July 2, 2014, - 3:59 pm

“America”: Dinesh D’Souza Ego Trip Gushes Over Al-Qaeda Lawyer, Rand Paul, Whitewashes Bono – Edward Snowden Costumed in Patriotism

By Debbie Schlussel

Many on the right, including Rush Limbaugh (who clearly hasn’t seen it yet), are hyping Dinesh D’Souza’s latest ego trip movie, “America,” which opens in theaters today. Don’t believe the hype. It’s a vanity project all about Dinesh and his Edward Snowden-esque, Rand Paulistinian views costumed in patriotism and pretend conservatism. About 30 minutes of the movie are actually good and patriotic. The rest? Hype, junk, and the gushing and whitewashing of Al-Qaeda lawyers, anti-American rock stars, and Edward Snowden baloney attacking America’s necessary counter-terrorism intelligence gathering. Oh, and there’s also that attempt to whitewash a “mistake” D’Souza made when he deliberately broke campaign finance laws (and pleaded guilty to it)–more on that later.


I won’t go into the long wild goose chase I had to go through to review this movie after an unsolicited, teasing invite to a non-existent screening. But I finally saw it, and I kept an open mind, despite the fact that D’Souza is a well-known Islamopanderer (he wrote a whole book defending Muslim hate of America and implying we deserved 9/11), who is a darling of the HAMAS CAIR crowd. (He also ran Hitler quotes for the Yom Kippur edition of the Dartmouth Review.)

Maybe that’s why one of the “heroes” of this movie is Harvey Silverglate, a leftist ACLU lawyer who is a non-stop champion of Islamic Jihad founder and terrorist Sami Al-Arian and who represented (among others) Al-Qaeda terrorists from a defunct Islamic charity that was funding the jihad of Osama Bin Laden’s mentor/guru, Abdullah Azzam.

To give you an idea of who D’Souza’s hero, Silverglate, is, he and the organization he founded and runs named me one of the “Top Ten Enemies of Academic Freedom” on college campuses in America because I represented University of Michigan students who wanted to keep Islamic terrorist Al-Arian from speaking on campus after he’d already been banned by his own campus–the University of South Florida–as a security threat and had financed and orchestrated the bombing of a bus in Israel, killing many including American college student, Alisa Flatow. Al-Arian masterminded the bus bombing as a joint operation with HAMAS, with which he was merging his organization. Yup, that’s “free speech” on college campi according to Silverglate (and apparently D’Souza).

The first nine minutes of the movie is a lot of credits–“D’Souza Entertainment,” “Written and Directed by Dinesh D’Souza,” “Created by Dinesh D’Souza,” “Based on a Book by Dinesh D’Souza,” etc., etc. etc. ad nauseam–and then a lot of look at me, look at me, look at me! me-me-me-memememememe shots of D’Souza in an airplane looking at Mount Rushmore, D’Souza thoughtfully strolling (or trolling?) the Lincoln Memorial, and D’Souza buying and eating a hot dog (or maybe that was a little later–there are so many shots of D’Souza pensively walking, I lost track when I hit the count of 50). Then, the next twenty minutes give a lot of time to an uncritical presentation of leftist hate of America and various canards that America stole the land from the Indians, that we steal the resources of the world, and the other usual claptrap.

Then, there is about a half hour responding to the leftist accusations against America. None of it will be new to you (unless you didn’t know that free Blacks owned slaves in the American South or that Madam C.J.Walker a/k/a Sarah Breedlove became a Black millionairess hair care queen–I learned about both of these as a kid). That half hour is the good part of the movie. But even that part is filled with annoying shots of D’Souza trolling the streets of America and play-acting as a fast food restaurant worker and owner. It’s distracting.

D’Souza whitewashes far-left, anti-American rocker Bono of U2. As longtime readers know from this site, Bono has a history of attacking America–the most charitable nation on earth–as not giving enough charity to the poor. He pressured the Bush Administration (via his friend Laura Ingraham, D’Souza’s former fiancee) into forgiving billions of dollars in federal loans owed to America by terrorist-host states, including Sudan. Bono and Brad Pitt bullied the Bushies and Congress to give trillions more in foreign aid to these America-hating nations. But D’Souza doesn’t tell you any of that. Instead, he shows a short, unrepresentative snippet of Bono praising America and dissing Ireland in a Georgetown University speech. Hmmm . . . why didn’t he include the speech Bono gave just after 9/11 at a benefit concert raising money for 9/11 victims’ families and first responders, in which he lectured Americans for being “anti-Muslim” and told them that “Muslims go to church, too, you know.” They do? Have you seen any Muslims at your church lately (I mean other than for dry run and “scoping out” reasons)?

The rest of the movie is dedicated to disjointed segments on Saul Alinsky, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and how Dinesh D’Souza is the martyr for us all because he committed a few felonies (in disguising his own illegal campaign contributions as coming from other parties) and got prosecuted for it.

By this reasoning, I guess trial lawyer far-leftist Geoffrey Fieger is also a martyr for us all because he was prosecuted by the Bush Administration for the same thing as D’Souza was prosecuted for by Obama. But that isn’t mentioned because D’Souza doesn’t want to confuse his “I wuz done wrong” soliloquy with the facts. Instead, he says this is a sign that the Obama left prosecutes its critics to silence them but looks the other way with regard to its friends. Again, see Fieger and Bush. Same diff. In fact, D’Souza doesn’t even go into what he actually did wrong and why he was prosecuted. He just shows himself in handcuffs and plays FOX News clips of Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly saying he is being prosecuted for being a critic of Obama.

The priceless cherry on top of this portion of the movie is where D’Souza compares himself (and his crime to which he pled guilty) to Abraham Lincoln, saying that all the great American legends are just that–men of legends, whose imperfections and mistakes were never taught to us. Is that really what D’Souza wants–that American kids should be taught about how bad the Founding Fathers were, warts and all? Isn’t that what he pretends to rail against in the first half of the movie? I guess you can afford to be all over the map when you are “the martyr of the right” who pleaded guilty to federal crimes and need an excuse for it. Um, there are many men to whom I can compare Dinesh D’Souza, but Abraham Lincoln ain’t one of ’em. Not even close.

Then, we are told that the Obama Administration is using surveillance to read all of our emails and listen in on all of our phone calls and that these policies were created by Bush. Um, wrong–these were Bush policies that everyone on the right defended when Bush used them. And here’s a fact check: all of our e-mails and phone calls are not being read and listened to, respectively. That’s just not the case. The facts do not bear this out.

That’s where Silverglate and Rand Paul (and Alan Dershowitz) come in. They decry these national security measures (of using computer programs to match up e-mails and phone numbers of terrorists with the Americans who are communicating with and likely aiding and abetting them in trying to murder us). And, yes, we should definitely do as Al-Qaeda’s and Islamic Jihad/HAMAS’ lawyer instructs us when we set national security policy. Yup, that’s the ticket.

D’Souza never mentions Islamic terrorism or national security, and instead portrays this as Big Brother watching you to destroy your life–yup, the talking points of traitor Edward Snowden, proud new resident of the former Soviet Union by way of Communist China. Rand Paul tells us that some innocent Arab-American will be “emailing Lebanon” and because of it, the government invades and raids his home, takes his property and arrests him for having an unregistered gun, destroying his life.

Um, here’s the truth: there has never been an instance where the government read the e-mails of a Lebanese Arab (many of whom support Hezbollah), raided his home, and ruined his life for no reason. In fact, too often the opposite happens: Muslim Hezbollah supporters e-mail Lebanon and help in the jihad and the government lets ’em do their business. Don’t believe me? Check out Dearbornistan, where this happens thousands of times a day and gas stations openly raise money for Hezbollah charities. But I’m glad to know that Rand Paul wants Hezbollah-supporting Muslims to be planning the jihad untouched and own unregistered guns to boot. Not that these views of Rand Paul are news to me. And not that any of the many sucker conservatives who eagerly, blindly consume this movie and gush over it will get that. Nope, they’ll gladly embrace the Al-Qaeda HAMAS Harvey Silverglate-Rand Paul Axis of Asinine, as Dinesh D’Souza does in this movie. Because we need another 9/11 to happen, don’t we?

The Alinsky and Hillary Clinton stuff is important information (again, not news to anybody who’s been paying attention–in fact very old news by several years). But D’Souza just throws it in and doesn’t connect it to the America-haters. And that’s the problem with the movie. It’s very dry and disconnected. And non-stop music plays in the background, something I often criticize as the accoutrement of weak movies. I dislike Michael Moore almost as much as possible. But his lying “documentaries” are funny, cheeky, hip, and interesting in their presentation. D’Souza has no sense of humor or entertainment. The movie is slow and full of re-enactments and they aren’t exactly flattering to America in all cases or different from that you would find from America-hating leftists D’Souza purports to find anathema.

One of the worst set of re-enactments is a series of scenes of Alexis de Tocqueville, the French philosopher, traveling America as research for his pro-American writing. The portrayal of Americans in some of the scenes reminds me of classic leftist Hollywood narrative. De Tocqueville is polished and classy, but the Americans are dirty, unwashed hicks. In one scene, they ravenously scarf down food, chewing with their mouths open, while de Tocqueville eats with dignity under a tree. In another scene, dirty, unwashed Americans sit at tables looking at de Tocqueville like a weirdo, as he removes his gloves and dons a napkin kerchief to eat. So to humor them, he sticks a fork right in the middle of a whole chicken and puts the whole thing on his plate, and suddenly they clap because he has displayed sufficient low-class bad manners to fit in. And this is different from Hollywood’s America hatred how?

The movie is being billed in paid talking points by several conservative radio hosts as a movie that shows us what would happen if America never existed. But the movie doesn’t do that at all. It asks the question once in D’Souza’s dialogue, and never answers it for even a minute.

“America,” the movie, isn’t really patriotism, though I’m sure that the plenty of lumpenconservatariats will eat it up the same as lefties ate up Michael Moore’s lie-filled “Fahrenheit 9/11” (read my review). But it isn’t patriotism. It’s just Dinesh D’Souza’s 1.75 hours-long infomercial promoting himself, how he “wuz done wrong,” and how we are being done wrong, too, when our government tries to protect us.

But anyone who thinks it’s patriotic to promote and gush over the sophistries of Al-Qaeda and HAMAS lawyers and display Americans as unwashed idiots–all while smiling and posing for the cameras in a nauseating number of scenes–isn’t a patriot . . . or a documentary filmmaker.

He’s just an uber-narcissist. Dinesh D’Souza and Michael Moore have a lot in common.


Watch the trailer . . .

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25 Responses


Debbie, thanks for the review. After listening to Rush talk about the feeling one will have after walking out of the movie, it’s good to see a blow by blow. And the way you give what the movie covered, what it didn’t cover, and how things were covered, is very important.

Because it’s not about a movie, it’s about reality, and it sounds to me as though Hollywood has gotten its mitts big time on this attempt at bringing patriotism to the fore. And when Hollywood gets its mitts on anything, it’s not going to come out like reality.

Which is why I’d rather hear Rush do his thing than talk about what some movie is supposed to do for us. Because usually Rush is on point about being a cheerleader for people being their best, as American citizens. But people will converge for their friends, and it’s too bad the whitewash is being done here.

You can’t whitewash reality, and this movie isn’t what’s needed to bring America back from the grave. But nothing will, because we’re too far gone. The true title for a real movie about America should be:

Life In Modern AfrolabadSouthAmerAsiexico

Thanks to Debbie for an unvarnished review.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on July 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm

I despised “U2’s” music for the treacly, faux-anthem crap that it is. It wasn’t until years later that I stopped thinking that “Bono” wasn’t Sonny Bono’s adult child.

DS_ROCKS! on July 2, 2014 at 4:35 pm

I won’t comment on Dinesh as I do not knoew enough. I will however comment on Bono. We here in Ireland silently but honestly despise his b.s. He is constantly demanding that we pay more in foreign aid, meanwhile we do not have a pot to p–s in. If he is so worried about the plight of the destitute why doesn’t he give his million away instead of hiding it in Holland to avoid taxes? He does’t even pay the taxes in Ireland without hiding them. I have no problem with trying to pay the least amount of taxes as possible, but to lecture the worker as not contributing enough to foreign aid while you live in luxury is as 1% as you can get. If only our media would report the truth, the world would see that among ordinary people Bono is considered a phoney. If only he practiced what he preaches. By the way when he was growing up in Ireland he insists he was poor, well I do not anyone who went to private school in Ireland who was poor. He is too stupid to realise that he is disliked except by idiots around the world who at this time do not understand what is involved in working for a living and surviving and trying to help our own unfortunates without elites telling us to pay up and support his causes while he lives in luxury. Meanwhile our young people leave by the thousands never to return. Would,nt it be nice if he turned his attaention to this problem which families are facing?

fedup on July 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm

This movie sounds like a terrible waste of time and money.

Rush Limbaugh was at it again today, promoting this movie. I, like you, believe that he’s never seen the movie he’s endorsing. From Limbaugh’s website:

Pearls of Wisdom
July 02, 2014
“Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘America,’ see it while you can — meaning see the movie ‘America’ while you can. D’Souza loves the country, and believes that this world would be just a profoundly different, darker, worse place without America.”

Barry Popik on July 2, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Dinesh D’Souza is a Michelle Fraudkin with a penis. This guy will say, and write the things conservatives want to hear and line his pockets while doing it. I will not be surprised that in a year or so, Dinesh will have a “revelation” like David Brock and suddenly be championing the Left.

I still do not understand people who think Edward Snowden was a hero after traveling to Hong Kong (Chinese territory) and finally ending up in Russia. This guy told many highly classified secrets to the Russians and Chinese yet he is called a “patriot”. What is even more funny is how he had the nerve, from Russia, to have poster pictures of the Constitution in the background, when he gave his interview on American television. I am not a fan of this President or this adminstration but to have Edward Snowden go out and give our country’s secrets makes you a traitor not a patriot.

This is why after looking at all the conservative talk show hosts, on television and radio, most are phonies. They are like the left who attack the opposition but when their guy is guilty of a crime, the conservatives, like the Left, circle the wagons and defend their guy to the max.

Mario on July 2, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Documentaries — a cause and a symptom of dumbing down.

And as you said, the music is a substitute for any semblance of serious thought.

Little Al on July 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm

And speaking of Rush, his criticism of Republicans, to the extent it occurs, is a symptom of phony conservatism. Like so many others, he attributes their failure to take decent conservative positions to a fear of being attacked by the media.

That fear may exist in some cases, but it is secondary. The reason for Republicans’ failure to take conservative positions is that they don’t agree with conservative positions. The so-called fear of being criticized is just an excuse Rush and others use for their failure to identify these Republicans as what they are: liberals.

Little Al on July 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Snowden is not a hero or patriot, what PO’S me is that we have Presidents and a certain vice president that gives classified information and secrets away and they get a pass.

john on July 2, 2014 at 7:41 pm

I don’t expect anyone to agree with me. But I will ask everyone to imagine a world without hate. Yes, a world without religious hate, without racial hate, without ethnic hate.

And then, in the finality, I ask any reasonable and logical person to explain how Islam can fit in any way into that dream.

Yes, face it. There is no way that the so-called religion of Islam is in any way compatible with human life.

The terror and tyranny that is Islam is incongruent with
what any human expectation of beneficence of an all provident and loving deity.

I therefore identify the personage of AHH-LAHH as the equal of the ancient lunar ” deity ” and the absolute opposite of the ancient all provident solar deity

JayPee on July 2, 2014 at 11:34 pm

“there are so many shots of D’Souza pensively walking, I lost track when I hit the count of 50” – LOL

Dakuan on July 3, 2014 at 12:09 am

Have to say though,
“And here’s a fact check: all of our e-mails and phone calls are not being read and listened to, respectively. That’s just not the case. The facts do not bear this out.”

This is a fact that doesn’t correspond to any real misapprehension.
If all our emails and phone calls were being listened to respectively there wouldn’t be enough people or time to do the job or anything else. Everybody knows that’s impossible.

That’s not the point.
The point is that there’s no email or phone call that isn’t being tracked and which the government doesn’t have catalogued somewhere if it decides to take an interest it for whatever reason.

Dakuan on July 3, 2014 at 1:57 am

Dinesh D’Souza is pretty much a fake. He markets his wares to a conservative audience that is desperate for any sort of attention.

Worry01 on July 3, 2014 at 2:49 am

Dinesh is really good on “Rules of Engagement”. He cracks me up.

RonaldK on July 3, 2014 at 6:44 am


I am not sure your credentials but it seems you are way off the mark on this one. I have many, many people that have seen it and have a totally different take on this movie.

M: So what? There are many many people who are ignoramuses and suckers and lack critical thinking skills–and they populate the right as equally as the left. And if you read my review closely, you saw I predicted that the lumpenconservatariat would blindly gush uncritically over this crappy movie just as they did over his last movie. And your point is? Many people have a totally different take than I do on Obama, Islam, jihad, etc. So because of that I’m “way off the mark?” Nope. They are. Your friends clearly don’t have a clue and think it’s just fine to take counterterrorism advice from Al-Qaeda’s and HAMAS’ lawyres and that Bono is pro-American. By the way, I have some land to sell ’em in the Mojave. Now. that’s way on the mark. DS

Matthew on July 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Matthew, your response?

    skzion on July 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Not all conservatives are good people or patriotic.

Not all liberals are bad people and unpatriotic.

It’s good that Debbie steps back from the forest to see the trees. Some partisans just go along with the parade because they want to belong and identify. They never question where they are being led.

I’ve seen Dinesh D’Souza on TV. Sometimes I agree with him. Other times I don’t. He’s nothing special.

Some people can’t think for themselves so they latch onto commentators. Deb, I’m sure a couple of your fans fit that mold too.

Anyway, the only movie I want to see is Godzilla. He’s my favorite movie star. Now! If we could only get him to take a stroll through downtown Gaza…. 🙂

There is NO Santa Claus on July 4, 2014 at 9:58 am

I’m hurt; Dinesh never mentioned me once.

F.D.R. in Hell on July 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Thanks Debbie for informing us of Dinesh’s pro-Hamas stance. I’m disappointed and had no idea…

samatha on July 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Anyone doubting Dinesh D’Souza’s pro-Islamic worldview, read his 2007 book, “The Enemy at Home.” I have it. It’s a horrible mix of McCarthyist agitprop and jihadist gushing. He even praised Ayatollah Khoumeni as having a “kind, avuncular” face with a “hint of a smile.” You’ll die laughing, I tell ya.

Primetime on July 5, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Dinesh,is like ALL the FOX crowd, pandering to the NO-Info voters
who are too ignorant to question anything and just accept what they are spoon fed by their self serving whores.

charles almon on July 6, 2014 at 12:46 am

Islam is the major problem America faces at this time; another totalitarian worldview with lots of horrific misogyny attached. The fact that Dinesh, despite his Indian background, cannot see this is tragic.

Occam's Tool on July 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Have to disagree with you on this DS. I thought it was great, patriotic film. Dinesh made a very good argument debunking “progressive” anti-American myths, particularly Zinn’s history book, which is being used to indoctrinate millions of our youth. Unfortunately, a majority of Americans now seem to be buying in to the left’s nonsense.

Charles Sandberg on July 7, 2014 at 11:45 pm

I enjoyed this review immensely. Most negative reviews dismiss the films on patronizing or petty grounds, practically sneering at it. On the other hand, it seems like the Right is hypnotized by D’Souza, because any dissent or critique of the film in most conservative circles won’t be tolerated – but I’m surprised that more people aren’t tipped off by his pandering to Google and Costco for cheap publicity as evidence of a larger problem. D’Souza is every bit the narcissist Michael Moore is, but I give Moore points for consistency anyway. At least Moore never used one of his films to explain away his campaign finance corruption.

JTyler on July 25, 2014 at 9:45 am

I actually found your review useful. From the outside, I thought it was just an America-is-great propaganda piece, until reading your critical review. Now, believing that it at least somewhat calls a spade a spade, I’ll check it out, not fearing that I’ll vomit in my mouth.

Lenny on October 15, 2014 at 11:53 am

OTOH, from the movie, “Capitalism works, not through coercion or conquest, but through the consent of the consumer” ignores things like American 19th Century Slavery. It wasn’t only about what the Slave-owners consented to and consumed, but those who were coerced and consumed, too.

Lenny on October 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm

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