Captain America has become like catnip for the Tea Party, giving them fits whenever another opportunity to assert their ideological ownership arises. Last year Fox News aided the Tea Party assault on Ed Brubaker (and his much less popular letterer); now, the “Hollywood!” dog-whistle has been blown.

The Daily Caller ran an article a few weeks ago that builds its thesis around a nonexistent source who claims that “Hollywood” has renamed the Captain America movie “The First Avenger” so as not to offend the sensibilities of international moviegoers, with the implication that it’s just more of that liberal, limp-wristed international appeasement.

A few points on this:

  • The one source they do have in the story — the film studio — claims in a paraphrasing that the renaming is due to “certain business realities in the foreign markets.” The studio has, according to the LA Times story that inspired the Caller’s post, has been “careful to frame the move as a matter of brand management and consumer awareness and not as a decision tilted by cultural or political winds.” So in persecuted Tea Party land, the exact opposite is true because it is.
  • Let’s say at the end of the day, it is political and the studio doesn’t want to offend its liberal / communist allies in Russia and North Korea. Okay, whatever. This is a private business making a decision about its product. The studios are doing what they want to do to make more money. Isn’t that what conservatives want businesses to be doing at all times?
  • I think my favorite part is that the ‘wingers were already offended that the writer, Joe Johnston, chose not to make Captain America a “jingoistic flag-waver.” The thin skin of these folks is amazing and context is their worst enemy. Check out the full quote, from an interview last summer:

    “He wants to serve his country, but he’s not this sort of jingoistic American flag-waver,” Johnston told Hero Complex. “He’s just a good person. We make a point of that in the script: Don’t change who you are once you go from Steve Rogers to this super-soldier; you have to stay who you are inside, that’s really what’s important more than your strength and everything. It’ll be interesting and fun to put a different spin on the character and one that the fans are really going to appreciate … the idea that this is not about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing,” the director said. “It’s an international cast and an international story. It’s about what makes America great and what make the rest of the world great too.”

    So because of the name change, more people might go see a movie about the USA being great. Can you believe the anti-Americanism spewing from these people?

  • From a marketing perspective, it also makes a lot of sense to precede the Avengers movie with a film title that emphasizes its connection.
  • Read the comments at any of those blog posts. There are people actually planning on boycotting the film because Russians won’t be forced to have the word “America” on their local theater’s marquee. It’s probably good that these folks aren’t going, because they probably would’ve gotten mad when the director didn’t show Ronald Reagan saving Captain America and defeating the Nazis.
  • And since I don’t have any images to pretty up this post, here’s the trailer: