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
"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
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
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.