The Corner

Politics & Policy

A Satire on Anti-Trump FBI Agents Is Heading to CPAC. The Left Is Threatening Retaliation.

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok is seated prior to testifying before House Committees in Washington, U.S., July, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Remember Lisa Page and Peter Strzok?

The two were the adulterous, wildly partisan FBI agents working at the highest levels of the Mueller probe. After their visceral anti-Trump bias came to light (Strzok wrote about the need for an “insurance policy” to prevent Trump from becoming president) they were both sidelined and eventually left the FBI.

Well, the duo were back in the news last month. Former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 man at Justice until his departure last year, admitted that it was he who leaked their explosive text messages to the media before they were given to congressional investigators.

In a court case involving Strzok’s lawsuit challenging his firing, Rosenstein suddenly claims he was actually trying to protect the pair from embarrassment: “Providing the most egregious messages in one package would avoid the additional harm of prolonged selective disclosures.”

It is astonishing that Rosenstein, a political appointee of President Trump, would show such tenderhearted concern about two disgraced agents who clearly tarred the entire FBI. In her texts, Page described Trump as an “enormous douche” and asks her lover, “Trump’s not ever going to become president, right?” Strzok replies, “No. No, he won’t. We’ll stop it.” Strzok later explained to congressional investigators that this text referred to “the American people” who would stop Trump. For her part, Page gave equally implausible answers when interviewed by Congress. One congressman noted that she had texted, “God trump is a loathsome human . . . omg he’s an idiot” to Strzok. “What did you mean by that?” the congressman asked. Her reply: “I don’t recall.”

This material is rich with irony and intrigue. Phelim McAleer, a conservative documentary filmmaker, thought it had dramatic possibilities. Last year he staged a play called FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers that consisted solely of the secret text messages exchanged by Strzok and Page, as well as their congressional testimony under oath.

He hired Dean Cain, an actor famous for playing Superman on TV and Kristy Swanson, the actress who was the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to play the couple at a one-time-only performance at the Ronald Reagan Center in Washington, D.C.

The verbatim play was such a hit that McAleer is back for an encore. CPAC, the nation’s largest conservative gathering will mount a production at their annual Washington convention on February 27 at 5 p.m. In order to meet costs, the project is being crowdfunded on at FBILovebirds.com.

I attended the first performance of FBI Lovebirds and was charmed.

Playing the adulterous FBI lovers, Cain and Swanson made the most of the material. Reading their text messages from binders on stage, they played the couple as smug, immature, smirking know-it-alls, but Cain and Swanson also read aloud the couple’s emojis and exaggerated punctuation for added emphasis. Every reference to a text that ended with a “winky face” or “five exclamation points” was met with howls of laughter from the audience.

Playwright Phelim McAleer, who along with his wife Ann McElhinney has produced several films, isn’t surprised that Saturday Night Live and other venues have ignored the FBI Lovebirds material. “The Left dominates the arts to such an extent, they refuse to produce plays or movies even if they know they’ll be popular and the material is gold,” he told me.

But while left-wing producers won’t touch the material, there are plenty on the left who will try to silence the play.

The Daily Kos calls the production “absolutely sickening” and has called for protestors at CPAC. Esquire magazine says that moviegoers should “DixieCjick” both Cain and Swanson so they don’t work again. One blogger offered $100 to a fund to send “one lucky Coronavirus victim to CPAC.”

The best way to counter such intolerance is to support efforts like FBI Lovebirds. It’s often said that satire is the most effective political weapon, and it’s through popular culture that the Left will be most easily exposed as humorless and suffocating in its political correctness.

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