Pelosi (Jr.) Version of Patriotism Opens July 4
July 03, 2011, 01:42 AM
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The Fourth of July has gotten a lot of bashing this year from the dinosaur media. US News & World Report warned its liberal readers that taking your children to an Independence Day celebration could turn them into (gasp!) Republicans (Harvard: July 4th Parades Are Right-Wing). Plus, traditional yummy foods are both unhealthy and damaging to the planet, or so we are told.

On top of that, HBO has chosen the 4th of July to roll out their “patriotic” documentary filmed by former Speaker Pelosi’s daughter Alexandra which traveled around the country to film naturalization ceremonies. Nice, huh? The immigrants came the right way, and now they are getting their just reward.

I appreciate foreigners who immigrate legally and actually like the freedoms this country offers. That’s a relief after the endless demands of millions of foreign grifters.

However, America is full, environmentally speaking, and the period of massive legal immigration needs to end just as the frontier did in 1890. Otherwise the quality of life for all will suffer. The proper number now is ZERO. The people now waiting in the legal pipeline should be welcomed with open arms but then no more.

In addition, Pelosi Jr. seemed to have a strong diversity component in her film, at least from what has been shown in advance. She said that immigrants were moving out from the big cities into the countryside and were making America a “melting pot,” so eventually there will be no escape from diversity anywhere. Pelosi asked newbie citizens what they liked best about America and an Afghan guy answered, “Girls.” A Filipino said she loved 911 on the phone: “You dial and they come right away and rescue you.” Underwhelming.

Nobody was so tasteless as to say they loved the extensive welfare system and free food for the kiddies at school. Ms Pelosi also did not ask whether the new citizens were merely grateful to be out of the third world sewer where they were unluckily born.

America has been binging on immigration for decades and it’s long past time for a national diet. Citizens are tired of being the world’s flophouse where the doors never close. Enough already.

Finally, if one is going to make a film celebrating America, then viewers might expect that Americans would be the subject. It seems that Pelosi Democrats only like foreign-born Americans, not the home-grown traditional variety, who self-identify as conservative by two to one.

Pelosi’s July 4th documentary visits new Americans, Associated Press, July 1, 2011

HBO’s new documentary “Citizen U.S.A.: A 50 State Road Trip” is such an unabashed love letter to the country that you almost expect fireworks to burst through the TV screen at the end.

Yet the Alexandra Pelosi project also comes with so many layers of political baggage — her background as the daughter of former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the charged issue of illegal immigration and a discomfort with patriotism — that it will be hard for people to take it at face value.

Alexandra Pelosi, maker of a series of documentaries starting with the 2000 presidential campaign narrative “Journeys With George,” traveled across the country to film ceremonies where immigrants were sworn in as new U.S. citizens. New citizens explain why they took the oath and what they like about their new country in the film, which debuts at 9 p.m. EDT on July 4.

“The purpose of this journey was to show people all of the things that people in America take for granted,” Pelosi said in an interview.

It was born of personal experience. Pelosi’s husband, Michiel Vos, moved from Holland to New York when they married. The realization that he could be thrown out of the country without his wife and two children at any time prompted him to pursue citizenship. Pelosi brought her camera to film Vos’ naturalization ceremony, and followed him to other states when he had speaking engagements at similar occasions.

The film opens with Vos reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” together with President Barack Obama. (Although Obama appeared in the film, the administration nixed one promotional idea. Pelosi appeared on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” last week, where host Stephen Colbert revealed that the show wanted to air a live ceremony of new citizens being sworn in. The White House said no because it didn’t think a comedy show was the right place for such an important event in the lives of new citizens.)

Pelosi, who has an irreverent, relentlessly curious style of filmmaking that seeks out the unusual and unique, was fascinated with some of the people she met and began telling their stories: a Polish man in New Hampshire moved by Obama’s election to become a citizen; a Muslim woman from Jordan who lives in Memphis and marvels at how accepting of people her new country is; and a woman in Alaska who explains how she couldn’t even choose the color of her car when she lived in Hungary.

It was contrarian, Pelosi believed, to make a positive film about the U.S., particularly about immigration, an issue that is dominated by discussion about people who are in the country illegally. And her project was so misunderstood that one government worker who had helped her with filming described it as “a well-intentioned `Borat,’” a reference to the Sacha Baron Cohen 2006 comedy that sends up American traditions and foreigners.

“I thought, `Really? Borat?’” Pelosi recalled. “I was sure that I was going to be accused of making propaganda for the government.”

The reaction to “Citizen U.S.A.” shows Americans’ sometimes uncomfortable relationship with patriotism. In one review, writer David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that it would be challenging to watch the documentary on any other day than the Fourth of July “and not feel an insistent rumble of cynicism.”

Pelosi herself wonders whether HBO would have aired her documentary at all if it wasn’t on July 4. She gives credit to HBO documentary chief Sheila Nevins “because, when you think about it, it’s not really an HBO documentary. You’d expect to see this on Fox News,” Pelosi said.

During her appearance on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” last week, the host began what seemed like a mocking “U.S.A., U.S.A.” chant when Pelosi talked about her film. Granted, Pelosi may have provoked him, beginning her appearance by chiding Maher about “dissing” the U.S. earlier in the show. Maher also noted that Americans do a lot of complaining about their country that many other nations wouldn’t tolerate.

Their exchange was quickly picked up by the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog, to attack the liberal Maher.

“If somebody disses Bill Maher on his HBO show, it makes you think that this movie might not be too bad,” said Tim Graham of the Media Research Center, a reference to the assumption that it’s somehow a surprise that a California-raised, New York resident and daughter of Nancy Pelosi — a liberal! — would make a patriotic film.

“People don’t realize how much damage cable news has caused this country,” Pelosi said. “I know it because I have to walk around America with the last name of Pelosi.”

She’s bothered by a political climate where people who oppose her mother politically say things like Nancy Pelosi hates America.

“My mother has served this country,” she said. “You may not like her politics, but she is actually in public service, which is a very noble profession. … She’s a believer. … For people to say Pelosi doesn’t love America is the cruelest of all insults because she works for America.”