The Politics of ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’

“It’s not about the politics, it’s the story of what happened on the ground that night.” – Mark Geist (callsign “Oz”)

To say that conservatives who are horrified at the prospect of Hillary Clinton being elected President this November are salivating at the release of the film “13 Hours” would be a major understatement.  The National Review’s article on the topic is titled “13 Hours:  The Non-political movie Hillary can’t avoid.”  Conversely, Salon.com has an article claiming the movie won’t harm Hillary’s political chances.

The quote from Mark Geist comes from a featurette about the film from its official website.  He was there in Benghazi and is one of the co-authors of the book that is the basis for the upcoming Michael Bay film.  Numerous reviews of this book claim it ignores the political controversy and instead focuses on the events that these “contractors” were involved in.  But will that be the case with the movie?

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

Like anything else, we must begin by looking at where the money and power behind this film comes from.  That would be Michael Bay, Paramount Pictures and a company called 3 Arts Entertainment.  Let’s begin with 3 Arts Entertainment.  It is a talent management company that is also involved in lots and lots of production.  They have productions credits for Broad City, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mindy Project and Parks and Recreation.  Its founder and CEO Erwin Stoff was agent for Keanu Reeves for more than three decades until they parted in 2012 (Reeves stayed with 3 Arts but with different reps).  Stoff is a very busy producer and not just for projects involving Reeves.  During the 2008 election cycle all of Erwin Stoff’s contributions were made to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama.  During the 2004 cycle, all of his contributions went to either John Kerry or other politicians who are Democrats.  I can find no record of where Erwin Stoff ever contributed money to the campaign of a Republican.  I doubt he has an anti-Hillary agenda.

Brad Grey runs Paramount with an iron fist in a velvet glove.  In the 2008 campaign cycle he gave to both Republicans and Democrats during the primary period.  But in the general election only Clinton and Obama received contributions from him.  In 2012 all of Grey’s political contributions were to Democrats except for a $1,000 contribution to the widow of Sonny Bono.  Mr. Grey doesn’t seem likely to have an anti-Hillary agenda either.


That leaves Michael Bay.  There are no records of political contributions by this man.  I thought I had located some, but that Michael Bay is a doctor who lives in Texas.  In an article from Mother Jones, Bay is quoted as saying the following about his politics.  “Yes, I am a political person, and I have my views about America,  I’m very proud of my country; obviously it’s going through a lot of turmoil, and we have a very ineffectual government… It doesn’t matter at all [whether I’m liberal or conservative]—it’s not a part of what I do. I don’t feel the need to go out and tell people what to believe politically.”

John Krasinski gets tough in '13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi'
John Krasinski gets tough in ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’

With the notable exception of 1996’s “The Rock” films directed by Michael Bay do have more elements that would appeal to conservatives than would to liberals, when examined for political bias.  But like his other movies, I suspect the only real agenda behind 13 Hours is to make money.  If the film is devoid of references to the alleged controversies about how the Obama Administration and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handled this incident, I would have to disagree with the liberals who claim this is an outright attack on her presidential campaign.

We won’t know until the film is released.  Stay tuned.

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