At last Friday's TriBeCa Film Festival. New York actress Maggie Gyllenhaal cleared up the common misconception that 9-11 was all about the terrorist murder of thousands of Americans. According to Maggie, America got what it deserved.
NY1 reports her comments:
I think what's good about the movie is that it deals with 9/11 in such a subtle, open, open way that I think it allows it to be more complicated than just "Oh, look at these poor New Yorkers and how hard it was for them," because I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way and so I think the delicacy with which it's dealt with allows that to sort of creep in.Ah, yes. More complicated. Subtle. Nuanced, even, you might say.
But actually, the position of Gyllenhaal and her ilk is quite simple and straightforward: When America attacks someone else, that's America's fault. And when America is attacked by someone else, that's also America's fault.
It's always America's fault.
Nick at Conservative Dialysis notes that Gyllenhaal has, through her publicist, issued a "clarification" of her views:
9/11 was a terrible tragedy and of course it goes without saying that I grieve along with every American for everyone who suffered and everyone who died in the catastrophe. But for those of us who were spared, it was also an occasion to be brave enough to ask some serious questions about America's role in the world. Because it is always useful, as individuals or nations to ask how we may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this conflict. Not to have the courage to ask these questions of ourselves is to betray the victims of 9/11.So, if Americans don't blame themselves for 9-11, they betray the victims of 9-11. I see.
Gyllenhaal would've been fine if she had snapped her trap after the first sentence. But she just couldn't help herself, going on to illustrate another key liberal principle: Any expression of sorrow over 9-11 must be followed by "But..."
Maggie, this is from one New Yorker to another: You can take your boilerplate statement of grief, your patronizing lecture on how to be brave, and your whole cut-rate Ward Churchill routine, and shove it.