Jewish World Review Nov. 10, 2003 / 15 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764

Bernadette Malone

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Time for "diversity" for GOPers?


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Every time you turn around, some industry is writhing and casting about for more internal diversity so it can broaden its viewpoint. Politics craves more women. Engineering seeks more minorities. Medicine wants more left-brained people, and law wants more right-brained people.

Now that CBS was shamed into disposing of its laughably left-wing miniseries, "The Reagans," the entertainment industry has a chance to admit the truth: Hollywood needs more Republicans than just Bruce Willis, Tom Selleck and Charlton Heston, because it drifts so far left it's in danger of hitting an oncoming car.

CBS has a $9 million egg on its face. It bought a Barbra Streisand-related production (warning No. 1 that this was a bad idea) about a popular Republican ex-President currently suffering from Alzheimer's disease (warning No. 2) that was rejected by ABC because it was boring (warning No. 3) and was so factually incorrect and biased against Reagan (warnings No. 4 and No. 5) that the "little people" rose up on the Internet and voiced their complaints about it before CBS could begin airing the miniseries on Nov. 16.

A big thank-you goes to the liberal New York Times for revealing the miniseries' mustache-twirling villainization of Reagan: "Those who live in sin shall die in sin," Streisand's husband, James Brolin — as Reagan — reportedly gurgles about AIDS victims in the production. Mr. and Mrs. Streisand, get a grip.

Though the project was nearly 4 years old, it took until Nov. 4 (coincidentally, Election Day) until CBS executives felt the wrath of those who vote with their consumer dollars and tossed the miniseries to its cable counterpart, Showtime.

How did CBS executives miss so many warning signs for so long?

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This incident is evidence that entertainment giants such as CBS don't have enough Republican-leaning people to help them make decisions about which projects the public will enjoy.

To have a better understanding of what "middle America" is willing to buy, entertainment executives — who are notorious donors to "unmiddle" causes and politicians like Howard Dean — ought to add a few Republican employees to their creative ranks so they at least have a sounding board. (One doesn't even have to be Republican to be turned off by the historical distortions CBS planned to broadcast. One just has to be level-headed.)

There are probably plenty of Republican lawyers and accountants running around Los Angeles, but how many of them are pitching story ideas and editing film reels? Republicans might enjoy entertainment as much as anyone else, but maybe it's just not their nature to seek out careers as producers and directors.

So what? Hollywood is so liberal on race and gender questions that it should be consistently sensitive to the absence of Republicans. "Doors are probably closed somewhere" to Republicans and "opportunities need to be provided" to Republican drama club members and high school artists so they can overcome the subconscious discrimination that persists.

But seriously, it might be a good business decision for Hollywood to staff itself with a creative department that thinks more like America votes and stop wasting $9 million on Barbra Streisand's husband's Oval Office fantasies.

A related point: The left is crying that CBS's decision to cancel "The Reagans" is evidence that there's a "right-wing thought police," as People for the American Way sniveled, who are censoring freedom of speech. Hardly.

No government entity backed by force threatened to cancel "The Reagans" or slap CBS with a fine if it aired the program. That would be censorship — and it would be intolerable. Instead, customers alerted by several independent organizations — including the Republican party, which is a club, not an arm of government — threatened to boycott CBS advertisers, a permissible and appropriate reaction for the public in a democracy. Jack-booted thugs didn't storm the production studios and destroy the film in the United States, like they would have in Barbra Streisand and Company's beloved Havana if James Brolin were playing Fidel Castro.

So take a powder, Babs. This free-market democracy protects you and your husband from censorship. And the other side of that same coin means customers can choose to boycott your lousy product.



Comment on JWR contributor Bernadette Malone's column by clicking here.

Up

11/03/03: Two cheers for loopy loudmouth Sharpton
10/20/03: And who can blame them?
10/07/03: Irony seems to have been lost on most in ‘leakgate’
09/30/03: Will the Dems finally produce an alpha male before it's time to name a nominee who can scare Bush?
09/23/03: ‘K Street’ will reinforce American cynicism
09/09/03: When real life starts to imitate virtual reality, itís time to reboot

© 2003, Bernadette Malone