Media Research Center Vice President of Business and Culture Dan Gainor joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about the politicization of sports and entertainment media, beginning with the record low ratings for the hyper-politicized Emmy awards.
“I didn’t watch the whole thing, but who did?” Gainor said of the Emmys with a chuckle. “That’s why they have seat-fillers in the audience, so they don’t have to stay there for the whole time.”
Marlow noted that even some media outlets friendly to the liberal Hollywood establishment have criticized Emmy host Stephen Colbert for going overboard with Trump-bashing during the broadcast.
Gainor agreed that any fair-minded viewer of the Emmys would have come away with precisely that impression. “It was HateFest 2017,” he said. “Every single thing there was an attack on Trump or his supporters. I mean everything.”
“The huge monologue, bringing in Spicer – which also triggered the left, and particularly journalists – the comments that people said were so over the top, which I guess we should expect,” he sighed. “There was a Jane Fonda comment about ‘sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.’ They have to know that they’re so disconnected from reality.”
“This is how movies like Mother! get made – not a movie that people want to see, a movie that Hollywood wants to produce, a movie that people want to star in,” Gainor argued, referring to a notorious box office flop currently in theaters.
“The reality of life is most of the people on that stage, most of the people who were honored yesterday, were in TV shows that no one has seen,” he noted. “The vast majority of America doesn’t watch any of the things that got awards yesterday. They don’t care. The only one that they might recognize is Saturday Night Live, and it’s become such a shrill anti-Trump vehicle that pretty much the only people other than liberals that watch it are conservatives who basically want to critique it.”
Marlow found the failure of Mother! interesting because it represented the convergence of two trends: Hollywood’s insistence on making films repellent or uninteresting to Middle America for political reasons and the collapse of star Jennifer Lawrence’s young career due to her embrace of toxic left-wing politics.
“I am disappointed that once more, we see the career arc of somebody in Hollywood. They go from being popular with ordinary Americans – and certainly Jennifer Lawrence was, for kind of her humanity, where a young fan would run up to her, and she’d get down on her knees and hug him, or she’d trip and fall getting an award and she’d handle it well – to then, you get the dirty pictures and the political agenda,” Gainor responded.
“It’s almost predictable. You almost wonder if Hollywood agents don’t have a list of things: ‘Oh, yeah, we’ve got to leak dirty pictures now, when you’re at this age. You’ve got to say more offensive things about conservatives or Trump.’ It’s just like a checklist,” he said.
Marlow suggested a deliberate effort has been made to co-opt Jennifer Lawrence and turn her into a “political vehicle” to capitalize on her popularity.
“I think there’s always an effort for particularly the Mom-and-apple-pie people,” Gainor agreed. “Look at the Disney tartlets, the people who have come through, whether it’s Lindsay Lohan or Anne Hathaway or whatever, it seems like Hollywood pushes them particularly into, ‘Oh, you’ve got to grow up now. That means you’ve got to take off your clothes. You’ve got to do a threesome shot. You’ve got to do this.’ They move them away from their built-in audience and convince people that this is what growing up in America really is. You’ve got to be like this. You’ve got to be sleazy. You’ve got to act this way.”
“Then they take them to the next step, which is, now you’ve got to be political, and it’s always the same political. Hollywood promotes the people who are liberal. The way to elevate yourself in Hollywood is not to do good movies, not to be popular, not to be well-liked. It’s to do propaganda,” he said.
Gainor said the entertainment industry is having “100 percent the same reaction that the news media are having” to Donald Trump’s presidency.
“They are furious that the stupid people of America – because that’s how they see us – didn’t listen to them. Remember, before the election, we had The Avengers group get together and do a big video. We had the Empire cast get together and do a big video. We had all sorts of Hollywood videos telling us, ‘You’re too stupid to vote unless you vote our way. Listen to us. We’re smarter. We’re better-looking. We have a lot more money. Listen to us,’” he recalled.
“It got to the point where Americans just said, ‘To hell with you,’ and I think there was a backlash. I think the same happened in news media. The news media was like, ‘Well, we’re smarter. How can you not vote for this brilliantly talented, who’s corrupt and sleazy and done all these bad things, but we’re not going to talk about those?’ The American public rejected them. Neither group has come to terms. Here we are. We’re coming up on a year since the election, and neither group has accepted the election,” he marveled.
Gainor agreed with Marlow that it was a mistake for former White House spokesman Sean Spicer to “normalize the left’s hatred” by appearing on the Emmy broadcast, although Gainor thought some parts of Spicer’s appearance were amusing.
“I don’t understand conservatives who go into the lion’s den just to get eaten,” he said. “Not only do Hollywood people hate him, but now, all the press people are saying, ‘See, you knew you were lying to us.’ He wasn’t lying! The whole foundation of this freakout by the media was just the definition of terms. The media wanted to attack him from day one. Why would he go and give them more ammo? It just seems pretty clueless, which, ultimately, maybe that’s why he’s no longer press secretary.”
Gainor said the left-wing aggression on display at the Emmys “all goes back to their belief, you remember from Inauguration Day, they made it clear that it’s ‘okay to punch a Nazi,’ but everybody who disagrees with them is a Nazi.”
“That’s the essence of every one of these liberal protests and riots,” he elaborated. “If you disagree with them, if you dare challenge them in any way, then you’re evil, and they can beat you up or break into your store, set a fire, whatever.”
He cited the street violence in St. Louis this weekend as an example, arguing that it is no longer reasonable to describe it as a “protest” once “you’re breaking things and starting fires.”
“Whatever you want to call it in St. Louis right now, oddly enough, the left simultaneously tells us that courts can’t be trusted because they’re never honest about crime and police, et cetera – and then takes every action in America that Donald Trump or conservatives or states or anything do that they don’t like, and they take them to court, saying that courts are the only place you can get an honest ruling,” he observed.
“Which is it?” Gainor asked. “Is it somehow that the courts that are ruling constantly for these bogus challenges against Trump’s immigration restrictions, that somehow those same courts are then wrong when it comes to police?”
Marlow brought up the impending sale of Rolling Stone magazine as another example of left-wing politics destroying a once-valuable entertainment property.
“Good riddance, unless some conservative wants to buy it and create maybe a sort of libertarian version of Rolling Stone,” said Gainor. “It could still do music, it could still do drugs, and maybe actually do legitimate journalism. That would be a shock.”
Yet another example of political contamination is the controversy surrounding ESPN SportsCenter host Jemele Hill, who “tweeted out just a series of hate tweets at Trump,” as Gainor put it.
“Oh, he’s a white supremacist, and if you don’t agree with her, you’ve got white privilege, a bunch of stuff down that line,” he paraphrased. “Well, remember, this is ESPN that has purged Curt Schilling, Britt McHenry, and others for conservative views. ESPN told her, ‘Oh, what you did was wrong,’ but they suspend her. There’s currently one of the ESPN people suspended for other comments. They didn’t suspend her. They didn’t fire her. And by the way, she didn’t either apologize to the public or apologize to ESPN, and the tweets are still up.”
“So then, one of the intrepid members of the press corps asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a presser, asked her about it, and she said, ‘I think that’s a fireable offense,’” Gainor continued. “I would agree with her. I think that’s a fireable offense. That’s not calling for Jamele Hill to be fired; that’s an assessment.”
“And then, the media freaked out: ‘Oh, you called for her to be fired!’ No, you asked for my opinion. My opinion is, based on ESPN’s history of how they handle politics, you would get fired for that there. You would get fired at pretty much any media operation when you call the President of the United States a white supremacist. If you’d called the previous President of the United States a black supremacist, you would have been fired by the time the tweet was seen by the first person,” he contended.
“They don’t want to enforce the same rules. Then, ESPN’s aging liberal hippie president, John Skipper, released a memo saying, ‘We’re not a political organization. People need to rein in the politics, except when it interacts with sports.’” he said, judging the memo to be “complete double-talk, just a complete lie.”
“The media executive who is the most incompetent in 2017 is Skipper from ESPN. He is destroying his network, destroying his credibility because even if you’re liberal and you look at this, you say, ‘Wait a second. You get rid of people who say conservative politics, but you don’t get rid of people who say liberal politics, and you say you’re not about politics?’ It’s not ethical, it doesn’t do a good job with sports, and it’s crashing and burning. Let it, like Rolling Stone, fail,” Gainor said.
He noted this was a perilous moment for sports networks to play politics, since the National Football League, which is of paramount importance to sportscasters, is at risk due to safety concerns.
“We’ve already seen the audience for the NBA is different than the NFL. The NFL is pretty much an across-the-board Heartland America audience. If the NFL starts being political all the time, and not sports, then the NFL’s marriage with ESPN is going to end up in a bloody awful divorce,” he warned.
“That’s why you would think ESPN would have adapted more, like the NFL TV network, which is just, ‘We’re going to talk about the sport.’ But no, they’ve really gone to all the political hosts. Everybody’s got to have a political end,” Gainor said.
“If you listen to ESPN Radio, it’s just as mindlessly stupid. All they want to talk about is Kaepernick. Kaepernick isn’t playing for my fantasy league team. He’s not playing for the guy who’s playing against me or anyone else in my league. I don’t care,” he said.
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