I don’t think Newt Gingrich will become the next president of the United States, but could he be the first great right-wing film mogul and G.O.P. propagandist? Gingrich’s brushes with indie documentary filmmaking have always interested me, as have most conservative’s ill-fated attempts to make quality movies. So with today’s publication of an article in the National Review titled “Hollywood Gingrich,” it seemed high time to examine the Gingrich movie machine.
According to the article, Gingrich learned from Michael Moore and other liberal filmmakers that cinema could create political influence and “regretted the fact that conservatives rarely managed to compete,” writes Robert Costa. “He wanted to establish a foothold in that intellectual marketplace, but at the time his cinematic life consisted of watching John Wayne movies on his couch — and K Street connections mean little in Hollywood.”
While promoting his book Rediscovering God in America, he reconnected with David Bossie, a former Capitol Hill staffer and Whitewater investigator, who was accused of selectively editing an audio transcript of an interview with Webster Hubbell, an incarcerated Clinton ally.
That’s what I call a trustworthy collaborator. Bossie also produced Celsius 41.11, the right-wing rebuttall to Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, and 2005’s Broken Promises, a scathing look at the United Nations.
It was Bossie’s idea to make Gingrich’s book, Rediscovering God in America, into a film, according to the story. Gingrich agreed, “excited by Bossie’s interest and the ability of Citizens United to film and release the movie within the calendar year on a shoe-string budget.”
Next came We Have the Power, a Gingrich examination of the energy debate. They have since made films on Ronald Reagan (Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny) and Pope John Paul II (Nine Days that Changed the World) as well as a sequel to
Now that Gingrich is moving up in the polls, he’s also capitalizing on the attention with increased DVD sales.