Goldberg muses on Hollywood and propaganda

Jonah Goldberg explores in a  National Review Online column Hollywood’s long love affair with propaganda.

… Hollywood has never been opposed to propaganda. When Hollywood’s self-declared auteurs and artistes denounce propaganda as the enemy of art, almost invariably what they really mean is “propaganda we don’t like.”

Consider the film Lone Survivor, which tells the true story of heroic Navy SEALs in Afghanistan. The film has been denounced by some critics; a “jingoistic, pornographic work of war propaganda,” in the words of one reviewer. Richard Corliss of Time chimed in: “That these events actually happened doesn’t necessarily make it plausible or powerful in a movie, or keep it from seeming like convenient propaganda.” Similar complaints (from non-conservatives, at least) about antiwar films made during the George W. Bush years are much harder to find.

Similarly, if Demi Moore proclaimed, “I pledge to be a servant to our president,” at the dawn of the Bush presidency, it would have created a career-ending firestorm.

When it was owned by GE — a company with billions of dollars invested in subsidy-dependent alternative-energy technologies — NBC began its “Green Week,” seven days of sitcoms, sports shows, and even news programs doing their part for the cause. There was nary a word of protest from TV critics or supposedly independent writers and producers about the corruption of art. I wonder, if Fox announced a “pro-life week,” whether the same crowd would yawn as conspicuously.

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