One of today’s biggest Hollywood icons is, without a doubt, Tom Hanks. And, like a large number of his colleagues, Hanks is pretty liberal. So it may have come as a bit of a shock if you happened to run across this headline, from the site Young Conservatives:
Tom Hanks: America Will be Fine Under Trump, Hopes he can Vote for him in 2020
PJMedia, which originally published the story that was later picked up by YoungCons, headlined it this way:
Tom Hanks Breaks from Hollywood Pack and Says He Hopes Trump Does Well
The stories under those titles are basically a few sentences along the lines of “Nanny-nanny booby, Tom Hanks is one of us now,” followed by quotes from Hanks. Both sites seem to be especially fond of what Hanks told The Hollywood Reporter, which they chose to spin as an endorsement of Trump:
This is the United States of America. We’ll go on. There’s great like-minded people out there who are Americans first and Republicans or Democrats second. I hope the president-elect does such a great job that I vote for his re-election in four years.
That obviously made the former half-term governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, all squishy around her little moose-killing heart. She tweeted this, with a link to the YoungCons story:
At least someone in Hollywood is thinking straight… https://t.co/n9LCOuuuE9
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) November 18, 2016
Slow down, Skippy. What we need here is a little bit of that thing conservatives always cry for, but just don’t seem to understand — context.
There’s no question Hanks is bullish on America. That can easily be seen in many of subjects he has taken on as an actor and director, from Saving Private Ryan and Band Of Brothers to the more recent Sully. But a Trump supporter? Not exactly.
If you read the parts of Hanks’ remarks that YoungCons and PJMedia chose to share with their readers, you might think Hanks has jumped on the Trump train. But this is another example of how conservatives work. It’s not that they always flat out lie (although they do plenty of that, too), it’s that many times they just don’t tell you the whole truth. Here is that truth.
Hanks’ remarks came at a gala in his honor hosted by the Museum Of Modern Art. The museum’s chief film curator, Rajendra Roy, introduced Hanks by calling him a cinematic hero and said the nation has looked to its on-screen heroes in times of uncertainty.
Yes, these conservative sites reported Hanks’ words with absolute accuracy — the words they chose to quote, that is. But what they left out is the part where Hanks tried to console the gathering by reminding them that America has had dark days before, and that we have our constitution to protect us. (He’s a little more hopeful about the protection of the constitution than I am.) Here is what he said about that:
We are going to be all right. America has been in worse places than we are at right now. In my own lifetime, our streets were in chaos, our generations were fighting each other tooth and nail. Every dinner table ended up being as close to a fistfight as human families are allowed. We have been in a place where we have looked at our leaders and wondered, ‘What the hell they were thinking of?’ We’ve had moments with the administrations and politicians and senators and governors in which we have asked ourselves, ‘Are they lying to us or do they really believe in this?’ That’s all right. We have this magnificent thing that is in place. It’s a magnificent document and it starts off with the phrases that, if you’re smart enough, you’ve memorized in school or just read enough to that you could put it by heart, or you watched those things on ABC where they taught you a little song in order to sing. And the song goes, ‘We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare,’ and it goes on and on. That document is going to protect us over and over again, whether or not our neighbors preserve, protect and defend it themselves.
Hanks’ remarks had very little to do with Trump, certainly nothing to do with praising him, and everything to do with offering a group of people largely of the same mind as he that we all will survive this setback, too.
But as usual, conservatives aren’t about to let the facts get in the way of the story they want to tell.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons