Stone cold buggin'

I realize there is a buck to be made, but couldn't Oliver Stone wait until after the election to release his new film about the president?

Published July 29, 2008 12:25PM (EDT)

I'm sure that Oliver Stone's upcoming biopic "W," about the current president and his path to power, is going to be interesting. The trailer, set to great music, certainly tantalizes. (Josh Brolin, who was awesome in the lead role in "No Country for Old Men," plays the preznit.)

But a release date of Oct. 17? There are few things conservatives love more than feigning outrage while throwing, um, stones at people like Oliver Stone and Hollywood more generally. And if Stone's own directorial past is any prologue, there almost certainly will be a scene or two in the new film that can be challenged as to whether it conforms exactly with historical accounts, providing fodder for talk radio's wailing and arm flailing.

Three weeks before the election, it could prove unhelpful to Barack Obama and Democrats. I would be more excited to see the film on Nov. 17, with the election in the rearview mirror and the era of Bush retrospection unofficially and unapologetically under way.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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