WashPost On Hollywood's Lust for Liberalism -- Oops, "Social Issues"

March 6th, 2006 8:48 AM

How does the Washington Post tackle the thorny problem of liberal Hollywood being so far out of the cultural and political mainstream? This is a touchy issue for WashPost liberals, since they are living in the same ideological neighborhood and know all the landmarks. One funny way was to avoid the L-word altogether. The front-page headline on the Sunday paper was "And This Year's Oscar Goes to Social Issues." And, then, almost automatically, came the snide sub-headline suggesting the rest of the country just isn't as wonderfully humane: "Hollywood Is Pushing Hot-Button Topics, but Does America Care?"

Reporters William Booth and Sonya Geis didn't put an L-word anywhere in their article. They began by noting Hollywood is self-congratulatory (understatement!), but "the filmmakers say their serious, somber movies really do matter -- not just as entertainment or art, but politically, socially. Hollywood thinks the movies are important again." The debate in the piece became not is Hollywood out of touch, but does Hollywood really cause social change?

Robert Redford was the front-page skeptic, asking "Did 'All the President's Men' really change journalism?" (Answer: yes, it made reporters arrogant players in national politics that created great cynicism about government and polticians.) But no liberal label for Redford. No liberal label for Jeff Skoll, the liberal Canadian sugar daddy of "Syriana," "North Country," and "Good Night and Good Luck," the CBS-propaganda film. No liberal label for Kim Gandy, the ultra-feminist head of NOW. No liberal label for Steven Spielberg. No liberal label for actress Felicity Huffman, who explained the usual political line -- conservatism versus healing -- in evaluating America: "Politically, we're more on the right than ever, but maybe socially, we're moving toward more understanding and healing."

About half-way through, Booth and Geis shifted to the other side of the argument, and here come the C-words. David Horowitz, a "conservative critic" of Hollywood." The "conservative magazine" National Review mocked Clooney. The article ended with Christian film producer Peter Lalonde changing the subject to Hollywood's negative treatment of Christians, but he ends just the way the Post likes it. "And I think there was a time when that was true of homosexuality as well. It was fo far off the mainstream, it took some time for it to come into the center. Both have moved more to the center now."

Bunk. Hollywood's movies are trying to drag us to the left, and they are in no way trying to meet the American people in a mushy middle. They are trying to be a vanguard of sexual revolution, and they expect an inevitable surrender, not compromise.

Monday morning's article by Booth and Hank Stuever also tried to avoid the L-words. But tucked away on page A-8, in paragraph 11, they acknowledge that George Clooney offered a defense against the "criticism that Hollywood puts out provocative, but unpopular and left-leaning movies." Wimpy.