The Left’s agenda-setters define U.S. pop culture
Here are two entertainment predictions for 2007 that you can immediately take to the bank. First, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” will win an Oscar, and second, the Dixie Chicks will win a Grammy for their latest album.
Everybody in the entertainment industry knows the truth of what I’m predicting, but few of them would find it inconvenient. And here’s another truism: The media define American culture, and those doing the defining are almost all liberal or far-left individuals.
As Hyman Roth once asked Al Pacino’s character in “Godfather II”: “What does that tell you, Michael?” It tells me the fix is in. For months, my research staff has attempted to find one television critic writing for a major American newspaper who is a conservative thinker. They could not find one. Scores of TV writers are registered Democrats — we can’t find a single registered Republican.
The same is true for film reviewers. As far as we can tell, only syndicated movie critic Michael Medved is a conservative thinker. Nearly every other writer analyzing film has leftwing credentials.
Same thing with book review editors, likewise for music critics. The field of popular culture in America is not even close to being level. It drains to the left all day, every day.
Want more? One company, Reed Business Information, owns the leading media trade publications “Variety,” “Publishers Weekly” and “Broadcasting and Cable.” That company is run by Tad Smith, a far-left, true believer who is a big donor to people like Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton.
And Mr. Smith has a perfect right to put his money where his mind is. He also has a right to hire editors who reflect his very liberal beliefs. And he does.
Thus, lefty projects put out by Michael Moore, Al Gore, the Dixie Chicks and scores of others generally receive fawning reviews in the trades and newspapers. Don’t even ask about the relatively few conservative entertainment projects.
Well, if you have to ask, contact Patricia Heaton, who played the wife on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Ms. Heaton is prolife, and some in Hollywood deeply resent her for it. If the actress were a liberal activist, I believe, her employment situation would be much easier.
The question, of course, is why should you care? Most Americans don’t read trade journals or listen to pinhead critics. Well-educated people who have come by their political beliefs honestly will not be affected by media propaganda or unfairness.
Unfortunately, the pool of well-informed, clear-thinking Americans is shrinking, and the rise of ideological popular culture is beginning to influence the debate. Entertainers like Jon Stewart, David Letterman, and Stephen Colbert have become purveyors of information for many young Americans. Also, the pronounced left-wing media “group think” inhibits dissenting points of view. The result is that many “secular-progressives” are considered heroes in the press. And the dreaded “neo-cons” are certainly the villains.
This situation has a major influence on the discourse in America, and things are getting out of hand. Almost every major pop culture magazine tilts left. The network news broadcasts tilt left. Hollywood is a bastion of far-left thought. The teacher’s unions are far left. The nation’s universities are dominated by liberal, activist instructors.
Despite all that, most Americans remain traditional in their thinking, and all the polls say conservatives continue to outnumber liberals by a healthy margin. But that situation can and probably will change in the very near future.
Perhaps Al Gore might want to make a documentary about that.
Bill O’Reilly is a nationally syndicated columnist.