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L. Brent Bozell
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Hollywood Won 2012?


The television industry loves to claim that all of the sex, violence and foul-mouthed language it displays has zero harmful effects on children. On the other hand, they would never dream of telling their advertisers that their paid messages on TV have no effect. So does the entertainment industry have an impact or doesn't it?

The answer is that Tinseltown certainly has an effect, and when that effect is felt in the political arena, the hell with pretending they don't. They openly celebrate.

After the 2012 election, the surprising (if narrow) victories for liberals drew a thumbs-up commentary from former Washington Post reporter Sharon Waxman at The Wrap website. She credited Hollywood.

"Hollywood should be euphoric today. The entertainment industry woke up to election results that reflect a country a lot more like the fictional place they've been depicting on screens large and small for decades: more ethnically diverse, more gay-friendly, with powerful women and where it's just fine to light up a spliff."

The black president won re-election, alongside the first openly lesbian U.S. senator. Voters approved gay marriage referendums in four states and marijuana legalization measures in two states. Waxman added exit poll numbers for minorities: Latinos voted for Obama by 75 to 23 and Asians by 73 to 26. "The affirmation of liberal values in this election is remarkable," she claimed.

Waxman conceded that almost half the country voted for Mitt Romney. She guessed: "The rejection of the Republican Party agenda was more of a factor than an embrace of left-wing values."

Where to start? The left certainly can — and should — take the credit for the civil rights crusade. But that was half of a century ago. Why not give Abe Lincoln — yup, Republicans, the credit?

Forty-four states don't have gay marriage legislation. Since 1998, in 28 states where it's been proposed, every single ballot initiative to uphold traditional marriage has passed, including blue states like Hawaii and California, although the size of the majorities faded over time.

How did Tolerant Tinseltown handle it? The passage of California's Proposition 8 in 2008, fervently expected to fail in the Year of Obama, led to a vicious round of anti-Mormon sentiment and blacklisting for opposing "history," and at least two Mormons were forced into resignations from entertainment jobs for making $1,000 donations to the Prop 8 campaign.

Forward to 2012, and the Mormon Church didn't want to get involved in state referendums in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington because it might interfere with electing the first Mormon president.

The Catholic Church and evangelical pro-family activists in these states failed to mobilize enough opposition.

Still, the media declared the victory emanated from television sets across America in HD — for Highly Democratic — and there's truth here.

The Hollywood Reporter conducted a poll with the research firm Penn Schoen Berland on October 29 and announced that shows with gay characters, like ABC's "Modern Family," Fox's "Glee" and NBC's "The New Normal" are helping drive voters to "historically unprecedented support of gay marriage." (Did you hear that, conservatives who regularly ignore Hollywood because, really, who cares?)

Asked about how the shows influenced them, 27 percent said gay-promotional TV shows made them more pro-gay marriage, and 6 percent more opposed. Obama voters watched and 30 percent grew more supportive, to 2 percent less supportive. Surprisingly, the shows were also winning over Romney voters: 13 percent became more pro-gay marriage, while 12 percent were more opposed. (Did you hear that, pro-family conservatives?)

Pollster Mark Penn insisted young people are the most influenced. "Almost twice as many voters under 35 say these shows made them more in favor of gay marriage compared with voters over 35 — 38 percent versus just 20 percent. Impressionable young people are more open to changing their views and behavior, based on what they're watching."

But the networks want to deny impressionable young people are swayed by the sensationalism in their programs. The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.

Liberals are twice as likely to watch these shows, but over the past decade, the Hollywood Reporter poll found about three times as many voters have become more for gay marriage as against — 31 percent pro, 10 percent anti.

Gay activists and their media allies now routinely cite "Glee" and "Modern Family" as proof of the historical inevitability of social liberalism. After the election, former Republican pollster Matthew Dowd cracked the Republicans were a "'Mad Men' party in a 'Modern Family' world." In other words, they're 50 years behind the times.

These same liberals continue to lament that democracy is being destroyed by corporate money sloshing all over the television during the ad breaks, presumably because of their impact in a medium where they claim the entertainment sponsored doesn't have an impact on impressionable folks — except when the impact furthers the destruction of social mores they like to champion publicly. Did you follow that?

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



3 Comments | Post Comment
Actually, I found the last paragraph rather confusing in form. But the overall thought of the essay is solid, in my opinion, and I appreciate you reminding us of this issue of media influence -- for not only what we buy, but what we THINK about cultural mores.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Doug Morelly
Fri Nov 9, 2012 5:38 AM
Already, Twitter knocking off conservatives. I've been suspended & shall not return anymore. Not told why?
Comment: #2
Posted by: John C. Davidson
Fri Nov 9, 2012 8:04 AM
Sir;... Do you suppose in all that sex, violence, and foul mouthed language, or even in that fantasy, fear, and leisure de mains, that there is not truth??? What if Hollywood were not but a great fetish built to ornament an altar we can lay our sacrifices upon, -our mites offered to the great dream machine??? Look at your own dream machine before you demean mine...
You offer happiness after death and deny the possibility of it in life... You offer peace but deliver eternal conflict and war...You offer rest and relaxation, medicine and recuperation, freedom and technology; but you give slavery that consumes every waking moment of every nightmare life...
Do I need to be here??? Do I need to watch the news??? Do I have to grasp the heartache and contumely around me, the butchering of truth and her meek crying for justice until it grasps me with a grip I can no longer break??? Do I have to sail upon a sea of history, and dive with bursting lungs and ears in search of a lesson worth my toil????
I am a slave for freedom no different in the end from all the slaves who are without purpose slaves... The lies you tell, that are told by all like you are an obscentiy that should burn your mouths to the bone... What is at the end of your words but darkness, hopelessness and despair??? You want slavery, as you would have it, without dreams or hope or diversions.... So long as people can dream and communicate there will be hope for freedom... I will not let you deny the truth people tell or the lies they illuminate... It is all good fun, after all, to see you worms squirm...
Comment: #3
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:30 AM
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