According to an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily, Oscar winner Argo is “historic revisionism masquerading as revelation” in order to “rehab Carter’s legacy as one of the worst presidents in history.”
Yes, a CIA operative (played by Affleck) traveled to Tehran posing as a Hollywood producer.
But the Canadians were responsible for over 90% of the rescue of those U.S. Embassy workers, from safehousing them at the Canadian ambassador’s home to securing their visas to even securing the Swiss Air flight that spirited them out of Iran.
In fact, “Argo’s” final heart-thumping scene at the Tehran airport, where the American diplomats’ cover is almost blown as they race to the gate, never happened. Their exit was a cakewalk.
The Carter administration contributed next to nothing to securing their freedom. It played not just a minor role, but an insignificant one.
The Hollywood cover story had zero to do with their rescue. It wasn’t even needed!
Carter sheepishly conceded on CNN that the Canadians did the heavy lifting, but quickly added, “I was very much involved with the Canadian government.”
From the left-wing end of the isle, in somewhat agreement, we have at Salon:
The Americans never resisted the idea of playing a film crew, which is the source of much agitation in the movie. (In fact, the “house guests” chose that cover story themselves, from a group of three options the CIA had prepared.) They were not almost lynched by a mob of crazy Iranians in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, because they never went there. There was no last-minute cancellation, and then un-cancellation, of the group’s tickets by the Carter administration. (The wife of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor had personally gone to the airport and purchased tickets ahead of time, for three different outbound flights.) The group underwent no interrogation at the airport about their imaginary movie, nor were they detained at the gate while a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard telephoned their phony office back in Burbank. There was no last-second chase on the runway of Mehrabad Airport, with wild-eyed, bearded militants with Kalashnikovs trying to shoot out the tires of a Swissair jet. [“Argo” doesn’t deserve the Oscar - Salon.com]
Though we think the IBD editorial sums it up best: “Maybe the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should be renamed the Ministry of Arts and Truth.”