If the words "Bill O'Reilly's movie debut" don't fill you with dread, maybe this trailer will.
The way he slaps the pseudo-Michael Moore, you'd think it was a Hooter's waitress or his own penis.
Okay, I'm going out on a limb and predicting that An American Carol will suck. The question is why. Is it because they employ every B-list Hollywood conservative they could grab? (They lost Kevin Costner when his agent insisted on reading the script. Stephen Baldwin had an eye doctor's appointment.) Not exactly.
This is a matter of trying to even the scales politically at the expense of all other concerns. I call it Mallard Fillmore balance.
Mallard Fillmore, in case you haven't heard of it, is a comic strip by Indiana-based Bruce Tinsley, centered on a conservative op-ed writer who's also a duck. (Despite the title, nothing is generally made of this last part.) It's Mallard and his opinions 24/7. You'll sometimes see his editor, a straw-liberal newspaperman, and a guy with a big chin who's a straw-liberal news anchor. If Mallard has any kind of social life, it's not shown.
Now this strip was intended as a balance against "Doonesbury" "The Boondocks" and other liberal-leaning comics. The question of whether the comics pages were actually left-biased is beside the point. Some perceived it to be so, and Tinsley, for one, did something about it.
But while he looked, he didn't really learn. "Doonesbury" has what I'd call a Democratic-moderate orientation. Notably, Gary Trudeau has long included likeable conservative characters. It could be argued that BD is now the moral center of that universe. Mike Doonesbury himself became a Republican during the Gingrich revolution, although it's not clear whether he still is. The point is, there is substance to "Doonesbury" aside from liberal soapboxing. "Mallard Fillmore" adds to the right in terms of quantity, but surrenders where quality is concerned.
Another example: while 24 seems a little repetitive for my tastes, I've seen it and can say it's a decent thriller show. Its producer, Joel Surnow, went on to create The 1/2 Hour News Hour, an attempt to conservatize the format of The Daily Show. If you've heard of it, you've probably forgotten about it already.
The thing with The Daily Show is that while a lot of the talent may be liberal (founding producer Lizz Winsted was also one of the first Air America hosts) their main agenda has always been comedy. If it were a five-times-weekly political screed, it wouldn't have lasted this long in the market. Surnow's authoritarian politics had been background noise on 24, but with "1/2 Hour" he made them front and center, which didn't benefit him.
Which is not to say that politics has no place in art, or even pop-culture. But this movie seems to have little to it but scoring cheap shots at imaginary targets. (Eliminate the 4th of July? So you go to sleep on the 3rd and wake up on the 5th?) It doesn't seem like it will have much audience beside the like-minded and the polite. And people who find Trace Adkins saying "turdhead" innately hilarious.