It’s Time for Congressmen and the President to Wear Cameras and Microphones

If you’ve seen the movie Saving Mr. Banks (2013), starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, you will understand why every congressman should be recorded when discussing any piece of legislation. It should be a law, whether a discussion takes place over breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The recorder should always be on and immediately uploaded to the internet.

Every congressman should have a YouTube channel that can be accessed by anybody from anywhere in the world 24/7. A caller to Rush Limbaugh’s show yesterday (12/5/2014) called for the same thing, but my wife will tell you that I told her about it when the proposal came out to equip policemen with cameras.

I also added that I thought criminals should also wear cameras. Of course I was joking, but I made the suggestion that gun control legislation removes guns only from people who most often never commit crimes. Criminals have no problem breaking the law. That’s why they’re criminals. Gun control does not affect them; it only makes their criminal ways easier.

Carson Kight will take your mind off the world’s troubles, and you may shed a tear as you watch his story.

This brings me to Walt Disney, Pamela “P. L.” Travers, and Saving Mr. Banks:

“In London in 1961, financially struggling author Pamela “P. L.” Travers (Emma Thompson) reluctantly agrees to travel to Los Angeles to meet with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) at the urging of her agent. . . . Disney has been courting Travers for 20 years, seeking to acquire the film rights to her Mary Poppins stories, on account of his daughters’ request to produce a film based on the character. Travers, however, has been hesitant to allow Disney to adapt her creation to the screen because he is known primarily as a producer of animated feature films, which Travers openly disdains.”

It’s a great film on many levels. It’s a lesson in persistence and persuasion.

But one of the most fascinating and instructive parts of the story is what Pamela Travers demanded as the production process took place at the Disney Studios.

Here’s how Gary North describes it:

“Travers insisted on taping her daily artistic negotiations with Disney’s creative staff: Whitford’s character and the two songwriters. The Disney studio still has those tapes. The screenwriter no doubt took liberties with them, but their use in the closing credits was itself highly creative and very simple. The woman was adamant about what she wanted. But what she wanted most was enough money to make sure she could keep her London home. That, she received. Without that, the charming Walt Disney would never have persuaded the curmudgeonly Miss Travers.”

Travers did not trust the irrepressible Walt Disney and his animation ways. She knew about his persuasive personality, and she was not going to succumb to it. She made irrational demands (e.g. no color red), and wanted the give-and-take of production planning recorded — 39 hours of recordings — to have a record of points of agreement and disagreement.

She wanted to be able to say “let’s go to the tape to hear what you agreed to do.”

The tapes still exist. At the end of the film, you can hear Pamela Travers’ voice coming from one of the reels.

To demonstrate that even recordings can’t be trusted, “Saving Mr. Banks depicts several events that differ from recorded accounts. The dramatic premise of the script — that Walt Disney had to convince P.L. Travers to hand over the film rights, including the scene when he finally persuades her — is fictionalized, as Disney had already secured the film rights (subject to Travers’ approval of the script) when Travers arrived to consult with the Disney staff.”

Like P.L. Travers, we should have healthy suspicions about what takes place deep in the bowels of government. If cameras are good enough for police officers, they are good enough for those who will write and pass a law requiring them.

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