Bozell & Graham Column: Cultural Winners and Losers of 2018

It’s a little hard to judge popular culture in the Trump era, wherein content creators are judged solely on political impact -- are they offering enough “Resistance”? -- instead of the quality of their product. The Democratic gains in the midterms should make the Left happy about its political fortunes, excepting that every day Trump remains in office is intolerable.        

Culturally it's a mixed bag. Though the products offered are overwhelmingly leftist, and deconstructionist, or both, the audience response is often unsupportive. When there is the rare nod toward a pro-conservative or pro-American message, the public's response is enthusiastic. So from our conservative perspective, here are some of the Cultural Winners and Losers of 2018.

Winner: Black Panther. How, in this supposedly deeply racist America, does a movie celebrating black African superheroes gross $700 million in domestic ticket sales? (It almost matched that dollar figure in foreign countries.) Movie theaters were filled because whites came in to enjoy this film, and then left singing its praises.

Loser: Michael Moore, who’s on a failure streak. His latest anti-Trump film Fahrenheit 11/9 drew only $6.3 million in box office receipts – which is about five percent the box-office take of Fahrenheit 9/11 back in 2004. This disaster comes in the wake of two other flops In 2016. Where to Invade Next  grossed a pathetic $3.8 million, and the campaign film Michael Moore in Trumpland sold less than $150,000 in tickets. You can't do worse than that. Yet the lefties keep investing in Moore. Conservatives are supportive. There's nothing like watching radicals flush money down the commode. 

Winner: I Can Only Imagine. This was the surprise hit of the faith-based movie genre, with a box office take of $83 million, based on the father-son story behind the song of the same name, the best-selling Christian single of all time. It made a few million more dollars than Meryl Streep saving democracy from Richard Nixon in The Post, which benefited from endless promotion that the makers of I Can Only Imagine....could only imagine.

Winner: Forces in Hollywood on both sides that kept exposing the worst kind of sexual harassment in the entertainment world, from CBS CEO Les Moonves on down. We always said Hollywood was deeply hypocritical in making righteous movies about unproven charges made against conservatives, like Clarence Thomas. Let’s hope they don’t start making some phony TV movie glamorizing Brett Kavanaugh’s smear patrol in the new year. 

Losers: Feminist comedians. TBS feminist Samantha Bee was her normal classy self and caused a huge furor by calling the president's daughter Ivanka Trump a “feckless c---” on national television. But her show is still on the tube, unlike radical feminist Chelsea Handler, whose Netflix “late night” show was canceled.

Then there is Michelle Wolf, who is incapable of distinguishing between jokes and insults. At the White House Correspondents Dinner, she wished for a tree to fall on Kellyanne Conway. Wolf also briefly had a show on Netflix, where she celebrated abortions as awesome. "Abortion shouldn't be a luxury....it should be on the Dollar Menu at McDonald's!"  Like Handler, she was canceled. So point and laugh at GQ magazine, which selected Wolf as a “breakout” star of 2018.  

Loser: Murphy Brown. Combine lame anti-Trump feminist comedy with lame Democracy Dies in Darkness tributes to the liberal media. A disastrous reboot attempt that should have never happened. 

Winner: Gary Sinise. The actor best known as Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump never gets enough credit for his dedication to veterans and their families, although you can be sure he’s not doing it for the publicity. Still, there was a wave of positive attention this holiday season to his foundation’s “Snowball Express” program, which brought thousands of children of fallen heroes to Disney World with the sole intention of bringing Christmas cheer. Cheers to him.

Samantha Bee Michael Moore
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