The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Will 'Wall Street 2' promote an Obama-like 'Socialist agenda'?

April 7, 2010 | 12:01 pm

Apparently there is no limit to the level of paranoia that right-wingers have when it comes to Hollywood movies, especially ones directed by Oliver Stone.

That would be the take-away from a new attack leveled against "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," the Stone-directed sequel to his 1987 hit film that's due out this September, with Michael Douglas reprising his role as the now-disgraced corporate raider Gordon Gekko. Joseph Lindsey, one of the scribes at Andrew Breitbart's ultra-conservative Big Hollywood blog, got his mitts on a copy of the script and is -- gasp -- reeling with shock that the bad guys in the movie are cutthroat business people, you know, just like those ruthless Wall Street speculators that managed to bring the U.S. economy to the brink of collapse in the fall of 2008.

The post is another telling example of how conservatives today are unable to even read a simple film script without imposing their own political biases on every page of the story, even when, in this case, the script isn't even written by Stone, but by Allan Loeb, who, to add insult to injury, has his first name misspelled in the post. Since Lindsey has no evidence that Loeb is a dreaded latte-sipping, Prius-driving liberal, he simply decides that the script has been entirely reworked to reflect Stone's radical left views. Or as he puts it:

"Reading the script, you can imagine the scenes where Mr. Stone pecked his Commie-loving fingers on Mr. Loeb's keyboard to come up with scenes where the newly enlighten[ed] Gordon Gekko forgoes a fifteen minute wait at a New York bistro for a bite at Whole Foods." 

There are innumerable other gibes at Stone's alleged Obama-like "Socialist agenda" -- for example, the script blames the housing crisis on Wall Street, not liberal Congressman Barney Frank, who is a favorite bogeyman in right-wing circles. Lindsey is also outraged that, according to the script, Bill Maher -- whom he describes as "Hollywood's most vile and hate-filled creature" -- has a cameo as an emcee at a fancy rich-folks dinner.

But what really outrages Lindsey the most about the film's supposed "simplistic, liberal imagery as to who the enemy is"? He's shocked -- I mean, shocked -- to discover that "all thirteen times a TV is shown in the script, it's turned to the evil Fox Business channel." OMG! I hate to break the news to poor Mr. Lindsey and all his fellow conspiracy theorists at Big Hollywood. But that's not an example of Oliver Stone runaway socialism. It's a plug!

"Wall Street 2," like its predecessor, is made by 20th Century Fox, which of course is owned by arch- conservative Rupert Murdoch, so you can imagine right there the odds of this film really being a hateful screed against Wall Street evildoers. But at Fox, if you show a news channel in a scene, it's always Fox News, not CNN. And if you show a financial news show, it's always going to be Fox Business, not the competition. Come on, guys. Even Sean Penn knows that's not ideology, that's simply product placement.

If you want to attack Oliver Stone for fawning over Fidel Castro, go right ahead. But don't blame him for Fox taking care of its own.

Photo of Michael Douglas (left) and Shia LaBeouf in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" by Barry Wetcher / SMPSP/20th Century Fox