Noel Sheppard really, really doesn't like the HBO movie about the 2008 McCain-Palin presidential campaign, "Game Change." Or, more accurately, he doesn't like the fact that it apparently tells that story through the eyes of two advisers who paint an unflattering portrait of the campaign.
Sheppard rants in a March 11 NewsBusters post that those two advisers, Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace, "not only were responsible for the worst presidential campaign in decades, but also ended up backstabbing the candidates they represented." He continued:
Instead, the film depicted this as being all Palin's fault, with her left afterward in an on-screen tantrum that concluded with the former Alaska governor throwing her cellphone at a wall.
Such disparagement was standard fare in HBO's "Game Change," which despite book co-author Mark Halperin's claim Palin critics would come away with a more favorable view of the object of their disaffection, this would only be true if you turned off your television after the first hour.
Hour two was filled with the typical Palin-bashing Americans have been exposed to since McCain named her as his running mate in August 2008.
In one scene, Julianne Moore as Palin doesn't know that the Queen of England has nothing to do with actually governing her country.
Sheppard went on to attack Wallace for setting up the now-infamous Sarah Palin interview with Katie Couric, and that "should have been excoriated given the results." But how is it Wallace's fault that Palin was unable to give a straight answer to a simple question like what newspapers she read?
Sheppard further ranted: "It appears that for a Republican to be held in high esteem by the liberal media, all he or she need do is run a failed presidential campaign - McCain-Palin suffered the biggest landslide since Michael Dukakis in 1988 - and then backstab the candidates you represented."
In fact, all Sheppard is doing here is engaging in NewsBusters' favorite pastime of Heathering any conservative who fails to toe the right-wing line with sufficient fealty. And, in the case of Schimidt and Wallace, committing the offense of telling the truth about the McCain-Palin campaign.
But Shepaprd's not done complaining yet. In a March 12 post, he further rants regarding Schimidt that "despite his failure as the McCain-Palin campaign’s senior adviser, and his subsequent backstabbing of the candidates he represented, HBO’s 'Game Change' made him the hero of its Palin-bashing film that premiered Saturday."
Sheppard made it clear that he prefers mindless spouting of talking points over telling the truth:
One quite imagines that if Schmidt had kept his mouth shut and remained loyal to those he had previously served, he wouldn’t be receiving this kind of media adoration nor be a contributor to MSNBC.
But this is what becomes of failed Republican campaign advisers willing to proudly disparage those they used to work for: they are heralded as heroes rather than goats by a fawning media with what should be an obvious agenda, especially to those on the receiving end of the hypocritical praise.
For his part, Schmidt - clearly lacking a soul or a conscience - is going to ride this wave as far as it can go, as for him, the selection of Palin really was a game change.
Actually, it's Sheppard who's the one lacking a soul or conscience by putting ideology before facts. But then, the MRC is presumably paying him well to do exactly that.
UPDATE: Sheppard still isn't done with his tantrum: He also interviews Palin shill John Ziegler to help him attack those "backstabbing failures."