Thursday, April 18, 2024

Rupert Murdoch Is Broadcasting Obama as Hero in Bin Laden Film


There have been some controversies about “Seal Team Six,” the film being broadcast on Sunday night on National Geographic Channel. “Seal Team Six” tells one version of how US Navy Seals found and killed Osama bin Laden. Harvey Weinstein bought the film directed by John Stockwell and is said to have pumped up the role of President Barack Obama to make him look more heroic and decisive.

If that were true, you’d think “Seal Team Six” would be shown on the Sundance Channel or on PBS–someplace with a more liberal bent. But guess who owns the National Geographic Channel? Why, none other than Rupert Murdoch.

Indeed, National Geographic Channel is part of the Fox Cable Channels. It is directly owned by News Corp, which also owns right wing news org Fox News and reactionary newspapers around the world like the New York Post.

Murdoch is very much in charge of News Corp, and knows what’s going on around him. Certainly, his involvement in the company was born out of the Leveson investigation in Parliament over phone hacking.

So now Murdoch is broadcasting a movie everyone should see on Sunday night. He’s doing it on the National Geographic Channel. Not only does “Seal Team Six” show the bravery of the men and women who found and destroyed bin Laden. It also shows President Obama in archival footage– and lots of it–taking the lead and looking very presidential throughout this momentous and historical episode.

Stockwell was guest of honor at a private screening Friday night put together at the Core Club by Peggy Siegal Company with the usual high end media crowd including Terry McDonell (now the digital whiz of Time Inc), NBC newscaster Felicia Taylor, and many others who’d been displaced in the last few days by Hurricane Sandy.

I asked Stockwell, who brought his investment banker daughter and her Wall Street pals, about all the rumors of Weinstein advancing a liberal agenda in “Seal Team Six.” He got a good laugh, and then reminded me that National Geographic Channel was owned by Fox and Rupert Murdoch.

Something else about “Seal Team Six”: it essentially tells the same story that we’ll see after the election in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty.” That film, which will play in theaters, and “STS” share a producer– Nicholas Chartier, who left the Bigelow film and put his efforts into “STS.” It was definitely worth it!

“Seal Team Six” airs on National Geographic this Sunday at 8pm in all markets. Check local listings.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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