According to the Hollywood Reporter, Vaughn’s production company, Wild West Productions, is producing “Pursuit of Truth” -- an online reality show featuring competing documentary filmmakers -- for Beck’s Blaze Internet TV Network. On the show, filmmakers will present promo reels, pitch scenes and conduct interviews before a panel of judges, who will determine the winner of the grand prize: worldwide distribution and financing for the winning film.
The Company You Keep
Although no starting date for the program has been announced, the producers are already accepting contestants. So rest assured, “Pursuit of Truth” will soon be coming to a computer near you, joining other programs on The Blaze -- shows the Reporter characterizes as conservative and “patriotic,” including “Liberty Treehouse,” “Independence USA,” “Real News” and talk show, “BS of A” (how’s that for patriotic?), hosted by noted loon and radio host Andrew Wilkow. Wilkow, you may remember, referred on air to Rachel Maddow as a “little boy” and deemed Perez Hilton “a vile sodomite.” Toss in owner and star of The Blaze, Beck, and his recent eBay auction of a urine-soaked statue of President Obama and you wonder -- how can “Pursuit of Truth” possibly keep up that level of class?
Say it Ain't So, Vince
Come on -- what’s a nice guy like Vince Vaughn doing anywhere near the certifiable Mr. Beck? Don’t tell me the actor who was so good in that movie with Joaquin Phoenix where Phoenix gets hanged for smoking dope -- is one of the few right-wingers in Hollywood. Could it be? Do he and Jon Voight meet secretly at Stephen Baldwin’s house every night to deny global warming and hate the United Nations? What's going on here? It's Internet time.
Well, according to multiple sources, Vaughn is only a Libertarian. Whew! Sure, Libertarians have a number of wacky, social Darwinist views, including the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare. But their get-government-out-of-our-lives views on such social issues as gay rights, abortion and censorship are right on the money. In other words, compared to Beck's brand of extremism, Libertarians are Michael Moore.
As if the Vaughn/Beck partnership isn’t bizarre enough, throw in Peter Billingsley, once known as “Ralphie,” the bespectacled cherub-with-BB gun from 1983’s “A Christmas Story.” Billingsley, a co-producer of "Pursuit of..." and exec at Wild West, told the Reporter, “Our goal is to create a powerful annual platform to help filmmakers tell important and engaging stories.” I’m not sure what Billingsley means by “annual platform,” but it is a lot of fun to hear Ralphie use such grown-up words.
Good Idea... Bad Location?
I like the idea of a reality show/contest featuring documentary filmmakers, if only because I like documentaries and like to see them in a starring role. But I fear Beck's involvement. Will he have content approval on the show and the documentaries featured? After all, it is his network. Will a film, titled, say, "Voter Suppression -- How the Right Tried to Steal the Election" get the same treatment as, say, "Obama -- Emperor of Evil" or will the green light go only to Beck-approved projects?
I hope "Pursuit of Truth" turns out to be honest, even-handed and a smashing success -- but I wouldn't hold my breath. Beck and the truth have never worked well together.