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Critic Finds Pro-Bush Spiel in Director's Oeuvre

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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RIGHT WELL CHUMS Cruise, Spielberg

Could Steven Spielberg, the director who's vacationed with Bill Clinton, advised John Kerry, and raised millions of dollars for Democrats, be a secret Republican apologist?

That's the charge in an essay by Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman in the new issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review. His thesis: that America's most successful maker of escapist entertainment has provided invaluable cover to the Bush Administration with his recent films.

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Spielberg's career as a Republican propagandist actually began, he says, in 1998 with Saving Private Ryan. Bush has called the World War II drama his favorite movie—and that makes sense since Ryan's underlying theme seems to provide Bush with a key rationale for his military adventurism: "The purpose of the war is to support those troops that are already there."

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