Alexandra Pelosi is back on the campaign trail, giving a forum to — and putting faces on — those jeering crowds at McCain-Palin rallies who booed and yelled “Terrorist!” at the mere mention of Barack Obama’s name. In “Right America: Feeling Wronged,” Pelosi again engages conservatives without outwardly seeming smug, but there’s no denying the unflattering portrait this brisk 45-minute documentary conveys, letting the GOP faithful paint themselves as miscreants, racists and conspiracy nuts — all in their own unprompted words. For Democrats, the viewing experience is akin to watching an opposing team’s cheerleaders cry after losing the big game.
“I’m not too partial to blacks,” one hefty fellow in the South admits bluntly before the election, though he’s probably preferable to the professorial-looking type who begins to espouse his theory on why Obama might very well be the antichrist.
Along the way, there is much railing against the liberal media, many tears are shed about the future of America, and there’s one especially painful (though pretty hilarious) attempt by a young man to define socialism after the term gets bandied about at GOP campaign stops.
Several media personalities have cameos along the way, as Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Carl Cameron are treated like heroes (Hannity identifies the filmmaker as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, prompting her to protest that he’s “going to get me killed”), while Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter is caught kissing Katie Couric’s ass for the way in which she conducted her Sarah Palin interview — then seems a little embarrassed by his own starstruck moment.
What you mostly see, though, are people who illustrate Obama’s controversial remark about folks that cling to their guns and religion, who believe this majority-Christian nation is in the throes of a cultural war that’s overtly hostile toward their religion. Pelosi does her best to create the impression she’s not judging but merely wants to understand them; still, when somebody divides America into two groups — “There’s gays and there’s working people,” one man says early on — there isn’t much room for compromise or middle ground.
Of course, conservatives have seized on the documentary form as well to expose extremes on the left and scare the hell out of their own constituencies. Yet if Pelosi’s travels among conservatives and evangelicals (see “Friends of God”) have accomplished anything, it’s been to underscore to HBO’s big-city liberal constituencies how divided the nation is — and just how foreign the good ol’ parts of the U.S. of A. can appear.
Alexandra Pelosi’s docu ‘Right America: Feeling Wronged,’ airing on HBO Monday, gives a forum to those who followed the Straight Talk Express.