Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hollywood's Not So Invisible Propaganda Machine

NRO's  Jonah Goldberg recounts the story of the William Randolph Hearst-financed FDR propaganda film, Gabriel Over the White House (starring Walter Huston). The film features a carbon copy FDR president as the hero, who undergoes a coma-inducing car accident only to wake up “transformed from a passive Warren Harding type into a hands-on dictator.”

"The reborn commander-in-chief suspends the Constitution, violently wipes out corruption, and revives the economy through a national socialist agenda. When Congress tries to impeach him, he dissolves Congress.
The Library of Congress summarizes the film nicely. “The good news: He reduces unemployment, lifts the country out of the Depression, battles gangsters and Congress, and brings about world peace. The bad news: He’s Mussolini.” 
Unsurprisingly, FDR loved it and was more than willing to offer some changes, later telling Hearst, “I think it is an intensely interesting picture and should do much to help.”

“Should do much to help,” indeed.

Hollywood has of course long been in the business of propaganda. Goldberg cites a number of examples of Hollywood's hypocritical propaganda double-standard, including recent outrage over Lone Survivor’s supposed “jingoistic, pornographic work of war propaganda.” As an example of left-wing propagandizing, Goldberg highlights the political proselytizing of Norman Lear, as highlighted by Ben Shapiro in his book Primetime Propaganda:

As Shapiro notes, perhaps no figure was more upfront — or successful — at yoking art to political proselytizing than Norman Lear, the creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons, and other shows.

"Last fall, the California Endowment, which is spending millions to promote the Affordable Care Act, gave $500,000 to the Norman Lear Center at USC to work on ways to get Hollywood to do its part. In February, the center will co-sponsor with the Writer’s Guild of America an event in New York titled “The Affordable Care Act: Comedy, Drama & Reality,” about portraying Obamacare in TV and film. The Obama administration, naturally, will be sending an emissary to help."
And so the legacy of FDR endures, as Hollywood and the political left continue their silver screen propaganda campaigns, while hypocritically decrying all political messages that don't seem to fit the progressive metanarrative.  

via Truth Revolt