But for a grown-up "journalist", er, blogger... it just cheapens you as well.

So take some time and get to the point. If you can.

I just spend 10 minutes of my life reading her blog that I'll never get back. She's like a more attractive/female version of Ann Coulter.

I need to go rinse my eyes out with bleach now.

Reminds me of Christopher Hitchens great post reflecting on two decades after reception of The Satanic Verses, Assassins of the Mind.

I agree the matter is not a "big deal" - since Howard made the "safe" decision to make whitey a terrorist. It would be a huge deal if indeed a swarthy Muslim was kept the original evil character. Let me pose the question in a different light - would it be a "big deal" if a movie was being made from a book that had a white terrorist, but then Hollywood decided to make that character a Muslim in the movie version?

Would it be a "big deal" if a book was going to be made into a movie and it had a white terrorist in the original book. Then Hollywood decides to make the terrorist a Muslim in the movie?

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