Piers Morgan gave filmmaker Davis Guggenheim quite a grilling on CNN last night. The talk show host invited the Oscar-winning documentarian (he directed and produced Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth in 2004 and Waiting for ‘Superman’ in 2010) onto Piers Morgan Tonight to discuss The Road We Traveled, a 17-minute short about the first three years of the Obama administration that Guggenheim shot for the Obama 2012 campaign (the trailer was released yesterday). Morgan badgered the filmmaker over the fact that his movie wasn’t objective enough. “You are a well-known documentary maker and his would be the first movie you’ve made where it’s all completely positive… you don’t see any negatives at all to the guy,” Morgan sneered. “He’s a perfect human being?”
By the end of the interview, Morgan had turned downright hostile. When Guggenheim said he’d taken a pay cut to make the film, Morgan shot back: “I’m surprised you weren’t paying him, by the sound of it, for the sheer honor and joy.”
Guggenheim must have thought he’d taken a wrong turn onto Fox News, rather than the typically sane CNN. What the heck was Morgan thinking? He totally missed the point. The Road We Traveled isn’t a documentary and nobody is pretending it is. It’s being released by the Obama campaign, for crying out loud. It’s a 17-minute campaign ad, an infomercial for the President. Blasting it for not being critical enough is like expecting the Sham-Wow guy to admit that they smell funny after the first wash. Judging from yesterday’s trailer, Guggenheim shot a stirring bit of benign propaganda—it’s narrated by Tom Hanks, and includes interviews with many Obama top officials—aimed at reminding the Democratic base just how much has been accomplished these past three years (depression averted; auto industry rescued, health care passed, Bin Laden killed… but wait, there’s more!). We’ll reserve judgment on how well the film succeeds at its mission until it’s actually released on March 15. In the meantime, may we suggest Morgan cut back on the caffeine?
But what do you think, PopWatchers? Did Morgan miss the point or nail it?