The death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens in a Benghazi rocket attack today resulted from rage against a cheesy film trailer [Google it; we’re not posting it].
The fellow who says he made the film calls himself “Sam Bacile,” and he claims to be an American who holds Israeli citizenship who makes his living either as a filmmaker or a real estate developer.
Problem is, there’s no evidence he’s made any films beyond Innocence of Muslims, which seems to be precisely designed to produce the kind of outrage it’s generated.
He’s not listed on the Internet Movie Data Base, and his name doesn’t appear in the data base of ZABA Search [a comprehensive database] either in California or anywhere else in the U.S. And a Google search for his name reveals no hits before the release of the film trailer.
Having covered both the film industry [and even having worked in it], we can say that if there’s one thing filmmakers want, it’s recognition. And real estate developers are widely reported on.
Given the bizarre lack of any prior web presence who a man who claims two high-profile vocations, we’re amazed at the credulity or the mainstream media in swallowing claims made over the phone to two reporters.
The Wall Street Journal’s Matt Bradley and Dion Nissenbaum identify him as a “52-year-old writer, director and producer,” while the AP reported he was 56.
Bacile claimed his film was financed by Jewish donors.
From AP’s Shaya Tayefe Mohajer:
“This is a political movie,” Bacile told the AP. “The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we’re fighting with ideas.”
Bacile said he believes the movie will help his native land by exposing Islam’s flaws to the world.
“Islam is a cancer, period,” he said repeatedly, his solemn voice thickly accented.
The two-hour movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” cost $5 million to make and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors, said Bacile, who wrote and directed it.
Read the rest.
And then there’s this, from AP reporter Esam Mohamed [emphasis added]:
Though Bacile was apologetic about the American who was killed as a result of the outrage over his film, he blamed lax embassy security and the perpetrators of the violence.
“I feel the security system [at the embassies] is no good,” said Bacile. “America should do something to change it.”
A consultant on the film, Steve Klein, said the filmmaker is concerned for family members who live in Egypt. Bacile declined to confirm.
He told the AP he was an Israeli Jew and an American citizen. But Israeli officials said they had not heard of Bacile and there was no record of him being a citizen. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not permitted to share personal information with the media.
Read the rest.
Adding yet another layer of complexity to an already-murky tale, the film was heavily promoted by an Egyptian-American of the Coptic Christian faith.
So, we have a movie the looks like it was made by a high school student yet clearly designed to inflame outrage among Muslims, and it’s endorsed by Terry Jones, the Koran-burning Florida Fundie pastor.
And it comes just as Israel is beating the war drums and searching for a provocation to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities and the Middle East and North Africa are aboil with tensions stirred up by an Arab Spring heavily promoted by Washington.
A U.S. ambassador is dead, the U.S. embassy grounds in Egypt were stormed and a flag burned, and millions of Muslims are outraged by a tawdry piece of trash designed to incite anger by a man who didn’t seem to exist before his trailer hit You Tube.
Forgive us for thinking something deep is afoot within that infamous wilderness of mirrors.