The producer of a miniseries about the life of former FBI Director James Comey – and especially his tenure in President Trump’s administration – wrote an impassioned letter to executives at Showtime begging them to air the miniseries before Election Day, so that it could potentially change voters’ against Trump.
The writer and director of the miniseries, Billy Ray, (“Captain Phillips”) learned that Showtime had moved the premiere date of the miniseries to late November – after the presidential elections. Ray wrote an angry letter to his cast and crew explaining the move and the disappointment he felt about it.
“The health of a media company depends on attracting audiences – and our movie, aired in August of an election year, would have been very big news. Can you imagine the billboards? Comey Vs. Trump! A cast loaded with Emmy winners!” the letter reads in part.
Sources tell Deadline.com that the cast all participated in the creation of the miniseries while expecting that it would air during the election season, apparently where it would do the most damage to Trump’s chances. The miniseries stars among others Jeff Daniels as James Comey and Brendan Gleeson as Donald Trump.
Ray’s letter was published by Deadline on June 23. The next day Showtime announced the miniseries, The Comey Rule, would air on consecutive nights in late September – just in time to cause, or be one of many, “October surprises” apparently.
Showtime gave no reason for the change but two stores made news the same day the scheduling change was announced: an appeals court ordered the charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn be dropped, and de-classified notes taken by former notoriously anti-Trump FBI agent, Peter Strzok, show that Comey thought Flynn’s phone calls to then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were “legit.” That was long before FBI agents questioned Flynn about those phone calls and brought charges against him for lying about it.
It seems that in order to combat any good news that might come the president’s way, Showtime decided to air the miniseries before Election Day in order to add it to the list of things that may cause him some damage politically.
If it sounds and looks like propaganda, one can call it what it is: propaganda.