Audio: What Hollywood really thinks about conservatives
posted at 9:30 am on May 31, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
What does Hollywood really think of conservatives? Ben Shapiro talked to the movers and shakers in Hollywood to find out — and recounts his adventures in his new book, Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV:
Primetime Propaganda is the story—told in their own words—of how television has been used over the past sixty years by Hollywood writers, producers, actors, and executives to promote their liberal ideals, to push the envelope on social and political issues, and to shape America in their own leftist image.
In this thoroughly researched and detailed history of the television industry, conservative columnist and author Ben Shapiro argues that left-leaning entertainment kingpins in Los Angeles and New York have leveraged—and continue to use—their positions and power to push liberal messages and promote the Democratic Party while actively discriminating against their opponents on the Right. According to Shapiro, television isn’t just about entertainment—it’s an attempt to convince Americans that the social, economic, and foreign policy shaped by leftism is morally righteous.
But don’t take his word for it. Shapiro interviewed more than one hundred of the industry’s biggest players, including Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H), Fred Silverman (former president of ABC Entertainment, NBC, and vice president of programming at CBS), Marta Kauffman (Friends), David Shore (House), and Mark Burnett (Survivor). Many of these insiders boast that not only is Hollywood biased against conservatives, but that many of the shows being broadcast have secret political messages. With this groundbreaking exposé, readers will never watch television the same way again.
Shapiro has given Hot Air and Townhall readers an exclusive on a few audio clips of his interviews with television producers and power players in Hollywood. First, Hallmark Channel VP Barbara Fisher actually sounds pretty reasonable when talking with Shapiro. Fisher takes a dim view of activism on the job in any direction and espouses a live-and-let-live, focus-on-the-job approach that most conservatives would find fair and even welcoming. At the end, though, Fisher admits that activism from one side gets a much different reaction than the other, as Shapiro offers the hypothetical of an actor wearing a McCain T-shirt as opposed to an Obama shirt:
This next clip has less to do with corroborating discrimination than it does with attitudes towards Rush Limbaugh and conservatives in general. TV producer George Schlatter, who brought us the classic TV variety show Laugh-In, chortles with glee when calling Rush a “convicted junkie” and deriding his supposed position as “the head of the Republican Party,” a position I’m sure Rush never sought or claimed:
Townhall has an exclusive column from Shapiro today explaining the import of his book:
It matters because we watch Hollywood product day in and day out. Your children spend six or seven hours at school, and couple of hours with their friends, and a couple of hours with you. They spend a full three hours with the television.
You get home from work, kick off your shoes, and plop down in front of the TV, hoping simply to chill out. Instead, you get unmitigated liberalism pouring out of your TV. But you continue to watch because it’s great. It’s fun, thrilling, dramatic, or hilarious. We think it has no impact on us.
But it does. Television made Barack Obama. Television it supported bigger and bigger government, from Welfare to health care; pushed abortion-on-demand and the radical gay agenda into the mainstream; it stumped against war and for meaningless buzzwords like diversity and dangerous buzzwords like multiculturalism. Television has done more to change the politics of our nation than simple politics has.
Television has manipulated us. And those who create television have done it purposefully, and elegantly. They have weeded out conservatives in the industry wholesale. They have worked hand-in-glove with liberals in government to forward the leftist agenda. They have turned pure entertainment into a vehicle for propaganda.
Shapiro will join me soon on The Ed Morrissey Show to discuss more in his book. If Hollywood thinks their political messages on shows like West Wing, M*A*S*H, Law and Order, and the like are “secret,” though, they need to get out more.