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By Paul Meekin
I bring out the worst in my enemies and that’s how I get them to defeat themselves. – Roy Cohn
I became aware of Roger Stone on an episode of Bill Maher that aired this year. They disagreed on quite a lot, respected each other, seemed to agree on marijuana, and Maher even got Stone to provide a 4/20 cake to the panel. It was adorable and made me something of a fan.
Who was Roger Stone, and why did he fascinate me?
Turns out I’m not the only fascinated party, and we now have the Netflix documentary “Get Me Roger Stone” to hopefully validate some of the fascination.
The result? Turns out, Roger Stone is a cunt. A yeasty, smelly, sleazy, hairy, but none-the-less alluring cunt you wouldn’t mind getting close to…just to get a whiff of what it’s all about.
The weird thing about Stone, and the ultimate message of “Get Me Roger Stone”, is that Mr. Stone would probably take the above as a compliment. The man owns his sleazy reputation, and enjoys all the negative and positive press that comes with it. Only a smelly cunt could make a professional career of wearing a Bill Clinton “Rape” shirt at the RNC – and look dignified doing it.
Jumping between his professional and personal history – including the fact he was named in the Water Gate scandal at the tender age of 19, and the 2016 Presidential election, “Get Me Roger Stone” is a portrait of a Dr. Moreau, as Stone’s worldview and ever changing schemes and beliefs and job titles are explored over the course of the 92 minute runtime.
He’s officially a libertarian now, for the record.
The production is slick, lighting beautiful, and archive footage amazing in its clarity and abundance. Stone has been in the public spotlight since Watergate, and a small pleasure of the film is watching Stone age alongside increasing fidelity and popularity of political news coverage.
The minds behind these slick production values – Directors Dylan Bank and Daniel DiMauro, know they’ve been special granted access, and don’t push buttons. Sure, they’ll ask pointed questions about Stone’s beliefs on Trump or how he made the Elliot Spitzer sex scandal about whether or not he wore socks, but rarely press him or attempt to antagonize him. This is a portrait, not an interrogation.
Which is probably the only way you could do it. The filmmakers have access to President Donald Trump, Mr. Stone, Paul Manafort, and Tucker Carlson, and simply ask them questions about Stone and Stone’s tactics. Say what you will about media, but the people interviewed are experts regarding conservative politics, and Roger Stone is the grand poobah of them all.
There’s a distinctly candid moment toward the end of the documentary, as Mr. Stone is on the InfoWars set with Alex Jones, celebrating Donald Trump’s election victory. There is champagne, cheers, jubilation all around, but the camera catches a look in Stone’s eyes we haven’t seen more – he’s staring off into the distance amongst this hullabaloo, and eyes communicate…something other than victory. Humility? Satisfaction? Regret? Relief?
I don’t know, but those few moments are worth the price of admission alone – a ‘true’ moment in a documentary of mostly staged and manufactured ones. Then I kept in mind who Mr. Stone was, and pondered whether or not this ‘candid’ moment was completely intentional from Mr. Stone.
For all that’s said in favor and against Mr. Stone – and there’s a lot on both sides, it all feels…constructed; that Stone wasn’t just a subject, but an active participant in crafting what the story of this documentary would be. For proof, keep in mind for this documentary he donned Green Hair, put on white makeup and a purple suit, for a throwaway gag about him being like The Joker.
Does that make it a bad movie? Absolutely not. Does it make it an honest one? I’d say…no. But then again, Stone is ultimately bias proof. If this documentary had attacked him, it would be good for him. If this documentary celebrated him, it would be good for him.
Somehow, by edging out a substantial niche for his brand of political scheming, most anything said about Stone will benefit his ‘brand’ – so this documentary plays it fairly evenly regarding folks’ feelings on the man, but it’s clear the filmmakers themselves – despite being joked about as evil liberal filmmakers, have some level of respect for the man and present him in a professional, if not entirely positive light – he is an exceedingly smart and charismatic man you can’t help to learn more about, and this documentary strengthens that notion.
Hell, the man is good friends with Bill Maher – so clearly he has was a way of winning the hearts and minds of those prone to hating him.
If there’s one lesson to be learned from the entirety of the documentary, it’s that there is no such thing as bad press, if you know how to handle it.
Thus, on the Libertarian Republic Entertainment Rating System®, on a scale of Karl Marx to Ron Paul, “Get Me Roger Stone” gets, well, a Roger Stone. There’s no one else like him and no one compares. He’s the definition of a magnificent bastard. A man you can hate with all your being but somehow, deep down in the cockles of your heart, thoroughly enjoy.