President Barack Obama let loose with an essential truth today while speaking before a fawning Hollywood audience–pop culture counts more than most of us realize.
The stories you tell matter, Obama told a group at the DreamWorks Studio near Los Angeles.
Obama says millions may never set foot in the U.S., but through entertainment they’ve experienced a part of what makes the U.S. successful. He says, quote, “We have shaped a world culture through you.
The president went on to hail shows like Modern Family and Will & Grace for showcasing tolerance and diversity, but he could have just as easily applauded the liberal messages embedded in Hollywood content. Film and television shows routinely slam conservatives and prop up left-of-center values and politicians.
When President George W. Bush was in office, Hollywood cranked out a series of films meant to undermine the war in Iraq as well as the Commander in Chief. Comedies like The Campaign exist to mock conservative donors like the Koch brothers while ignoring liberal power brokers like George Soros. Climate change remains a recurring theme in stories aimed at both adults (The Day After Tomorrow) and children (Happy Feet 2).
Surely Obama understands the clout Hollywood product has in shaping hearts and minds.
The president did offer a mild rebuke of storytellers who incorporate violence into their work, saying they shouldn’t glorify gun play. Those stories matter, too, but a president who relies so heavily on Hollywood support is in no place to demand accountability from an industry firmly in his pocket.