FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Applauding Only the Right Entertainers

by WALTER BRASCH

They call themselves Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood, or PABAAH for short. If it was anything but an acronym, PABAAH would be on the Homeland Security “no-fly” list.

They believe Sean Penn and Janeane Garofalo are traitors. They want John Ashcroft, defender of some of the Bill of Rights, to charge Michael Moore with treason.

They want Americans to boycott movies that feature actors who oppose the Bush administration. They are currently telling people to boycott “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” because Gwyneth Paltrow said she worries about “a weird, over-patriotic atmosphere” in the United States. Apparently, it’s patriotic for people to put two weather-beaten flags on their 15-year-old junkers, push a cell phone to their ear, and weave in and out of traffic to prove how American they are. It’s also patriotic to put portable acrylic signs with removable letters in front of their stores so those motorists can be reinforced with the All­American doctrines of “God Bless America, United We Stand, and french fries $1.49.” And it’s definitely patriotic to attack people who disagree with the Bush administration.

Unfortunately, PABAAH isn’t isolated. Drug addict Rush Limbaugh calls anyone in the creative community who disagrees with the president “Left Coast Hollywood Kooks.” Right wing mouth Joe Scarborough, who believes there really is a geographical place in the world called “Scarborough Country,” declared Danny Glover was “un-American” for speaking against Bushian policies. To make America whole again, Scarborough posted the phone number for MCI and told his MSNBC viewers to call the telephone giant to dump Glover as a spokesperson. Thousands did just as they were told.

In campaign rallies, George W. Bush castigates those misguided liberals who he claims believe the “heart and soul of America can be found in Hollywood.” To large raucous pre-selected Bush-friendly audiences which roundly boo the “Hollyweirds,” the campaigning President then jerks and cleanly changes their direction to turn them into a cheering throng of super-patriots when he declares, “the heart and soul of America is right here in -.” Just fill in the blank with whatever community the campaign has descended upon.

Before every campaign stop, the President rehearses his lines, sits for several minutes of makeup, hair dressing, and primping, and from a stage backed by professionally-crafted scenery reads his speech from a teleprompter. The irony is lost upon the sycophants who pledge loyalty to be admitted into his presence. Also lost is the irony that for nine years Bush was on the board of directors of Silver Screen Management, a film production company that once had a lucrative distribution deal with Walt Disney, which recently dumped “Fahrenheit 911,” the Michael Moore film critical of-who else?-George W. Bush.

The President and the nation’s Chief Henchman, also known as the Vice President, don’t even have to name the Hollywood celebrities. All Americans know they’re the Dixie Chicks, who told the world they were ashamed of Junior Bush and were soon southern fried in the media. They know the “traitorous” Ed Asner, Kevin Bacon, Alex Baldwin, Cher, Matt Damon, Mike Farrell, Paul Newman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen, Aaron Sorkin, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Rob Reiner, Tim Robbins, and thousands of others. The President’s supporters whine about how the celebrities are donating millions to his opposition, as if the millions of dollars shoved upon the President by the NRA, oil and drug industries, the rest of corporate America-and the “right” leaning part of the entertainment industry-is somehow pure.

While the Republicans loathe the Hollywood crowd, they are quick to use them. No Republican screamed in agony when moderate Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told a prime-time TV audience during the Republican National Convention that he was there to help terminate the “girlie-man” Democratic opposition. They have no hesitation in trotting out multi-Grammy winner Travis Tritt who majestically declared, “to be a good American . . . you have to get behind President Bush.” The Bush­Cheney campaign machine doesn’t reject the endorsements of Jessica Simpson, Bo Derek, and Britney Spears, which it probably believes are great political intellects. And, it certainly doesn’t reject the support of Drew Carey, Dixie Carter, Charlie Daniels, Larry Gatlin, Kelsey Grammer, Ricky Schroeder, James Woods, the entire NASCAR starting lineup, and Shirley Jones who, like Tritt, said she found it “astonishing to see how many of these Hollywood big-wigs are trying to undermine President Bush.”

Those “liberal” Hollywood types have even scammed the voters to be elected to Congress. In addition to former Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.), the nation has been represented by tap-dancing Sen. George Murphy (R-Calif.), film almost-star Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), Harvard-educated but forever “gopher” Rep. Fred Grandy (R-Iowa), and Rep. Sonny Bono (R-Calif.), who appeared several times on “Love Boat,” and whose fourth wife, Mary, followed him into the Congress where she is even more conservative than he ever was.

The neocon Republicans believe they are the party of righteousness and morality. Perhaps they should be following the actions of one of their own. Long before he became a two-term Republican governor and then a two-term president, Ronald Reagan was a staunch Democrat and president of the Screen Actors Guild. At a time when super-patriots were washing the epithets of “Commie” and “pinko” on everyone who had an opinion different from their own, Ronald Reagan initially stood with his membership of actors, declared he wasn’t about to name names during the witch hunts of the early 1950s. Unfortunately, like many, he soon switched his beliefs, and surrendered to the immorality of fascists disguised as Congress and American business.

Our nation and the wishes of our Founding Fathers would be better served if more Americans would stand up to the flag-waving Constitutionally-dense congressional leaders, and to the President and his minions who believe dissent is disloyal, and patriotism is unyielding, unquestioning, uncompromising acceptance.

WALTER BRASCH’s latest book is Sex and the Single Beer Can (Feb. 2004), a witty and probing look at the nation’s media and entertainment industries. You may contact him through www.walterbrasch.com or at brasch@bloomu.edu.

 

 

Walter Brasch is an award-winning social issues journalist. His latest book is Fracking Pennsylvania, an analysis of the history, economics, and politics of fracking, as well as its environmental and health effects.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 24, 2017
Paul Street
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
Daniel Read
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
Robert Fisk
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
Kenneth Surin
The UK’s Epochal Election
Jeff Berg
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
Steve Cooper
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
Michael McKinley
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
William Hawes
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
Steve Early
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
Fariborz Saremi
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
Dan Bacher
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
Alessandra Bajec
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
Rob Seimetz
Death By Demigod
Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
L. Ali Khan
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail