(Photo: White House)
President Obama often comes under fire for exaggerating his direct role in the killing of Osama bin Laden in May of 2011, but a new movie backed by mega-Democrat donor Harvey Weinstein has apparently been edited to feature the president even more.
Set to air just two days before the election on National Geographic-- which has roughly 85 million viewers-- the New York Times reports that "SEAL Team 6: The Raid on Osama bin Laden" was recut to feature news and documentary clips that bolster Obama's presence throughout the film.
The New York Times continues:
In a joint interview on Tuesday Mr. Weinstein; the film’s director, John Stockwell; and others said the changes to the film were not politically motivated but were meant to give the film a stronger sense of realism. Some of the Obama moments were added at the suggestion of Mr. Weinstein, they said, using material gathered by Meghan O’Hara, a producer who worked closely with the documentarian Michael Moore on politically charged projects like “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Sicko.”
But Mr. Stockwell said he had included Mr. Obama as a character in his film from the beginning, and had actually shrunk his screen time somewhat. And Howard T. Owens, the chief executive of the National Geographic Channel, who joined the call, said his company had insisted on removing a scene that showed Mitt Romney appearing to oppose the raid.
“We wouldn’t air this if it were propaganda,” he said.
The scenes featuring Mr. Obama include an opening with him at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner just a day before the raid (which was added by Ms. O’Hara); another that catches him on a long, lonely walk as he presumably deliberates his weighty decision; and — without getting too deeply into spoilers — another that finds him declaring at the end, “Justice has been done.” [Emphasis added]
(Photo: Barack Obama Truth Team/'One Chance' Campaign Ad)
Stockwell included an essay titled, "Can a Movie Swing an Election?" in the official press kit, but reiterates that the film is not political. Rather, he explained, he was "struck by what a terrible 'political' decision Obama made in green-lighting the mission."
When asked if they see anything questionable in the decision to air the film on November 4, National Geographic chief executive Howard T. Owens told the New York Times that "other than being commercially opportunistic," they "weren't considering the election."
Government officials have already accused the White House of at least granting unusual access to the filmmakers, if not actually leaking privileged information to help bolster the film.
Stockwell, however, says his sources were “ex-Navy SEALS and sources within the intelligence community,” which could technically include officials close to the Obama administration.
What remains to be seen is whether, like Stockwell wrote, the movie will "swing" the election in Obama's favor, or whether this too will alienate those who think Obama is taking too much credit for the decision to kill the most wanted terrorist in the world.