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Ted Haggard’s Documentarian: Trafficking in Shlock


Alexandra Pelosi’s HBO documentary Right America: Feeling Wronged — Some Voices From the Campaign Trail, supposedly a place for John McCain and Sarah Palin supporters to commiserate together, is “drive-by journalism” according to one critic. Basically, it’s a bunch of yahoos on camera saying things that yahoos often say. How does that bode for Pelosi’s HBO documentary about a one Ted Haggard?

Opines the Washington Post‘s Michael Leahy:

It’s drive-by journalism, to put it charitably, a string of stupefyingly brief hit-and-run interviews with a bunch of unidentified people who we know are going to say nothing that will surprise us. By then, we’ve already figured out they’re going to be fried by Pelosi’s camera. We know they’re going to sound like yahoos, often goaded, always reduced to sound bites and caricatures.

All the conventions of the smirking, winking, belittling political documentary are abided by in this film. An inordinate number of the yahoos wear T-shirts and weird caps. There is the obligatory NASCAR tailgating scene with the requisite Confederate flags and some white guys saying they’ll never vote for any black man. There are a couple of campaign events sporting all-American schoolgirl choruses who sound like they’re right off the “Up With People” tour bus. There is a young guy whose T-shirt, meant to deride Obama, declares “Say No to Socilism,” and when Alexandra Pelosi tells him he’s misspelled socialism and asks him to define it, we know he’s not going to be able to, that he’s going to say something way wrong and stupid — which he does, offering that socialism is “basically, it’s like the views of Hitler. It’s between like communism and — I don’t know what the other word is.”

In short, it’s good yuks time.