July 5, 2022

EXTREMIST EXHIBITIONISTS: Cinemark showing conspiracy film that even Fox News rejected

EXTREMIST EXHIBITIONISTS: Cinemark showing conspiracy film that even Fox News rejected

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Dinesh D’Souza’s “big lie”-pushing propaganda film 2000 Mules has been getting a nationwide theatrical release, playing at over 270 movie theaters across the country over the past 10 days, including many owned by the Cinemark theater chain.

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This is a movie so “out there” that even pro-Trump media outlets Fox News and Newsmax wouldn’t promote it. D’Souza criticized the networks — and Fox News host Tucker Carlson — for deliberately trying to suppress the film. D’Souza took to Twitter to slam Fox and Carlson.

But Cinemark, the country’s third-largest movie theater chain, reacted quite differently, saying the equivalent of “hold my beer.”

Cinemark and its founder, Lee Roy Mitchell, have long been supporters of the GOP — and Trump, in particular. A thread by Popular Information’s Judd Legum reported political donations were made by Mitchell not just to Donald Trump ($200K), but also to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ($600K), Prager University ($1.2M), and Turning Point USA ($620K).

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Mitchell also donated to the disgraced former candidate for US Senate, Roy Moore (R-AL), the former Alabama Supreme Court Supreme Justice who was forced to resign after allegations of sexual assault from multiple women. According to Newsweek, Mitchell and his wife, Tandy, donated over $10,000 to Moore’s Senate campaign the same day Moore pulled out a firearm at a rally.

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Cinemark operates over 500 theaters across the country, including the one in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman opened fire in 2012, killing 12, and injuring 70 others. It was one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history at the time. Twenty plaintiffs sued the theater chain for failing to prevent the shooting. Newsweek also reported that after failing to win that suit in court, Mitchell sued the plaintiffs to pay his $700,000 legal bill. He pursued that demand until finally abandoning it four years later.

It should be noted that after the shooting, Roy Moore set up a promotion on Facebook to give away an AR-15 rifle.

In 2008, the company faced backlash and calls for a boycott of the theater chain after Cinemark’s then-CEO Alan Stock donated almost $10,000 to “Yes to Prop 8,” the California ballot measure designed to ban same-sex marriage.

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The conspiracy-pushing movie, 2000 Mules, has been a hit with die-hard MAGA fans. According to data company CISION, the film raked in over $1 million when it launched on the subscription-based platform, Rumble. Its premiere at Mar-a-Lago drew fellow “big lie” pushers Jenna Ellis, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Michael Flynn, and Mike Lindell.

2000 Mules is a movie based on unsubstantiated claims that even pro-right media platforms and hosts are choosing to distance themselves from. The actions of DeSouza and the film’s producers to sue Fox News and Newsmax seem more like an act of publicity mongering and self-preservation than any form of claiming the moral high ground.

The decision by Cinemark to allow its theaters to distribute this false and damaging political hit job should be condemned by all thinking American citizens who may want to consider other options for their movie-viewing venues going forward.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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