In the 2000 political drama “The Contender,” an opposition research attack is launched against a woman named Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) who has been nominated for the vice presidency. Part of the assault is a rumor, supposedly confirmed with actual videotape, that Hanson partook in group sex while she was in college. It turns out that the oppo was faked, part of a conspiracy not just to derail Hanson politically, but also to destroy her life. Still, Hanson will not go out and refute or deny the rumors even after they have been exposed as fake. In a key scene, Hanson is confronted by an irate president (Jeff Bridges) via his staffer (Sam Elliot), who demands she deny and debunk the rumors.
Hanson explains why she won’t address the scandal. It’s not just the questions they wanted to ask, she says. It’s that they felt it was OK to ask them in the first place. And it’s not. To respond to them is to forfeit dignity and honor. Hanson was not willing to do that.
It’s a remarkable scene because it is so rare these days that anyone in Hollywood or on the Left defends the concept of honor.Read More