The PBS Masterpiece presentation of the anti-Israel and anti-American BBC play, Page Eight, written by British leftist and pro-Arab, Sir David Hare, was broadcast yesterday (April 5, 2013) on the PBS affiliate, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).

As you know, the PBS Ombudsman commented on its original showing and reported that CAMERA had urged its members to write letters protesting the play’s bias, as per the following examples.

However, despite the egregious anti-Israel canard which reeks throughout this PBS Masterpiece Theatre production, the producers at OPB felt it appropriate to air it with all the consequential damage to Israel’s image among its many viewers. That a Jewish actress, Rachel Weisz, should play the part of a Syrian woman who hates Israel is yet more salt in the wound.

Please consider writing to the American tax supported PBS affiliate, OPB, as the continuing re-broadcasting of this vicious BBC production does serious harm to the Jewish state among often uninformed and gullible viewers.

Thank you,

Victor Sharpe

Freelance writer and author of the trilogy, Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.

Here Is a (small) Sampling of the Letters sent to PBS on the initial showing of Page Eight.

Having been a fan of Masterpiece Theatre and PBS, I watched in horror, on Nov. 6, David Hare’s “spy thriller.” Mr. Hare certainly left no doubt as to where his sympathies, or on the other hand his animosities, lie. To portray the IDF as villains and to portray America as torturers is pure propaganda. Incidents happen, but overall the Israelis do not murder defenseless persons and the Americans are trying to protect themselves and the world, actually. I really resent the fact that PBS aired this program. I certainly will not punish myself by not watching Masterpiece, but I certainly will not support PBS financially. Shame on them.

Mignon Rosenthal, Baltimore, MD

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Over the years, PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre has well lived up to its name, by presenting numerous excellent BBC dramatic productions. “Page Eight” decidedly is not among them. Very roughly based on a couple of highly controversial incidents, and wholly informed by an extremely tendentious reading of those events, it is an extraordinarily crude piece of anti-Israel agitprop. It is unworthy of the BBC that produced it and, even more so, of PBS, for inflicting it on an unwary American public.

Creating a wholly fictitious denouement of official British government condemnation of Israel is particularly offensive, representing the stretching of dramatic license well beyond the breaking point. Demonization of Israel was total and unrelenting throughout. Needless to say, your audience, not to mention the truth, was very ill-served by this appalling presentation. It deserves an abject official apology for an extremely poor programming decision.

Future broadcasts of this defamatory material, particularly on the internet, ought, in fairness, to be accompanied by a statement explicitly noting its entirely fictional character and emphasizing that the views expressed therein are solely those of its producers.

Richard Wilkins, Syracuse, NY

~ ~ ~

Regarding David Hare’s “Page Eight,” I have never seen such a rabid piece of anti-Israel – and actually given its basic dishonesty, blatantly anti-Semitic – propaganda shown on MPT. I’m still reeling and can ‘t believe that Maryland Public TV could have shown it. Essentially it blames Israel for whatever axes Hare has to grind, and Israel is scapegoated throughout while not being in any way central to the play’s central themes.

This kind of balderdash only limits the effectiveness of those like myself who for years have been critical of both sides: Israel for its settlements policies; the Palestinians for their continuing peace-precluding terrorism. And to think that this British Jew-hater cites as authoritative the report of the Iranian secret service…or that even an unjust killing is in any way commensurate with the huge numbers of innocent Israelis, many of whose funerals I’ve covered, who have been slaughtered…such as at the S’barro Pizza Restaurant in downtown Jerusalem, whose perpetrators have just been released in the large prisoner swap for one kidnapped Israeli soldier who was held for five years.

You’ll forgive me. Perhaps I could make my case a bit more eloquently, but I’m still in a state of shock after seeing this program, which as few others I’ve ever seen on your channels deeply violates not only my sense of balance but so very deeply my very sense of truth. I would be deeply grateful if you would pass this letter on to the Director of MPT.

Jack Eisenberg, Baltimore, MD

(Ombudsman’s Note: A Maryland Public Televisison official, in response to Eisenberg, said, “We are not planning to rebroadcast this film.”)

A Rejection Slip?

I have just watched the online Masterpiece presentation of “Page Eight” and was highly offended by much of the subplot and politicized theme of the show. It was basically an anti-Israel diatribe and distorts reality by not expressing any of the alternate perspective of what has been happening in and about that country with respect to the Palestinians. Your production staff should have refused to broadcast despite the fact that you have a time slot to fill! You accepted this airing as a channel receiving public tax supported donations and have an obligation to be “politically balanced” in dealing with controversial subjects.

Dr. Stephen Kollins, Las Vegas, NV

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Last Sunday, Nov 6, I settled down to enjoy Masterpiece Theater. The show was called “Page Eight.” Frankly, I’ve long had great affection for Masterpiece presentations. I love Inspector Lewis, the Swedish fellow Wallender, and Detective Poirot. But, as I watched Masterpiece Theater’s “Page Eight” unfold, I grew sick.

Here in the States we are well aware that police shows, such as Law and Order, will take stories that emerge in the news, and build on them narratives that closely follow the plot lines of actual events. I often smile as I recognize the events the writers have used to create their stories. But, what I haven’t seen recently—and maybe I don’t watch TV enough— is where writers create propaganda and suggest that it is based on what we already know to be true. Propaganda is what you do when you’re at war. It was true during the Cold War. It was true during the Vietnam conflict. No war is propaganda-free. But, is that what we are to take away from this Masterpiece presentation? Are we to see ourselves at war with Israel, the only country in the Middle East that extends civil rights to its women, to its minorities, to gays, and to anyone else regardless of their religion? This nation, Israel, that observes the laws of war and the treatment of prisoners more scrupulously than any other country in the world? Those of us who follow world events have long been aware of Britain’s Jewish problem. But for Public Television to bring such hatred of Israel to the U.S. is unconscionable.

Harry M. Mahn, Bellmore, NY

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While watching the program below, I noticed important, disguised or perhaps just plain overt anti-Semitism. The “Masterpiece” theme revolved about an aging British spy. The injured person was the actress Rachel Weisz, who in real life is a Jew. Rachel’s role was that of a distraught person because the IDF had killed her husband/friend [brother] while showing a white flag, and of course she then hated Jews (= Israel). She meets Nighy (spy) who at the end decides to help, no less than to vindicate the name of her brother. The vindication was needed because the IDF had not spoken the truth about the man with a white flag. I do not understand a) the role of Jews in this type of film and b) the reason to use Israel or Jews as the bad people. What was the purpose? I thought that the Merchant of Venice, etc, were things of the past.

Pablo Nankin, MD Beverly Hills CA

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PBS was always about classics and education. Is airing “Page Eight” in the public interest? A fictional, one-sided piece with bias against an ally? If you have traveled to England recently you will know that it is becoming an extension of Arabia and that television such as “Page Eight” will more and more be part of the fabric of local programing. Please don’t bring this crap to the U.S.

Riverwoods, IL

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Your decision to air “Page Eight” is reprehensible. Why don’t you just air the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? PBS should not air such a canard. What is the next fictional show you are going to air—one where Jewish adults kill a Muslim child to make Matzah? The blood libels continue and you help promote them.

Marten Hirsch, Wynnewood, PA

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I write to protest the egregious anti-Israel hit piece “Page Eight” that aired last Sunday on Masterpiece (KQED). We see [none of this is shown] allegedly brutish Israelis killing an innocent peace-loving protester intent only on halting the Jews’ callous seizure of land and the construction of a wall through an Arab home. No mention of terrorism or threats from Hamas or other Palestinian militants, suicide bombings, killing of Israeli civilians. I am a long-time admirer of Masterpiece (Theater) but using this venue to present a one-sided demonization of Israel is disgraceful.

Lewis Glenn, Danville, CA

~ ~ ~

My wife and I saw “Page Eight” on Channel 13 last week and were appalled by its trumped up and totally unnecessary anti-Israel propaganda fiction disguised as drama. BBC’s anti-Semitism is repellent, and there is absolutely no good reason for our Public Broadcasting Corporation’s stations to pass swill like this along to American audiences.

J.B. Russell, Danville, CA



Bull Moose Sportsmen is a front for some figures in the Colorado Democratic Party. Its name and use of T.R. is yet another tiresome effort to co-opt Teddy Roosevelt for the left’s causes.

What would Teddy Roosevelt have thought of being exploited by the gun control crowd?

“The great body of our citizens shoot less as times goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys, and indeed among all classes, as well as in the military services by every means in our power,” Roosevelt said. “The first step – in the direction of preparation to avert war if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come – is to teach men to shoot!”

In 1905, another step forward was taken, when President Roosevelt signed Public Law 149 into effect, authorizing the sale, at cost, of surplus military rifles, ammunition, and related equipment to rifle clubs.

Democrats Use Fake Hunters Group to Push Gun Control


The best kept secrets of the Muslim world include large populations of former African slaves in places like Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey. While Africans in Israel are not descended from slaves, Afro-Arabs, Afro-Turks and African-Pakistanis are living reminders of a Muslim slave trade that sometimes still lingers on.

The site of the world’s greatest slave rebellion was in Basra, Iraq, where half-a-million African slaves rose against the might of the Arab Abbasid Empire.

The Zanj rebellion was brutally suppressed, but its legacy lives on in the modern day city of Basra where hundreds of thousands of Afro-Iraqis live as a despised minority taunted with the slur “Abd” or Slave.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. By contrast, Saudi Arabia only abolished slavery in 1962.

Islamic Slavery and Racism


In a robust survey of 6,000 individuals across Pakistan, it is found that the poor are actually 23 times more averse to extremist violence relative to middle-class citizens.

The results indicated that higher incidence of terrorism reduced GDP, investments and exports. However, higher GDP, exports and investment did not reduce terrorism.


“You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and will have war,” Winston Churchill said on hearing of the Munich agreement that sold out Czechoslovakia in 1938 and was indeed the prelude to war. How that judgment resonates! Neville Chamberlain was the man in Churchill’s sights, and one can have some sympathy for him. He wanted to avoid bloodshed and that is not dishonorable. One can have some of the same sympathy for President Obama. He has avoided taking part in military action in Libya, in Mali and most glaringly in Syria. The decision to withdraw from Iraq and in the future Afghanistan reveal Obama to be essentially a pacifist. Which is all very well except for the famous shaft of light Hilaire Belloc throws on the stance:

“Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight But Roaring Bill (who killed him) thought it right.”

Obama could just get away with a Chamberlainite policy towards Libya and Mali because he was able to leave the British and French to take action. Kim Jong Un, Ayatollah Khamenei and Bashar Assad may not be exactly Roaring Bills but all have been skillfully profiteering from Obama’s mind-set, manipulating him into the Pale Ebenezer position. A day looks like dawning when Iran will reveal its nuclear weapon, quite probably made and tested in North Korea out of sight of Western intelligence. Tacit permission to Bashar Assad to do his worst is likely to be a mistake Iraqis, Lebanese, many thousand more Syrians, and possibly Israelis and Palestinians will have to pay for with their lives. Refusal to lead first of all allows Assad’s regime and the rebels to fight to the death and the watching world puts the blame on Obama and the United States. Then this pacifist stance hands initiative to the killers. Of course it is displeasing and dangerous to confront killers but more displeasing and dangerous not to confront them. Real enemies of the United States are taking advantage of Obama. He seems to have been formed intellectually by the 1960s conviction that keeping the peace is imperialism, colonialism, and what not. Not so. Failure to intervene in Syria now clearly prolongs Assad’s stop-at-nothing tyranny, alienates potential allies among the rebels and must soon set off widespread sectarian fighting — a guarantee of war and dishonor.


Those clamoring for American intervention in Syria — I should say, even more American intervention in Syria — have a lock on two influential drivers of conservative opinion, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages. They are also bedfellows on this issue with our Muslim Brotherhood–enthralled president, even if Mr. Obama’s skittishness about going all in has them a bit testy.

All of this puts the media wind at their backs. Repeated often enough and reported uncritically enough, the interventionists’ shallow story has thus become the narrative. And so we have: The Vacuum.

The Vacuum theme goes like this: The Middle East may be in flux, but our threat environment remains frozen in time — a Nineties warp in which Iran, singularly, is the root of all evil. In Syria now, we have a golden opportunity to hand the mullahs a crushing defeat. All we need to do is commit to toppling their client, Bashar al-Assad. Media spin thus suggests that Assad’s minority Alawite regime is responsible for each of the 70,000 killings and half a million displacements that Syrians have endured since the civil war began — as if the Sunni majority, led by the local Brotherhood affiliate with al-Qaeda as the point of its spear, were not carrying out reciprocal mass murders and an anti-Christian pogrom.

Alas, misadventures in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya have left the Obama administration gun-shy about leaping with both feet into another Muslim mess. The president thus prefers to “lead from behind” the Sunni supremacist governments of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. This failure of American will has created The Vacuum: a leadership lacuna in the anti-Assad opposition. Into this purported breach, Islamic supremacists — seemingly out of thin air — have rushed in to hijack the forward march of freedom.

As a result, the narrative continues, untold legions of Muslim moderates, secular democrats, and religious minorities who would otherwise be charting Syria’s democratic destiny are being elbowed aside. Even worse, by failing to intervene forcefully — meaning, to fuel the jihad with high-tech combat weapons and an aerial campaign to soften up Assad’s remaining defenses — the administration is frittering away the opportunity to strike up pragmatic alliances with the Vaccum-filling Islamists. Sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought — eager to help the Brotherhood, but too concerned about arms falling into terrorist hands — Obama is forfeiting our chance to influence the outcome.

Right. I mean, look at how ably our decade of heavy investment has steered Iraq and Afghanistan in a pro-American direction. And behold how they love us in Benghazi!


The world’s central banks are playing leapfrog, each trying to ease faster than the other. Since 2008, the world’s central banks have expanded their balance sheets by a staggering $4.7 trillion. The Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing forced the hand of the Bank of Japan, which earlier this week announced that it would double its rate of securities buying, pushing the 10-year Japanese government bond yield down to an all-time low of 0.43%. The Fed’s easing reduced the U.S. dollar’s exchange rate and boosted U.S. exports, largely at the expense of Japan and Europe. With some of Japan’s top export names at risk of bankruptcy, Japan responded with aggressive easing to reduce the value of the yen. Europe is the big loser, and the European Central Bank this week indicated that it might follow suit.

The central banks have been working straight from the playbook that John Maynard Keynes devised in the 1930s, and it has been a dismal failure. They are competing for a stagnant volume of world trade. Quantitative easing has shifted the pain around the world, but it hasn’t restored growth. Once again, the world has to learn the hard way that Keynesian economics fails. It’s disheartening that no major political party anywhere in the world has articulated a clear alternative.

Many conservatives bought into the market consensus, namely that Fed easing would boost asset prices, asset prices would boost consumption, and higher consumption would drive the overall economy. There was an element of self-consolation in this credulity: if the U.S. economy was indeed recovering, it “explains” the Obama victory last November and takes the Republican leadership off the hook for a devastating defeat. The alternative view — that Obama crushed Romney despite a very weak economy — puts the blame on Republican leaders. The fact is that Obama wasn’t lucky. We did a bad job.

Resistance Movement Growing to Islamization of France By JanSuzanne Krasner…..(Les enfants de la patrie are waking up)

Europe as a continent made up of multicultural nations is at the precipice of obliteration. This may sound melodramatic, but it is exactly what the members of a new French political youth movement called “Generation Identitaire” fear and they are willing to stand up and unite across Europe to stop it.

France was introduced to this group on October 20th, 2012 when about 100+ members made their way to the roof of a mosque in Poitiers, France and hung a huge banner in view of the Minaret that clearly read: “Immigration, building of mosques REFERENDUM!” along with the number “732.”

The meaning was clear to the French. Poitiers was the place that on October 25, 732, a Muslim invasion was defeated by Charles Martel which stopped Arab expansion into Western Europe. This demonstration was a symbolic statement by ‘Generation Identitaire’ who are declaring a war on immigration and committing themselves to be the front lines in the peaceful protection of their national identity and their families. Video of the Poitiers demonstration below:

Europe is becoming a place where the national identity of many nations is being challenged by the growing influence of Muslim immigration and political correctness. This is undoubtedly happening in France with a population of 6-11 million Muslims and it is leading the way to French extinction.

On Sunday, March 24, a protest took place with hundreds of thousands of young French men, members of several organizations who share the same concerns, including Generation Identitaire. This event was an appeal for all generations of Europeans to produce “identity activists” who will be in the forefront defending the family and families, a protest that the participants hope was reminiscent of the famous French Protests in May 1968. 2

The establishment of this new movement can be attributed to the downfall of the French economy with 25% youth unemployment; Frances’ unsustainable benefits to its massive immigration; the street intimidation by Muslim gangs; and the French identity being threatened by a “Global Village” approach.

The essence of their demands is the end of non-European immigration and the construction of any new mosques on French soil. They claim that the mass immigration that began in the ’70’s has radically transformed their country with 43% of 18-50 year olds in the area of Paris being immigrants. They believe that “A people can lift itself out of economic crisis or a war, but not out of the replacement of its population. Without the French, France no longer exists.”


Much of the progressive agenda – on marriage, immigration, and much else – involves not winning the argument but ruling any debate out of bounds.

He who controls the language shapes the debate: In the same week the Associated Press announced that it would no longer describe illegal immigrants as “illegal immigrants,” the star columnist of The New York Times fretted that the Supreme Court seemed to have misplaced the style book on another fashionable minority. “I am worried,” wrote Maureen Dowd, “about how the justices can properly debate same-sex marriage when some don’t even seem to realize that most Americans use the word ‘gay’ now instead of ‘homosexual.'” She quoted her friend Max Mutchnick, creator of “Will & Grace”:

“Scalia uses the word ‘homosexual’ the way George Wallace used the word ‘Negro.’ There’s a tone to it. It’s humiliating and hurtful. I don’t think I’m being overly sensitive, merely vigilant.”
For younger readers, George Wallace was a powerful segregationist Democrat. Whoa, don’t be overly sensitive. There’s no “tone” to my use of the word “Democrat”; I don’t mean to be humiliating and hurtful: it’s just what, in pre-sensitive times, we used to call a “fact.” Likewise, I didn’t detect any “tone” in the way Justice Antonin Scalia used the word “homosexual.” He may have thought this was an appropriately neutral term, judiciously poised midway between “gay” and “Godless sodomite.” Who knows? He’s supposed to be a judge, and a certain inscrutability used to be part of what we regarded as a judicial temperament. By comparison, back in 1986, the year Scalia joined the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Warren Burger declared “there is no such thing as a fundamental right to commit homosexual sodomy.” I don’t want to be overly sensitive, but I think even I, if I rewound the cassette often enough, might be able to detect a certain tone to that.

Nonetheless, Max Mutchnick’s “vigilance” is a revealing glimpse of where we’re headed. Canada, being far more enlightened than the hotbed of homophobes to its south, has had gay marriage coast to coast for a decade. Statistically speaking, one third of 1 percent of all Canadian nuptials are same-sex, and, of that nought-point-three-three, many this past decade have been American gays heading north for a marriage license that they’re denied in their own country. So, gay marriage will provide an important legal recognition for an extremely small number of persons who do not currently enjoy it. But, putting aside arguments over the nature of marital union, the legalization of gay marriage will empower a lot more “vigilance” from all the right-thinking people over everybody else.

Mr. Mutchnick’s comparison of the word “homosexual” with “Negro” gives the game away: Just as everything any conservative says about anything is racist, so, now, it will also be homophobic. It will not be enough to be clinically neutral (“homosexual”) on the subject – or tolerant, bored, mildly amused, utterly indifferent. The other day, Jeremy Irons found himself musing to a reporter on whether (if the issue is unequal legal treatment) a father should be allowed to marry his son for the purpose of avoiding inheritance taxes. The vigilance vigilantes swung into action:

It is difficult to know which is more troubling: Whether Obama actually meant what he said in his speech to students in Jerusalem; or whether he didn’t.

I honestly believe that if any Israeli parent sat down with those [Palestinian] kids, they’d say I want these kids to succeed.– Barack Obama, Jerusalem, March 21, 2013

I hope you will walk the same path we took and God willing, we will see some of you as martyrs.– Wafa al-Biss, young female terrorist, to dozens of Palestinian schoolchildren who came to welcome her home after her release from prison

Because I love my son, I encouraged him to die a martyr’s death for the sake of Allah…Allah be praised, my son has attained this happiness.– Maryam Farahat a.k.a. Umm Nidal a.k.a. Mother of Martyrs, rejoicing at her son’s death in a terrorist attack in which he murdered five Israeli teenagers

Now that the dust is beginning to settle, the spin subside and the fanfare fade, it is perhaps easier to make a more sober assessment of Barack Obama’s visit to Israel and to evaluate the impact it is liable to have on regional developments.

Improved acoustics and aesthetics

Even the most vehement critics of the US president’s policy toward Israel have to concede that, prime facie, the visit did appear to produce a number of encouraging rhetorical elements. It is difficult to deny that from a pro-Israel standpoint, things were certainly made to look and sound far better than before.

As Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin, who has often expressed acerbic disapproval of Obama’s attitude to Israel, remarked, “… one thing has undoubtedly changed in the aftermath of the presidential visit to Israel: Barack Obama’s image as an antagonist of the Jewish state.”

Obama appeared to firmly endorse the notion of the Jewish people’s aboriginal rights and historic ties to the Land of Israel, and that the State of Israel should be a Jewish, declaring: “Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state.”

Moreover, he seemed to have backpedaled on the issue of settlements.

Although he designated their ongoing construction “counterproductive to the cause of peace,” he rebuffed the Palestinian demand that further negotiations be contingent on a renewed settlement freeze. In an apparent reversal of US policy, characterized by The Washington Post as a “stinging rebuttal” of Mahmoud Abbas, Obama sided with Israel’s position, declaring that talks toward a “broad agreement” should resume without preconditions.

Premature diagnosis?

Of course, none of this should be dismissed as inconsequential. However, I would counsel caution before breaking out the champagne.

For despite an apparent pro-Israel metamorphosis in his approach to the Jewish state, it is premature to adopt the upbeat assessment of some conservative columnists who feel that Obama’s “defenders have been… vindicated and his critics chastened, if not silenced.”

Israel and its supporters would do well to recall that in the past, strong statements of support from Obama have had staggeringly short shelf-lives.

For example, his rousing pledge at the 2008 AIPAC conference that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided,” endured barely 24 hours before backpedaling began, and “clarifications” were issued that the word “undivided” was poorly chosen, leaving us to puzzle over what would have constituted a judicious choice. “Re-divided”?

Four years later, at the 2012 AIPAC conference he boldly reassured the audience: “There should not be a shred of doubt by now… I have Israel’s back.”

But here, too, almost immediately, another “clarification” was forthcoming, which effectively stripped this declaration of any operational value, stating: “It [having Israel’s back] was not a military doctrine that we were laying out for any particular military action…. What it means is that, historically, we have always cooperated with Israel… just like we do with Great Britain, just like we do with Japan.”

Clearly, given the great divergence of existential threat-levels faced by Israel, on the one hand, and by Great Britain and Japan, on the other, the clarification, and the alacrity with which it was made, can hardly have been a source of comfort to Israeli policy-makers or the Israeli public.


There are two big problems with Robert Redford’s new film about the 60’s Weathermen who became fugitives from justice. The first is the casting of himself as someone just three decades removed from that period of time; sadly, Redford has aged quickly and badly and looks every minute of his actual late 70’s which would have made him a student activist in his mid 40’s. Even Brendan Gleeson, never a matinee idol, would have been a more logical choice for the main character of Nick Sloan, a man with an assumed identity, a career as a lawyer in Albany and a pressing responsibility as a recent widower who is now the sole parent of an 11 year old daughter. Since there are far too many close-ups of the strawberry-blonde septuagenarian, we can’t escape the essential hole in the story – how to believe that grandpa was just a young idealist (or radical ideologue) only thirty years before.

The deeper problem is that the movie shifts course from a discussion of the essence of the Weathermen’s cause, with its diatribe about the sins of Amerika, ruled by evil corporations and the military-industrial complex and the radical group’s accompanying murder of innocents as justification of its goals – to a movie about an innocent man who was never even present at the scene of the crime. This is what is known as an old-fashioned cop-out, only exacerbated by the sanctimonious ending in which we are asked to believe that two of the important characters exhibit a total reversal of their previous behavior after a heart to heart talk with Nick. What a wasted opportunity, particularly at a time when Kathy Boudin’s faculty appointment at Columbia Law School has been circulating on the internet, once again raising the specter of our own update of the sixties’ fascination with radical chic and moral bankruptcy.

The young reporter who activates the plot by uncovering Nick Sloan’s identity, is played by Shia la Boeuf whose performance is sorely compromised by a screenplay that has him invading people’s homes, family dinners and social dates without being summarily dismissed and ejected. Perhaps if he had been played by Ryan Gosling we might have accepted that at least the young attractive woman might have wanted him to linger for a while, but as a scruffy young boor, he loses all credibility. The usually luminous Julie Christie still has her moments, particularly lit by firelight, but has no opportunity to show the uncanny sensitivity she displayed a few years back in “Away From Her.” And the biggest waste of talent is the failure of Redford to have used some appropriate music in the closing credits to be sung by Jackie Evancho, the operatic prodigy who plays Redford’s young daughter in the film and who in reality has become a musical sensation after becoming a finalist on America’s Got Talent at the age of 10. If you want to be moved by sheer genius, go to and click on Jackie singing the aria “Nessun Dorma” – then shake your head at Redford’s gaffe, knowing how much “The Way We Were” lingers in our memories because of Barbra Streisand’s haunting rendition of the title song. There’s also a simulated duet on Youtube of Barbra and Jackie singing Somewhere from “West Side Story” – another worthwhile number that will provide the frisson that is missing from “The Company You Keep” and make you yearn for someone to build a movie that allows this young girl to become the superstar she is destined to be.

Climate Change Scientists Acknowledge That the Decline in Rapid Temperature Increases is a Positive Sign : Geoffrey Lean All right, I accept that this Arctic April may seem an incongruous time to address global warming. But there are important, and possibly hopeful, developments in the complex, contentious world of climate science that might finally give us all a sense of spring. For some recent research suggests that climate change might not be […]