The Left’s agenda-set­ters de­fine U.S. pop cul­ture

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Bill O’Reilly

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.

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