July 23, 2008

ARE YOU WITH ABE OR DOROTHY?:

Hollywood's conservative underground 'Friends of Abe' group meets quietly (Amy Fagan, July 23, 2008, Washington Times)

A group of politically conservative and centrist Hollywood figures organized by actor Gary Sinise and others has been meeting quietly in restaurants and private homes, forming a loose-knit network of entertainers who share common beliefs like supporting U.S. troops and traditional American values. [...]

"A Friend of Abe is someone who has reverence for those who serve in our military and believes that American liberal democracy is a unique success, different from others, and it's worthy of the respect of our popular culture ... of Hollywood in particular," said screenwriter Lionel Chetwynd, who helped organize Friends of Abe luncheons when they began four years ago.

Mr. Chetwynd said Friends of Abe generally find themselves at odds with the rhetoric of their hard-left colleagues in Hollywood.

Craig Haffner, a producer who also attended the gatherings, said Friends of Abe is "not a political action group; people are gravitating to it because they love their country."

While the group is not organizing any political activities, some of its members are taking action into their own hands.

Actor Jon Voight, Mr. Boone, Mr. Chetwynd and Mr. Haffner have stepped forward and actively campaigned for Mr. McCain's presidential bid. Mr. Boone said he talked to McCain campaign staffers last week about how he and other stars can help. Supporters now are assembling a formal organization for Mr. McCain in Hollywood, a few of the leaders said.

Meanwhile, many want to produce more movie and theater projects with a positive American message and stronger emphasis on positive cultural values instead of films that paint America as "the great Satan," Mr. Boone said. Mr. Chetwynd said such efforts have been under way for several years, well before the Friends of Abe luncheons began.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 23, 2008 6:31 AM

Ben Stein remarked that he got some covert thumbs-ups from crew members after the 2004 election, and explained it thusly: "Hollywood is a working class town." I think that's true. I grew up in LA, and many, many people who work for the studios are carpenters and truckers and seamstresses and bicycle messengers. And they have a worm's eye view of the fatuousness of champagne socialists.

Posted by: Lisa at July 23, 2008 9:35 AM
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