Robert De Niro’s upcoming Tribeca Film Festival is in trouble for including the movie Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, directed by Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced physician turned anti-vaccination activist. The festival site describes the film as “[d]igging into the long-debated link between autism and vaccines,” a description that avoids the official conclusion of that debate, which is that Wakefield was a fraud peddling destructive lies to desperate parents.
The New York Film Critics Circle expelled cantankerous freethinker Armond White this morning, as punishment for his alleged heckling of 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen. White, steadfastly rejecting any critical consensus, disputes the prevailing interpretation that he did wrong, or that it was heckling at all.
In the aftermath of the revelations about the NSA's secret spying programs, there is plenty of anger to go around. American citizens are pissed that they were spied on. European governments are pissed that they were spied on. Nobody, it seems, is happy with being spied on. So why is spying such an accepted institution?
Some people say that Edward Snowden is a hero because the secret NSA spying program that he exposed was ripe for abuse. Other people say Edward Snowden is a villain, because the program seemed to be well-run and lawful. Both of these positions are grounded in fantasy. Nobody knows whether the government's power was abused; it's a secret. That's the problem. That's the point.