What the Frack?

Ben Shapiro is a Senior Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. He is the author of the new book "The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration" (Threshold Editions).


My favorite part of attending the movies is the previews of upcoming attractions. My wife, who is used to skipping the previews and arriving just in time for the big show, routinely gets irritated at my insistence on punctuality at the flicks.

After watching Looper on Saturday night, my wife’s right.

The movie itself was a massive disappointment. How you can screw up a film about time travel starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Hollywood proves time and again that they can do things nobody ever thought possible.

But the real lowlight of the evening was the previews. The first offensive preview was Matt Damon’s Promised Land. It starts off with Matt Damon working for a fracking corporation. Fracking – more technically known as hydraulic fracturing — is the process by which pressurized fluid is injected into underground rocks, blasting out crevices that can be mined for natural gas. Fracking creates hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the United States and has the potential for many more. And state regulations ensure that fracking is largely safe for the environment. Hydraulic fracking has never – never – contaminated drinking water. The chemicals used are safe and regulated. All wastewater must be discarded in compliance with state and federal law.

But according to Hollywood, this evil practice – a practice which has generated some $100 billion of revenue per year – must be stopped cold.

Thus Promised Land. Because Damon begins by working for the fracking company, we know full well that they’ll be concealing the dire environmental impact of fracking and exploiting those poor landowners for all they’re worth. John Krasinski, most famous for portraying Jim in The Office, plays a farmer who’s realized the environmental danger of fracking.

This is the fracking version of Silkwood, apparently. And it looks terrible. But the propaganda effect of the preview is obvious: if you watch the preview and nothing else, all you’ll know about fracking is that it’s terrible for the environment. And that would be false. So Hollywood hasn’t quite wasted tens of millions. They’re getting their money’s worth of propaganda value.

The next preview was Zero Dark Thirty, set to premiere just after the election. Diligent readers will recall that the movie was originally slated to premiere just before the election, before the studio, afraid of political blowback, killed that notion. Instead, they’re running previews for this film which fictionalizes finding and killing Bin Laden.

Unlike Promised Land, this looks like a good film. But it also plays up the aspect of uncertainty in a way that nobody in the intelligence community has ever verified, except for Joe Biden. The entire preview centers around the notion that the American intelligence community is deeply divided over the Bin Laden hit. In reality, virtually nobody was against it. But the point of the movie, for which director Kathryn Bigelow received special Obama administration access, is that Obama made a “gutsy call.” And that’s what viewers get from the preview.

Finally, there was the preview for the remake of Red Dawn. The original version back in the 1980s was an ode to conservatism. It’s about a Soviet invasion of the United States, with a young band of Americans battling the Reds. The new version was originally supposed to be about a Chinese invasion of the United States. But China objected, and China has a huge film market. So now, the film is about the North Koreans invading America.

The North Koreans.  Think about it.

The film still looks conservative. There’s still a lot of talk about the greatness of America, America being the home of the brave, etc. But substituting Pyongyang for Beijing is just a mark of how willing Hollywood is to discard realism in favor of cash when it comes to labeling our enemies.

Most Americans won’t see any of these films. But a huge number will at least hear about them. And that means that their whiff of propaganda will enter the public nostrils. This is how Hollywood defines culture – one bit at a time. For my own part, I plan to start arriving late at the theater.

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  • posse101

    wrong side of history again Matt. keep trying— you may eventually get it right… but i doubt it.

  • pierce

    THERE USED TO BE TWO CHARACTERS, ONE FRICK, THE OTHER WAS FRACK. THE FIRST THING I THOUGHT OF WHEN I SAW FRACK WAS OBAMA OR BIDEN. SORRY IF I DENIGRATED A GOOD ARTICLE.

    • Mary Sue

      Obama and Biden are "Frick and Frack" XD

  • “gunner”

    “gutsy call”?, i remember that photo of a room full of people with laptops, all busy, and obama sitting off in the corner, looking clueless and totally out of the loop. decisions were being made, and actions taken, but not by him

  • tagalog

    I went to see Argo yesterday. Good flick, but if you didn't know that Democrat Jimmy Carter was president, this movie wouldn't be much help. I tried to keep track of the references to Carter; I think there were six extremely split-second viewings of pictures of Carter (that you probably would miss if you weren't looking) and one specific moment when someone mentioned his name. Most interestingly, as the credits neared their end (after most viewers would have left the theater), on came the voice of the real Jimmy Carter extolling the mission and the heroism of the people involved.

  • tagalog

    As to the previews, they showed the preview of Promised Land that Shapiro saw, at my show. I too like coming early enough to see the previews. I agree wholeheartedly with Shapiro. The movie is obviously about a poor-but-honest hometown set of just folks being exploited by the cynical fracking combine and the renegade home boy who left the farm for the big city, out to rip them off as thoroughly as possible. I'll miss that one for sure. They also showed the preview of the remake of Red Dawn (I didn't know it needed a remake), a surefire dog if I ever saw one coming. I'll probably watch it anyway, since the original Red Dawn is a guilty pleasure of mine.

  • Deerknocker

    Word is that "Promised Land" was largely financed by Middle East oil interests. No wonder they want to denigrate fracking. Red Dawn with North Koreans invading? What, did they swim over?

    • Stephen_Brady

      The North Koreans tunnel over. Every time I see a mole tunnel in the backyard, I'm moved to go arm myself, just in case!

  • Keith1941

    We've been fracking in this country since 1947. Does anyone remember when natural gas was going to replace gasoline as a fuel for cars, but there were concerns about the supply of natural gas? Now that we've found a way to get more, the Leftists find another problem.

    This is nothing more than helping our Marxist-in-Chief push his Green agenda. Reelect obama, and you "ain't seen nuthin yet".

  • tedh754

    This reminds me of when Hollywood substituted "neo-Nazis" for Iranians in "The Sum of all Fears."

    • Stephen_Brady

      Exactly …

  • HermitLion

    Also doesn't hurt to know that the anti-fracking propaganda is funded by the ME oil tyrannies.
    Finally Americans can pay money to have their brain washed by foreign enemies. Go absurdity go!

    (Here's one link out of many) http://blog.heritage.org/2012/09/28/matt-damons-a

  • dmw

    Perhaps the first group of North Koreans land in a 747 and take over the Seattle Airport disguised as a trade or cultural mission. After several weeks and arrival of the 126th flight of the same 747 from North Korea, the White House and State Department decide to launch an investigation to answer the question: Is this a trade or cultural mission or is it something else? Meanwhile, US Air force and Army troops at nearby Joint Base McChord/Lewis continue to deal with effects of 'Sequestration' and the Navy negotiates another deal for 'biofuels'.

  • dmw

    North Koreans invade the screen, while the Chinese invade the movie business. "On May 21, 2012, Dalian Wanda Group, a Chinese conglomerate headquartered in Dalian, and AMC announced a $2.6 billion deal for Wanda Group to acquire AMC's 5,048 screens in 347 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. On September 4, 2012 Wang Jianlin, Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group announced the closure of the deal. The acquisition makes Wanda the world's largest cinema chain." –Wikipedia

    • pyeatte

      Don't worry, the Hollywood culture will soon end up infecting China, and should do them in.

  • Spider

    For the progressive any act of progress is evil. They won't be happy until we return to a pre industrial agrarian society where everyone lives in a little shack and tills the soil for a living. They are completely anti-human and anti-progress. Leave it up to them to call themselves by the Orwellian name "Progressive".

  • Ghostwriter

    I have no plans to see ANY of those movies. I might go to see "Wreck-It-Ralph."

  • Tanner

    If conservatives can't have influence in the Hollywood industry, then I think it's time that conservatives made their own "Hollywood" organization, but with a different name of course. Then we will see some real composition over ideas.

  • Nizam

    I agreed with Pyeatte, the time will come soon. when Hollywood culture changed
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