Bet Mitt Romney wishes he could cut off funding to National Geographic — and eliminate every other channel where Red State viewers might accidentally learn something. 6 weeks before Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty premieres, and — hey! — coincidentally two days before the presidential election, the National Geographic Channel plans to televise a feature film about the killing of Osama bin Laden. (NYT) The film, Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden, will stream on Netflix starting on Nov. 5.
“Seal Team Six” is a re-creation of the May 2011 killing of the terrorism mastermind, which was arguably the crowning national security achievement of President Obama’s term in office. Scheduling the premiere shortly before the election may turn the film into a political object, though a National Geographic Channel executive said Thursday night that politics was not a factor in the timing.
Instead, said Howard T. Owens, the channel’s president, said Nov. 4 was selected “to take advantage of our fall schedule” of shows, which will have their premieres in the days and weeks after “Seal Team Six.”
“Other than being commercially opportunistic, we weren’t considering the election,” Mr. Owens said.
The same questions were asked last year when a competing bin Laden film with a much bigger budget, “Zero Dark Thirty,” was tentatively scheduled for release in theaters shortly before Election Day, Nov. 6. Amid a partisan debate about whether the film would help Mr. Obama’s chances at the polls, Sony Pictures, the distributor, moved the premiere date to Dec. 19.