In many ways Recount is a great example of the good that Hollywood can do with real events rather than fiction. More recently, we’ve seen a great upswing in Hollywood producing movies based on historical events, or people. To name a just a couple, Argo and Lincoln are both movies that are based on actual history. While its clear Recount has some major and deep flaws in its writing, sometimes the 100% true events must be forfeited if the movie is to reach a mass audience. Movies like Argo (which I’ve seen) suffer from the same issue, which created heroes where there were none, and excluded blatant and important facts.
Movies consistently distort the facts so that they can entertain a mass audience. Time and time again, consumers have proved that unentertaining movies consistently rake in less money than those that can. Audiences want heroes, and need an enemy for people to rally against. Directors just deliver what the consumers want; directors really can’t be blamed for creating movies that lack facts.
While I could go on for hours about Argo and its blatant bias in demonizing the Iranians and only providing one side of the story (the American side), that’s not what this essay will delve into. I only use Argo to provide an additional side to American movies like any good journalist/researcher should do, saying that Recount was biased would be unfair if I didn’t provide the context for the current state of “real-life” movies. In other words, what Recount does to the 2000 election should’ve been expected.
To say that Recount reported mostly every major issue that occurred in the 2000 election, wouldn’t be entirely false. They brought up the key issues of the election: Butterfly ballot, hanging and dimpled chads, Katherine Harris, Vice Presidential candidate Lieberman? (I’ll talk about him in depth later on), US and Florida courts making rulings based on political preference, people being turned away at voting booths, media reporting results early, and hand recounts - basically the inability for the American government to hold an honest and fair election.
The butterfly ballot, an invention of a democrat, is considered a major cause for many older voters (or potentially uneducated voters) voting for Pat Buchanan. This was caused by the alignment of the ballot, which many voters may have been confused by. The ballot essentially had Gore on one side, and Buchanan on the other with lines separating each box. It has be reported that many voters misread the ballot, and mistakenly followed the lines separating the candidates, not the arrow pointing towards the intended candidate. In my own opinion, this is one of the worst cases of bias and unfairness of reporting in the movie for one key reason: Bush also has a line pointing towards the Buchanan hole. In contrast to the movie, my belief is that a person would be more likely to follow the line below the candidate, not the one above. The movie completely ignores this side of the story, and makes the audience believe that 100% of people who voted for Buchanan (mistakenly) were actually intending to vote Democrat.
Another key issues is dimpled chads and hanging chads. A chad is the piece of paper that is intended to be removed when a voter punches the hole. The movie convinces the audience that dimpled chads should be counted, and those against the dimpled chads being counted were all Republican nuts/arrogant jerks (essentially). My opinion is dimpled chads can’t be counted, and here are the reasons why.
Dimpled chads are extremely unreliable for one main reason, which is that people tend to become nervous when making important decisions, which leads to people making mistakes. My belief is that there were people whose votes were ruined because of their inability to punch a hole in the chad, but it is also my belief that many people, maybe more, accidently began to punch a chad in error, but stopped themselves. I’d equate this to a student doing multiple choice and circling...
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