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Doug Gamble- Contributor

Doug Gamble is a former writer for President Ronald Reagan and resides in Carmel. [go to Gamble index]

Hollywood In Anguish
No box office for Kerry
[Doug Gamble] 11/24/04

It is instructive that in the three weeks following the presidential election there has been nary a peep from usually vociferous Hollywood liberals about the licking they took at the hands of President George W. Bush.

True, singer Linda Ronstadt laments that voters have elected a new gang of Hitlers and film propagandist Michael Moore published on his web site 17 reasons why disheartened liberals should not slit their wrists. But beyond that there has been a cacophony of silence.

Why so? According to Martha Williamson, executive producer of the long-running “Touched by an Angel” on CBS, now in re-runs, the pro-John Kerry Hollywood community was devastated by the election results after putting so much effort into trying to destroy Bush. “There are a lot of broken hearts out there,” she says. If Hollywood liberals are talking these days, it might be mainly to their therapists.

To those who decry Hollywood’s contribution to a coarsening culture, it is sweet irony that leftist celebrities injected themselves into the political process as never before, in the very election where exit polls showed that moral values were a major issue. Not only did they not help defeat Bush, they actually sabotaged any chance Kerry had of winning.

Although I usually pay little attention to observations by CNN anchor Aaron Brown, he was on to something when he said the turning point in the election occurred away back last February when Janet Jackson exposed her breast during the Super Bowl halftime show.

The aftermath of the incident revealed the extent to which the Kerry-supporting Hollywood crowd and their elitist allies simply don’t get it. By insisting the “wardrobe malfunction” was no big deal, they missed the broader point that it was an outrage because it blindsided an unprepared and unsuspecting middle America right in the midst of a sporting event long known for attracting a family audience. Viewers can choose not to watch MTV, but they are justifiably angered when MTV content is unexpectedly forced upon them.

But I believe another indication that Kerry’s association with Hollywood was the wrong alliance in the wrong place at the wrong time showed up a year before the election, in November, 2003. That was when CBS was forced to cancel a mini-series on Ronald and Nancy Reagan because of a public outcry against the portrayal of the then-dying former president as a cartoon-like, even foul-mouthed, buffoon.

It was as if millions, long tired of Hollywood dumping on mainstream American values, collectively shouted “Enough.” Tellingly, even many grassroots Democrats were repelled by Hollywood’s treatment of the Reagans. Apparently Kerry didn’t notice.

At a time when values were front and center, Kerry probably sealed his fate when, at the close of a crude, expletive-riddled, celebrity-populated fundraiser, he declared Hollywood to be “the heart and soul of America.” To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never before have so few words done so much to turn off so many.

But Kerry, oblivious to the fact that every celebrity’s outburst against Bush was another nail in the Democrat’s coffin, continued to campaign with them to the end. One couldn’t be blamed for wondering if Kerry’s running mate was Bruce Springsteen rather than John Edwards.

Has Hollywood learned anything? Not if ABC-TV’s recent inclusion of a steamy, nude locker room scene at the start of Monday Night Football, aired at 6 p.m. on the west coast, is any indication. If it keeps this up, Hollywood will discover that a show called “Republicans Own the White House” will be very hard to get cancelled. tRO

California-based Doug Gamble contributed speech material to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and writes a twice-monthly column for the Orange County Register and

Copyright 2004 Doug Gamble




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