The Hopkins Hoax
Disney fools 90 million people
misleading Super Bowl commercial!
On Sunday evening, 1st February 2004, approximately ninety million people were misinformed by the Walt Disney studios! The event occurred when television viewers watching the Super Bowl were subjected to an intentionally-misleading trailer for the forthcoming Disney film, Hidalgo.
This trailer trumpeted that the movie Hidalgo is "based on the incredible true story" of Frank T. Hopkins.
Disney's claim flies in the face of the academic research which demonstrates that Hopkins is the biggest Old West liar and equestrian fraud in American history.
The Long Riders' Guild has been informed that there is an alarming precedent in terms of this Super Bowl deception! Even though the Disney studio knows the Hopkins story is a complete fabrication, this is not the first time the Walt Disney company has been caught trying to pass off fiction as history.
In Disney – the Mouse Betrayed – Greed, Corruption and Children at Risk published by Regnery Publishing in 1998, authors Peter and Rochelle Schweizer write about a previous example of inaccurate film making which Disney chose to promote as historically authentic. We refer to the film which director Oliver Stone made in 1995 for Disney's subsidiary, Hollywood Pictures, entitled Nixon.
As with Hidalgo, the Disney Corporation made a spirited attempt to promote one man's fantasies (Stone's) disguised as historical research.
Below are excerpts from the Schweizers' book which document Disney's previous attempts to hoodwink the public.
“The early film script that emerged from the pens of Stone, Rivele and Wilkinson was filled with so many untruths that it had to be revised for fears of litigation….”
“The script also invented stories about former CIA Director Richard Helms. Inconveniently for Stone and Disney, Helms managed to get an advance copy of the script, and Stone received a letter from Helm’s lawyers. The Disney Legal Department once again got nervous and had Stone cut the Helms character out entirely….”
“ [on the opening night]…Stone began the movie with a prologue on a black screen. ‘This film is an attempt to understand the truth of Richard Nixon. It is based on numerous public sources and on an incomplete historical record. In consideration of length, events and characters have been condensed and some scenes among protagonists have been conjectured.’
“It was Stone’s attempt to mask what was actually in the film. As historian Stephen Ambrose puts it, ‘That last sentence hides a multitude of lies.’”
The book goes on to give some examples of historical and biographical fantasies in the film about Nixon.
“Oliver Stone’s fantasy version of events offended not only historians like Stephen Ambrose, but also Nixon critics like journalist Daniel Schorr, who made Nixon’s famed enemies list. ‘A lot of people undoubtedly will accept Nixon as historical truth, which it is only partly. But the part that is not historical truth would be called libelous,’ Schorr said, ‘if there were somebody alive to sue for libel.’”
Had Disney presented Nixon simply as an entertaining film it would have been easier to dismiss the inaccuracies. But both Oliver Stone and the Mouse clung to the line that this was history. The press kit distributed by Hollywood Pictures assured journalists and reviewers that this film was based on truth. ‘The writers of Nixon have gone to great pains to insure the film’s veracity, to the fullest extent possible,’ it read.
To buttress that claim, Disney released through its Hyperion Books Division a ‘scholarly’ book entitled Nixon: An Oliver Stone Film. The tome included essays about the Nixon years, an annotated screenplay, and Watergate documents. The script is dressed up with what looks like scholarly footnotes, designed to lend credence to the Stone version of events – but actually they don’t. Several key scenes are falsely attributed to Nixon’s own writings, when in fact they are Stone’s inventions. ‘I am quoted in about a third of the footnotes in the book that he’s put out,’ says historian Stephen Ambrose, ‘and he very often quotes me [saying] the opposite of what I said.’
Disney even had the gall to push the film as an educational tool. Nixon, Disney said, would allow high school students an opportunity to ‘better understand’ the former president. A study guide was distributed to thousands of high schools around the country. Brett Dicker, senior vice president of Disney’s Hollywood Pictures, even penned an introduction.
educator,’ his introduction begins. ‘Oliver Stone’s Nixon is a
dramatized attempt to understand the man behind the tarnished presidential seal,
who, to paraphrase his own words, scaled life’s greatest heights and plunged
into its deepest valleys. The film offers scholars, educators, and students
everywhere the opportunity to draw their own lessons from this film biography of
one of the most influential leaders of modern U.S. history. The purpose of this
study guide is to help you deepen your students’ understanding of the film and
enhance their appreciation of the significance of the historical Nixon.’ The
guide never makes mention of the invented facts and conspiracies that make up
the subtext of the film. Indeed, the guide assures the teacher that ‘everything
is accurate and documented.’
Everything, that is, except the facts.”
That book, Nixon: An Oliver Stone Film, is still available, ready to mislead more unsuspecting readers into believing the Disney/Oliver Stone version of history. Click here to see for yourself !
Back to "The Hopkins Hoax" Home