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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 14: Debbie Does Movies -- Badly

WorldNetDaily's Debbie Schlussel cherry-picks movies she doesn't like in order to go on attack.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 7/25/2001

What's with Debbie Schlussel's taste in movies? Judging by her WorldNetDaily column, she apparently watches movies that are either of poor quality or personally offensive to her (or maybe not), then she remembers the worst moments of them for use in insulting the actors.

On June 19, in lamenting the influence of pop stars and actors on political issues (but not a word about Charlton Heston), she insists that actor Edward James Olmos' "best 'contribution' to American society is the anal-sex rape prison movie, 'American Me.'"

Huh? As an actor and director, Olmos arguably has made something of a contribution to society. Schlussel must have somehow missed out on "Stand and Deliver," "Zoot Suit" and TV's "Miami Vice." (Well, perhaps "Miami Vice" is few people's idea of a classic, but Olmos' brooding performance as Don Johnson's boss will be remembered long after Johnson's stubble has been forgotten.) And compare Schlussel's description of "American Me" to the one at the Internet Movie Database: "This epic depiction of thirty years of Chicano gang life in Los Angeles focuses on a teen named Santana who, with his friends Mundo and the Caucasian-but-acting-Hispanic J.D., form their own gang and are soon arrested for a break-in. Santana gets into trouble again and goes straight from reform school to prison, spending eighteen years there, and becoming leader of a powerful gang, both inside and outside the prison, while there. When he is finally released, he tries to make sense of the violence in his life, in a world much changed from when last he was in it."

Sounds like somebody learned the wrong lesson from that movie.

Then, on July 10, while in mid-trashing of Karenna Gore, she mentions actress Heather Graham, "whose claim to fame is full frontal nudity in "Boogie Nights." This from a woman whose claim to fame is basing the name of her column on a porn movie. You'd think conservatives would be bothered by that. Again, Schlussel learns the wrong lesson from a movie.

Nudity ... prison sex ... are we seeing a trend here? A glimpse into Schlussel's psyche, perhaps?

Finally, on July 13, Schlussel gets a whole column out of the fact that California congressman Gary Condit had a bit part in the movie "Return of the Killer Tomatoes," mocking the acting ambition of a politician (while saying nary a word about Fred Thompson) and calling Condit's sideshow-turned-media-main-event scandal of an affair with now-missing woman Chandra Levy "our real life bad B movie." (All this despite Schlussel's grumbling mere days earlier, on June 26, that the Levy story "pollutes the airwaves.")

While it could certainly be argued that anyone who appears in any movie invloving killer tomatoes deserves what they have coming to them, a Republican has Condit beat in the politician-in-a-bad-movie department. That would be former California congressman Robert Dornan, who back in the 1960s starred (if one can call it that; his "co-star" was stock footage of planes refueling in midair) in a movie called "The Starfighters," a movie so bad that it got the full "Mystery Science Theater 3000" treatment.

So we have your typical conservative hypocrisy in addition to that unsettling glimpse into Debbie Schlussel's psyche. To quote another movie -- "Hardcore," starring George C. Scott -- "Turn it off! Turn it off!"

My diagnosis: A copy of Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2001, so Schlussel can learn what a good movie is, and The Psychotronic Video Guide, so she can learn what a truly bad movie is.

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