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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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March 25th, 2013
06:25 PM ET

Hollywood targets the White House

The White House is under attack, the president is in danger, and there is only one man who can save him - that's the plot of not only "Olympus Has Fallen," but also of "White House Down," another president-in-peril movie coming out this summer, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. On Thursday, Cobra will seize control of the White House in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," and in May, "Iron Man 3" will kick off the summer movie season by blowing a hole in the side of Air Force One.

Hollywood is getting bolder than ever about putting fictional presidents in the cross hairs. Deadline Hollywood's Dominic Patten says audiences are loving it.

"We're entering the summer blockbuster season and blockbusters involve blowing things up," says Patten. "You're looking at one of the few symbols that anyone in America - Democrat, Republican, or independent - immediately has a visceral reaction to."

This sort of thing reached a heyday in the 90's when Harrison Ford played the President of the United States and threw Kazakhstani terrorists off his plane in "Air Force One." And, of course, everybody remembers when aliens blew up the White House in "Independence Day."

But in the decade after 9/11, there was a definite squeamishness with imagery of the president, and our national landmarks, in danger. Not anymore.

You can try to find an agenda behind this - either the president is weak because he allowed his safety to be compromised, or he is a hero because he gets his "John McClane" on. But in the end, the motivation may have less to do with politics, and more to do with Hollywood's first love - profits.

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