"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Morgan Spurlock, 30 Days, Illegal Immigration and Rave Reviews

Spurlock posted recently about the second season opener. He likes to play it both ways as in:

"I agree with Frank, we need to do something about the borders. While shooting this show, I saw places along the Mexico border where barbwire fencing, half torn down, was all that stopped anyone from crossing into the United States. But I also don't think sending 30 million people back across the border is the solution, nor is instant amnesty. So what do we do? That I don't know. That's why I made this show, because I feel we all need to be asking questions and looking for answers."
I guess even if it means misrepresenting reality in the "Reality TV" editing room. He also refers to Frank Jorge, the gentleman that agreed to take part in the grand experiment:
Some of you may have heard Frank saying that he was misrepresented in the show, a claim I completely disagree with. Nothing in the show was taken out of context and at the end of the show, it is obvious he still has the same beliefs he had before. Only now, like all of us, he has been able to put a real face on the issue. If you watch Frank in the program, he wells up numerous times, as I am sure you all did. This family may be in our country illegally, but I think many of us, like Frank, can relate to the familial day to day struggles they face. Struggles which are even more amplified by their illegal status.
Yes Mr. Spurlock, many, if not most of us can "relate to the familial day to day struggles they face." Being that these folks entered the country illegally, what is your point?

Spurlock says nothing was taken out of context, yet according to Mr. Jorge at Immigration Watchdog:
Before I signed my contract i read it thoroughly and noticed that it actually says that they can defame me and say, or release embarrassing information about me. I took this to mean that they neither have to be truthful or ethical in the treatment of the person under contract….me.
His thoughts after having viewed a copy (that still needed a little work) of the episode with two of the producers:

I really liked it, even the parts that made me look bad in a number of ways, and then came the last five or so minutes.

In these last few minutes the editing crew had a field day putting together a sequence that to someone who is as sensitive as myself and my wife over this issue of illegal immigration appeared to twist things to make it appear as if i had changed my mind and am in fact in favor of the illegal immigration family of seven staying here and allowing more in.

You might be interested to know that Mr. Jorge attended a press conference on July 12 to speak his mind. One of the things he said to the press was:
When the questions started coming from the reporters i told them of the deceit that had been put into play. How millions of Americans would be manipulated into believing something that wasn’t true about one of their countrymen. How a fine production at the last moment took a twist so dreadful that its status as a documentary was challenged by the possibility that it had been morphed into a movie, without respect for truth at a time when our people deserve the truth more than ever.
But FLASH; up from the editing room floor came a different version than that shown to him originally. A version which he refers to the second version "of the episode is in keeping with the truth. It is graceful and intellectually engaging. It is a masterpiece without peer."

But as he asks in the letter (and so do I come to think of it):
Why then would they take a quality work and degrade it? Was it because ratings would be better? Why was the host, Morgan Spurlock referring to me on the video as an “anti-immigrant” Minuteman? If you look at the film you will see that even they know that I am an immigrant myself!
The reality is that being in support of the enforcement of our borders and laws is NOT "anti-immigrant," it's pro-law.

Give the letter a read here, but before you do that give a gander to some of the comments to episode 1.

After reading the comments below, take a moment to visit Armida's site. Armida is one of the children of the family; the one that wants to go to a private college with a tuition of $40K. Perhaps you can donate money to her cause, as that is what the site is for.

God bless her and pretty much anything goes in the good 'ol US of A, so more power to her, but if this doesn't expand on the crux of the matter....Help Send Armida to College, not just any college, but top shelf stuff....

Some comments regarding season two, episode one:

GDS said:
It is my dream coming true as a journalist!
I have a passion for this kind of documentary and absolutely love your work. You are a GENIUS!
Michael Moore has a "passion" for this kind of documentary too.

Abbe said:
Awesome show! This episode premiered at the perfect time with all of the immigration issues coming up.
M.S. Choi said:
Y'know...for the most part, I find you to be very pretentious. But...this particular episode of 30 Days...it just means a lot to me. Thanks for making it man. I think I smell an Emmy for this one...
I smell something and it ain't Emmy...maybe I'll open a window.

Steve B. said:
The show last night was amazing and really made me consider other aspects of the immigration issue that I never considered. By the way, I noticed that Armenia in the episode was attending a local college (seen in the credits). She got accepted to SJ and I think she deserves the opprotunity to go. I would contribute to a scholarship fund for her if one existed. I hope others would also.
Robin said:
Congrats on your marriage! Wonderful news!
I watched the immigration episode of 30 Days last night - you've outdone yourself! This is what I would call "Important Television". This is what it's all about - learning to understand each other. Keep up the great work - I can't wait for the next episode!!
Heather said:
Congrats on your marriage! Wonderful news!
I watched the immigration episode of 30 Days last night - you've outdone yourself! This is what I would call "Important Television". This is what it's all about - learning to understand each other. Keep up the great work - I can't wait for the next episode!!
Marc asked:
I'm sure you accounted for this, but I'm curious: How do you know/did you ensure that your show won't be used against the Gonsalez family as evidence to deport them? (I came in late, so excuse me if you mentioned this in the first few mins.)
Blandly asks:

Why shouldn't it? Thinking further on the question Marc, perhaps this falls under the press' standard of protecting sources....

Anonymous said:
Mr. Spurlock,
I just finished watching my first episode of 30 days.
It changed my life forever.
Not B.S.ing, tonights show helped a troubled soul find his calling.
Is there any way you can provide me your email address so I can thank you personally?
Morgan said/asked:
Congrats on a very moving episode 1. I'd like to know if the college girl ever secured funds for her tuition. If not, is there a way that we can get money to them? (Through you maybe?)
Mateo said:
Great show, loved it. I hope it opened some eyes about this debate.
Great show loving it, very amazing.
Ken has no "compassion" whatsoever and said:
The illegal immigrant family episode was informative. I was glad to see that Frank wasn't swayed by the illegals to change his position. I understand the wish to have a better life in the US is something MANY foreigners desire but just having that desire doesn't make coming to the US illegally the right thing to do. Deport all the illegals regardless of the cost. In the long run it can only improve the situation for legal US citizens.
Josh said:

Tonight's episode has left me speechless. You have this incredible talent of literally putting someone into another's situation - it's something television has yet to do.

I'm hopping over to Armida's website to see how I can help.

Previous post regarding Spurlock premiere here...

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.


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