President Obama’s team updated their official website, in a post dated Sept. 5, with a response to the film 2016: Obama’s America.
EW critic Owen Gleiberman said the documentary, by Dinesh D’Souza, “goes beyond making a hash of the facts — it’s an outrageously unsubstantiated act of character assassination.” The movie’s central thesis is that “Obama has spent his entire life trying to please his late Kenyan father and that he has done so by evolving into an anti-colonial socialist revolutionary.”
Naturally, the Obama team takes issue with the film. They released a long statement that said, in part:
“In place of an actual documentary, D’Souza employs “pseudo-scholarly leaps of logic” to invent an imaginary character who has inherited “anti-colonial,” “Third World” views from his father—whom he last saw when he was 10 years old. The first third of the movie is dedicated to D’Souza’s own life story, baselessly claiming his supposedly similar background gives him a special insight into the President’s thinking…. The facts show that “2016: Obama’s America” is nothing more than an insidious attempt to dishonestly smear the President by giving intellectual cover to the worst in subterranean conspiracy theories and false, partisan attacks.”
The statement also lays out specific claims from the movie and shows why they are untrue, including refuting a claim D’Souza makes that President Obama passed the bank bailout, when in fact “it was President Bush who signed the Troubled Asset Relief Program into law in October 2008.”
The criticisms haven’t slowed down business. The film has earned over $26.1 million so far, making it the second-highest grossest political documentary of all time. (Fahrenheit 9/11, the highest earner, took in $119.2 million in 2004).