Hollywood Finds an Unlikely Ally in Bush

By: Dr. Ted Baehr; ©2001
The reaction of Hollywood. Like a spoiled child, they revile the Republicans who give them more freedom.

For many years, I have noted in MOVIEGUIDE® that the Republicans are kinder to Hollywood than the Democrats. On May 6, 2001, a Los Angeles Times story headlined: “Hollywood Finds an Unlikely, Silent Ally in Bush White House.”

The article continues:

“Hollywood loved President Clinton and reached into its pockets for the campaign of Vice President Al Gore. In return, it received admonishing threats of regulations reining the industry’s propensity toward offensive material.
“Hollywood turned its back on Bush. Now it probably couldn’t be happier with him.
“The Bush White House’s restrained tone is raising eyebrows across the political spectrum…. Bush’s early hands-off approach toward the entertainment business upsets the usual assumption in Washington that the best way to predict politicians’ positions is to track their contributions. Gore and the Democrats raised far more in Hollywood than Bush and the GOP.
“‘It’s highly ironic that many Hollywood people supported Clinton and Gore and opposed Bush when Bush is much more philosophically predisposed to view these issues in the same way the creative community does,’ said Tony Podesta, a Hollywood lobbyist whose brother, John, was Clinton’s chief of staff.
“Added Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Assn. of America: ‘My judgment is that this administration has a healthier regard for the 1st Amendment than did the Clinton administration. They understand that you can posture all you want, but the 1st Amendment is the least ambiguous clause in the Constitution.’”

President Ronald Reagan was also kind to Hollywood and relaxed all sorts of govern­ment regulations, freeing the entertainment industry for more prosperity than ever.

Of course, classical conservatives understand “why.” Classical conservatives believe in the free market and in free speech. Limitations on Hollywood’s speech will certainly come back to limit other speech-especially religious speech.

So, the interesting thing is not the free market/free speech/anti-socialist position of the Bush Administration in this regard (which, of course, may not continue), but the reaction of Hollywood. Like a spoiled child, they revile the Republicans who give them more freedom and kowtow to the Democrats who bash them and increase government supervision. If classical conservatives didn’t understand that denying free choice is a sin, as Adam Smith noted, then they could employ the Democratic tactic and bash the entertainment industry for its many sins, thus eliciting a subservient, obsequious response.

Or, if the entertainment industry was wise, it would grow up and stop biting the hand that feeds it.

Leave a Comment