A common refrain used by progressives against conservatives is a deconstructionist war against the concept that there even is such a thing as the Left: “There’s so much diversity and disagreement in ‘the Left’ that you can’t just call it ‘the Left.'”
This is just a defense mechanism the leftist employs to avoid having to actually examine their movement. Cult members need to have criticism of their cult obscured. It’s the equivalent of “The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club…”
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There’s a grain of truth here, though. All leftists share core ideas – particularly hatred of conservatives and an infinite faith in big government – but there is a range of thought, not unlike denominations within religions. There are variations in doctrine and tactics between Marxists, Alinskyites, Mother Jones populist progressives, Nation socialists, Daily Kos Democrats, Counterpunch communists, and Dissent social democrats. Grouping them all together under the label “the Left” is no more inaccurate than describing Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, and Lutherans as Christian.
Primetime Propaganda is not a content analysis of the last 60 years of TV. Instead, Shapiro wore his Harvard Law baseball cap and interviewed some of Hollywood’s most influential television creators. Assuming from his alma mater and last name that he was one of them, the Hollywood insiders were too honest for their own good. Time and again Shapiro found them confessing that A) Yes, the Left dominates Hollywood, B) Yes, conservatives are blacklisted, C) Yes, they did try and use television to push their politics, and D) No, they did not see anything wrong with any of this in the slightest.
(For the evidence on tape see Big Hollywood‘s thorough archive of the many damning admissions from the creators of history’s most influential TV shows.)
The revelations Shapiro unearths are only the beginning. This is also a masterful history book that will transform readers’ understanding of television. Shapiro leaps back to the 1950s and in the first 220 pages of the book interweaves his blockbuster interviews with the story of how a small clique of executives, producers, and writers created most of the TV shows that have shaped four generations of Americans. The heart of the book is the second and third chapter, focusing on the history of TV comedies and dramas. Shapiro goes down the line from The Honeymooners to All in the Family to Cheers and Friends. He documents the subversion of the cop and legal dramas from the early days of righteous cops and prosecutors to the nihilism of Hill Street Blues and Picket Fences.
The picture that emerges from Shapiro is of Hollywood leftists distinct from Washington, DC Democratic Party leftists, ACORN community organizing leftists, and the academic Ivory Tower leftists. The defining characteristic of the Hollywood leftist is an embarrassing abundance of anti-intellectualism. Most of the producers and writers Shapiro profiles have barely thought through their politics. If that’s the case then what drives Hollywood to embed leftist ideas in their programs and exclude conservatives? Superficial notions about what feels right. The Hollywood Left fantasizes that they are the champions of the “have-nots,” the outsiders, the oppressed.
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This anti-intellectualism is why in Hollywood the ABSOLUTE MOST IMPORTANT politics are the social issues. (As evidence that Hollywood leftists care about these subjects above all others, observe how they will tolerate hawkish, fiscally conservative Republicans as long as they’re pro-gay and pro-choice. Shapiro’s example: “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry.)
Hollywood is not a town of deep thinkers. It’s a bubble filled with deep feelers. Next time a Hollywood leftist is on TV spouting their clichés note how often they “feel” instead of “think.” That’s a Freudian slip confessing a disagreement not with what conservatives think but in how conservatives think. The rejection is not just the Western tradition of individual liberty, but in the Enlightenment process of rational thought.
What are the unique implications for apostates of this church of the Left?
In parts two, three, and four of this series I’ll explore Roger L. Simon’s Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine, David Mamet’s The Secret Knowledge, and Andrew Breitbart’s Righteous Indignation. Each author’s book is an important component in the revolt against the Hollywood Left’s mental gulag. They each bring the best of what their generation has to offer in the fight to retake our culture and our country. Read all three along with Shapiro’s book and a comprehensive picture of the Hollywood Left – and the means for defeating it – emerges.