"Avatar" critics allege blue bias, see red

James Cameron's "Avatar" is now in its fourth week topping the box office, with a worldwide gross of $1.3 billion and a $429 million domestic gross challenging the previous record of $800 million held by Cameron's previous movie, "Titanic." But a shrill note of protest is growing. Not about aesthetics, of course, but politics. They range from accusations of racism to condemnations of its depiction of smoking, but the most virulent -- and ironic -- of these criticisms come from rightwing commentators that accuse the film of being anti-American.

No less a pundit than "The Weekly Standard'"s John Podhoretz describes it as "Anti-American and Antihuman" -- two subjects which, along with movies, he knows nothing about. At the Breitbart website, critic Jim Nolte elaborates:

"Think of ‘Avatar' as ‘Death Wish 5' for leftists. A simplistic, revisionist revenge fantasy where if you freakin' hate the bad guys (America), you're able to forgive the by-the-numbers predictability of it all and still get off watching them get what they got coming."

Unsurprising perhaps, so why ironic? The beneficiary of all this ill gotten moolah derived from virtual American blood is 20th Century Fox , ie, Rupert Murdoch -- just in case you were wondering why Fox News pundits like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck weren't first in line foaming at the mouth against the movie.

Hypocrisy? Perhaps, but the bottom line is profit. It's not enough that James Cameron has utilized the most advanced cinema technology to make a film denouncing technology. But ithe film's supposed left wing ideology serves only to fill the coffers of a right wing media mogul. As Syracuse University professor Bob Thompson, quoted in  Steven Zeitchik "LA Times" blog,  points out: "‘People are receptive to this message of anti-corporate imperialism. But they're receptive to it precisely because of a big corporation's brilliant marketing machine.'"

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