People tend to see what they want to see. This tendency quite often leads folks to distort and manipulate the world around them to conform to the world they’ve created in their minds. In other words, sometimes people just make shit up.
The online journal “A Fly On The Wall” recently offered up a silly little piece called “Meryl Streep’s Hillary Problem.” I, not being a frequent reader of this particular journal, would probably not even have seen this, but it was linked to from the Drudge Report. In this journal entry, the author gives us the inside scoop from his/her “Paramount buddy.” According to the author’s friend, “Paramount Pictures is worried that Meryl Streep’s edgy, chilling performance as a U.S. Senator in The Manchurian Candidate, which opens at the end of next month, is too close to the real Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.” The author goes on the explain how the Streep’s evil on-screen persona makes “Hillaryesque gestures and expressions.”
This is just plain dumb. The tale seems apocryphal to me. But that’s not the point. Even if we allow that “studio honchos” have actually asked director Jonathan Demme to edit the film to tone down the Hillary resemblance, it’s still a case of someone — perhaps a “studio honcho” — projecting their twisted image of Senator Clinton onto Streep’s character. Pointing out the “resemblance” is no doubt an attempt to take a swipe at Hillary.
Here’s the best part. A couple of months ago, Streep did an interview with Entertainment Weekly. In this interview, she confided that she, indeed, had two role models for the icy senator: Peggy Noonan and Karen Hughes. She explained that she had watched political talk shows to gear up for the role. “Anything with Peggy Noonan [or] Karen Hughes,” she told them. “It’s hard to get more hyperbolic than that.”
Personally, from the descriptions, I’d say Streep’s character is more like Ann Coulter. But perhaps I’m just seeing what I want to see.
UPDATE (7/20/04): Buzzflash is running an editorial that basically captures what I’ve said here. I love Buzzflash, but I’m really starting to wonder if Maureen Farrell reads the MonkeyBlog.