by John Eberhard
This is the third and final article in my series on liberal bias in our main communication channels today. The first two articles covered liberal bias in the mainstream news media (TV news, newspapers), and liberal bias in the faculties on college campuses. This final article will cover liberal bias among the entertainment industry.
It’s becoming almost a cliché that whenever Hollywood celebrities campaign for some public issue, 98% of the time it’s a liberal issue. Radical environmentalism, animal rights, abortion rights, anti-smoking, gun control, feminism, speaking out against the war in Iraq, and supporting Communist dictators are just some of the favorite past-times of liberal Hollywood celebrities.
- Sean Penn traveled to Baghdad right before the start of the war in Iraq, just to get the view on the ground and meet with Iraqi officials under Saddam Hussein.
- Ashley Judd and dozens of other celebrities showed up at a march in Washington, DC last week to support abortion on demand.
- The Rolling Stones did a benefit concert against global warming, with the warm-up act being none other than Bill Clinton.
- Ted Danson campaigns for environmental causes, and once announced in the late 1980s that the oceans only had 10 years left of being able to sustain life. (Whoops! What year is it?)
- The group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), whose co-founder and director Ingrid Newkirk stated in 1989 "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy," and who also equated six million Jews being killed in the Holocaust with six billion chickens being killed for food each year, is closely supported by Bill Maher, Michael J. Fox, Harry Hamlin, Linda Blair, Cameron Diaz, Alec Baldwin, Kim Bassinger, Pamela Anderson, Toby Maguire, Alicia Silverstone, Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, Dennis Franz, Sidney Poitier, and Ashley Judd.
- PETA ran a series of ads called "I’d rather go naked than wear fur," that featured practically pornographic pictures of actress Charlotte Ross, Traci Bingham, Pamela Anderson, Kimberly Hefner, and Alicia Silverstone.
- Danny Glover signed a letter, along with dozens of other Hollywood types, supporting Communist dictator Fidel Castro.
- Film maker Oliver Stone visited Fidel Castro in Cuba recently and produced a "documentary" on Castro that is so pro, PBS refused to air it because of its lack of objectivity.
- Actress Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks said while on tour in the UK that she is ashamed that President Bush is from Texas.
- Other liberal celebrities who have spoken out against the war in Iraq have included Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Ed Asner, Oliver Stone, Jane Fonda, Mike Farrell, Martin Sheen, James Cromwell, Sheryl Crow (who stated ?the best way to solve problems is to not have enemies? – [GW Bush please take note of this pearl of foreign policy strategy]), Susan Sarandon and Tom Robbins, Woody Harrelson, Steve Speilberg, Woody Allen, Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Madonna, Janeane Garofalo, George Clooney, and Barbra Streisand.
James Hirsen’s book "Tales from the Left Coast" chronicles much of the leftward tilt of the entertainment industry and is a fun read.
Of course there are a handful of exceptions, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlton Heston, Clint Eastwood and Tom Selleck, who are all Republicans. But they are like the Hawaiian Islands in a Pacific Ocean of liberalism.
Nor are the current examples of liberal celebrities a "new" development. In 1972, ultra-liberal and anti-war Presidential candidate George McGovern was supported by a veritable who’s who of celebrities of the time, including Shirley MacLaine, Marlo Thomas, Dennis Weaver, Leonard Nimoy, Raquel Welch, Goldie Hawn, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Dionne Warwick, Carole King, James Taylor, and (surprise) Barbra Streisand.
So What’s Wrong with That?
So if a bunch of Hollywood celebrities want to speak up for liberal causes, what’s wrong with that? They have a right to adopt any cause they want, right?
Yes, they do have a right to adopt and speak out for any cause they want. But there are a couple of things wrong with this picture.
- With a recent Gallup poll showing only 20% of the US population describing themselves as liberal and 40% describing themselves as conservative, why is it that almost ALL of the political activism engaged in by celebrities is liberal in nature? Clearly they as a group are not representative of the population.
- Celebrities have tremendous access to mass communication channels and having their voice be heard, yet most have little to no particular expertise, education or experience in the areas in which they become "spokespersons." Recent info has shown that most have no more than a high school diploma.
- These liberal causes and attitudes do not just find their way into press releases and public appearances by celebrities, but into the very fabric of the shows, movies and songs that are consumed by the unsuspecting American public.
- The preponderance of liberal viewpoints being expressed by celebrities contributes to the misconception that liberal viewpoints are in the majority in America. They are not. They actually never have been.
So that brings us to the next question, which is "Why?" Why are so many celebrities opting for the knee-jerk liberal viewpoint? With only 20% of the general US population describing themselves as liberal, how could 98% of the entertainment industry be loudly supporting liberal causes?
As I mentioned in the second article in this series, there is one fascinating theory on what makes certain individuals drawn to liberal/socialistic/communistic thought (they are all just different points in the same spectrum), which is advanced by Allan Levite in a booked entitled "Guilt, Blame, and Politics."
The basic premise is that there is a thing called "political guilt," which is brought about in cases where a person perceives a big difference between his station in life and that of the bottom financial rung of society, i.e. the poor. This political guilt is deepened by situations in which the person does not have to work for a living, where his work is easy, or where he is particularly well paid, such as in the entertainment industry.
Levite states "Hollywood has always overflown with radicals and very liberal liberals, since film and television personalities often earn huge salaries and are far removed from the world of ordinary humdrum labor."
"When the number of actors and actresses who contribute to the Democratic Party, its candidates, and the organizations supporting it (such as Emily’s List and the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee) are compared with those who contribute to the GOP, a 7-1 ratio in favor of the Democrats is seen."
So essentially what Levite is talking about is exchange. If a person feels like he is working hard and exchanging his work for the money he gets, he won’t tend to feel guilty.
But if he grew up in a rich family, is living off an inheritance, is working a cushy job or a job where he gets paid extremely well (like in Hollywood), he will favor methods of redistribution of wealth (welfare, socialistic programs), even if he doesn’t go so far as to give up his own.
Summary for this Article Series
As mentioned earlier, a recent Gallup poll shows 20% of the US population considers themselves liberal, compared to 40% conservative and 40% moderate.
Yet as we have seen in this series of articles, all the major channels of communication in the US today are completely dominated by liberal thought. If all you ever did was read the newspapers, watch TV news, watch TV shows and go to the movies, you would not only be exposed only to the liberal point of view, you would undoubtedly be made to feel that the liberal point of view was the dominant one in America and if you didn’t agree with it, you would be silly at best or at worst, a "moron."
Luckily, a conservative "counter-culture," utilizing alternative media, including 1) talk radio, 2) web sites, 3) conservative political books, and 4) cable TV, has grown up and become increasingly powerful in the last 5 years.
Talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilley command large and loyal followings. Web sites like Newsmax.com and Townhall.com have millions of hits. Best-selling authors like Ann Coulter, Rush and David Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Thomas Sowell, and many others give important information that you won’t find anywhere else. Shows like Fox News will cover stories you won’t hear anywhere else.
My point is this. If the mainstream media in America is giving you a biased mix of information and often doesn’t even present the conservative viewpoint, they are not doing their job. They’re not representing the interests of the American people, they’re representing a minority of the population and trying to convince us that’s the only sensible way.
As a result, this alternative media have grown up in order to present the conservative side, and conservatives nationwide are hungrily consuming the information.
So if you don’t want to be fooled and tricked and manipulated, seek out alternative sources of information (check my Resource Center). And don’t be shy about finding an email address for someone (like a columnist, a celebrity, etc.) that says something you don’t like, and send them a quick email giving them a piece of your mind. With enough pressure, we can change this.
This article can also be seen on: