Vanity Fair profiles The eXile: "Gutsy...visceral...serious journalism...abusive, defamatory...poignant...paranoid...and right!"
MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Fatwah / movies / August 13, 2012
By Mark Ames

Published in today’s edition of NSFW Corp:

It’s been a few hours since I stormed out of the Georgetown AMC Loews cineplex. I went there to see “The Campaign”, the new Zach Galifianakis “comedy” that just opened, and I lasted almost an hour in my seat before throwing my popcorn and bolting the theater.

“The Campaign” isn’t the worst — as in terrifying scary shit-bad worst — film I’ve seen since moving back to the Free World a few years ago. That honor would have to go to “Sex and the City 2”. I lasted about 40 minutes through that film, telling myself the whole time, “If Pat Tillman could face terrorists, you can face Sex and the City 2, Ames!” over and over. Until it finally dawned on me: “Pat Tillman had it easy compared to this! Kandahar is like Club Med compared to Sex and the City 2!” and I ran screaming.

“The Campaign” is a different kettle of fish puke. There’s a weirdly unfunny flatness permeating the entire film: flat writing, flat jokes, flat directing, and above all, Zach Galifianakis’ non-presence, a flatness so flat it’s like convex comedy…

To read the rest of this article click here (open viewing).

This review of was published at Not Safe For Work Corp, where I’m acting as editor-at-large. You should subscribe

Still like to know more? The eXile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia co-authored by Mark Ames and Matt Taibbi (Grove).


Click the cover & buy the book!



Read more:, Mark Ames, Fatwah, movies

Got something to say to us? Then send us a letter.

Want us to stick around? Donate to The eXiled.

Twitter twerps can follow us at


Add your own

  • 1. Trevor  |  August 13th, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    How terrible does a movie have to be for Will Ferrell to be the redeeming quality!?

  • 2. Dimitri Ratz  |  August 13th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I have a green hat just like that.

  • 3. Marc  |  August 13th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I haven’t seen the movie and don’t plan to, but the trailers are running non-stop on TV… so I gotta ask: in the trailer, ZG shoots WF with a crossbow. (I know this, because WF says “Is that a crossbow? Oh… that _is_ a crossbow!” or something equally brainless.)
    Is it a rifle in the actual movie, or was that an oversight prompted by leaving the theater in a hurry?

    Actually, that’s your brain. He shot him in the movie:

  • 4. radii  |  August 13th, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    the Gen-X and Gen-Y now have been nepotism’d into Hollywood greenlight chairs and since their generations (I’m part of the former) really have nothing to say (philosophy, politics, art) it is not surprising that the quality of art (books, film, fine art) and living have gone down and down … and we see it in film after film that is claptrap, by-the-numbers (as in focus group tested) drivel … would a modern audience sit for Being There, Network, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, The Conversation, Walkabout, 1900, O Lucky Man, If, 2001? … it is getting rarer and rarer to see a film and have it stimulate your intellect or make you feel anything … the people authorizing their production were raised on videogames which numb all feeling

  • 5. Alex  |  August 13th, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I hated to say but it’s tough being smart!

    You know how fucked-up shit is 5-10 years before everyone else.

    Because you were the first ones to go after Koch they went all-out to kill you with the full brunt of their billions. Whoever was first to expose them was going to get fucked over by the Kochs and you guys had the most brains and integrity- so it was you dudes.

    It may have been fucked for you but, you put holes in the dam and now more and more are speaking out against the Kochs. Yes, this is a stupid movie but most people are stupid. Your writing is too smart to reach most people so we need stupid stuff to reach the Stupids. If people leave the movie with the idea that Koch brothers are bad then it’s done a good job no matter how badly somebody may act in it or how unfunny it is.

  • 6. Numerius Negidius  |  August 13th, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Who the fuck is Zach Galifianakis?

  • 7. Ozinator  |  August 13th, 2012 at 8:07 pm


    Not a good result at all and Ames laid out why. It had nothing to do with funny or unfunny but with humanizing them. It’s like watching the Daily Show when Stewart brings on an “enemy” and makes jokes with him. Ever go to Medieval Times, get fucked up, eat a chicken with your hands then cheer on your guy against the other guy? The point is that these guys are criminally evil and though Ames and Levine exposed them, a film like this is damage control to counter being exposed.

  • 8. Mr. Bad  |  August 13th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I feel the need to heartily agree with that fag Ames on this matter. That is all.

  • 9. Alex  |  August 13th, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    The movie makes them out to be corrupt, evil assholes. I don’t really see it as making the Kochs likable, nor is getting in one good line attack Zach about a monkey really going to rehabilitate the Koch image. All it’ll do is a get a few dumb rightwingers in the blogosphere and on Fox to yell “PWNED” to Zach.

  • 10. mookid  |  August 14th, 2012 at 1:28 am

    “The more I learn about Hitler, the more I dislike him”
    – Zach Galifianakis

  • 11. DerDer  |  August 14th, 2012 at 7:14 am

    “The more I learn about Hitler, the more I dislike him” I prefer to attribute that quote to Alan Partridge.

  • 12. Petra De  |  August 14th, 2012 at 8:07 am

    “They founded … a cult for Dwight Schrute waffendweebs deluded from stunted social lives”

    Which is why we should applaud them, because they are exploiting people who suck and really, isn’t everyone who doesyou know what, fuck this

    what the fuck am I talking about god only knows

  • 13. Petra-De  |  August 14th, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I’m here again, me me me me

  • 14. jyp  |  August 14th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    The Ames kid will be read and appreciated long after the rest of these bums are forgotten. He’s funny and mean. Just like my kids. Nasty. Gotta love that.

  • 15. Az  |  August 14th, 2012 at 10:58 am

    This movie gets 2.5 James Holmes Jokers. (Will Ferrell’s fine performance shaved off 1.5 James Holmes Jokers.)

    Yes, the old eXile is back!

  • 16. Mmm  |  August 14th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    There was such a large herd of Lone Gunmen back in the day that it takes a lifetime to learn about all its members. Well done again, Mr. Ames.

  • 17. Bill Maher  |  August 14th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Zach? His edgy reefer humor on my show is about as sharp as a billiard ball.

  • 18. Heywood Jablowme  |  August 14th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I give this review 3 out of 4 Nick Bergs.

  • 19. yandat  |  August 14th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I really like that this just review just devolves into spiteful rage and personal vendetta.

    Not being sarcastic; it was refreshing.

  • 20. Big Gay Baby  |  August 14th, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    This Galifianakas character really is insufferable. How do people find this smug turd funny? Thank you again, Ames, for calling bullshit. Please do another Gavin Mcinnes takedown too. Check out his memoir “How to piss in public”, a cringe-inducing attempt to convince everyone that he isn’t a fag. Also, his libertarian “rants” on TakiMag. Such a cockgoblin.

  • 21. Shade  |  August 14th, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    The problem is that the vast majority of entertainment in this country is produced by spoiled insular rich elitist fucks or their overly pretentious offspring, even the so-called “progressive” efforts. You can’t really expect much in the way of genuine outrage, much less genuine expressions of the reason for outrage, from those insulated from the worst effects of republicunt policies.

    Expecting anything profound from Zach and company is like expecting an eskimo to surf(at least not without a shitload of practice and years of total immersion in surf-dude culture). Those of us in the trenches are always gonna be put off by the efforts of the zachs to say something profound and genuine, when the fact is they don’t really understand the true pain and frustration behind any genuine statement of our national tragedy. To the credit of the Zachs, Clooneys and all the rest, they at least try to get it, or maybe they can only get it to the extent that those in their position allow.

    I tend to ignore all this mass-media horseshit anyway, and that’s what this country needs to learn how to do. Once we plug back into the real world en masse, perhaps then we can resume the long, difficult path of actually evolving into an intelligent species. (I know, I know, quit laughing so goddam hard, you’ll hurt yourselves)

  • 22. Flatulissimo  |  August 14th, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    @14 – Look for Going Postal to be suddenly heralded as an overlooked classic just as soon as Ames OD’s and is no longer a threat.

    He really needs to write another book or two to further ensure his posthumous legacy.

  • 23. Strangefate  |  August 15th, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Ames you already noted that Galawhatever is less funny than late career Jiminy Glick Martin Short in your previous takedown of this guy. As putdowns for comedians go that’s pretty much the coup de grace. There’s really nothing left to say that could be any crueler…not to say you shouldn’t try, of course. God knows somebody needs to keep noting about how much this guy sucks, just so there’s some kind of record, so our ancestors don’t assume we all universally loved this bearded non-entity and accepted him into our lives without a murmur of decent.

    But, yeah…it does suck when someone you despise agrees with you, doesn’t it? A lameass ally is often even worse than a determined opponent. See the entire American liberal establishment for further examples. Even when they’re saying the right thing they’re saying it in such a way you almost want to see them crushed just because they’re such inept posturing fuckheads.

  • 24. zhubajie  |  August 15th, 2012 at 12:37 am

    @22 ” just as soon as Ames OD’s and is no longer a threat.”

    You don’t think he’s just going to disappear, perhaps into the torture Gulag, like Dolan has?

  • 25. DrunktankDan  |  August 15th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Congratulations on finally gettin GGreenwald to admit that shit. I love the way he sleazily alluding to “the evils Bush/Cheney” as if that tells all us progressives that he’s actually on OUR side when cheerleading at CATO.

    So, uh, who’s gonna go pick up the Horse Sperm this time? Cause I totally live near one, a horse I mean, and I know this drunk slut that would probably jack it off, maybe. Oh, and I have this lovely CATO embossed stainless steel thermos to transport it in.

  • 26. the dude  |  August 15th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I’m sorry and I may be opening myself up to some criticism, but anything that portrays the Koch brothers in a negative light is helpful, i mean if it fuels apathetic hatred isn’t that better than the status quo of apathetic ambivalence? At least after the election when Romney/Ryan has won and we are all broke from paying for our boomer parents healthcare, and the apathy is broken, the apathetic will have targets?

  • 27. Ed  |  August 15th, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    If Malcolm Gladwell’s “Jew-fro” and Zach Galifianakis’s “bro-beard” had a baby then…. well, it’d be pretty damn ugly and hairy.

  • 28. Petra-De  |  August 16th, 2012 at 1:22 am

    that second comment was because the first one seemed to have glitched and not gone through

    the point is that condemning the “dweebs” for being naive and desperate enough to buy into the libertard charade will only drive them further into its arms and rob the left of persons who may be of some use, however slight

    leftism that’s only for cool people isn’t leftism

  • 29. The Gubbler  |  August 16th, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Looks like a sucker to me.

  • 30. Cum  |  August 16th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Aw, the kids think he’s funny, even if his critique is watered down, at least he’s going after the right targets so the kids will learn something. Then again the same could be said about Jon Stewart, which was rightly criticized in the article. Did you know he punished his writers for unionizing? The Daily Show has good writers and supporting cast and it could be even greater if it wasn’t for Jon Stewart’s unfunny mugging for the camera and beige centrism.

  • 31. DrunktankDan  |  August 16th, 2012 at 1:24 pm


    Sorry. . .we just lost our profit sharing at the fuckin locally owned natural foods store where I work. I’ve only been there for a month or so so it ain’t that bad, but jesus christ that was the only good thing about this job. And the senior employees just rolled on their backs and took it from the owners!
    I should ask Mike Elk how to start a union. Makin’ 9.50 an hour with 30k in student debt is about as fun as it sounds. Fuck!

    Hitler Von Hayek responds:

    Freemarkets are natural, so it’s only natural you work at a freemarket food store.

  • 32. franc black  |  August 16th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I like this style … Eileen is far too wordy in telling how a movie sucks. Mark just lays it down clearly and simply.

  • 33. DrunktankDan  |  August 16th, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Pleasant Hell is full of ecstatical life.
    Glory, glory to Master Dolan! Glory to life!
    Anybody that wants to give money should start by buying that book. I’ll send you guys 40 tomorrow when I cash my check (through my gf’s debit card since I am no longer welcome at banks). I’m keepin my promise AEC, but I really have to say that you guys should start suckin Koch if you wanna make any money. Any loyal eXhole would know it was a bullshit fundraising joke, but could you imagine the donations you could rake in if the headline “Mark Ames and the Exiled, creators of the Koch Brothers Meme, turns Freeper/Reasonmagtard/Libertard/Teabagger etc. went viral on libertard websites? Seriously! Sell the fuck out. . .get a bunch of money. . .then rub it in their faces. You would have to be pretty formal about it, but everyone here would know the truth.

  • 34. the dude  |  August 16th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    @30: I didn’t know Jon Stewart fought the Unionization of his writers. what a cocksucker, I mean these people literally make him famous, keep up his multi-million dollar salary,they WRITE HIS JOKES! and he turns around and punishes them for obtaining what is part of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights…Do you have any articles concerning this matter you could share? Might be in need of a good S.H.A.M.E

  • 35. Ed  |  August 16th, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Do you have any articles/sources on JS and unionization?

  • 36. Curbie Chris  |  August 16th, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Heres an article about JS and his anti-union stance. The source is ex-writer/comedian, David Feldman

  • 37. Ed  |  August 17th, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I don’t get it, why the hell would you pay someone money to write you jokes and then not bother to use them?

    That sounds like a massive waste of time and money. I might not like somebody, but if I’m paying them to make me sandwiches for lunch every day, I’m not going to trash the sandwiches just to annoy them.

    I don’t know if the article’s true…. or, maybe I don’t want to believe it because JS is like, a hero to the left. We don’t have very many and we usually elected submissive conservative wimps (Kerry, Obama) so the few we got (Moore, Maddow) we have to fanatically treasure because they’re so few and far between.

    In any case, I can’t help but wonder if the Exiled is going to chime in on this. They’ve taken on the Kochs, TDS and Obama before, they don’t seem to be afraid of anyone.

  • 38. Curbie Chris  |  August 17th, 2012 at 1:50 am


    “I don’t get it, why the hell would you pay someone money to write you jokes and then not bother to use them?”

    Well… JS can’t legally fire/reprimand them for unionizing.
    So how do you punish a comedic writer? Not use his/her material. Why is that punishment? Egos…
    Also, imma assume comedic writers are like most artists. They take pride in their craft and to pay a creative person for their creative input then just treat it as if it didn’t matter. Ouch!

    For example, heres an excerpt from the interview with David Feldman that gives an example of this practice happening in the past.

    “It’s kind of [like] what Walt Disney did to the animators who went union on him. Walt Disney called in a guy named Art Babbitt who was a very rich artist with the Disney Corporation who felt that his animators should be union, and Art Babbitt paid a price with Disney. Eventually, he was one of, they called him the wise man of Disney and there was an animator’s strike that Art Babbitt orchestrated. And he didn’t need to, he was rich! And he still felt his employees at Disney deserved a union, Walt Disney felt they didn’t. So they got their union, Walt Disney called Art Babbitt into his office and said, “Congratulations, you got your union, let me see your drawings, your cels” and Disney took these beautiful cels that Art Babbitt had worked on all day and tore them in front of Art Babbitt and said, “you’ve got your union, you’ll never see your work on the screen again.”

    – David Feldman
    transcribed by

  • 39. Ozinator  |  August 17th, 2012 at 9:21 am

    When Leibowitz had his first talk show, “The John Stewart show”, there was one episode where he had a wrestling coach on who coached young boys. They had a mat out and the kids sparred with skills they had been taught. John said “I am strangely aroused” and the coach who was very polite and humble had to stand there like a tool and keep smiling. That the smug prick would think that was funny should let everyone know that he is a libertarian

  • 40. CensusLouie  |  August 17th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Oh please PLEASE do a S.H.A.M.E profile on Jon Stewart. Forget the Gladwells, no one else has done more damage to the very demographic that should be up in arms right now over their future getting fucked. He is the very embodiment of the do nothing, empty feel good posturing politics of Gen Y and younger.

    He’s basically the Jay Leno of political commentary. An unfunny slimeball who only cares about his own success and is willing to trample anyone to get it, yet manages to put on the guise of a totally nice caring guy. Fucking no talent mugging sham and his audience of clapping seals.

  • 41. Coccyx  |  August 17th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Well Sex and the City presents that butt-ugly horse-faced, she-beast as an attractive human female, most heterosexual men are unable to suspend disbelief to that extent.

  • 42. Ed  |  August 17th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    @39 To be fair he was still finding his “sea legs.”

    Not every comedian starts out funny- you gotta toss out a lot of unfunny jokes before you learn what it is the audience responds well to. Yeah, that was a stupid joke, but he’s had countless zingers over the years I’ve really enjoyed.

  • 43. Ozinator  |  August 17th, 2012 at 12:31 pm


    I wasn’t complaining that the joke wasn’t funny. If he had a bad pedophile joke told to adults and no one laughed, I wouldn’t have brought it up. He said it in front of the little kids to their coach.

  • 44. Trickle Down  |  August 17th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    For the love of God, YES! Jon Stewart is a cancer on our political culture who can take decades of right-wing dominance and violence and convince an entire generation that “both sides are just the same”. He makes me sick.

  • 45. Coccyx  |  August 17th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    So, Zach Galifianakis’ uncle planned a hit on this Jordan guy in 1972 and little Zach was in on it (or heard about it later from somebody who was in on it?) and now he’s making a reference to it in this move, is that what you’re saying???

  • 46. Curbie Chris  |  August 17th, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    As much as i would like to see Mr. Ames and Mr. Levine go in on Mr. Stewart. Jon Stewart is not a journalist. So a S.H.A.M.E profile would be counter productive.
    Mr. Stewart can always hide, as he usually does, behind the guise of entertainment.

    Now what could be productive is S.H.A.M.E getting a show on RT or a network that aren’t afraid of corporate interests. Get on that Exiled.

  • 47. Cum  |  August 17th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    @46 That show would be awesome, right up until the moment it gets cancelled because Mark Ames couldn’t resist pissing off the Kremlin.

  • 48. the duke  |  August 17th, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    @46 Jon Stewart loves to claim how gen y gets their news from him. That makes him at the very least a wannabe journalist. And if when it isnt convenient.he hides behind “entertainment” that’s all the more shameful

  • 49. CensusLouie  |  August 18th, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Stewart may hide behind the guide of entertainment, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t throw stones.

    If you don’t think that a huge portion of young people today get ALL of their news from The Daily Show, then you sir are out of touch with the youth. Again, he is the embodiment of the feel good do nothing activism of college age youngsters who would rather Tweet about injustice than tarnish their hipster image and actually CARE about something enough to get down and dirty in the trenches. Get involved with local politics? Raise awareness? No, that would require they get up off of the couch. Much easier to pretend “both sides are the same!” and nod along to The Daily Show like a good bobble head, cheering and clapping with empty righteous indignation but retreating behind “humor” whenever someone might actually rock the boat.

  • 50. Ozinator  |  August 19th, 2012 at 2:07 am

    and what’s this “Mr. Stewart” shit? Fuck that dirty kunt

  • 51. Curbie Chris  |  August 19th, 2012 at 5:05 am

    @48 + @49

    I wholeheartedly agree. I have had this discussion about the social and political impact JS and Daily Show has on U.S. culture with persons in “real” life and I refused to accept the “he’s just an entertainer” argument. The Daily Show machine does have an impact. That impact is very detrimental. It creates apathy in a time where activism is most needed.


    I don’t know. It would be a very tricky situation. It’s very hard to hold entertainers and/or artists accountable for their political views. I have had a few conversations with folks about Dali and his political views. They did not care one bit if he was a fascist. “He was a great artist”…
    They didn’t even flinch when i suggested he was a fascist. Strange, eh? I guess talent trumps all.

    Another good example of this would be how people view Roman Polanski. This is beyond politics. People will look past the fact that hes a pedofile because they believe he makes beautiful movies. Maybe he would have been shunned if it was a boy instead of a 13 year old girl. Maybe…

    Back to Stewart… I guess i shouldn’t have said making a profile for him would be counter-productive. I thought that article about the “”Rally to Restore Sanity” was very important and needed to be said.
    … I guess all I am saying… it would be tough to convince readers he’s actually a threat because of his profession and because he’s good at making people laugh.

    I am well aware thats a cop out… no AEC needed.

  • 52. Dr Sanchez  |  August 19th, 2012 at 10:24 am

    @51 Southpark is also good at making people laugh but the political compass of the show is completely fucked. The difference is that lefties can smell the ‘centrist’ douchery of SP, but have a harder time with Stewart.

    Bill “Vietnam was a necessary war” Maher would be another good target…

  • 53. Ozinator  |  August 19th, 2012 at 6:19 pm


    Maher is a trickier one, you’re right! He never got down on his knees with fellow begger Moore to beg Nader for forgiveness, yet he scolds Obama for not being tough. As if Obama is scared and would really like to help.

  • 54. Ed  |  August 19th, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Bill Maher’s already hated by conservatives.

    Who or what is he a propaganda shill for? Even that ex-writer who demonized Jon Stewart praised Maher to the moon.

  • 55. Cum  |  August 20th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    @51: I have that Dali argument with my gf all the time, it feels wrong when she hangs Dali and Picasso facing each other. Then again if a Red Jew like myself can spend days playing virtual genocide in the fascist training simulator Call of Duty with the future school shooters of America and other neonazis, I should be able to handle a little hypocrisy on her part.

  • 56. NOTAROOKIE  |  March 11th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    How can you compare Pat Tillman to this. You are a fucking idiot.

Leave a Comment

(Open to all. Comments can and will be censored at whim and without warning.)


Required, hidden

Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed