President Obama dropped in on the DreamWorks movie studio last week while on a West Coast scavenger hunt for Democratic campaign cash. Lavishing praise on an industry that has lavished millions of dollars on him, the president told the assembled cast, crew and executives that "entertainment is part of our American diplomacy" and that Hollywood exports "our values" globally. To paraphrase a previous Democratic president, that all depends on what the definition of "our values" is.
It's certainly not traditional American values, which Hollywood big shots find embarrassing. Miramax Films mogul Harvey Weinstein, for example, told CNN's Piers Morgan last month that he's mortified that the United States is "the only country in the world where we don't have health care" and "the only country in the world where you don't have a gun law."
Having only half-socialized medicine and bans on scary-looking guns that only apply in liberal bastions like Washington, New York and California is insufficient. "Quite frankly, it's embarrassing," says Mr. Weinstein. "Obama isn't embarrassing. The country is embarrassing."
Mr. Obama has redefined American exceptionalism, replacing the idea of a shining city on a hill with the glowing image on the television screen. His measure of excellence includes shows such as "Will & Grace" and "Modern Family" pushing acceptance of homosexuality on the developing world. "You've helped shape the world culture in a way that makes the world better," the president told his studio audience.
This isn't the Tinseltown of Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope, John Wayne and Ronald Reagan. Today, for every Gary Sinise or Patricia Heaton, who emerge from the shadows and stand up for conservative values in the entertainment industry, there are thousands of leftists like Alec Baldwin and Barbra Streisand who put their big money in Democratic campaign coffers.
Even once-wholesome entertainment options such as the Muppets have been hijacked to spread Hollywood's political propaganda. In what passed for a holiday special Thanksgiving night, Kermit & Co. served up a 90-minute infomercial on ABC aimed at propping up sales of "Artpop," the new album by the militantly pro-homosexual Lady Gaga. This artistic exercise has proved to be a commercial flop, with sales in its debut week down 75 percent compared with the diva of deviance's previous L.P. As if Lady Gaga herself weren't countercultural enough, however, the show also featured a duet with drag queen RuPaul.
This was ABC's idea of appropriate Thanksgiving material. Breitbart.com's Big Hollywood reported Friday that America responded with a resounding "No, thanks." The "Lady Gaga & The Muppets Holiday Spectacular" had overnight ratings far below those of the four-decade-old classic "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving."
Ben Shapiro, author of the 2011 book "Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV," says he was "shocked by the openness of the Hollywood crowd" when it came to admitting to an anti-conservative bias in the business. In the entertainment industry, liberalism is "100 percent dominant, and anyone who denies it is kidding, or not telling the truth," Mr. Shapiro quotes producer Leonard Goldberg as saying. The mutual admiration society that is President Obama and Tinseltown wouldn't have it any other way.