Originally published February 4 2014
Filmmaker targeted in politically motivated campaign to silence Obama critics
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) They brand themselves as some of the most "tolerant" among us - liberals - but the fact is, when it comes right down to it, they're not very tolerant at all if you disagree with their political and worldview.
Consider the case of conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, maker of the film 2016: Obama's America, which took a critical look at President Barack Obama and was actually a surprise hit with audiences when it was released in 2012. He was arrested last week in New York and charged with violating campaign finance laws, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter (THR):
Federal authorities accuse D'Souza of donating more than is legal to the campaign of Wendy Long, who ran in 2012 for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton but lost to now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Long, though, is not mentioned in an indictment obtained by THR...
Insiders say D'Souza has been friends with Long since they attended Dartmouth College together in the early 1980s. According to the indictment, D'Souza donated $20,000 to Long's campaign by aggregating the money from various people and falsely reporting the source of the funds. But Gerald Molen, a co-producer of 2016, says the charge is politically motivated.
"In America, we have a long tradition of not doing what is commonly done in too many other countries -- criminalizing dissent through the selective enforcement of the law," Molen told the publication.
Like the IRS?
D'Souza, who has been affiliated with a number of conservative organizations and publications, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution, served as a policy advisor to President Ronald Reagan. Needless to say, he is certainly a target of the political Left.
The former advisor says he learned that he was being probed last year, several months after the release of 2016, which earned $33 million at the box office and became the second-highest grossing political documentary in U.S. history. Included in the film was an interview with Obama's half-brother, George Obama, who was only mildly critical of the president, THR noted.
For his part, Molen says D'Souza has been targeted for "an alleged minor violation" of campaign finance law in much the same way that the Internal Revenue Service went out of its way to target conservative Tea Party groups who were applying for tax-exempt status ahead of the 2012 presidential elections.
"In light of the recent events and the way the IRS has been used to stifle dissent, this arrest should send shivers down the spines of all freedom-loving Americans," Molen told THR.
Prior to his arrest, D'Souza was in San Diego working on his next book and film, each of which will be called America. He was told that he was about to be indicted on charges and that he would be well-advised to fly back to New York and turn himself over to federal authorities. More from THR:
D'Souza's upcoming film America is due in theaters July 4 and is co-produced by Molen, who won a best picture Oscar for Schindler's List, and Gray Frederickson, who won a best picture Oscar for The Godfather Part II. D'Souza wrote and stars in the film, which is directed by John Sullivan. The filmmakers emailed a statement to THR vowing to release the film on schedule."
"We believe this is an unfortunate misunderstanding arising out of Dinesh D'Souza's desire to help the uphill campaign of a friend," the statement reads. "There was no intent to do anything illegal or corrupt in any way. This will have no impact on the film America, which will be released on the Fourth of July this year as previously announced. Filming is on schedule and D'Souza will continue to lead the enterprise."
According to various sources, D'Souza is cooperating with federal authorities. His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, told the entertainment news site that his client "did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever... at worst this was an act of misguided friendship by D'Souza."
Adds Molen: "When American citizens begin to suspect that people are being arrested for alleged minor violations because of their vocal dissent against their elected representatives or rulers, it breeds disrespect and contempt for the law and suspicion of those officials. ... If this unfortunate action against Dinesh is intended to deter the release of his upcoming film, America, that effort will fail."
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