Lights, Camera, Activism!
Movies are built on the suspension of disbelief, and you’ll need it to buy the argument Steven Ross is selling in Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics. You’ll have to ignore that Hollywood supported FDR over Alf Landon by a ratio of 6 to 1 and that Democrats outraised Republicans in the television, movie, and music industries 70 percent to 29 percent over the last two decades. It would also help if you forgot the possibly apocryphal exclamation from the movie industry’s most feared critic, and briefly its most impotent executive, that she couldn’t understand how Nixon had won—after all, no one she knew had voted for him.
Banish, too, from your memory the Communist infiltration of the industry in the first half of the 20th century and then the industry’s disdain for the U.S. military in the second half. While you’re at it, try to imagine a Hollywood that would give a best-documentary Oscar to a filmmaker who slanders Barack Obama, just as Michael Moore was rewarded in 2004 for his Bush-bashing Fahrenheit 9/11.
About the Author
Sonny Bunch is a writer in Washington, D.C.