The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

« Previous Post | The Big Picture Home | Next Post »

How did 'Waiting for 'Superman's' ' Davis Guggenheim become the right wing's favorite liberal filmmaker?

Davis_guggensim No one is a more well-credentialed progressive than Davis Guggenheim, who directed Al Gore's influential global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," as well as produced a dramatic short about Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. But with his new documentary, "Waiting for 'Superman,' " which opened today in selected cities across the country, Guggenheim has become conservative medialand's favorite new filmmaker.

Why? Because "Waiting for 'Superman,' " which has been getting good reviews all across the political spectrum, ably makes the case that the nation's children have been betrayed by teachers' unions while portraying charter schools in a hugely flattering light, two concepts that nicely dovetail with the prevailing sentiment in the conservative community.

So the Wall Street Journal, whose editorial page has mocked Gore and any scientist who raised the alarm about global warming for years, has given Guggenheim and his new film a firm embrace. In an op-ed piece this week, William McGurn calls "Superman" a "stunning liberal expose of a system that consigns American children who most need a decent education to our most destructive public schools."

Guggenheim is getting similar treatment from the New York Post, Rupert Murdoch's arch-conservative tabloid. Post film critic Kyle Smith heaped scorn on Guggenheim's "Inconvenient Truth," mocking the props Gore used in his onscreen lecture. Smith wrote: "He assesses the trade-off between the economy and the environment with the kind of buffoonery you'd expect in a Marxist comic book, displaying a cartoon of a scale with Earth on one side and bars of gold on the other. Why doesn't he get specific and replace the 'gold bar' side of the scale with, say, a $50,000 tax on SUVs?"

But when it comes to Guggenheim's "Superman," Smith is all smiles, describing the film on his blog as "one of the best films of the year." In his review he calls the movie a "heartbreaking yet thrillingly hopeful documentary [where] adults are finally starting to notice how badly kids have been betrayed by teachers unions."

If you're a documentary filmmaker, you're happy to get rave reviews from any source, since you need all the good PR you can get. But I find it revealing, when it comes to the liberal vs. conservative partisan divide, that whenever Michael Moore releases a new documentary promoting a liberal cause, conservatives are quick to bash him for being a left-wing propagandist. But when Guggenheim makes a film offering wholehearted support for a conservative cause, liberal critics have written just as many glowing reviews as conservative ones. (The film has a sky-high 93 fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.) What does that tell you about who's got the most open mind here? 

Photo: Davis Guggenheim at a press conference in Toronto for the film "Waiting for 'Superman.' " Credit: Warren Toda / European Pressphoto Agency

 
Comments () | Archives (26)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Well, maybe if Moore wasn't such a slobbering idiot in the way he presents his propaganda he would also have a wider base of support. Guggenheim may be liberal in his ideology, but he is able to step outside that & present an issue that desperately needs to be looked at, regardless of which side of the political fence one resides. Moore is so concerned about his 'image' that he is apparently incapable of doing any project evenhandedly.

Patrick Goldstein's evolution from journalistic workhorse to one-trick pony is now complete. He's obviously become far more interested in maintaining his well-earned standing in liberal circles than actually, say, reporting on Entertainment, Media, and Pop Culture. I find nothing of substance in his column, just political vitriol. It's nice to see that his nonsensical "Look! Look! We're better than you!"argument has been picked apart so thoroughly in this comments section. Time to look elsewhere for anything of substance.

If Mr. Guggenheim REALLY CARED about the kids, he would DONATE all PROCEEDS from this MOVIE to the CHILDREN! He would PAY their TUITION for a PRIVATE SCHOOL?

That is if any PRIVATE SCHOOL will accept them? Most private schools are very selective on who they accept in their schools.

Blaming the TEACHERS is akin to a FAT LADY blaming her WEIGHT WATCHER'S counselor!

Kids don't pay attention and don't do their homework! Then, wonder why they fail? Duh?

Michelle Rhee claims to care about education, but the "bad teachers" she fired were mostly fully-credentialled, older, black women who had a vested interest in the community.

She replaced them with mostly white, inexperienced young people that didn't have teaching credentials and were just PASSING THROUGH the "ghetto".

TEST SCORES went DOWN EVEN LOWER!

Michelle Rhee only taught for 3 years and DOES NOT have a teaching credential. As Chancellor, she made over a quarter of a million dollars per year!

Davis Guggenheim is now the toast of The Cato Institute, Reason Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, American Enterprise Institute, The John Birch Society, The Hoover Institution, The Hudson Institute, and a whole host of reactionary right wing organizations.

It's great to know that the same failed economic principles that gave us the dot com crash, the housing market crises, and the current great recession are being proffered as solutions for our publicly funded schools. Who better than the slick, unscrupulous, hipster Guggenheim to try and sell us thoroughly discredited 'free market' ideology in the guise of reform.

While charter-voucher scandals [1] are a dime a dozen, and charter schools discriminate against the most needy of students, at least Guggenheim can rest assured that his well heeled executive friends in the corporate CMO/EMO charter-voucher industry are making a killing.

[1] http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/

Davis Guggenheim is now the toast of The Cato Institute, Reason Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, American Enterprise Institute, The John Birch Society, The Hoover Institution, The Hudson Institute, and a whole host of reactionary right wing organizations.

It's great to know that the same failed economic principles that gave us the dot com crash, the housing market crises, and the current great recession are being proffered as solutions for our publicly funded schools. Who better than the slick, unscrupulous, hipster Guggenheim to try and sell us thoroughly discredited 'free market' ideology in the guise of reform.

While charter-voucher scandals [1] are a dime a dozen, and charter schools discriminate against the most needy of students, at least Guggenheim can rest assured that his well heeled executive friends in the corporate CMO/EMO charter-voucher industry are making a killing.

[1] http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/

 
« | 1 2 3

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Stay Connected:



About the Bloggers


Categories


Archives
 


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: