January 5, 2006


The clay feet of liberal saints (Jonah Goldberg, January 5, 2006, Los Angeles Times)

THE HOTTEST VOICE of Hollywood's conscience, George Clooney, recently declared, "Yes, I'm a liberal, and I'm sick of it being a bad word. I don't know at what time in history liberals have stood on the wrong side of social issues."

I'd forgotten about this intriguingly categorical declaration until I read in this newspaper a fascinating story about how the father of journalistic muckraking, Upton Sinclair, not only knew that Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were guilty but withheld his information for the good of the "movement," for his personal safety and his professional success. [...]

What is amazing is how familiar this story is. Much the same thing happened with Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the convicted Soviet spies. Alger Hiss, a goliath of the East Coast liberal establishment, was a spy. Yet he was backed by liberals who considered anti-communism, at a minimum, gauche. In the 1960s, the saints and martyrs tumbled out faster. "Free Huey!" was the cry, and American liberals and leftists rallied to a whole pride of Black Panthers and other criminals, one more murderous and cruel than the next. While at Yale, a young Hillary Rodham volunteered for Panther lawyers. Revered conductor Leonard Bernstein held a fundraiser for the cop-murdering Panthers in 1970.

In recent years, the lies and mythmaking have become perhaps even more egregious. Tawana Brawley was lying, but Al Sharpton didn't care because he was "building a movement." Mumia Abu-Jamal is guilty, but don't say that in a faculty lounge. Stanley Tookie Williams was guilty. Matthew Shepherd did not die "because he was gay" but because he was a drug addict caught up with other drug addicts. The "Hollywood Ten" were a complicated bunch, but they were Communists, even Stalinists. "It matters not," quoth the liberals. "Print the legend."

It's difficult to find many liberal martyr-saints who haven't been burnished by deceit.

Even setting aside the quality, or lack of such, of liberal causes and icons, you'd think that Hollywood could figure out that listenming to the Clooneys is death at the box office, Anschutz Sees 'Narnia' Take Lion's Share Of Box Office (Parmy Olson, 01.03.06, Forbes)
In Hollywood's latest bout between two fictional beasts, King Kong and Aslan the lion, the latter has just won the top spot at the U.S. box office. Attribute it, if you wish, to the latter's intellectual prowess over an ape whose vocabulary is limited to the odd grunt; or you could take the line of author C.S. Lewis and cite an underlying battle between good and evil, as is believed to be infused in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Or you could just put it down to Philip Anschutz.

The billionaire, who is a major backer of the adaptation of C.S. Lewis's story, is a prime example of fund-it-yourself film-making, having co-produced the family-friendly flick with The Walt Disney Company.

A firm believer that his films must avoid sex, vulgar language and violence, Anschutz has also shown that toeing the moral line doesn't mean you can't rake it in.

Indeed, toeing the line is closely associated with raking it in, while liberal drivel line Munich, Syriana and Brokeback Mountain--all certain to get Oscar nominations--have tanked.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 5, 2006 10:14 AM

Re: George Clooney, and actors generally.

Never listen to people who make a living pretending to be somebody else.

Posted by: AllenS at January 5, 2006 10:47 AM

OJ, just want to make sure you know that Anschutz's other project is to bring soccer to America.

Posted by: JAB at January 5, 2006 10:58 AM

All cults are populated by those on the margin, emotional, moral or intellectual wire-walkers whose reality is highly personal or subjective and facts are only obstacles to be overcome in order to maintain at least the appearance of balance. Contemporary liberalism has become such a cult among it's popular followers. Historical reality has no place if it is in conflict with the self-absorbed attachment to the martyr-complex alternative reality it's adherents seem to identify with. Is it possible that contemporary 'liberalism' has become, as it has evolved over the years, nothing but a form of mental illness? A detachment from reality was considered symptomatic at one time. It may not be anymore, who knows?

Posted by: Tom C. Stamford, Ct., at January 5, 2006 11:08 AM
A firm believer that his films must avoid sex, vulgar language and violence

Uhh, shouldn't that read gratuitous violence? I seem to recall this big battle scene near the end of the film...

Posted by: Kirk Parker at January 5, 2006 12:13 PM
A firm believer that his films must avoid sex, vulgar language and violence [emphasis added]
We went out to see The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and while I thought it was a good movie (for once, I didn't regret parting with my cash afterwards), "non-violent" is certainly not a phrase I would use in describing it. Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at January 5, 2006 12:14 PM

This is going to be hands down the lowest rated Oscar night ever. There are occasional years where none of the nominees did big box office numbers, but this year all of the likely noms got so much press attention that Americans know that Hollywood hates them.

Posted by: b at January 5, 2006 12:41 PM


Guys who throw like girls need a sport too.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 1:30 PM

oj: They can DH.

Posted by: b at January 5, 2006 1:51 PM

h/t Drudge, I just read in The L.A. Times that Jon Stewart will host the Oscars.

Posted by: erp at January 5, 2006 2:01 PM

KP, AOG: That was combat, not violence.

Posted by: Just John at January 5, 2006 2:02 PM


Beat you!


Sure, it was combat, but certainly looked like violent combat to me, rather than the other kind.

Posted by: Kirk Parker at January 6, 2006 4:12 AM


Can we please ban the notorius b for mentioning that eeeevil thing, the DH?

Posted by: Kirk Parker at January 6, 2006 4:14 AM

I saw the L,W&W and thought it was an excellent movie, especially for children. The violence/combat distinction is important to make. The modern liberal notion that violent behavior is bred into young people through exposure to weapons and stories of war and combat is incredibly naiive and wrong.

All earlier generations understood that fighting to defend and protect the family and society was a necessary virtue and duty. And dreams of heroic battle by young children was not a sadistic impulse, but a healthy sign of a child's desire to defend his own and to be encouraged.

The movie showed combat, but not nearly as gritty and realistic as "Private Ryan". The story allows young people to envision themselves as heroes.

I was also struck by the total lack of irony, which is refreshing. No apologies for the earnest emotions felt and deisplayed by the children. The performances by the child actors were marvelous, especially the girl who played Lucy.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at January 7, 2006 1:23 PM