In Mona Charen’s recent column “Two Chances at History,” she applauds the Washington Post’s acknowledgement that the movie “Fair Game” is made up largely of distortions and outright inventions. The movie purports to be the true story of the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson incident. Plame was the CIA agent supposedly “outed” because of leaks to the media by the Bush administration. Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney’s assistant, was convicted of perjury. Convicted, Charen says, “because his memory of conversations differed from others.” She also says, accurately, “The man on trial did no leaking. The man who did the leaking is not on trial.” (Note: read the Wikipedia entry on Scooter Libby -- the first couple of paragraphs, anyway, to get the gist of what happened. Then read the "criticisms of the investigation" at the end, along with the results of Plame's lawsuits. You'll get an idea of how trumped-up the whole mess was, and how unfairly Libby was, and is still, being treated.)
However, my interest is in a broader truth that Charen observes. She says, “Liberals always get two shots at history – one as events unfold, and another when playwrights, screenwriters, novelists, and other arbiters recount events later. It’s a crime against truth, but it happens every day.”
Think of the people who know history only from the movies, and you’ll see that she’s got a point.