Friday, November 04, 2005

The Liberal Media (Part 1 of a Series)


A short while ago, I was talking with some of my co-workers and the subject of the President and political parties came up. Without revealing any opinions, myself, I asked the three twenty-something fellow employees of how they thought about Bush and the War in Iraq. I got a pretty unanimous type of response with comments like: "Bush sucks!", "Republicans are racists", "Bush only cares about oil", and "Bush overtaxes us and gives breaks to rich people". I asked where they got these opinions from. Guess what? They said they didn't know. I was very curious about this so I probed a little. Do they read newspapers? Do they watch the news? The answer to both questions among all three of them was "no". So where do these opinions come from? It's a rhetorical question because I'm pretty sure I know. The liberal media is everywhere. They are clever and most people, especially younger people, have no idea they are being brainwashed. I have a feeling that these three individuals are fairly representative of young people in our nation. So, I'm going to explore different forms of media and give my take on where this liberal bias is coming from. I'm going to start where most people can relate. The movies.

Chapter 1

The Liberal Cinema

Most people watch movies. Whether it's Friday night at the multiplex or watching HBO or a DVD on the tube at home, movie watching is a national pastime. Movie lines have become part of our pop culture so their influence can be quite substantial. Movie producers recognize this and feel compelled to promote the liberal point of view in many films. This has been especially true since the early 1990's.
In the past, studio executives, who were typically conservative, had the power and made the decisions about what films to make. The power has shifted to the actors. Mega-stars, who happen to be devout liberals such as Tom Hanks, Barbra Steisand, and Susan Sarandon, who've made millions in the industry are now also the filmmakers and decision makers. This shift has changed the content of what we see on the screen.

The President

Let's look at some movies involving the president of the United States. There is a prevailing theme. Democratic politicians are intelligent, broad-minded, and compassionate human beings. Republican politicians are narrow-minded and corrupt and only have self-serving interests.

The American President
This film exemplifies my point exactly. Michael Douglas plays the seemingly ideal president. He can be charming and diplomatic with the premier of France, bomb Libya, make national policy decisions, be the perfect father, and even have time to find roses for his ultra-liberal girlfriend played by Annette Bening. But Douglas' President Shepherd has a problem. For some unexplainable reason, he finds himself trying to get anti-crime legislation (a right-wing type of thing) passed through congress. Ah, but sensibility wins in the end as Shepherd tosses the bill away in the end so he can support an environmental bill (i.e. the type of legislation that Democrats are supposed to support) instead.
What really kills me in this film is Shepherd's state of the union speech at the end of the film. He makes a grand statement that being an American is "advanced citizenship". This is the motto of conservatives. It should mean that while Americans have more freedom and opportunity than the rest of the world, the price we pay for that freedom and opportunity is less government intervention. Of course, Shepherd twists that around and makes it about free speech and how it's okay to burn the flag. This was directed by Rob Reiner, a prominent Hollywood liberal.

This Kevin Kline/Sigourney Weaver film has similar themes as The American President. Dave (Kline) is an ordinary Joe who is recruited to act as President of the United States. You see, the real president (who just so happens to be Republican) died and his evil chief of staff Alexander (played by Frank Langella) schemes to have Dave replace the dead president so he can have control. So Dave, the middle of the road, average, sweet, everyday, mainstream kind of guy (in other words, a typical Democrat if you believe this) finds out he doesn't approve of the policies of the late president so he begins to change things to the way he thinks it should be. He wants to help the homeless children of America. He tries to enact some kind of program guaranteeing every American a job (Yeah, right!). This is a fairy tale and I have no problem with that. In fact, I actually like this movie. However, I get extremely annoyed at how the Republicans are so villified.

The Tom Clancy films - Clear and Present Danger/The Sum of All Fears
I'll group these two together. Both films feature a hard-core conservative president. Neither states the political party of the president, but it's pretty obvious that they are Republicans. In Clear and Present Danger, the president sacrifices American troops so he can move forward on his war on drugs agenda. In The Sum of All Fears, the president is a war-mongering, narrow-minded coward who, since an atomic bomb was detonated, concludes that it must have been the Russians without any real information. Thank goodness that in both cases, we had the clear-thinking Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford in the former, Ben Affleck in the latter) to save the day and expose the incompetence of the president.

To be fair, Air Force One is one film where there does not seem to be a sublime political agenda. Harrison Ford plays the good president but his political sway is not clear.

In part two, I'll explore some films that aren't so politically based, yet still manage to deliver the same message. That is, liberal Democrat = good, conservative Republican = bad.


Erik said...

Art imitating life: Bush sacraficed two thousand soldiers for his own oil gains in Iraq

Erik said...

But in terms of the entertainment industry I have always and will always agree on that point that they are liberal what I mean by the media is news,newspaper,cable news media

Erik said...

But it's funny how the Tom Clancy books you mentioned perfectly describes Bush isn't it? And Clancy is conservative.

Erik said...

By the way there is a link now at yahoo for your site

Robert E Wilson said...

(Answering your first comment) That is your opinion. Mine is:(and I'm not saying I'm for the war) that Saddam was at least a major threat to Israel, if not the U.S. and the Iraqi people are slowly, but surely getting control of their country back.

(Answering your second comment) This is only part 1. Part 2 will deal with films as well, but then I'll go on to other media.

(Answering your third comment) I don't see how the Clancy films (I never read the books) describe Bush's actions. Bush didn't blame and launch an immediate retaliation against Russia after 9/11.

(Answering your fourth comment) Thanks for the information.

Erik said...

Here are the parralels:In Clear and Present Danger, the president sacrifices American troops so he can move forward on his war
Bush has done that in Iraq although the movie does state the war on drugs

in Clear and Present Danger the president is a war-mongering, narrow-minded coward who, since an atomic bomb was detonated, concludes that it must have been the Russians without any real information.
The comparison: Bush is a war-mongering president the concludes Iraq is a threat without any real information.

Again are imitading life

Erik said...

Obviously you never saw the American President either because he tore up the crime bill to go after handguns as well.

Robert E Wilson said...

I've seen the movie several times. I'm pretty sure handguns were not part of his crime bill although I can't remember for sure. He gave up on it completely, though, to back his girlfriend's agenda.

Erik said...

Robert watch the movie. At the end he says"the crime bill I'm tearing it up we cannot fight crime without going after handguns and I will go door to door if I have to" so you were mis-representing the movie at least in that part

Robert E Wilson said...

Okay, I'll give you that one. Essentially, calling it a "crime bill" sounds right wing but the makeup of his "crime bill" did contain a left wing theme as you have pointed out.

Erik said...

And again the TOm Clancy pics you mentioned describe the Bush Presidency perfectly as well

Erik said...

Also in the book Sum of all Fears the president was having an affair with the female secretary of defense

Robert E Wilson said...

I never read the book, but isn't it interesting that they did not include that little subplot in the film? Since they were painting the president in a bad light, they probably didn't want the viewers to associate him with Clinton.

Kind of proves my point doesn't it?

Erik said...

Trust me his books are a lot better then his movies