White House Down Movie Review: Left-Right Paradigm Propaganda

As the liberty movement and alternative media make more progress by the day, the pro-establishment message in many of our news and entertainment outlets only becomes more obvious.

Mainstream news too often enforces the false left vs. right dichotomy, and many big-name Hollywood stars have abandoned their past protests of misuse of government power and foreign interventions to fall in line to support any policy with the Obama administration’s name on it. For many celebrities, any mention of Obama’s continuation of Bush Administration policies, such as NSA spying and the hawkish drone program, is strictly ignored. Now, Hollywood has released its latest piece of political propaganda to distract us from the real issues, a recent film called White House Down.


White House Down begins with a DC police officer (Channing Tatum) interviewing for a job with the Secret Service to work for a fictional President played by Jamie Foxx. Foxx’s character, a Democrat, is in the process of signing an international peace treaty to withdraw all US troops and close all US military bases in the Middle East. Because of this treaty, many defense contractors and career military will lose large sums of money, and the fictional Republicans are outraged at President Jamie Foxx. The President is shown on TV saying, “the pen is stronger than the sword.” As the American Conservative‘s review commented:

White House Down” must have been written in the heady days when President Obama moved into the White House. A new day was dawning. Gone would be the reckless militarism of the cowboy Republican regime of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. We now had a sensitive and—glory be, black!—President in the Oval Office.

Of course, it sometimes takes an embarrassing amount of time for script to be turned into movie and released at the box office. This movie thus debuts when Barack, no longer a sensitive soul trying to bring peace to the Mideast, is making Dubya look like a wuss by comparison. Not to worry. Just throw in more explosions and right-wing villains. Logic and ideas have no place in a movie anyway.

Needless to say, the screenwriters and director are completely indiscreet with their agenda, as the characters bear such a strong resemblance to current public figures that it can be no accident. The fictional President Jamie Foxx is a carbon copy of the celebrity hologram that is portrayed of Obama in the statist worldview: The fictional president comes from an intellectual background, and is constantly under attack from Republican opponents, who constantly mock his naivety, lack of military experience, and alleged spinelessness when dealing with terrorists. The Vice President is an elderly Democrat, just like Joe Biden, and the Speaker of the House is a Republican, just like John Boehner, who is engaged in a tense climate of partisan bickering with the fictional president.  

After interviewing and being rejected for the Secret Service, Channing Tatum takes his 11-year-old daughter on a tour of the White House. In the midst of their tour, a Republican partisan military coup breaks out and storms the White House, taking the whole tour group as hostages. As each antagonist is introduced, we see a grand buffet of every right-wing stereotype that Hollywood could possibly provide. The coup is lead by James Woods, the head of the Secret Service. He is the quintessential Hollywood stock character of the no-nonsense, stiff-suit, white-haired, right-wing government goon that is frequently seen in films about the CIA. James Woods leads an armed militia composed of combat veterans, Blackwater snipers, and white supremacist felons. Woods’s partner-in-crime is a bespectacled, nerdy computer hacker, whose job is to hack into the nuclear silo databases, and gain full access to US nuclear weapons. One could say the character is meant to resemble Edward Snowden, though the production timeline doesn’t work.

The film then devolves into a typical violent, guns-blazing, Hollywood action film. Through a strange series of circumstances, Tatum bumps into President Jamie Foxx in the White House, and they team up to fight the Republican bad guys. The film becomes a wide array of hand-to-hand combat, bullets flying, blood everywhere, machine guns, car chases, glass breaking, Hollywood kung fu moves, and running through secret passages. Sixty percent of the film is fictional on-screen violence, which basically contradicts the whole peaceful agenda that President Jamie Foxx was trying to push.

When “Snowden” achieves access to the missile silo, he fires a missile that blows up Air Force Two and kills “Biden.” With President Jamie Foxx is missing in action, the Republican Speaker of the House character is sworn in as President. “Boehner” then takes command of the military personnel in the Pentagon, who are trying to find a solution. Agent James Woods calls “President Boehner” and the Pentagon personnel, demanding ransom or he will push the red button to launch nuclear weapons at several sites in Iran. Because Agent James Woods is dying of cancer, he does not care if he lives or dies, as long as he accomplishes his Republican chickenhawk goals of nuking the Iranians and proving to the world that the United States is the world’s strongest military. “Boehner” responds by ordering an airstrike to obliterate the White House.

Just as Agent James Woods is about to push the red button, President Jamie Foxx bursts in to save the day. After a scuffle with Agent James Woods, President Jamie Foxx kills him by stabbing him in the throat with a presidential pen and saying again, “The pen is stronger than the sword!” But it is too late as Air Force pilots are zooming in with bombs to level the White House.

To save the day, Channing Tatum’s daughter runs out onto the White House lawn, waving the presidential flag, and the pilot disobeys “Boehner’s” orders, and cancels the airstrike.

Because Channing Tatum and President Jamie Foxx have single-handedly taken down all members of the right-wing paramilitary coup, they emerge from the White House and are swarmed by rescue personnel and news reporters. “President Boehner” is shocked to see that President Jamie Foxx is not dead, and they argue about who is legally president.

Because Jamie Foxx has taken the pager off of James Woods’ dead body,  he dials the number that James Woods was taking orders from, and “Boehner’s” pager rings, proving that “Boehner” was in cohorts with Agent Woods, “Snowden,” and the militiamen, and had assisted the coup to usurp the presidency. “Boehner” is arrested, and President Jamie Foxx hires Channing Tatum to be in the Secret Service. The film ends with President Foxx being informed that Russia, China, Israel, and Iran all agree to his treaty.

Multiple aspects of White House Down should be considered an insult to the viewer’s intelligence. The major plotline is a patronizing lie, as only one candidate ran in the 2012 presidential election on the platform of closing down all military bases in the Middle East, and it certainly was not incumbent President, Barack Obama.

Multiple times throughout the film, the political characters referred to all Middle Eastern nations, including Iran, as “Arabs.” One would think that such tolerant, politically-correct, progressive intellectuals would never make a mistake like that. The fictional president even used the term “military-industrial complex,” referring to corporations that profit off of war, stating his opposition to it.

Propaganda that continues to enforce the incredibly narrow left-right paradigm is dangerous. The Hollywood agenda keeps carefully hidden the fact that there really are conservatives who oppose the undeclared wars, the military-industrial complex, and crony corporatism.

Liberty-minded thinkers are not naïve enough to believe that the mega-banks, huge corporations, military hawks, and war profiteers will lose their power based on the promise of an intellectual left-wing demagogue. The objective thinker realizes that these power-elite will buy their agenda from whatever partisan politician is in office. It is a shame that instead of exposing this reality, the established media uses its resources to deliver the same old cliché partisan messages, with the same old cliché stock characters, hoping the viewers will act like a dog chasing its tail.

Content published on the Young Americans for Liberty blog is only representative of the opinions and research of the individual authors. It does not necessarily reflect the views, goals, or membership of YAL.

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