'2016: Obama's America' Filmmaker Calls White House Attack 'Clumsy,' 'Bizarre' (Exclusive Audio)
Dinesh D'Souza speaks to THR in the wake of criticism of his movie on BarackObama.com.
Filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza has responded to a White House assertion that his documentary, 2016: Obama’s America, is packed with lies and conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama.
“Their original strategy was to lie low and hope this goes away, but now they’re launching a full-scale attack,” D’Souza told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday. “And this is one of the most bizarre, clumsy and ineffective attacks I have seen in politics. Half of the stuff they talk about isn’t even in the film, like the Lockerbie bomber. These guys are referencing a Columbia Journalism Review article that’s two years old and is about my book, not about the film.”
The president, through his BarackObama.com campaign website, challenges D’Souza’s credibility by saying he has a “long history of attempting to add a veneer of intellectual respectability to fringe theories, conspiratorial fear-mongering and flat-out falsehoods.”
The campaign’s response to 2016: Obama’s America was posted last week, just before the film, released July 13, crossed the domestic box-office threshold of $26 million, making it the second most successful political documentary in history.
The entry at the president’s campaign website cites four specific errors in the movie, though D’Souza takes issue with all of them. Example: “D’Souza falsely asserted that President Obama funded $2 billion in Brazilian oil exploration,” reads the entry at BarackObama.com.
But, says D’Souza: “The fact is, not only has Obama funded $2 billion in Brazilian oil exploration, I say in the film he has funded drilling in Mexico and Colombia, too, and I have the press releases to prove it. Policy for government agencies is set by the White House, so it’s very bizarre to claim that things are going on under their watch but that they’re not responsible for them.”
Listen to a two-minute portion of D’Souza’s Tuesday interview above.
“The four alleged errors in the White House critique are bogus. There are no errors in the film,” D'Souza said. “My guess is they have been strategizing what to do, and finally someone said, ‘Look, this movie is becoming too damaging, so we have to come out blasting.' So they assigned somebody to write it – anonymously – but you’d think someone very high up approved of it.”
D'Souza also noted that the lengthy entry at BarackObama.com did not address one of the more attention-getting portions of the film -- that being an interview with Obama's half brother, George Obama, who lives in Huruma Flats near Nairobi, Kenya.
"If Mitt Romney had a half brother living destitute in a third-world slum, it would be on the front page of the New York Times and a topic on MSNBC, CBS News and the Sunday talk shows. But this fact is not even reported by those outlets. They just pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s immensely interesting that a guy who has more than 50 times quoted the Bible – “we are our brother’s keeper” – has a half-brother he won’t help at all. That’s not a story?”