Documentary filmmaker’s $220,000 to Dems exposes political activism
Posted: January 15, 2011 - 10:20 pm Eastern
© 2011 WorldNetDaily
“Inside Job” has made the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ short list for Best Documentary Feature, and is the Hollywood insiders’ favorite to win the Oscar. But conservative critics say the film, which blames Wall Street, deregulation and the Bush administration for the financial crisis, is political propaganda masquerading as serious documentary.
While grossing a disappointing $2.9 million so far at the box office, “Inside Job” has garnered almost universal acclaim. Out of 57 critical reviews, the film has earned an average rating of 8.2 out of 10, according to imdb.com, an Internet movie database.
The San Francisco Chronicle, for example, gushed that the documentary will “educate” Americans.
“After seeing ‘Inside Job,’ audiences will be smart angry,” the newspaper said. “They’ll know specifically how bankers, traders and economists brought on the recession. They’ll know who did it, and where to place the blame.”
“‘Inside Job’ was directed by Charles Ferguson, who made the best and most clear-headed documentary about the Iraq War (‘No End in Sight’),” the review continued. “But this documentary on the financial crisis is an even more impressive work of journalism.
“This took intellectual heft,” it claims, “but also a personal toughness that I suspect people who don’t do journalism for a living won’t quite appreciate.”
But reviews have neglected to mention the filmmaker’s political activism.
Creator Ferguson, who in fact is not a journalist and has worked for the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank in Washington, has contributed more than $220,000 to the Democratic Party and Democrat candidates. According to Federal Election Commission records, he has given exclusively to Democrats, including:
- $25,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2000
- $28,500 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2007
- $26,700 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006
- $28,500 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2008
- $10,000 to the Democratic Party of Oregon in 2004
- $10,000 to the Colorado Democratic Party in 2004
- $2,500 to the Nevada State Democratic Party
- $4,600 to Obama For America in 2008
- $30,800 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008
- $2,000 to John Kerry in 2003
- $25,000 to Kerry Victory 2004
- $5,000 to Friends of Albert Gore Jr. Inc in 1998
- $2,000 to Al Gore in 1999
- $27,250 in donations to individual Democratic candidates for public office
In a recent interview with TV talk show host Charlie Rose, Ferguson maintained: “I’m not a partisan person. I’m not a political person. I’ve never run for office, I never will. I’ve never served in the government. I view my function as policy analysis and investigative journalism.”
Rose did not ask him about his generous political donations to Obama, who has personally met with Ferguson. (Ferguson’s co-writer on the film project, Adam Bolt, has also donated to Obama’s campaign, federal records show.)
“When President Obama was elected, he had a very, very special opportunity of a kind that comes once a century, maybe, to really change this country for the better, to reverse what’s been happening to this country for the last quarter century,” Ferguson told Rose.
He said he hopes Obama creates a government that “actually governs and regulates and keeps control and tries to make the society fair again.”
Critics say “Inside Job” whitewashes the role of government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Macin the financial debacle. The federal chartered mortgage giants underwrote almost half the bad loans in the subprime crisis.
The movie gives government a “virtual pass,” said Barron’s editor Gene Epstein, “except as stooges or agents of the capitalists.”
“The financial system corrupted our political system,” actor Matt Damon narrates at the end of the film, “and plunged the world economy into crisis.”
“In fact, the movie has it exactly backwards,” says Investor’s Business Daily veteran Paul Sperry, author of the forthcoming book, “The Great American Bank Robbery: The Unauthorized Report About What Really Caused The Great Recession.”“Washington corrupted the financial system by socializing mortgages.”
He explains that government over the past two decades issued new housing and credit mandates that “fundamentally changed the home finance market.”