Film Trailer. 2016 Obama’s America is a documentary film by Indian born Dinesh D’Souza. Below is the trailer for the film. Presumably this film is within the same genre as politically influenced and motivated documentaries like Fahrenheit 911. Positive press and defense of the film can be found on the news page of the film.
Corporatization of America. One of the themes in the film is to examine the corporatization of America. Look for the image of the corporate American flag (below) visible in the trailer above. Now that corporations are considered people, “We the people” takes on a new meaning.
Obama Campaign American Flag. Below is a flag image that had been available from the Obama campaign store.
Dinesh D’Souza on Glenn Beck TV. Below is a video of Dinesh D’Souza with Glenn Beck in a special interview. Viewers are encouraged to fact check the video below.
Film Factoids. Below are some quotes and commentary from D’Souza about the film.
- D’Souza said he thought back to Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which inspired heated debate when it was released on the eve of the 2004 presidential election. “I realized that the conditions now are very similar. A controversial president, half the country on each side of the fence, anxiety about the American dream,” he said. “So I thought, why not take a page out of Michael Moore’s book and make a film — although a very different kind of film, I hope.” (source)
- An acquaintance put him in touch with producer Gerald Molan, who’d worked on “Schindler’s List.” Molan agreed that “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” had the makings of a compelling movie. D’Souza raised $2.5 million from 25 friends and acquaintances — “mostly from my neighborhood in California,” he said — and started work on the movie with co-director John Sullivan. They filmed around the world in January and February, then had a final cut ready by the end of May. (source)
- “This was not intended to be a ‘Don’t Vote For Obama’ film, but rather to be a ‘Discover The Real Obama’ film,” D’Souza said. “There’s no question that I knew there would be intense interest in politics this year and so it made sense to drop the film at a time when Americans care more than usual about politics. But it’s not specifically aimed at the election.” (source)
About Dinesh D’Souza. Born in Mumbai, India, Dinesh D’Souza came to the U.S. as an exchange student and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1983. From there he went on to work in the Reagan White House as a policy analyst.
In 2010 he released The Roots of Obama’s Rage which is the basis for the film 2016: Obama’s America. It has been described as the most influential political book of 2010 and has proven to be yet another best seller.
In the same year, he was named the president of The King’s College, in New York City. Dinesh brought a distinguished 25-year career as a writer, scholar, and public intellectual to The King’s College. Prior to this appointment, Dinesh also served as John M. Olin Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the Robert and Karen Rishwain Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Called one of the “top young public-policy makers in the country” by Investor’s Business Daily, Dinesh quickly became known as a major influencer on public policy through his writings. His first book, Illiberal Education (1991), publicized the phenomenon of political correctness in America’s colleges and universities and became a New York Times bestseller for 15 weeks. It has been listed as one of the most influential books of the 1990s.
From here he went on to write the popular books What is So Great About America (2002) , What is So Great About Christianity (2008), The End of Racism (1995) and Letter to a Young Conservative (2003). His latest book, God Forsaken was released in April of 2012.
D’Souza’s articles have appeared in virtually every major magazine and newspaper, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic Monthly, Vanity Fair, New Republic, and National Review. He has appeared on numerous television programs, including The Today Show, The Colbert Report, Politically Incorrect, Nightline, The News Hour, The O’Reilly Factor, Moneyline, and Hannity. [source]
Criticisms and Inaccuracies. The following criticisms of the film have surfaced, mostly from a questionable AP news story that was reposted by multiple media outlets. These criticisms are addressed in a response from the producer found below.
- The film “claims Obama denied his fathers alcoholism when in fact in several places in Obama’s book he references this.” (source)
- The film claims that “the President supported the release of the Locherbie bomber, when in fact he was opposed to it.” (source)
- The film “claimed the adminstration would not release the State Department letter to Scotland about the release of the Locherbie bomber when it was posted online for all to see.” (source)
- “D’Souza has claimed Obama created TARP and the auto industry bailout when both were begun under George W. Bush. The Emergency Stabilization Act of 2008 (the bank bailout) was signed into law on October 3, 2008 before the election and the auto bailout was actually a loan, since repaid by the auto industry, and created in December of 2008.” (source)
- “D’Souza asserts with no evidence that Obama sympathized with native Hawaiians who felt they had been marginalized by the American government when Hawaii was becoming a state. D’Souza also asserts – again with no evidence – that Obama had been coached to hold those views at Punahou, the prestigious prep school he attended.” (source)
- “D’Souza says Obama is ‘weirdly sympathetic to Muslim jihadists’ in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He does not mention that Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the drone strikes that have killed dozens of other terrorists in the region.” (source)
- “D’Souza wrongly claims that Obama wants to return control of the Falkland Islands from Britain to Argentina. The U.S. refused in April to endorse a final declaration on Argentina’s claim to the islands at the Summit of the Americas, provoking criticism from other Latin American nations.” (source)
- “D’Souza says Obama removed a bust of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the Oval Office because Churchill represented British colonialism. White House curator William Allman said the bust, which had been on loan, was already scheduled to be returned before Obama took office. Another bust of Churchill is on display in the president’s private residence, the White House says.” (source)
Dinesh D’Souza: Fact-Checking AP’s Fact Check on ‘2016: Obama’s America’
A few days ago the Associated Press ran a news article by reporter Beth Fouhy charging that my film “2016” contains serious factual errors. Remarkably, for a news article, the reporter didn’t bother to check with me or anyone else at the film. This was my first indication that something was deeply wrong with this article.
Let’s look at the specific charges raised in the AP article.
First, it claims that I “never mention the explosion of debt that occurred under Obama’s predecessor, Republican George Bush.” This is simply false. The film quotes former Comptroller David Walker saying that the national debt exploded under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The film shows a clear graphic depicting the actual debt increase under both presidents, so that the viewer can compare them. The simple truth is that Bush’s largest annual deficits were below $500 billion and Obama’s lowest annual deficit was above $1 trillion. So Bush was a big spender and Obama an even bigger spender. This is made crystal-clear in the film.
Second, the AP article quotes me as saying that Obama has “done nothing” to prevent Iran from getting nuclear bombs. This is a deliberate misquotation. Actually in the film I recall a prediction that I made in my book The Roots of Obama’s Rage. The prediction was that Obama “would do nothing significant” to prevent Iran from getting nuclear bombs. By omitting the word “significant,” AP can then claim that Obama has taken some measures, including some modest sanctions, against Iran. But my point is that these measures are so weak that they cannot be expected to — and in fact haven’t — deterred the mullahs in the slightest.
Third, the AP article “refutes” my contention that Obama is weirdly sympathetic to Muslim jihadis fighting against America by pointing out that Obama ordered the killing of Osama Bin Laden and has also approved drone strikes against Al Qaeda. My argument was based on the premise that Obama wants to close down Guantanamo and to extend constitutional rights to jihadis captured in Iraq and Afghanistan. I explained Obama’s peculiar position by saying that he views these jihadis as freedom fighters seeking to liberate their countries from American occupation. As Obama has made clear, he views Bin Laden and Al Qaeda quite differently, as international gangsters who go abroad to kill innocent people. So my argument about Obama is quite consistent with his actions against Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
Fourth, the AP article claims that I misrepresent Obama’s position on the Falkland Islands. Not true. The British position on the Falklands is that the islands belong to the U.K. The Argentine position supports negotiations over the control of the islands. Despite the special relationship between America and Britain, and despite the fact that Republican and Democratic presidents have supported the British position, the Obama administration has switched sides and now supports the Argentine position calling for negotiations. This is reflected in resolutions passed by the Organization of American States and backed by the United States.
Finally the AP article disputes the film’s claim that Obama removed a Winston Churchill bust from the Oval Office. The AP article takes its cue from a White House blog that initially attempted to deny this and obfuscate the issue by claiming possession of a second bust. This second bust was supposedly under repair but has now mysteriously surfaced. But none of this changes the fact that one of Obama’s first actions as president was to return the Oval Office bust of Churchill. Obama didn’t just want to relocate it, he wanted it given back to Britain. That bust now sits in the home of the British ambassador. The film explains Obama’s hostility to Churchill by noting that he was a champion of colonialism and ordered a crackdown on an anti-colonial rebellion in Kenya in which Obama’s father and grandfather were both detained. So we know what Obama did, and we know why he might have wanted to do it. As for the original White House blog, the White House has admitted its inaccuracy and apologized.
So what’s going on here? Certainly it’s possible to debate the issues raised in the film. If AP wanted to commission a review or Op-Ed article, that would be fine. But instead the news agency has published a crude and inaccurate attack masquerading as a news story. Evidently this fact-checking article required its own fact-checker. Perhaps AP can now regain some credibility in this matter by publishing an apology.
Dinesh D’Souza, narrator and co-director of the film “2016,” is author of the bestselling new book “Obama’s America.”