Thursday, November 20, 2008

Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

Compared to Karl Rove, Lee Atwater came across like a pussycat. In fact, that's what made him so nefarious. Rove looks evil, talks evil, and is evil. Atwater seemed to be in on the joke and kind of seemed like a nice guy - that is when he wasn't playing some of the dirtiest tricks of any modern political campaign.

This documentary was well done. It was so entertaining that it pulled SHR in. She didn't know much at all about Atwater and was actively rooting for his painful demise - which did happen of brain cancer at the age of 41, three short years after Bush's '88 victory.

Atwater was a complicated figure. How could he have had so many African-American friends in the music world when he was responsible for ugly race baiting tactics like the Willie Horton ad?
What effect did seeing his brother die in front of him from burning grease when he was a kid have on him? Did he really repent on his death bed or was he merely guilt ridden and afraid of eternal damnation for his sins?

I still can't get over the blues jam to celebrate Bush's victory. Creepy and depressing but I could not take my eyes off it.

The interviews are illuminating, the footage is fascinating, the pictures of a bloated Atwater as he neared death were astounding. If you have any interest in political documentaries, check this one out.

Directed by Stefan Forbes
2008
PBS

1 comment:

i.m.small said...

AFTER WATCHING "THE LEE ATWATER STORY"

To stir up innuendo and false rumors has to be
Upon the fateful road of life a shameful legacy;
A road which hastens unto death allowing no return--
Therefore the ways iniquitous the best of men do spurn.

It may be second best, at least, if one comes to repent,
Regretting heinous harms for which he was not innocent,
But it is not unique among the human legacies
Since immemorial time to label slander a disease.

He called himself a good man did George Herbert Walker Bush,
Leading unwary souls to cliffside, giving them a push,
And even so considers himself a good man today--
But from the mirror both he and his dear Barbara look away.

.