“If, by some miracle we win, I hope the documentary category is presented by the President and the First Lady,” says Oscar nominee Jeremy Scahill (“Dirty Wars”) in our webcam chat below.
Perhaps that’s not a far-fetched idea considering Michele Obama presented the Best Picture Oscar to “Argo” via live satellite feed from Washington D.C. last year. But then it’s obviously longshot fancy considering “Dirty Wars” is a scathing expose of Obama’s secret war on terror that’s resulted in huge losses of innocent civilian lives.
“He won the Nobel Peace Prize. He’s a constitutional lawyer by training,” Scahill adds about Barack Obama. “Because of who he is, he has put the stamp of legitimacy on what has essentially been a global assassination campaign.”
Scahill makes no apology for his gotcha approach in “Dirty Wars”: “The idea of objective journalism is totally bullshit …. I was humbled by the fact that people who lost so much at the hands of the government of the nation I’m from were willing to let me into their home and relive the most painful episodes of their life. How could I then act robotic in the face of hearing these horrors? … We do have a position and the position is — were going to tell these stories with heart and emotion and accuracy and, at the end of it, we’re trying to get justice for people.”
There’s a chance “Dirty Wars” can go all the way at the Oscars. It’s very similar to past winner “Taxi to the Dark Side” (2007), which exposed C.I.A. and U.S. military use of torture and beatings in the Mideast.
Below: Watch my full chat with Scahill and then make your prediction as to what will win Best Documentary Feature.