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A Two-Pronged, Leftist Assault Is Underway in Hollywood

October 16, 2000|MICHAEL MORIARTY | Michael Moriarty acts, writes and cuts jazz CDs in Vancouver, where he is a candidate for mayor

VANCOUVER, Canada — Josef Stalin's secret to survival was, if you control the artists, you control the human race.

Stalin's presence in the lives of Soviet artists was ubiquitous and unrelenting. He skewered all of Soviet theater into socialist realism and, as best he could, kept composers such as Prokofiev and Shostakovich on creative tenterhooks their entire lives.

The leftist Group Theater of Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford was a direct American link to the Soviet vision and purpose of theater: to promote the revolution, to ensure the absolute necessity of socialist realism and to spawn a following that would ultimately control the most influential art form in the world: film.

The best friend of the American left turned out to be, ironically, Joseph McCarthy. His unconstitutional assault upon the American Communist Party's right to free speech was all the left needed to demonize conservative thought. The self-aggrandizing McCarthy, in a one-man crusade to save the Constitution, broke the most important amendment in its Bill of Rights, the one ensuring freedom of speech. From that point on, it was only a matter of time before Warren Beatty could exercise his own free speech and successfully make a film, "Reds," which enshrined an American Communist as a hero.

In the wake of that newfound freedom for American leftists, directors and producers such as Tim Robbins began turning out films that escalated the meaning of McCarthy's memory: any right-wing thought must, by necessity, be diabolical. Most ironically, the portrait of "Bob Roberts," the Southern, good-ol'-boy, charming, right-wing, wannabe dictator most resembles Bill Clinton, a bit of prescience.

For the past eight years, President Clinton has distanced himself from the repeated assaults his administration and the Democratic Party have been making on Hollywood and the 1st Amendment. The superstars and super-producers would not be as willing to cough up campaign contributions if they knew to what extent both the president and his wife want to control Hollywood and the media in general. This was revealed recently when he virtually demanded an apology from the New York Times for its coverage of the Los Alamos espionage drama. He got it.

The first Clinton assault on Hollywood came in the fall of 1993, when Atty. Gen. Janet Reno tried to blackmail television networks with the threat of legislation even more unconstitutional than the Children's Television Act. Now comes the selection of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) as vice presidential candidate. It pleased the Gore campaign's desire to distance itself from Clinton sex scandals and, at the same time, whitewashed the rumors that the Clintons, Hillary Rodham Clinton in particular, might be anti-Semitic.

It is the vice presidential candidate's job to pick up where the attorney general left off. The Anti-Defamation League has criticized his persistent use of religious principles to bolster his attack on Hollywood. Erasing the separation between church and state is a very dangerous practice and one for which the left has so frequently criticized the religious right.

A two-pronged, leftist assault on Hollywood is now underway. Not only are the diners at Spago being spanked by the Beltway, but the labor unions in the business are now all too willing to show the stars and producers who's really boss. The imminent Screen Actors Guild strike is a revealing addition to the left's campaign against successful producers and stars of American film. Accountants to the stars are advising many of them to work outside the country. James Cameron is producing a television series here in Vancouver and Steven Spielberg is filming in England. With all the money in the world, these two monoliths can make their films, but their authority can be stopped at the distribution level. Unless their work is edited to the liking of the distributing oligopolies such as AOL-Time Warner, they will have to go to smaller and smaller distribution companies to maintain creative control.

Henry Kissinger advised the Republican Party and the corporate leadership to give up the fight against an all-powerful, ubiquitous hegemony of socialist federations and begin to cooperate with what amounts to a worldwide socialist church. Ralph Nader is just beginning to wake up to that, which is why he calls the Republican and Democratic parties Tweedledum and Tweedledee. This should remind Hollywood that no matter who is president, the full assault on artists' 1st Amendment rights will be unrelenting.

In my recent and final experience with Hollywood, the entire place, Century City particularly, began to look like a five-star ghost town. Within two years, a bleak and deserted Beverly Hills will appear. The union rank and file will be without any gifted producers and artists to create salable product. It is as if the rest of the Chicago Bulls team had decided that Michael Jordan was just too big for his britches and demanded that he be fired. It is always Marxism's ultimate self-destruction to bite the hands that feed it.

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