Tag Archives: nuclear war

Porkins Policy Radio episode 99 National Security Cinema with Matthew Alford and Tom Secker

Tom Secker and Matthew Alford join me today to discuss their brand new book National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood. We begin by talking about the overall structure of the book and why Tom and Matt decided to write it. Matt and Tom talk about how this book is different from other scholarly books on the topic of government influence in Hollywood and entertainment at large. Tom and Matt talk about the wealth of new research that they discovered which shows that this influence has only increased over time. The three of us examine DOD entertainment liaison head, Phil Strubb, and critique his claim that he only plays a minor role in Hollywood. We look at films such Contact, who in exchange for a few military trucks altered every subversive comment on the military, or simply wrote them out of entire scenes. We talk about how powerful a tool this is not just in presenting a particular image, but in ensuring that a particular image is never know to the viewing public. We discuss how the Pentagon continually wants a benevolent representation of themselves even though they continually boast to the media that they are the most destructive force on the planet. We also talk about the Terminator franchise which manages to instill the message that nuclear war isn’t so bad and that the military will always be there to help afterwards.

In the second hour we continue looking at several other cases studies including Hotel Rwanda, Rules of Engagement, and Thirteen Days. In the case of Hotel Rwanda Matt explains how this movie followed all of the US State Department’s talking points about the 1994 Rwandan genocide with no direct influence from the government. Tom breaks down the numerous changes to the structure on Rules of Engagement which would eventually result in arguably the most racist American film about an Arab nation to date. We also focus on the corporatization of the film industry in tandem with the national security state. The three of us rant about the blatant use of product placement in films today and how this is another piece of national security cinema. We end on a slightly positive note by talking about what can be done to combat this pervasive and dangerous problem. Tom and Matt also give some examples from the book of filmmakers which have actively fought against the national security states influence in cinema.

Download PPR episode 99

Show Notes:

National Security Cinema (paperback)

National Security Cinema (Kindle)

The Writer With No Hands

Porkins Policy Radio episode 73 Carol For Another Christmas with Tom Secker

Tom Secker joins me for a Christmas themed episode. We discuss the 1964 television film Carol For Another Christmas. Commissioned by the United Nations and produced by the Xerox corporation this 1964 film would feature a disturbing retelling of A Christmas Carol. Tom and I discuss the people involved in this movie including director Joseph Mankiewicz, actor Sterling Hayden, and writer Rod Serling. We talk about some of the various intelligence connections some of the individuals had prior to making this film with the UN. Tom and I explore the film as a piece of propaganda and whether or not it succeeds in promoting the United Nations. We break down Peter Sellers amazing performance as “Imperial Me” the hyper-individualist cult leader who takes over in the post apocalyptic world with out the UN. We discuss how this fear based vision represents the “Liberal Consensus” of the UN: with out us there will be WWIII.

Through much of the second hour Tom and I devote time to laying out how ineffectual and corrupt the UN has become. We talk about the contradictory political messages the film presents us with and how this mirrors the many problems of the UN. Looking ahead to the future Tom and I discuss if we are headed to WWIII, and why so much of the news the past week has been decidedly dark for the Christmas season.

Download PPR episode 73

Show Notes:

A Carol For Another Christmas

The UN Goes to the Movies

%d bloggers like this: