It's truly hard to know who is more full of shit: conservative Academy members Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwyn who are demanding AMPAS take away Al Gore's AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH Oscar in light of what may or may not be a scandal in the academic community over climate change OR LA Times blogger Andrew Malcolm and his editors who reported the story:
"No, it wouldn't do anything for the environment.
But two Hollywood conservatives (yes, there are some) have called upon the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to rescind the prestigious, profitable gold Oscar statuette that it gave ex-Vice President Al Gore et al two years ago for the environmental movie AN INCONVENTIENT TRUTH.
Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwynd, both Academy members, are among a small, meandering pack of known political conservatives still believed to be on the loose in the liberal bastion of movie-making...
Chetwynd and Simon were prompted to make their hopeless demand this week by the leak two weeks ago of a blizzard of British academic e-mails purporting to show that scientists at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit systematically falsified data to document the appearance of global warming in recent years.
The university is reportedly investigating the claims, which added dry fuel to the never-ending political debate over whether the Earth really is warming as a result of human activity or if it's just normal natural cycles and the debate is what's heated. The demand to withdraw Gore's award provides yet another opportunity to argue."
Newsflash to Malcolm and the LA Times: Al Gore doesn't have an Oscar to take away.
Add to the list of things that we have to serially debunk on this blog the fallacy that somewhere in Al Gore's ever-so-green mansion in Nashville sits a little gold man.
The Oscar for Best Documentary went to director Davis Guggenheim, not to Gore.
Oh sure, you can put a picture up on your blog of Al Gore holding Davis Guggenheim's Oscar, but that doesn't make it his.
Dear LA Times editors, for future reference, here's a list of other folks who don't have Academy Awards: Philippe Petit, Robert McNamara, Muhammad Ali, Maya Lin or those penguins in Antarctica.
Beyond that, the story is ludicrous, it's sheer Drudge-bait (whatya know, he bit!) designed to bring page views and 500+ robots screaming, "yeah, stupid libs, take it away!"
The whole thing reads like a bizarre publicity stunt for Simon's conservative blog network Pajamas Media (which has been active in pushing the "climate-gate" scandal meme) that the LA Times should know better about pushing - even if they had their facts straight.
Simon and Chetwynd appear in a fairly entertaining (if you like a couple of cranky old white guys spouting off on how corrupt the documentary branch is - and really, who doesn't enjoy that?) 10-minute video on the Pajamas Media site where they outline their demands.
Simon goes where the LA Times doesn't and concedes that the Oscar was "technically awarded to David (sic) Guggenheim and a handful of other producers" (incorrect: Davis was the sole recipient of the award), which Chetwynd follows up by saying, "it was a very poorly made documentary" and "there has been for some time a presumption of dishonesty about this film".
But while Simon almost immediately calls upon the Academy to rescind INCONVENIENT TRUTH's Oscar, Chetwynd proposed what he labels, "a more measured response."
"Finally," says Chetwynd, "the Academy has an opportunity to clean its hands." He then calls upon the Academy to convene an open hearing, at the Academy, with "someone like Chuck Braverman" serving as special prosecutor, and bring forward "all of them, not just the two people who received the award (sic), Al Gore, anyone connected to the film, Laurie David (garbled) and ask them the following questions: Did you know that there was fake (CGI) footage in that film, did you know that the science upon which you were basing it was a lie, when did you know, call them! Don't just (take away the Oscar), that's too easy, Roger. That's too easy. They lied and they should be called to the public account for having lied."
Despite the entertaining bluster (Chetwynd at one point gets raspy and red and exasperated like he's playing an old time police commissioner in an Eddie Murphy cop film) one is certain that both men realize that Oscars are not given for truth, they're given for filmmaking.
And if you can't take away AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH's Oscar based on whether its a good film (although some may want to try), you can't take it away for a bunch of memos that don't appear to have anything to do with the film.