Steven Hofman: Movie review short on facts
December 22, 2010
Steamboat Springs — In a review summary of the movie "Fair Game" published in the Dec. 17 edition of the Steamboat Today, Roger Ebert writes: "(Valerie) Plame was then outed as a CIA agent, apparently by an aide of Dick Cheney's." This reference needs to be corrected.
In fact, as the movie itself acknowledges in the credits at its end, Ms. Plame was not outed by any White House officials or aide to the then vice president. Her CIA status was leaked to the media by Richard Armitage, then deputy secretary of state under Colin Powell.
The error is easy to understand if all one knew about these events was learned from the movie's screen play. Throughout the film, Ms. Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson, point to the existence of a White House conspiracy against them led by Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby and presidential adviser Karl Rove. These aides are easy targets. But as a recent Washington Post editorial notes, "Fair Game also resells the couple's (Plame and Wilson's) story that Ms. Plame's exposure was the result of a White House conspiracy. A lengthy and wasteful investigation by a special prosecutor found no such conspiracy …"
As the Post, no friend of the Bush administration in most policy matters, also points out, "Fair Game" is the latest example demonstrating that "Hollywood has a habit of making movies about historical events without regard for the truth …"
Distinguishing between facts and propaganda is one responsibility of a film review. When the review gets things wrong, so do Steamboat Today readers, who deserve better.