March 11th, 2010
01:27 PM ET
13 years ago

White House to get preview of HBO series

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are expected to attend a White House viewing Thursday of their new HBO mini-series ‘The Pacific.’"]Washington (CNN) - A group of Hollywood heavyweights and military veterans will attend a preview of HBO's new mini-series "The Pacific" at the White House Thursday.

The president, the first lady and the producers of the series, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, are expected to be at the viewing in the White House screening room.

The miniseries which debuts on March 14 follows three U.S. Marines through their battles during the war, HBO says. HBO is owned by Time Warner, which is also the parent company of CNN.

Also expected to attend the event are the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor Gen. Jim Jones and members of Congress.

The screening Thursday will come after a ceremony at the National WWII Memorial. The ceremony will be a tribute to about 250 World War II veterans.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • White House
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Charlie New Mexico

    I'm looking foreward to watching this. In early 1961, as an 18 year old recruit , my DIs were veterans of the Pacific and Korea. After boot camp I found out that one of my DIs had spent his 16 th birthday on Guadalcanal "shooting Jap snipers out of the trees". Throughout the early '60s I met veterans of the various island battles. "Bloody Ridge", Tarawa, Iwo, etc. were in the living memories of my NCOs. Later I met a former "Code Talker" while I was at UC (thank you GI Biil). I have always felt that my own "adventures" as a fire team leader and squad leader in "Eye Corps" were a walk in the park compared to what those men went through.

    March 11, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. RCorn82

    I love how everyone forgets that the movie industry employs hundreds of thousands of people. Sure, he's taking a little time out of his day to screen a mini series, but give me a break. GW took more vacation than any other President. This guy takes a couple hours out of his time and he's a slacker? Give me a break.

    March 11, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Gil Oberdas

    I just hope this doesn't give a pro-war view point? It should portray the horrors of war and not glorify it!

    March 11, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    How disappointing. Of course, I should not care what a 'movie celebrity' cares politically speaking anyway, but many of their biggest fans can't afford health insurance, etc. or are living off the government with YOU and MYSELF paying anyway! Then again, with all the money they make, 'movie celebrities' can afford to supplement the millions not paying for their healthcare, while the small business owners like myself cannot.

    March 11, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. James from Idaho

    Wow, Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg collaborate on another fantastic series, and people want to turn it into an anti-Obama rant? Seriously, are you kidding me?? People filled with so much blind hatred are what is wrong with the electorate of this otherwise great Nation. I'm sure these same people would be praising "The Pacific" were it not for the fact that this article has President Obama's name on it. Unreal...

    As for HBO pushing it's "liberal agenda," I just don't see it; at least not in their military-oriented series. "Band of Brothers" was based on actual events, with the veterans themselves serving as advisors. Same with "Generation Kill," which to date is the only truly accurate portrayal of the Iraq War (yeah, "Hurt Locker" won Oscars, but it was rather cliched and technically / tactically inaccurate). As an Iraq veteran, I can say that I didn't think Generation Kill was political at all, it was simply a raw retelling of what happened, nothing more. I have not read enough yet about "The Pacific," so I don't know if it is based on actual events or not. I hope it is, because as we often see, truth is stranger than fiction.

    And to those who say we've beaten this horse to death, let us not forget the value in history; for those who fail to recall history are doomed to repeat it. Heck, stop me if I'm wrong, but didn't Sarah Palin ask why North and South Korea are divided? Ignorance of history has been mankind's ultimate failure, as we continue to make the same catastrophic mistakes time and again. Personally, I thank Spielberg and Hanks for using their medium of cinema to help us remember the hard lessons of the past; and I thank President Obama for helping them to pay tribute to this great generation of Americans.

    March 11, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. TCM

    somehow I have more confidence in Forest Gump than either of them, or Obama....hey, maybe they'll team up with Obama and create a remake of the 3 stooges...or perhaps the entire administration and remake the Keystone Cops...

    March 11, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Anthony R. Seta

    I can't wait for this series. My grandfather fought on several islands during the campaign in the Pacific. I really endjoyed the Eastwood movies a few years ago about Iwo Jima.

    Hanks and Spielberg are awesome and truly some of the greatest Americans living today. Prez Obama is fortunate to have such allies. He'll need all the help he can get to combat the on-going smear campaigns by the FRight wing of America – especially after the recent ruling by the SCOTUS pertaining to campaing finance laws. Friends like Hanks and Spielberg have powerful methods via film and TV that will be needed to combat against the lies and mis-representations by the conservative movement.

    March 11, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. AntiCeleb

    Yeah these are the kind of folks the White House loves to entertain, whether its a Republican in office or a Democrat. Fat Rich slobs who get every project they ever dream of bankrolled because... they kiss up to the American military machine. Eat your hearts out you working class fools.

    March 11, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Dennis

    Since Speilburg is a master of special effects, maybe he can somehow make this administration look good.

    March 11, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. The Voice of Reason

    It's time we took a look at what this country stands for. And, I feel this is just what the upcoming generation needs to see how people CAME TOGETHER during World War II to fight against the evils of people trying to capture our country, end our way of life, and enslave us. We need to all grow up and instead of accusing each other in the political arena, we need to find out for ourselves, by reading unbiased news and watching more unbiased media reports what is really going on. I don't think ANY of us want America to fail. Yes, we all have different views, but we need to sit down, like adults, and discuss what we all think, why we view things differently, and come to a compromise that will benefit the people as a whole. (Not just the major corporations.)
    When we came together to battle against the worst possible outcome that the world could face during World War II, we put aside these little minor differences, and fought together to end the terrible destruction that was engulfing the world then.
    We face more destruction facing our country and way of life now if we continue to fight against each other. What purpose does it serve? For the rich to get richer and the poor poorer? May we instead all pray to our own God that He give us compassion and true wisdom to know that there are better ways to all live together in our country in peace. The hatred we have seen over the last few years is not good for any one. Remember our children and their children to come and let's strive to leave them a world where people come first–not the insurance industries nor the oil big-wigs!!
    And yes, I'm going to watch Pacific–every episode–because my father fought in the South Pacific for four years to keep us free. I think it is a great tribute to our veterans that Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Hanks have made these great movies "The Band of Brothers" (watching it now) and "Pacific." And it hurts me to see those of you who turn it into a political spectacle and put it down because you didn't win this time! Shame on you! And let's consider growing up and working together before we have another 45,000 people die this year from no health insurance!! If this had happened during World War II, we would hae said a country who permits this kind of abuse is heartless!

    March 11, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. jackie

    I don't get it. A poster mentioned that after this mini-series, we'll all sell our Japanese cars. Why?! I'm pretty sure that America has been less than patriotic on more than a few occasions, including using the H bomb. Heck, why not shun all American cars?

    March 11, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. stillnot working

    a message to "think again". you thank these two for a mini series you say with honor our military men. are you really that stupid? these two hollywood clowns are doing this for the money and money only. not to honor anyone but themselves and bank accounts. i am canceling hbo and would never watch this crap anyway. i can tell you how this piece of crap will end. tom and steve will apologize to the people of japan for the terrible things we did to them during the war, in particular the bomb. as long as they make a pile of money, they don't care. they can make all the money possible and obama won't care. that would be perfectly OK. just so neither claim to be a CEO

    March 11, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. jay in denver

    Reading some of these posts, I am appalled at the invective being hurled at Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg as "Hollywood Liberals." Frankly, if it weren't for Tom Hanks, the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., would not exist. He spearheaded the effort to fund the Memorial and made a glorious speech at the dedication honoring the men and women who fought in both the European and Pacific theaters of the war. If that's what Hollywood liberalism stands for then perhaps we should have more of it. Instead all we hear about is their "leftist crap." These types of comments are pathetic and inexcusable.

    March 11, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. SuperHiro

    Can't wait for this series, and amazed that the comments on this are so partisan.

    March 11, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. Jamie

    I find it unbelievable that some people would denounce the making of a movie honoring our veterans.

    semper Fi

    March 11, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. cjf

    It is odd to see so many rants against Spielberg and co., and so many people assume that the new series will be leftist, or not capture the nature of the war. From everything that I have read, this series, like BoB, will be based on veterans' experiences. BoB, for example, was based upon research - much of it oral - that the historian Stephen Ambrose did with members of E Company. This series in part is based upon EB Sledge's "With the Old Breed." As my students know from reading the text, Sledge's take on the war was complex. He entered the war as a teen not wanting to "miss out", and ended the war with a profound respect for his fellow Marines, but a deep revulsion toward the carnage of war. Likewise, Sledge spars the reader little in terms of American hatred toward the Japanese, Japanese atrocities, and yes at times, American cruelty toward the Japanese. In other words, if the production stays true to its source, it will attempt to give a view of the war grounded in the observations and experiences of those who fought at Peleiu, Okinawa, and whichever other aspects of the Pacific campaign are integrated into the series.

    March 11, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Enough Already

    @John March 11th, 2010 12:11 pm ET
    Hey Obama! No TV until YOUR WORK IS DONE!!!!!!!!!!! (or actually just running this country into the ground!)
    President Obama to you CHUMP !!!!!

    March 11, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. LCpl, USMC

    The president is an AMERICAN, this administration is comprised of Americans too, and I'm sure they are grateful for the sacrifices of those Marines. Stop thinking they aren't just because they believe all Americans deserve health care. Learn how to have a disagreement, we had to put up with your incompetence, ignorance, theocratic slant, and lies for 8 years. Hopefully this miniseries will cause people to favor American cars. Ooorah Marine Corps!

    March 11, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. guest

    All of that "what democracy used to stand for" talk is bull. We have had the same problems since the inception of this country that we are having now. The only problem is that those hard core groups don't understand that their ideas are being sold to them by the groups who are actually harming our society. This is not hard stuff to find out. Basic history textbooks will show this. And before you say "liberal text books," free yourself of all that anger and hatred for learning and read with an open mind. You can read, can't you?

    March 11, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. cspurgeon

    Love that Tom Hanks. Did you all see where he called the Morning Joe show the Morning Joke show. Says it like it is doesn't he. anyhow, love his talent and honesty.

    March 11, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Get A Life

    @Fitz in Texas March 11th, 2010 12:32 pm ET
    and Monster Zero March 11th, 2010 11:15 am ET
    I heard that during President Obama's recent healthcare screening he underwent a colonoscopy, the results were horrifying, they found over half of Hollywood.
    HAHAHAHAH.....EXCELLENT post and thank you so much...Monster Zero..... for the great laugh! EXCELLENT post and oh how so true.
    You guys need to keep your Heads out of the Rear.....OK!!!!

    March 11, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Jane Sullivan

    @Fitz in Texas and the ludicrous Monster Zero: Do your folks know you're playing on the computer? Because, going by this comment (and all previous comments from either of you, EVER) we have to assume that you're still in grade school and still stuck in the 'gross things and stupid remarks are cool" phase. I seriously doubt your combined I.Q. would hit double digits. Wash your face and go to school.

    March 11, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. a

    What I find most funny about these comments is that nobody seems to realize this miniseries is based on the actual lives of three people who fought in the Pacific theater. One, Eugene Sledge, literally wrote notes about what was happening almost as it was happening. His book, "With The Old Breed" is considered to be among the greatest war memoirs ever published. To this day, soldiers who fought in the Pacific are often buried with this book.

    March 11, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. Your unwillingness to change will destroy us all, ever heard of the Dark Ages?

    Why does something like the thought of two wonderful imagineers like Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, about a series that tells the story of what war is really like get people's panties up in a bunch like they do? If this was Bush, admit you would commend him for being in touch with the soldiers in the series and promoting how well they've taken responsibility and how wonderful their service to this country has been, but when its Obama, you act like children and call him names for it. Now we have a president that is stuck in a catch 22 his whole presidency because some ignorant white people with a lot of money can wield their influence and know the ignorant low income white people will listen because they idolize and fantasize about being rich and well off like the only one percent of Americans who the Republicans actually stand for. You don't get it do you? You are all the Joe the Plumbers of this country, being used as political fodder, only to discard you when their agenda is complete or you become politically irrelevant.. I have two quotes for you that should be taken to heart, "Some men are friends with the whole world in their hearts, and there are others that hate themselves and spread their hatred around like butter on hot bread." and "The search for truth and knowledge is one of the finest attributes of a man, though often it is most loudly voice by those who strive for it the least."

    Yours truly,
    A white, American, 20 year old 'socialist'

    March 11, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. djjr51

    Hey Tommy P what about slick willy clinton. Seems to me he took off to England to avoid the draft. Oh that's right, he didn't inhale or have sex.

    March 11, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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