Mark Tapson is the Shillman Fellow on Popular Culture for the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
As the Democrat Party moves from one duplicitous, often illegal anti-Trump operation to another without pause (such as presidential impeachment and massive, nationwide voter fraud), their earlier scandals – even recent ones – get pushed into the background of our memory. As an example: the Deep State sabotage of the 2016 Trump campaign and presidency known as “ObamaGate,” which President Trump described as “the biggest political crime in American history, by far.” Charles Lipson at Real Clear Politics wrote that ObamaGate’s abuses of power “represent some of the gravest violations of constitutional norms and legal protections in American history… The entrenched elites behind these scandals are the Swamp at its most sulfurous. They spied illegally on Americans and used powerful tools of government to damage the party-out-of-power, its outsider candidate, and then his new presidency.”
This would be great fodder for a gripping Hollywood drama – except that Hollywood doesn’t dramatize Democrat abuses of power. So it fell to conservative filmmakers, award-winning journalists, and bestselling authors Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer to capture the essence of the scandal on film for posterity.
Co-produced by the Unreported Story Society and Tom Fitton’s Judicial Watch, ObamaGate: The Movie, available to watch for free here on YouTube, exposes the Deep State plot to subvert the Trump candidacy and presidency, and lays bare the lies behind the Russian collusion hoax relentlessly perpetuated by the Democrats and their abettors in the mainstream news media. Filmed in Los Angeles on the Comedy Central stage at the Hudson Theater, it stars openly-conservative actor Dean Cain, best-known as TV’s Superman, and Kristy Swanson, star of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, as “FBI lovebird” agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. It also features familiar face John James from the Dynasty TV series as Obama administration FBI Director James Comey.
McElhinney and McAleer founded The Unreported Story Society in 2017 “with a mission to tell the stories that the mainstream media ignores through art and modern media,” as the website states. The Unreported Story Society has created successful plays like FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers and has produced several podcasts such as The Ann & Phelim Scoop. McElhinney and McAleer are best known for their films Fracknation and Gosnell, which I reviewed here, based on their compelling book of the same name (which I also reviewed, here).
The ObamaGate: The Movie screenplay was co-written by McAleer and my good friend, the (also openly-conservative) screenwriter/novelist Brian Godawa. But there is nothing fictional about the dialogue; the filmmakers drew every word completely verbatim from declassified files, congressional and court transcripts, tweets, statements of top government and FBI officials, and of course, the conspiratorial text messages of Strzok and Page. This storytelling technique makes it impossible for the political left to accuse the filmmakers of fictionalizing or spinning any aspect of the tale. It not only uses the left’s own words against them, but does it in a farcical fashion, rendering the corrupt characters of ObamaGate as objects of ridicule. And as the Democrats’ second most influential (after Karl Marx) strategist Saul Alinsky noted, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” The filmmakers’ choice to take ObamaGate in this direction is a brilliant strategy.
The handsome Cain (who also starred in Gosnell) doesn’t try to recreate Strzok’s satanic facial contortions (who could?), but he and Swanson both manage to embody and hold up for ridicule the self-importance and self-righteousness of their characters. Cain gets the most laughs in the film (it’s a play before a live audience, so their reactions are audible), largely due to his verbatim readings of Strzok’s cringeworthy tweets, including the emojis and expressive punctuation like “winky-face,” “smiley-face,” and “exclamation mark exclamation mark exclamation mark!”
Actor John James is dressed in a Boy Scout uniform throughout the play “to highlight the childish absurdity behind James Comey’s self-righteous tweets, testimony, and attitude,” McAleer writes on his website. “James Comey is not the hero he thinks he is – or the one that Showtime’s The Comey Rule portrays him as. In his tweets, speeches, and Congressional testimony – Comey acts like a Boy Scout who could do no wrong. But that could not be farther from the truth,” McAleer adds.
In a similarly mocking manner, gruff former CIA Director John Brennan is played by Paul Michael Nieman in a suit, but shod in fluffy animal slippers with a teddy bear tucked under one arm throughout his scenes. He gradually becomes apoplectic about Trump while choking his teddy bear and firing off pompous tweets. Actors portraying FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch also make cameo appearances.
One of the highlights of the film comes when the romantically-involved Page and Strzok share their most damning exchange of tweets. “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Swanson, as Page, asks Strzok. “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Cain responds. Title cards at the film’s end note, “The Inspector General found Strzok and Page’s tweets to be biased against Trump, and that Strzok’s messages implied a “willingness to take official [FBI] action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.”
ObamaGate: The Movie manages to make this outrage entertaining and illuminating, while not diminishing its serious impact on the state of our Republic. In a postscript to the film, producers Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch addresses the viewer and labels ObamaGate “the worst corruption scandal in American history. The characters you saw in the movie were really just the supporting cast for one man – Barack Obama,” who was central to the operation. “You had Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and yes, Joe Biden intimately involved in the illicit targeting of President Trump and other Americans.”
The political left would like awareness of this historic abuse of power to go away. Last month producers McElhinney and McAleer discovered that the phrase “ObamaGate” was secretly removed from Twitter’s “latest” search function. “ObamaGate trended on Twitter for days and was tweeted over 3.5 million times, according to the Independent, and now it has been completely removed from Twitter’s search function,” McAleer wrote in a press release. “This is China-like censorship in America. Twitter is selectively editing history right before our eyes and it has to stop.” Perhaps a huge surge of views on YouTube might demonstrate the refusal of American patriots to let the left stuff both the scandal and the movie down the memory hole.
Did I mention you can watch ObamaGate: The Movie for free?