I’m amazed at the speed of this, quite frankly. But presumably Hollywood’s instincts are sharper than mine. I would think that giving people some breathing room from George Santos and his disgrace would be the smart move. But no, HBO Films has optioned the rights to Mark Chiusano’s new book The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos, which was published on November 28, 2023. That was a few days ago. Wow. Deadline:

The film, now in development, is described as a forensic and darkly comic look at the crazy, unprecedented congressional race on Long Island that led to Santos being elected to Congress. It comes from Frank Rich, who executive produced HBO’s Emmy-winning Washington DC satire Veep as well as the network’s Emmy-winning drama Succession.

Written by Mike Makowsky (HBO’s Bad Education), the film tells the story of a seemingly minor local race that wound up a battle for the soul of Long Island, and unexpectedly carved the path for the world’s most famous (and now disgraced) congressman. It follows the Gatsby-esque journey of a man from nowhere who exploited the system, waged war on truth and swindled one of the wealthiest districts in the country to achieve his American Dream.

Rich and Makowsky executive produce, with Chiusano serving as a consulting producer.

Before he was even sworn into Congress in January, Santos attracted widespread attention as revelations came to light of the fabrications of his resume and background. He already faces criminal charges, with the DOJ having filed an array of additional counts against him last month, including wire fraud and identity theft. He has pleaded not guilty.

Santos conceives of himself as a larger-than-life figure and now he’s headed for the silver screen. Maybe he will end up hobnobbing with the likes of the Kardashians. It’s impossible to say what’s next in this culture. Just when you think the bottom has been reached, you find out it’s only a new sub-basement and there’s so much lower you can still go.

Politics as entertainment is solidified now. Let me recommend a couple of excellent shows based on Watergate. One is the Watergate Plumbers and the other is Gaslit. If you haven’t seen either of them, you’re in a for a treat. G. Gordan Liddy must have been quite the character. In both shows he’s portrayed as variations of stark raving mad, certainly a lot crazier than the other folks, who are clearly misguided, whereas Liddy is batshit.

And I have oft predicted that one day there will be a hell of a black comedy about the Trump years. I think there are two reasons it’s going to be down the road a bit: 1. We’re still in the Trump years, so it’s hard to write an ending; 2. We’re weary. I think that fifty years from now, today’s college kids will be up in years and they will remember Trump the way I remember Watergate now. And heaven forfend that there should be an even worse scandal than Trump half a century from now, to serve as the bookends for their lives, as Watergate and Trump form the bookends of mine.

I can’t even think about what could bottom Trump, unless it’s a fascist, theocratic society like Mike Johnson and his ilk want. If that’s what’s coming, I’m glad I won’t be here to see it. Unless it happens fast, which is possible. If there’s one lesson we’ve learned the past seven years, it’s that anything’s possible.

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  1. Who will they get to play Santos?

    Someone who can lie unflinchingly and unblinking, with a tenuous connection to reality.

    How about that well known fabulist, George Santos?

    • Oh he’ll get the part – after all, he’s a well-known actor (well, p0rn star maybe) with dozens of Brazilian awards on his resumé.

      Although, truth to tell, hopefully he’ll be unavailable to take the part as he will have a prior commitment (namely, in the houe of many doors where he can do his drag shows for the other occupants)

  2. His election was more shameful, to the people who voted him into office as well as the nation, than anything else. I guess I just don’t see the entertainment value of something that takes voter stupidity and slaps them upside the head with it. Still, what do I know, I think television is by and large the reason humans are, as Hawking stated, the hill-billies of the universe. To say I do not know what will attract viewers is a very big understatement.


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