The lawyer trying to get Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene disqualified from her reelection bid because of her role in promoting the Jan. 6 riots spent several minutes accusing her of lifting some of her rhetoric from the Will Smith blockbuster movie Independence Day, in which aliens attack Earth and humanity is forced to defend it. The famous scene in which the president of the United States, played by Bill Pullman, gives a rousing speech and says humanity will “not go quietly into the night” was played in court. Laughs were had by all.
Greene spent much of the morning in court forgetting or pretending to forget the many social media posts she made and conversations she may or may not have had in the leadup to Jan. 6. Greene has seemed largely at ease, telling attorney Ron Fein, legal director for Free Speech for People, who is cross-examining her, that her own quotes were botched or taken out of context because, for example, CNN is “fake news.”
The whole thing has played out more or less like the carnival it is. At one point Friday afternoon, Fein asks her about a video in which she says conservatives “aren’t the people who will go quietly into the night.”
“That isn’t something that you came up with on your own,” Fein says.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Greene responds.
“Well, that’s something that you borrowed, from a movie script, right? You borrowed that line from the movie Independence Day, right?”
Everyone in the court room, including Greene, laughed. “No,” she says.
“Well, let’s go to the tape,” Fein says. “This is the one about the aliens come to the world, and then there’s a big battle on July Fourth to ward them off.”
“You are giving us quite the entertainment today, thank you,” Greene says.
“And there’s a scene in that movie where the president addresses the fight pilots who are about to go into battle. Do you remember that?” Fein says.
“I don’t remember, but you’re going to show us,” Greene responds.
And then, he does. The court plays Pullman’s monologue, which is famous among a certain sect of science fiction, Will Smith, and Bill Pullman fans, but perhaps not general knowledge among the broader populace. Fein then accuses Greene of lifting rhetoric from the film in order to communicate to her followers that Jan. 6 would be a “new Independence Day” as it becomes in the film.
As a piece of evidence, the scene from the 1996 blockbuster is not particularly convincing, perhaps because seemingly everyone in the courtroom laughed through the entire proceeding, and because “we will not go quietly into the night” is a popular phrase said by a lot of people. It is most likely a misquoting of poet Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night.”
It’s hard to say exactly how the trial is going, because Greene is treating it more or less like a joke, Fein is playing alien movies, and everyone is more or less exhausted. Fein called for a break immediately following this exchange.