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Red Pill vs. Blue Pill: Defense of Hollywood Fails Reality Test


Over the weekend at, Carl Horowitz took Big Hollywood and everyone else he sees as “reprehensible … dyspeptic … insufferably smug, moralizing antiquarians” to task for lacking the “elementary logic to understand” that “the ‘agenda’ of today’s American filmmakers, aside from making money, is storytelling.”


In the opening of his piece, Horowitz portrays himself as someone with a libertarian streak and because I tend to take people at their word, that’s what makes his column all the more troubling. Leftists carrying Hollywood’s water I can take. But those who should be sympathetic to our side choosing the blue pill — choosing not to see reality – choosing instead to rhetorically assault those of us who do… Well, let’s just say it’s awfully hard to defend yourself in an ideological war if your own troops haven’t figured out how hard they’re working for the other side.

The lack of logic and depth of denial Horowitz must employ to see Hollywood as he so desperately wants to see it — as a place where the “Hollywood vs. America” charge is a “trope” — is revealing. We’ll start with Horowitz’s own words and bio:

Carl F. Horowitz is director of the Organized Labor Accountability Project of the National Legal and Policy Center, a Gold Partner organization dedicated to promoting ethics in American public life.

Here’s a quote from his article:

My own Hollywood ambitions, sadly, go no further than seeing a new movie once or twice a week.

In other words, it’s safe to say that the sum total of Horowitz’s experience with Hollywood is, well, going to the movies. And yet he thinks he knows more than a … Hollywood screenwriter?

Conservative novelist Andrew Klavan likewise groused last year in the Washington Post, “Hollywood moviemakers…have been telling lies – loudly, constantly and almost always in support of a left-wing point of view…(For conservatives) the door is shut, the fix is in, and the blacklist – or least a graylist – is alive and well.”

Put a sock in it, mates.

“Put a sock in it”? Really? What next, Mr. Horowitz? Will you be telling rocket scientists where to put a sock because you know better how NASA works after watching a few space shuttle launches?

Maybe Horowitz simply didn’t bother to Google Klavan and missed the whole screenwriting thing. Research doesn’t appear to be a big part of his modus operandi:

A latter-day Comintern, they inform us, roams the studios with terrifying power, making sure all scripts toe a far-left party line while forcing conservatives to hide their views in the closet to stay employed. (Apparently, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone never got that memo.)

Are we talking about the same Bruce Willis who famously declared himself, “not a Republican” in 2006 – and the same Sylvester Stallone who donates more money to Democrats than to Republicans?

Either Willis and Stallone are not Republicans or they are and for some reason feel it’s a good idea to hedge their political bets. Either way… Hmmm?

The rest of Horowitz’s piece is what I would call a bonanza of cherry picking designed to back his way into a predetermined political point. But even his cherry picks don’t do much to validate his point:

If mainline film studios have been mocking anything all this time, it’s been their own world. Starting with the late Robert Altman’s darkly amusing takedown of his industry, The Player (1992), we’ve seen a raft of witty Tinseltown self-parodies. Think of The Muse (Albert Brooks), Bowfinger (Steve Martin), State and Main (David Mamet), Tropic Thunder (Ben Stiller) and What Just Happened (Barry Levinson).

What logic. I guess five self-mocking titles over nearly two decades somehow trumps the full court press of 15 or so (and counting) anti-war movies we’ve seen in just two years “mocking” our country and, most unforgivably, those who defend it.

Give Horowitz credit, though. If anything, his ability to write a piece declaring the argument of “Hollywood vs. America” a “trope” without mentioning or attempting to explain away Hollywood’s two year cinematic assault on a America still at war displays a willingness to suspend disbelief like few others.

After all, he doesn’t even see what’s happening in some of the films he lists to support his own argument. “Enemy of the State,” “Minority Report,” and “Eagle Eye” are not libertarian manifestos. Unless I missed it, the heroes in those films aren’t on the run from the EPA or Department of Education. They’re on the run from the left’s favorite whipping boy: those who keep America safe.

Wake up and smell the allegory.

Hey, I loved “Iron Man” as much as Horowitz did, but that doesn’t mean I missed the third act where the arch-villain’s revealed to be *yawn* just another rich, white, corporate baddie invested in America’s evil Military Industrial Complex.

I could go on, but everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and if Horowitz is one of the fortunate still blind to Hollywood’s ideological war on all things traditional and American – I envy him. I love movies and the thought of returning to the days where one could relax and settle in for the latest from Tinseltown without having to worry about some leftist cheap shot or outright anti-American polemic would be bliss.

Damn that red pill.

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