In the wake of the latest Hollywood buffoonery displayed at the Oscars, I think it is time for the American public to denounce in the strongest possible terms the rampant hypocrisy of sanctimonious cretins who make their living pretending to be someone other than themselves. Brad Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix and Barbara Streisand pop to mind as representative examples. All three are eager to lecture the American public on the need for equality and non-discrimination. Yet, not one of the recipients of the Oscar gift bags worth $225,000 spoke out against that extraordinary excess nor demanded that the money spent purchasing these "gifts" be used to benefit the poor and the homeless. Nope, take the money and run.
It is especially galling to see how the Hollywood Community has embraced the era of red-baiting Jospeh McCarthy as the new standard for what is acceptable. There was a time that a few brave souls in Hollywood (I am thinking Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck), spoke out against the blacklisting of actors, writers and directors for their past political ties to the Soviet Union. Now I have lived long enough to see the so-called liberals in Hollywood rail against Donald Trump and his supporters as "agents of Russia." Many in Hollywood, who weep crocodile tears over the abuses of the Hollywood Blacklist, are now doing the same damn thing without a hint of irony.
If you are a film buff (and I consider myself one) you should be familiar with these great movies that remind the viewer of the horrors visited upon actors, writers and directors during the Hollywood Blacklist:
- The Front–a 1976 comedy-drama film set against the Hollywood blacklist in the 1950s. It was written by Walter Bernstein, directed by Martin Ritt, and stars Woody Allen and Zero Mostel.
- Good Night, and Good Luck–a 2005 historical drama film directed by George Clooney, tells the story of Edward R. Murrow fighting back against the hysterical red-baiting of Senator Joseph McCarthy.
- Trumbo–a 2015 American biographical drama film directed by Jay Roach that follows the life of Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted but continued to write award winning movies in alias (e.g. Spartacus).
This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America. It was a period of time fed by fear and ignorance. While it is true that there were Americans who identified as Communists and embraced the politics of the Soviet Union, we scared ourselves into believing that communist subversion was everywhere and that America was teetering on the brink of being submerged in a red tide.
Thirty years ago I reflected on this era and wondered how such mass hysteria could happen. Now I know. We have lived with the same kind of madness since Donald Trump was tagged as a Russian agent in the summer of 2016. And the irony is extraordinary. The very same Hollywood elite that heaped opprobrium on Director Elia Kazan for naming names in Hollywood in front of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, are now leading the charge in labeling anyone who dares speak out against the failed coup as "stooges" of the Kremlin or Putin.
Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm. Clinton exemplifies the terrifying norm of the political and cultural elite in this country. Accusing political opponents of being controlled by foreign enemies, real or imagined, is an old political tactic. Makes me wonder what Edward R. Murrow or Dalton Trumbo would say if we could bring them back from the dead.
Bill H says
Very well said. And I would extend the same opprobrium to those who label as “racist” anyone who does not agree with their open border policies. Etc.
Trump Derangement Syndrome is a vast understatement.
You never could have convinced me 4 years ago that virtually all of my liberal friends would have completely lost touch with reality due to their visceral hatred of one man.
It no longer matters if you agree with people on social policy, entitlements, student loans, homelessness, drug addiction or even wealth distribution.
If you do not share their irrational hatred of Trump, you’re going to be lambasted, shunned and treated like a pariah.
I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s whacko!
Jim Henely says
Hillary Clinton has become the poster child for the corruption that has captured and paralyzed our political parties and government institutions. Why is she above prosecution?
Is the corruption complete? Can we look to any individual or group to restore our Republic?
Wake me when the prosecutions begin.
“Hillary Clinton’s crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm.”
Ms. President is the closest facsimile to Lady Macbeth that American politics has been able to produce. She’d have murdered her own husband if she had thought succession would have fallen to her. As it was, the only thing that kept him alive was that she needed him for the run she had in mind for herself. The debris that this woman has left in her wake boggles the mind. That she came within a whisker of the job where she would perhaps have left the country in that debris field is a sobering thought to think about what American presidential politics has become in the 21st c. Alas, what passes for her failure and the Country’s good fortune, her loved ones in the Arts are still not over. And so they are left commiserating and caterwauling over the Donald this, and the Donald that, while all this good material and their celebrity goes down the tube. Good riddance to them both.
Dave Schuler says
I agree that HUAC’s conduct was excessive but you really ought to show the other side of the coin as well.
1. Communism was genuinely awful. To this day we don’t know how many people died, murdered by their own governments, in Soviet Russia and Communist China.
2. The U. S. government was infiltrated at the very pinnacle of government (as in presidential advisors) by Soviet agents. We know this from Kremlin documents.
3. We now know (based on Kremlin documents) that the American Communist Party was run by knowing Soviet agents and was funded by the Soviet Union.
4. The motion picture industry had been heavily infiltrated by Communists including some actual Soviet agents (while Reagan was head of SAG he rooted them out).
We resolved those issues the wrong way but they desperately needed to be resolved.
>This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America
This is self-righteous baby boomer nonsense. It was a brief and slightly uncomfortable time for a handful of people in Hollywood, after which the subversion of American culture and institutions chugged along merrily along to the present day.
But this episode has been re-purposed and often reduced to caricature as part of a long ideological project aimed at convincing generations of otherwise intelligent white people that their past is a shameful parade of villains.
They don’t call it ‘programming’ for nothing.
Kirk Douglas bravely defied the blacklist by giving Dalton Trumbo credit on Spartacus under his real name, effectively breaking the blacklist.
I saw part of the Academy Awards and all I heard over and over again were the words race and gender, no female directors nominated.
On a side note, this being Black History month, teevee is usually filled with the appropriate programing. But because it is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Aushwitz the Jews are stealing the Blacks thunder by hogging the programming. When the oppressed collide.
Just how big is the carbon footprint on a $225,000 swag bag? So nice to see Hollywood integrity in action. I wonder what the Bernie Tax will be on them in 2021?
Chills run down my spine that you start your list with ‘The Front’.
Woody Allen’s ‘The Front’, a ‘film noir’ about the beast and about courage in trying to slay it, is an absolute masterpiece, its end is unmeasurably spectacular and encouraging, and… somehow the movie never got the acclaim it deserves, and lives as one of those quiet orphans.
But it is highly actual, and that is why you must have come to place it first.
Thank you for naming it. Extremely recommended.
blue peacock says
Trump campaigned on Drain the Swamp in 2016. The Swamp attempted to take him down with the Russia Collusion hoax that included Spygate and the Mueller special counsel investigation.
Rep. Devin Nunes uncovered many of the shenanigans while he investigated the claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He implored Trump to use his prerogative as POTUS to declassify many documents and communications. Trump instead took the advice of Rod Rosenstein acting as AG who initiated the Mueller investigation and did not declassify. He then passed the buck to AG Barr, who has yet to declassify.
The question that needs to be asked in light of this: Is Trump a conman who has duped the electorate with Drain the Swamp as he has not used his exclusive powers of classification to present to the voter all the documents and communications about the actions of law enforcement and intelligence agencies relating to claims about Russian influence operations during the 2016 election?
Maybe Trump conned the swamp into outing themselves, which hasn’t proven that hard since they have even bigger ego’s than he.
Blue Peacock, the question that needs to be asked is do you blow your wad all at once on one play. Or do you drip, drip, drip it out strategically. I suggest the latter in this endless game of gotcha politics. Yes, Trump is a con man. That is how he made his billions – selling sizzle. One quality that does translate well into the political arena. No one is surprised – his life has been on the front pages for decades.
The only newly revealed quality that I find remarkable is his remarkable staying power – the most welcome quality of all. It takes ego maniacs to play this game. Surprised anyone still thinks politics is an avocation for normal people. It isn’t. And we the people are the ones that demand this to be the case.
Sol Invictus says
I left the american sh*thole a long time ago and my choice never felt better. I look forward to seeing 50% of americans trying to slaughter the other 50% over socialism. Here we’re doing just fine with socialist medecine, and social programs for just about everyting. The Commons are still viable where common sense resides… Oligarchs love cartels, socialism and piratization: it’s all about privatizing the gains and socializing the losses to the hoi polloi.
blue peacock… does an alligator want to drain the swamp? the answer is no… that is just a lot of hokum for the naive or illiterate…
@ sol… your first sentence is pretty harsh and more of a reflection on you then anything else..
Great movie “the front”.As to draining the swamp,well trump has to finish the job and here lies the problem.Once done what do you put in its place.Bernie of course.
Diana Croissant says
I wonder if Hollywood knows how small some of the audiences in actual movie theaters are now. It’s always surprising to me that I am sitting in almost empty theaters now when I decide I want actual movie theater popcorn and so will pay to watch a movie that I have read about and heard about from friends who have already seen the movie. I don’t attend unless I’ve heard good things from my friends about the movie.
I am constantly surprised that some people even consider watching the Oscars now. I feel the same about professional sports.
You would be surprised at how good high school plays are and how good high school bands, orchestras, choirs are. The tickets are cheap, and a person actually gets to greet the performers.
I feel the same about my local university (my Alma Mater). It’s Performing Arts departments are excellent. As a student long ago, my student pass allowed me to attend wonderful performances.
The Glory Days of Hollywood are no more. The actors and directors need to be humbled by having to go to towns across the country to see how sparse the audience in a movie theater is now. It’s not at all as I remember as a child when there were long lines at the ticket window.
@myself and ALL:
I have to correct myself: The Front was written by Walter Bernstein, directed by Martin Ritt, and starred Woody Allen.
All the accolades stand.
When did our civil servants become seditious tyrants?
Scandinavian Airlines, SAS, has just released a new “advertisement” video where the message is that there is no Scandinavian culture and everything is imported. The video has received very negative coverage online, with commentators being outraged and insulted (me amongst them). The video was pulled overnight, comments removed, and is not back up again. Please go have a look. The main Swedish media are now linking the anger against it to Russia and nazis.
No, Bernie’s Stalin would then re-create the USSR.
Dave Schuler says
Nonsense. There’s lutefisk.
Sanders will win and gently deliver the change that is neccessary.
SAS forgot about the Swedish bikini team? Guess it’s time for a sequel.
Big question anon, will Sanders deliver his “change” in America with fewer or more body counts than Stalin?
Will he do it by executive order; and/or control of both House and Senate. Will it be within the constitutional limits AS defined by the current US Supreme Court.
Flesh out this change process a bit more, anon. I think I am missing something.
I think Greta Thunberg is a Swedish original. She needs to be preserved in amber for time immemorial. Now.
Clodia Metelli says
Good article. I would tend to disagree about McCarthy though. Our history about this period is told to us by Hollywood, and industry that’s history is seeped in Marxist subversion. I did a prolonged study of the television game show What’s My Line that aired between 1950 and 1965; during the infancy of American television ‘programming’. The Marxist propaganda was overtly evident throughout the entire airing. An early panelist was even blacklisted. Communists were absolutely infiltrating every institution of America then, and now. We should have stomped this out back then because all the woes we are experiencing today are a result of a Marxist subversion. This is a slow insidious process that revolves a society into collectivist form and eventually a totalitarian state. The evidence of this can be seen everywhere and we are on the last stages of a communist take-over. The big question lies in who is behind it. Sadly, I fear that the evidence points to a group that cannot be spoken of and therein lies the biggest problem.
Richard Ong says
Hysterical red-baiting of Senator Joseph McCarthy? Mr. Johnson your stuff is routinely excellent but I can’t believe you’re reading from the leftist script on McCarthy. He caused the left to go into a nut roll when he asked, reasonably, I add, why the federal government was employing so many scumbag communists, communists much like those in the movie industry. Ok, he didn’t use the word “scumbag.” IIRC, McCarthy talked to Martin Dies before the war who advised him to be sure to be respectful towards any whom he might think should be investigated.
The infiltrated, co-opted, Stalin-loving elites of this country — whose work we see all around us in our own time — closed ranks to vilify that great patriot lest this ungentlemanly inquiry into treason and communist subversion get out of hand. (Diana West did a magnificent job in pointing out the extent of America’s betrayal and was herself subjected to much educated backstabbing in a desperate effort to shut HER up.)
I’ve never read about the “excesses” of the House Committee on Un-American Affairs. The members were quite respectful of those who appeared before it and, again, reasonably inquired as to what whether witnesses were communist rats themselves or knew of others who were (also). Ok, they didn’t use the word “rats.”
The Hollywood blacklist was not, of course, put in place by McCarthy, but by industry executives. Nor were the “excesses” of the House Committee on Un-American Activities the work of McCarthy who was, contrary to all accounts, a member of the Senate not the House of Representatives.
Nor did McCarthy’s enemies play fair with him. In that lurid “have you no shame” bit of D.C. theater the very worm who delivered those infamous lines was the same man WHO OUTED THAT YOUNG LAWYER ON HIS STAFF AS A COMMUNIST some four or six weeks earlier. It wasn’t McCarthy who did but that weasel dishonestly hung it on McCarthy.
Riddle me this. What are the names of five American reds who were “baited” by McCarthy?
In this day and age where America is awash with tidal waves of The Narrative (with its many, many subchapters) it’s amazing to see you buy into The Ur Narrative of post-war America.