Response to 21 Conservative Writers To Read At The Beach:
I feel like there’s a fundamental misunderstanding underlying this article. I’m a liberal. I’ve written seven full-length plays, four feature scripts, two pilots, five TV spec scripts, one webseries, and numerous short things. Of those, exactly one was overtly political, and that one never got produced—everything else was to entertain an audience. A list of my favorite novels would include “Winter’s Tale” by the overtly conservative Mark Helprin. The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay didn’t get rave reviews because it matched up with liberal orthodoxy—it got raves because it’s an extraordinarily well-written book. There *is* no culture in fiction—there is only writing. And writing something good is really, really hard. Getting published is even harder. A list that includes John Ringo as a reading recommendation (I’ve already tried to read him—no dice) is not a list I trust. I just sampled the first chapter of “Good Intentions,” and it’s got two extremely jarring tense shifts, incorrect use of numbers (“two” and “three” get spelled out), and poor POV control. None of these are political issues; they’re grammatical issues that indicate a lack of editing that will make it difficult for me to fully enjoy the book. Stories need to be free to follow their own paths. If you’re shoehorning a story into a political agenda, then you’re putting something other than the quality of the story first. (Yes, you can have both—c.f. 24 or The West Wing—but it’s a lot harder to do.) Write better books, and they’ll get noticed. And read.
This is weird and terrifying. No less than Karl Rove was allowed to change his statement about a far more severe case—made *under oath*—four times. McTiernan was not sworn in, the interview was over the phone, and if the statements about jet lag and medication are true, not fully competent at that point in time. There’s also the issue that a phone ID cannot possibly be good enough—I wouldn’t be surprised if McTiernan thought it was a tabloid reporter lying, or something. Even if Dan Saunders wasn’t sent out by the Scagnetti agency to those two films—(and congrats to Buzzfeed for a very important find) he was clearly an actor, and he clearly did not breakthrough in any meaningful sense. Prosecutorial overreach, indeed.