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Perhaps the president was hoping 2016: Obama’s America would come and go unnoticed like so many other political documentaries. But seven weeks after its opening, the film is still going strong, prompting Barack Obama to finally respond, which he has done through a lengthy entry at his campaign’s website that calls the movie “a deliberate distortion” of his “record and world view.”
The entry at BarackObama.com quotes from several negative reviews of the film and claims Dinesh D’Souza, who stars in the film based on his book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, has a “long history of attempting to add a veneer of intellectual respectability to fringe theories, conspiratorial fear-mongering and flat-out falsehoods.”
The entry is dated Sept. 5, just ahead of the weekend in which 2016: Obama’s America became the second-highest-grossing political documentary in history, behind only Fahrenheit 9/11, and the sixth-biggest documentary of any kind. The movie has earned $26 million domestically since opening July 13.
Among the movie’s inaccuracies, according to BarackObama.com:
- “D’Souza falsely claimed that President Obama said he didn’t believe in American Exceptionalism.”
- “D’Souza falsely asserted that President Obama funded $2 billion in Brazilian oil exploration even though numerous fact checkers and reporters have noted that President Obama had nothing to do with the loan.”
- “D’Souza falsely charged that President Obama backed Scotland’s release of the Lockerbie bomber only weeks after the Obama administration had put out a statement opposing Scotland’s decision.”
- “D’Souza even claimed that President Obama passed the bank bailouts when the facts clearly show that it was President Bush who signed the Troubled Asset Relief Program into law in October 2008.”
The film, which its marketers dubbed, “the movie the White House doesn’t want you to see,” was in 2,017 theaters during the weekend and is expected to be on the same number this coming weekend.
For good measure, the website entry also bashes some of Obama’s harshest critics: Tea Partiers.
“It should say enough about D’Souza’s credibility that a movie catering to the Tea Party attacks someone for allegedly ‘anti-colonial’ views,” the entry reads. “His attempts to hide his lies behind pseudo-scholarly presentation and glossy production values cannot withstand basic scrutiny. The facts show that 2016: Obama’s America is nothing more than an insidious attempt to dishonestly smear the President by giving intellectual cover to the worst in subterranean conspiracy theories and false, partisan attacks.”
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