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BREITBART: A million stories to tell

- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

On Tuesday, I launch Big Hollywood (bighollywood.breitbart .com), a big group blog that will feature hundreds of the big minds from the fields of politics, journalism, entertainment and culture.

Big Hollywood is not a "celebrity" gabfest or a gossip outpost - it is a continuous politics and culture posting board for those who think something has gone drastically wrong and that Hollywood should return to its patriotic roots.

Big Hollywood's modest objective: to change the entertainment industry. To make Hollywood something we can believe in - again. In order to give millions of Americans hope.

Until conservatives, libertarians and Republicans - who will be the lion's share of Big Hollywood's contributors - recognize that (pop) culture is the big prize and that politics is secondary, there will be no victory in this important battle.

Hollywood is no longer an American industry. And it took a prolonged war in which the studios and most of the stars didn't show up to fight for America to draw attention to this hard truth.

American corporations, the FBI, the CIA and elected U.S. officials are the bad guys in flicks these days. Radical Islamists are seldom vilified while the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are smeared too often.

Film production - and countless jobs - have been steadily shipped abroad for cost-cutting purposes. Standing ovations at Cannes and Golden Globes - not American popular opinion - determine who wins the Oscar. And homegrown actors are hailed as First Amendment heroes for speaking out against the United States.

The anti-hero rules this celluloid world. Nihilism is packaged as edginess. And there's zero sense that anyone's watching out for quality control. Even the respected awards are often given to the most outlandish and gratuitously deplorable.

In 2003, Meryl Streep told the Wall Street Journal: "We export the crap. And then we wonder why everybody hates us and has a distorted picture of what Americans are."

In the period since Sept. 11, 2001, international box office receipts have steadily exceeded domestic numbers. Film financing now usually begins with international investors and creative decisions are crafted to geopolitical sensibilities rarely simpatico with our own.

Big Hollywood box office analyst Steve Mason will explore these trends and be the first national reporter to crunch the movie numbers throughout the week. Politicians need to pay attention to the results as close as studio executives. Or elections beware.

Globalization explains a good portion of the Hollywood leftward lurch but alienated and demoralized Americans turning off and tuning out further undermines the case for inserting proud Western ideals into entertainment product. We are now giving the world what we think it wants as we turn our heads in disgust. That's not a good formula for a civilization to survive.

Most heartbroken by this cultural and financial sea change are those who ply in the powerful trade of make-believe, who got into show business, for among other reasons, to carry on Hollywood's patriotic mission. It's hard to believe, but not everyone in the business thinks Sean Penn is a gonzo genius.

Hidden amid the "dissent is patriotic" glitterati are thousands of deeply concerned artists and industry players who have mostly privately and sadly watched Hollywood reflect ideals that are not their own.

Non-left-leaning writers, producers, directors and "below the line" members of the creative community will slowly begin to tell "flyover country" that their values are shared - even in glitzy Los Angeles. In fact, to foreshadow its big message, Big Hollywood will be an invitation to aspiring conservatives to drop their political dreams for the grueling Hollywood grind.

Returning veterans of the current war, please move to the head of the line.

Big Hollywood also will offer politicians, think tank brains, pundits and sundry wonks the opportunity to show another face to the conservative movement and the Republican Party. No longer will "South Park" and Dennis Miller carry the load alone in pointing out the absurdities of the modern left.

On Day One, Congressman Thaddeus McCotter invokes the Beatles' "Dear Prudence," inviting Hollywood's "closeted" conservatives to "come out and play." Actor and raconteur Orson Bean remembers that the hopeful movies of his childhood during the Great Depression gave him and many other Americans the will and drive to succeed.

We need to discover that spirit again.

If conservatives don't figure out popular culture soon, the movement will die a deserving death. If Hollywood liberals can't learn how to play well with those with whom they disagree, Big Hollywood will have a field day at their close-minded and intolerant expense. The days of open bullying in the marketplace of ideas are nearing their end.

Consider this a warning.

Editor in Chief John Nolte is veteran of the film blog world, and a director in his own right. His love of the best of Hollywood - yes, there still is great product - will keep the readers and the writers enthusiastic about the future.

I will be writing and recruiting like the madman that I am.

Hollywood may not be completely anti-American yet, but it is certainly no longer pro-American. And no one has put up a public fight to change that.

Until now.

Andrew Breitbart is the founder of the news Web site breitbart.com and is co-author of "Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon - the Case Against Celebrity."