The conservative desire to create a right-wing movie industry is an attempt to mimic a caricature of Hollywood. Any such effort would be a waste of money that would make the Romney campaign seem like a great investment.But this is after conceding:
In August, New York magazine's Jonathan Chait wrote an interesting essay arguing that the right-wing culture vultures of the 1990s were right: Hollyweird really was eroding traditional conservative values. A committed liberal, Chait is grateful for this effort: "We liberals owe not a small measure of our success to the propaganda campaign of a tiny, disproportionately influential cultural elite."He cites all the agitprop anti-Bush movies that failed miserably (as he could have cited a number of conservative attempts that failed like An American Carol).
Chait makes a strong case. But just as there's a problem with conservatives drawing straight lines from the silver screen to social decay, there's a problem with drawing similarly unwavering lines to progressive triumph.
They are both dead wrong. First, Nolte fails to realize that the Golden Age of movies operated under the Hayes Code, imposed on the studios by the Catholic bishops in reaction to films becoming racier (nudity) and immoral in theme and exposition. They were forced into decency and positive morality as the fundamental feature in movies.Much of what made the Golden Age the Golden Age were films that appealed to universal themes of self-sacrifice, selflessness, the wages of sin… Those films are timeless because the themes are timeless. They ennoble the human spirit, but… they’re also politically diverse.Hollywood's Golden Age was an era when liberal and conservative filmmakers flourished artistically and made political points.
Most writers and directors were very liberal, including John Ford (The Grapes of Wrath, Cheyenne Autumn for example.)
Goldberg admits that film affects culture and boosts the left's agenda, We see this with the mainstreaming of homosexual couples on TV everywhere now, on cooking shows and HGTV for Pete's sake.
On one new Bobby Flay show three couples have a dinner contest. One couple are lesbians, another are male queers, and a third is straight. Aren't they all just wonderful and no different from each other! They like cooking!
On HGTV I started watching Property Brothers. The second show featured a lesbian couple with a small child (I believe since I soon turned it off) wanting to buy a fixer upper for their "family". Yecch.
Bravo really is the "gay" channel.
I could never watch Will and Grace, Glee or Modern Family for similar reasons. I am repelled by the lie of "good" homosexuality. It's normal, don'tcha know?
Hollywood affects culture just as media bias affects politics and voting.
The idea that buying a movie studio would be for churning out bad right wing movies is not only absurd, but stupid to suggest.
For example, Walden Media (The Chronicles of Narnia series, et al) was started by a billionaire conservative who's made a lot of mediocre movies based on the idea of turning award winning children's books into movies, but because they've always hired liberal directors, writers, and production teams, their movies have been quite piss poor examples of hiring the wrong people and getting mixed results.
Time magazine and Disney used to be conservative and the one succeeded in business and politics and the latter did a great job making family films with conservative values (until the liberals became CEOs there and corroded it out from the inside).
Disney's example, of being headed by a great conservative and creative spirit is a perfect reason why the Right should have its own studio for movie and TV production. One reason I created production companies for the NAR that would make movies that people wanted to see but were built on a Hayes Code-like foundation.
Imagine if the South could make it's own version of Lincoln as good as Gone With the Wind. That nearly did the job, but not quite. Or a modern Birth of a Nation?
What Goldberg would leave us with are apparatchiks like himself as Megan McCardle illustrated:
All elites are good at rationalizing their eliteness, whether it's meritocracy or “the divine right of kings.” The problem is the mandarin elite has some good arguments. They really are very bright and hardworking. It’s just that they’re also prone to be conformist, risk averse, obedient, and good at echoing the opinions of authority, because that is what this sort of examination system selects for.Since I moved to Washington, I have had series of extraordinary conversations with Washington journalists and policy analysts, in which I remark upon some perfectly ordinary facet of working-class, or even business-class life, only to have this revelation met with amazement. I once had it suggested to me by a wonk of my acquaintance that I should write an article about how working-class places I've worked usually had one or two verbally lightning-fast guys who I envied for their ability to generate an endless series of novel and hilarious one-liners to pass the time.
But many of the mandarins have never worked for a business at all, except for a think tank, the government, a media organization, or a school—places that more or less deliberately shield their content producers from the money side of things. There is nothing wrong with any of these places, but culturally and operationally they're very different from pretty much any other sort of institution. I don't myself claim to understand how most businesses work, but having switched from business to media, I'm aware of how different they can be.
In fact, I think that to some extent, the current political wars are a culture war not between social liberals and social conservatives, but between the values of the mandarin system and the values of those who compete in the very different culture of ordinary businesses--ones outside glamour industries like tech or design.
This is who Goldberg thinks we ought to rely on for edification. People like him, whereas Nolte thinks we ought to burrow into Hollywood like he did, except he didn't get too far, and how is Roger Simon doing these days selling screenplays, having movies made?
Most movies and TV shows are bad to mediocre, but plenty of people watch them. There's no reason why conservatives can't be making plenty of bad to mediocre entertainment, too, raking in the dough to promote their causes, and slanting their shows and stories by having a real values and morality underlying them.
To say we don't need that or can't do it is just plain nuts. My own books and music are not bad to mediocre but good to excellent, so I know that conservatives can provide good content, too. There are a lot more creative people than me on the conservative side.
Who doesn't think P. J. O'Rouke couldn't help write a funny movie? Look at Chris Buckley's (before his apostasy) Thank You For Smoking. A very good satire and laugh out loud funny.
So, Mr. Right Wing Billionaire, let's get started. Give me a call and I'll point you in the right direction.