Sarah Palin may not be much of a draw in Spokane.
That’s one conclusion – and a charitable one, at that – to draw from an event a little more than a week ago at The Bing Crosby Theater featuring the new biographical movie about Palin. Planned as a chance to raise money for charities, food for Second Harvest Food Bank and pet supplies for Spokanimal, it was a disappointment, said organizer Mike Noder.
“The Undefeated”, which is not to be confused with the 1969 John Wayne/Rock Hudson horse opera of the same name, is playing to limited release and generally scathing reviews around the country. But if ever there was a place not beholden to the slings and arrows of the lamestream media, it should be the Inland Northwest. Palin is, after all, one of our own, having been born in Sandpoint and graduating from the University of Idaho before making her way back north to Alaska – which, come to think of it, is another John Wayne movie…
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Noder, a candidate for Spokane mayor in Tuesday’s primary, said he was contacted by representatives of the film’s producers with an offer to screen it as a fundraiser. They liked some things he had on his campaign website, he said, and he likes some things, but not everything, she says.
“She’s a citizen advocate. I have to speak for myself and she speaks for herself.”
Unsure how much it might bring in, and unwilling to run afoul of the state Public Disclosure Commission, he didn’t want to collect money for his low-cost mayoral campaign. But he offered hold the screening and collect for some local charities.
Admission was free, with would-be watchers urged to bring food or pet supplies or donate to charity.
“People responding were kind of vicious,” Noder said. Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery wanted no part of the gig and the Food Bank wouldn’t bring down donation barrels, he said.
The movie, which aired on a Thursday night, didn’t draw a big crowd. Noder estimated it at 50, although others thought it might’ve been half that. The Northeast Community Center Youth Group got the door receipts. The Food Bank got some donations and a plastic grocery bag of food. Spokanimal got some donations and a couple cases of cat food.
Noder actually got less than nothing: “My web traffic dropped. The association was not good for my campaign.”
Maybe if he had shown the John Wayne version of “The Undefeated” things would’ve gone better.