Argo took many liberties with the truth, all of them geared to make Langley and Hollywood appear more heroic. For example, the significant role played by the Canadian embassy in helping the hostages escape was left out for storytelling purposes. And despite the film’s dramatic conclusion, there were no gun-toting Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen racing in jeeps down the runway after a jet plane full of fleeing Americans. But the movie won over audiences with its entertaining tale of a real-life Mission Impossible-style caper, while featuring the CIA in the most glowing light possible. In fact, Argo—which won three Academy Awards including Best Picture, and reaped over $230 million at the box office— arguably ranks as the agency’s most successful propaganda coup in Hollywood.

If you were ever looking for more reasons to dislike Ben Affleck, this article is gold.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/07/operation-tinseltown-how-the-cia-manipulates-hollywood/491138/

22 thoughts on “Argo took many liberties with the truth, all of them geared to make Langley and Hollywood appear more heroic. For…

  1. After [Zero Dark Thirty] was released in December 2012, it came under sharp attack by Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chaired the Senate intelligence committee’s torture investigation, and Senator John McCain, himself a torture victim at the hands of the North Vietnamese. As the Senate committee determined, CIA interrogators gained no useful information by torturing their victims, either regarding bin Laden’s whereabouts or any other significant security issue. McCain’s rejection of the film’s CIA-friendly premise was particularly persuasive: “I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence . . . Acting without conscience isn’t necessary; it isn’t even helpful in fighting this strange and long war we’re fighting.”

    Feinstein, who shared McCain’s convictions about torture, was outraged by Zero Dark Thirty, walking out of a special screening arranged for her just fifteen or twenty minutes into the film. “I couldn’t handle it,” she explained. “Because it is so false.”

  2. After [Zero Dark Thirty] was released in December 2012, it came under sharp attack by Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chaired the Senate intelligence committee’s torture investigation, and Senator John McCain, himself a torture victim at the hands of the North Vietnamese. As the Senate committee determined, CIA interrogators gained no useful information by torturing their victims, either regarding bin Laden’s whereabouts or any other significant security issue. McCain’s rejection of the film’s CIA-friendly premise was particularly persuasive: “I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence . . . Acting without conscience isn’t necessary; it isn’t even helpful in fighting this strange and long war we’re fighting.” Feinstein, who shared McCain’s convictions about torture, was outraged by Zero Dark Thirty, walking out of a special screening arranged for her just fifteen or twenty minutes into the film. “I couldn’t handle it,” she explained. “Because it is so false.”]]>

  3. A director, even if it’s Ben Affleck, being snookered by the CIA says a lot more about the CIA than it does the director.

    How dare a Hollywood personality be manipulated by the world’s most effective purveyor of disinformation?

  4. It was simplified and sanitized, reduced to the cliche of “god damn it i’m just one man trying my best against uncaring governments!” That scene where he’s on the phone with his superior is wretched.

    At least in ZDT this narrative gets subverted by the lead being a woman AND the filmmakers weave it into the narrative beyond the cliche of hanging up the phone and pretending not to hear your orders.

    Argo is saccharine propaganda ignoring the context of why this shit is going down in Iran. At least ZDT gives you enough so you can make the intuitive leap: THIS IS FUCKED UP.

  5. The most worrying angle IMHO is the omnipresent pro-torture propaganda. It’s like Hollywood is making propaganda video aimed at teenagers saying “torture people! It’s fun and useful!”

  6. I dislike both films past the point of articulating much, or needing to choose between them, but yes, Robert Bohl about the “torture is so terrible but gee whillikers it works” propaganda. Classic shoot-and-cry bullshit. luke crane absolute agreement too.