Yikes! It’s real!
Published on 28 Feb 2017
Published on 28 Feb 2017
After the sentencing, Laney’s attorneys pleaded with the judge to suspend the sentence, claiming that Laney’s wife would suffer if her husband goes to jail.
According to Oregon Live, Laney’s wife’s doctor, Blain Crandell, submitted a letter on Laney’s behalf, saying his wife “could be expected to suffer serious consequences to her health and well-being” without an in-home caregiver, a role her husband had been filling.
Thankfully, the judge and district attorney did not see it that way. In response to this request, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Charles Mickley called the claims “peculiarly offensive and insulting.”
“Defendant wholly ignores the compelling evidence of his guilt presented at trial, including the evidence of his longstanding sexual interest in children,” Mickley wrote.
Laney will also have to serve an additional 120 months of probation after prison, pay a $4,000 fine, and register as a sex offender.
According to WTKR:
Evidence presented during trial showed that in March 2017, a young girl disclosed she had been sexually abused by the Laney. The disclosure was first reported to law enforcement in Washington state where the victim lived at the time of her disclosure.
The Portland Police Bureau assumed the investigation after it was determined that the abuse had occurred in Portland starting in approximately 2009 when the victim was about 7 years old, the attorney’s office said.
The court found sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Laney was guilty of repeated sexual abuse involving the girl.
While conducting their investigation into the first reported disclosure of rape and sexual abuse by the defendant, PPB detectives learned of other allegations of sexual abuse involving Laney.
While this news may seem shocking, the only really shocking aspect is the fact Laney is no longer with Disney and is actually going to jail. The media giant has been known to not only employ convicted child sex offenders, but also place them in situations where they have access to children.
As TFTP reported in December, a 48-year-old Disney Channel actor was arrested in Utah after he was allegedly caught trying to lure a 13-year-old boy for sex. Stoney Westmoreland starred as the grandfather, Henry “Ham” Mack on the Disney children’s series “Andy Mack”—a story about a young girl who is coming to age.
Westmoreland was arrested in December after he was caught attempting to lure a child to a motel for sex. Westmoreland used an internet app to lure who he thought was a 13-year-old boy.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Both Brian Peck and Victor Salva were convicted of several sex crimes against children—yet went on, after their convictions, to enjoy lucrative careers within Disney’s corporation. Peck, who starred in X-Men and in all three Living Dead films, served 16 months in prison and he still works with children on Disney film projects. According to court documents reported by the Daily Mail, detailing Peck’s crimes against a child actor known as “John Doe” to protect his identity:
The documents show Peck was originally charged with 11 counts including: lewd act upon a child; sodomy of a person under 16; attempted sodomy of a person under 16; sexual penetration by foreign object; four counts of oral copulation of a person under 16; oral copulation by anesthesia or controlled substance; sending harmful matter; and using a minor for sex acts.
Salva also sexually abused children and continues to enjoy the good graces Disney offers.
To highlight the nature of how Hollywood not only looks the other way in these instances but actually condones them, Disney cared not about hiring Salva and, once again, gave him access to children on the set of Powder.
Instead of lambasting Disney for hiring a convicted child predator, the industry went on to praise him.
“As controversy swirled around filmmaker Victor Salva, who pleaded guilty in 1988 to molesting a boy on the set of his low-budget picture ‘Clownhouse,’ Salva’s agent said that a good showing at the box office may salvage the 37-year-old director’s career,” the LA Times reported on Oct. 31, 1995.
“At least three studios are meeting with him. One has already given Victor scripts to read,” said his agent, David Gersh, who declined to name the studios.
“If ‘Powder’ does well,” Gersh added, “Victor will see work again. He is a true talent. If not . . . who’s to say?”
Let that sink in.
In fact, in spite of the controversy, Salva has gone on to write and direct many more Hollywood movies since Powder, including the horror series Jeepers Creepers, which released its third sequel last year.
Also, as TFTP reported in 2017, Jon Heely, 58, Disney’s director of music publishing, was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child. The abuse started nearly a decade ago with the first reported victim claiming that Heely abused her when she was 15 years old, and the second victim claiming that Heely abused her from the time she was 11 years old, until she was 15, according to a report from Variety.
Heely’s trial is currently underway.
As the rest of society casts out pedophiles and makes them register as sex offenders to warn others about their tendencies to prey on children, Disney appears to be collecting them, giving them access to children, and putting them on a pedestal — a true horror story indeed.
The US has the largest military budget in the world, spending over $611 billion – far larger than any other nation on Earth. The US military also has at their disposal the most successful propaganda apparatus the world has ever known… Hollywood.
Since their collaboration on the first Best Picture winner ‘Wings’ in 1927, the US military has used Hollywood to manufacture and shape its public image in over 1,800 films and TV shows. Hollywood has, in turn, used military hardware in their films and TV shows to make gobs and gobs of money. A plethora of movies like ‘Lone Survivor,’ ‘Captain Philips,’ and even blockbuster franchises like ‘Transformers’ and Marvel, DC and X-Men superhero movies have agreed to cede creative control in exchange for use of US military hardware over the years.
In order to obtain cooperation from the Department of Defense (DoD), producers must sign contracts that guarantee a military approved version of the script makes it to the big screen. In return for signing away creative control, Hollywood producers save tens of millions of dollars from their budgets on military equipment, service members to operate the equipment, and expensive location fees.
Capt. Russell Coons, director of the Navy Office of Information West, told Al Jazeera what the military expects for their cooperation: “We’re not going to support a program that disgraces a uniform or presents us in a compromising way.”
Phil Strub, the DOD chief Hollywood liaison, says the guidelines are clear. “If the filmmakers are willing to negotiate with us to resolve our script concerns, usually we’ll reach an agreement. If not, filmmakers are free to press on without military assistance.”
In other words, the Department of Defense is using taxpayer money to pick favorites. The DOD has no interest in nuance, truth or – God forbid – artistic expression; only in insidious jingoism that manipulates public opinion to their favor. This is chilling when you consider that the DOD is able to use its financial leverage to quash dissenting films it deems insufficiently pro-military or pro-American in any way.
The danger of the DOD-Hollywood alliance is that Hollywood is incredibly skilled at making entertaining, pro-war propaganda. The DOD isn’t getting involved in films like ‘Iron Man,’ ‘X-Men,’ ‘Transformers’ or ‘Jurassic Park III’ for fun. They are doing so because it’s an effective way to psychologically program Americans, particularly young Americans, not just to adore the military, but to worship militarism. This ingrained love of militarism has devastating real-world effects.
Lawrence Suid, author of ‘Guts and Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in Film’told Al Jazeera, “I was teaching the history of the Vietnam War, and I couldn’t explain how we got into Vietnam. I could give the facts, the dates, but I couldn’t explain why. And when I was getting my film degrees, it suddenly occurred to me that the people in the US had never seen the US lose a war, and when President Johnson said we can go into Vietnam and win, they believed him because they’d seen 50 years of war movies that were positive.”
As Suid points out, generations of Americans had been raised watching John Wayne valiantly storm the beaches of Normandy in films like ‘The Longest Day,’ and thus were primed to be easily manipulated into supporting any US military adventure because they were conditioned to believe that the US is always the benevolent hero and inoculated against doubt.
This indoctrinated adoration of a belligerent militarism, conjured by Hollywood blockbusters, also resulted in Americans being willfully misled into supporting a farce like the 2003 Iraq War. The psychological conditioning for Iraq War support was built upon hugely successful films like ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998), directed by Steven Spielberg, and ‘Black Hawk Down’ (2001), produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, that emphasized altruistic American militarism. Spielberg and Bruckheimer are two Hollywood heavyweights considered by the DoD to be their most reliable collaborators.
Another example of the success of the DoD propaganda program was the pulse-pounding agitprop of the Tom Cruise blockbuster ‘Top Gun’ (1986). The movie, produced by Bruckheimer, was a turning point in the DoD-Hollywood relationship, as it came amid a string of artistically successful, DoD-opposed, ‘anti-war’ films, like ‘Apocalypse Now,’ ‘Platoon’ and ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ which gave voice to America’s post-Vietnam crisis of confidence. ‘Top Gun’ was the visual representation of Reagan’s flag-waving optimism, and was the Cold War cinematic antidote to the “Vietnam Syndrome”.
‘Top Gun,’ which could not have been made without massive assistance from the DoD, was a slick, two-hour recruiting commercial that coincided with a major leap in public approval ratings for the military. With a nadir of 50 percent in 1980, by the time the Gulf War started in 1991, public support for the military had spiked to 85 percent.
Since Top Gun, the DoD propaganda machine has resulted in a current public approval for the military of 72 percent, with Congress at 12 percent, the media at 24 percent, and even Churches at only 40 percent. The military is far and away the most popular institution in American life. Other institutions would no doubt have better approval ratings if they too could manage and control their image in the public sphere.
It isn’t just the DoD that uses the formidable Hollywood propaganda apparatus to its own end… the CIA does as well, working with films to enhance its reputation and distort history.
For example, as the ‘War on Terror’ raged, the CIA deftly used ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ (2007) as a disinformation vehicle to revise their sordid history with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and to portray themselves as heroic and not nefarious.
The CIA also surreptitiously aided the film ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ (2012), and used it as a propaganda tool to alter history and convince Americans that torture works.
The case for torture presented in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ was originally made from 2001 to 2010 on the hit TV show ‘24,’ which had support from the CIA as well. That pro-CIA and pro-torture narrative continued in 2011 with the Emmy-winning show ‘Homeland,’ created by the same producers as ‘24,’ Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa.
A huge CIA-Hollywood success story was Best Picture winner ‘Argo’ (2012), which ironically is the story of the CIA teaming up with Hollywood. The CIA collaborated with the makers of ‘Argo’ in order to pervert the historical record and elevate their image.
The fact that this propaganda devil’s bargain between the DoD/CIA and Hollywood takes place in the self-declared Greatest Democracy on Earth™ is an irony seemingly lost on those in power who benefit from it, and also among those targeted to be indoctrinated by it, entertainment consumers, who are for the most part entirely oblivious to it.
If America is the Greatest Democracy in the World™, why are its military and intelligence agencies so intent on covertly misleading its citizens, stifling artistic dissent, and obfuscating the truth? The answer is obvious… because in order to convince Americans that their country is The Greatest Democracy on Earth™, they must be misled, artistic dissent must be stifled and the truth must be obfuscated.
In the wake of the American defeat in the Vietnam war, cinema flourished by introspectively investigating the deeper uncomfortable truths of that fiasco in Oscar-nominated films like ‘Apocalypse Now,’ ‘Coming Home,’ ‘The Deer Hunter,’ ‘Platoon,’ ‘Full Metal Jacket’ and ‘Born on the Fourth of July,’ all made without assistance from the DoD.
The stultifying bureaucracy of America’s jingoistic military agitprop machine is now becoming more successful at suffocating artistic endeavors in their crib. With filmmaking becoming ever more corporatized, it is an uphill battle for directors to maintain their artistic integrity in the face of cost-cutting budgetary concerns from studios.
In contrast to post-Vietnam cinema, after the unmitigated disaster of the US invasion of Iraq and the continuing quagmire in Afghanistan, there has been no cinematic renaissance, only a steady diet of mendaciously patriotic, DoD-approved, pro-war drivel like ‘American Sniper’ and ‘Lone Survivor.’ Best Picture winner ‘The Hurt Locker’ (2008), shot with no assistance from the DoD, was the lone exception that successfully dared to portray some of the ugly truths of America’s Mesopotamian misadventure.
President Eisenhower once warned Americans to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex.”
Eisenhower’s prescient warning should have extended to the military industrial entertainment complex of the DoD/CIA-Hollywood alliance, which has succeeded in turning Americans into a group of uniformly incurious and militaristic zealots.
America is now stuck in a perpetual pro-war propaganda cycle, where the DoD/CIA and Hollywood conspire to indoctrinate Americans to be warmongers and, in turn, Americans now demand more militarism from their entertainment and government. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
The DoD/CIA-Hollywood propaganda alliance guarantees Americans will blindly support more future failed wars and will be willing accomplices in the deaths of millions more people across the globe.
Michael McCaffrey, for RT
Michael McCaffrey is a freelance writer, film critic and cultural commentator. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he runs his acting coaching and media consulting business. mpmacting.com/blog/
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.