LIGHTS, CAM­ERA

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - / Bruce Tins­ley

“Po­lit­i­cal Hol­ly­wood started much ear­lier than most peo­ple re­al­ize,” says film his­to­rian Steven Ross, who points out that J. Edgar Hoover, then as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of the Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion — fore­run­ner of the FBI — was so con­cerned about the power of movie stars to af­fect na­tional pol­i­tics that he or­dered clan­des­tine agents to watch sus­pected Hol­ly­wood rad­i­cals; the first re­port was is­sued on Char­lie Chap­lin in 1922.

And con­trary to con­ven­tional wis­dom about the dom­i­nance of the Hol­ly­wood Left, Mr. Ross also says that Tin­sel­town has a longer his­tory of con­ser­vatism than lib­er­al­ism, with Republi-

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