From a Reader – July 12, 2006
Acclaimed writer-director Richard Linklater, currently riding high on the favorable reception of A Scanner Darkly and best known for his 2003 production School of Rock, has publicly slammed George W. Bush as a "Yalely frat boy" who is in over his head and more corrupt than Richard Nixon.
Linklater also says that his efforts to disseminate documentaries which point the finger at the US government for involvement in 9/11 have changed paradigms for several A-list Hollywood stars - including Bruce Willis.
During a nationally syndicated radio interview, Linklater told host Alex Jones that the actions of the Bush administration were, "The most extreme I've seen in my lifetime - in American history - this kind of executive branch grab of power is so unprecedented - it's frightening." Saying his film was a political statement, Linklater said that the abuses of the Bush administration were, "So extreme that people don't even know what to do - how do you comment - how do you voice your opposition?"
Asked if he would accept an invitation to view the film at the White House with the President, Linklater was adamant. "Absolutely not - I've met George Bush before when he was Governor," said Linklater - describing him as a "Yaley frat boy."
"Man, is he in over his head as the President of the United States - that's your worst combination of someone not prepared with their impulses being almost wrong every time - it's painful to watch as a Texan."
Linklater outlined the kind of watchdog role Americans should assume – a necessity that his latest film warns against the consequences of abandoning. "That's our role, that's our duty - that's what the founding fathers certainly wanted - a kind of a robust dialogue where everyone's a little unsatisfied - what we have now is a small group who are very satisfied - they've taken total control," said Linklater.
"Once you own the media and the outlets and you can control the debate to such a large degree, I wonder if the dissenting voices can even be heard."
Linklater agreed that Bush had dwarfed the crimes of Nixon commenting, "Nixon's a liberal compared to Bush - at least he cared about air quality, drinking water, things like that."
Linklater said he had handed out DVD's on set which carried claims that 9/11 was perpetrated by the US government to erect a police state to Bruce Willis, one of the stars of Linklater's upcoming Fast Food Nation.
"He said it put him in such a head space that he will be quiet on issues of national policy."
Linklater said Willis had told him in an e mail that the videos had changed his entire political paradigm.
"Bruce is a pretty thinking radical kind of guy," said Linklater.
A Scanner Darkly, an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick book that includes themes of total surveillance and the loss of freedom, is set in the short-term future after the US has lost the war on drugs. Starring Keanu Reeves, Wynona Rider, Woody Harrelson and Robert Downy Jnr. - the film is enjoying positive reviews as it slowly rolls out across the country."
Last updated 14/07/2006