Hey, here’s some news for you: There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and elements of the administration of President George W. Bush deliberately deceived the public! If new Iraq war film “Green Zone” had come out with this plotline circa 2004, I would have cheered, but at this late stage in the game, it’s stating the obvious. Maybe only Dick Cheney, his attack-dog daughter Liz and the Tea Party fringe who think they’re currently living under “socialist tyranny” might take issue with this.

Still, cinema has a way of lingering in the public memory long after the news is forgotten and the history is obscured. Hollywood says it doesn’t do history, and that entertainment shouldn’t be held to the same rigorous standards; yet for all the flak they take for that position, they don’t do a half-bad job. Our collective memory of Vietnam, for example, is largely shaped by movies, and the images we recall — helicopters blasting a small village, farmers and guerrillas alike; soldiers on acid firing at an unseen enemy; draftees who are far from enthusiastic about being there; wounded vets confronted with a country that doesn’t support the war — are correct ones.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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