Accuracy in Media

CNN’s Piers Morgan shocked conservatives with his surprisingly tough interview of Davis Guggenheim last Thursday about his puff-piece “documentary” on Barack Obama.

Morgan: Most documentary makers, you know, balance these movies with the negative as well as the positive. What are the negatives in your movie about Barack Obama?

Guggenheim: Well  the negative for me was there were too many accomplishments. I had seventeen minutes to put them all in there.

Morgan: Oh, come off it. You can’t say that with a straight face, come on.

Guggenheim: I’m looking at you right now with a straight face. I mean, look, I mean, I’m sure he—

Morgan: The only negatives about Barack Obama is there are too many positives?

Guggenheim: That was the negative—excuse me—the negative for me, which was, you know, I—the challenge for me is, I wanted to put more in there. I really did.

Morgan: But are there any negatives in there?

Guggenheim: I think they’re negatives in the sense that the challenges when you’re trying to pass healthcare in a really toxic environment, they’re negatives in terms of the opposition he’s had, in terms of the political climate in Washington. I think that’s—time and time again you hear that from people who work closely with him. He says, you know, they—he really ran hoping to change the political climate in Washington and that hasn’t changed. And he’s fought—he’s wanted to bring people together, he’s wanted to compromise, he’s wanted to bring people together to make tough decisions—I say that in the movie and he hasn’t had another side working with him.

Morgan: But where do you find fault in him, personally?

Guggenheim: (laughs) You know, I don’t. I don’t, frankly.

Morgan: He’s a perfect human being?

Guggenheim: Well, no, but I’m really quite in awe of him as a leader and the choices he’s made.

Morgan: I mean, the reason I’m—I’m only asking because you are a well-known documentary maker and this would be the first movie I guess you’ve made where it’s all completely positive and even you personally don’t see any negative at all to the guy. Do you think you were the right guy to make this? I mean, are you dispassionate enough to do a Barack Obama video?

Guggenheim: But Piers, you haven’t seen the movie. You’ve only seen the trailer. How do you know it’s not—

 Morgan: Well, I’ve only asked you to list any negatives and you’ve said the only negative was you couldn’t put enough positives in.

Guggenheim: Well that’s true, that’s true.

Morgan: (laughs) How much did it cost and who paid?

Guggenheim: Well I’ll let the campaign tell you that. I took a pay cut to make this. But, again, I make movies—

 Morgan: I’m surprised you weren’t paying him, by the sound of it, for the sheer honor and joy.

Morgan was right. Guggenheim is so in love with Obama — no negatives, too many accomplishments — that he should have offered to pay Obama’s re-election campaign for the privilege of making the one-sided film.

I’ll give Morgan credit for not letting Guggenheim slide when asked about his feelings towards Obama and the lack of objectivity in the film. Had it been Larry King doing the interview, he likely would have shared in the enthusiasm for Obama and given Guggenheim a pass.

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