What’s happening in today’s headlines is too unbelievable even for Hollywood

In Hollywood the term “Green Light” means a project is a “go.” It takes a lot of planning, a lot of schmoozing, a good deal of influence and — most of all — a good script or treatment to get a project green-lighted. Without a good story, it’s rare that a picture or TV show gets made.

How do I know that? Well, in the deep, dark past of the last century, I made a couple of pitches to the networks, and, both times, they said the story wasn’t believable.
I would love to see those same network execs being pitched something from today’s headlines. The Trials of Donald Trump as a mini-series would get pretty much the same response: “It’s not believable!”

What is happening today wouldn’t even make good fiction; it’s just too ridiculous.

A former president, wrapped in numerous civil and criminal cases, standing trial for multiple felonies while running for the office he once held? No one would buy this tripe, especially the part where he still holds the Republican Party in a vice grip and still has people eager to vote for him.

We have entered the Bizarro World, where all the rules are flipped on their head and the implausible becomes reality. What’s worse is that some LGBTQ folks are actually Trump fans. That really shows how bizarre things have gotten.

And here’s a plot twist: A well-known porn star from both gay and bisexual films has been convicted of punching a police officer during the Jan. 6 insurrection! Steven Miles, known by his nom-de-porn as Sergeant Miles, was sentenced to two years in prison followed by another year of supervised release.

“Nope, that story is not believable. Go back and write something we can believe actually happened.”

But hey, the story has more porn stars, not to mention hush money and fraud and even the National Friggin Enquirer! There’s something for everyone. And if you want something off-color, there is even the whole flatulence angle about a defendant who farts nonstop while glaring at the jury and mumbling.

Must see TV?

Nope. It’s just not believable.

Yet here we are. As this story plays out in a shabby New York courtroom out of view of cameras, we will have to rely on the sketches of courtroom artists to learn what the scene actually looked like. Storyboards of the plot no one will buy.

So, while this and a few dozen other trials play out, we the people are left to try to understand how things got so bizarre. I suspect a lot of the blame falls on what is loosely called “social media.” It’s a world where “right now” always trumps “right,” and accusations and innuendos are always taken as fact “because so-and-so posted it.”

Additional blame falls on the elected leaders who have successfully polarized the public into camps that are willing to believe anything if it supports their cause.

Politicians manipulating their constituents with fear and boogiemen, especially those on the right, find new scapegoats almost daily to send shivers down their voter’s spines: Gay people coming for your children! Drag queens! Transsexuals! Pizza parlor pedophile rings!

This story would never sell. And yet, in a post-Trump world, it seems we will see a lot more implausible events playing out. Comedians don’t even have to write jokes any more; they can just read the headlines.

It makes me long for the days of Watergate and White House Plumbers. At least that was a story that might get a green light.

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and board chair for the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. His blog is at DungeonDiary.blogspot.com.