- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Hollywood has decided to give a girl a hand.

Not just any girl, though.

No, Hollywood bigwigs have decided to help out a girl whom they generally dissed several years ago, about which they feel mildly guilty. A girl who craves power and would welcome an unsubtle assist from a different kind of power elite. A girl who is, in fact, unlike Zooey Deschanel, neither “new,” nor a “girl.”

Hollywood used to use its power to promote and defend traditional American values. Somewhere along the line, though, Hollywood changed its tune, and for decades now, the entertainment industry has often used its immense influence to promote leftists and leftist causes and to denigrate core American principles.

It also routinely demonizes conservatives and traditional America (the examples are infinite), while portraying leftists as idealistic do-gooders (think Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing”) and leftism as inherently noble (think of another Sorkin series, “The Newsroom”). It is a constant drumbeat: leftism good, conservatism bad-ugly-stupid-unenlightened-evil.

Any chance Hollywood gets to help one of its fellow leftists get power and keep it, it will take it.

This often comes in the form of programming — movies, television, music and theater — that takes an issue (or candidate) and makes it more interesting, plausible or virtuous. Or all of the above, in order to pave the way for their acceptability.

Enter Hillary Clinton, “Madam Secretary.”

Next week, CBS will premiere a new “dramatic” series called “Madam Secretary.” It’s described by the network as “a look at the personal and professional life of a Secretary of State as she tries to balance her work and family life.”

It’s really an effort to “scrub” former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she prepares to run for president again — much as Mrs. Clinton herself has “scrubbed” her past, from Benghazi and Whitewater to Vince Foster, her husband’s “bimbo eruptions,” and the suspect fortune she made in cattle futures.

This is likely the entertainment industry’s wet kiss to Mrs. Clinton and her presidential ambitions. Note that we never saw a similar television series in the Madeleine K. Albright or Condoleezza Rice eras at State.

This show looks to be a thinly veiled attempt to sanitize Hillary’s sordid history of lies and opportunism and her corrupt tenure as secretary of state, while putting a high gloss on an idealized version of her: a brilliant, efficient, ethical, conflicted superwoman.

Here’s what we’re likely to see from “Madam Secretary”:

The show will likely give the “fictional” Hillary a backstory grounded in some form of victimhood — at the hands of parents, her husband, a professional rival — in order to establish a storyline taking her from vulnerable innocent to strong heroine.

It will make her incredibly honest, driven never by base motivations, but solely by noble intent.

It will depict her as a careful steward of taxpayer money and the nation’s security.

It will show her to be a diplomatic dynamo, making peace all over the world.

And yet, she will be portrayed as a secretary at the mercy of a president less talented and thoughtful than she, a president who recognizes her abilities but holds her back. She will be depicted as a strong advocate for aggressive action against America’s enemies, only to be overruled by her boss.

Her position — secretary of state — will be drawn as outside responsibility for wrong or even disastrous national security decisions. Those decisions will be made by the CIA, the Pentagon, lower-level people at the State Department. Responsibility will rest with everyone but her.

The show will depict either no document-scrubbing, or it will show it being carried out by someone else, only to have Madam Secretary bring it to a halt with a soliloquy on legal and moral ethics.

It will create a story arc centered on an international crisis — a terrorist attack, for example, in which a U.S. ambassador is killed — and she will be shown to order immediate, lifesaving action, only to be overruled yet again by a far-less experienced president. Her frustration will be palpable, and she will seek solace with other strong, determined souls desperately trying to do the right thing.

CBS will feel compelled to work in a little fantasy, so expect the secretary to be cast as youngish and attractive, with a devoted, loving husband who’s not quite as smart as she is. See? Fiction.

What’s next, Hollywood? John F. Kerry in a skirt?

“Madam Secretary” will be the Hillary Clinton she has never been, will never be and can never be: elevated, idealized, perfect.

In detailing the Obama-Clinton rivalry in “Blood Feud,” author Edward Klein describes a dinner attended by the four principals, in which President Obama allegedly suggested to President Clinton that his own wife, Michelle, might make a great presidential candidate. Both Clintons, according to Mr. Klein, gaped in disbelief.

Enter “State of Affairs,” a new NBC series starring Alfre Woodward as the first black female president. Elevated. idealized, perfect.

Art imitating life? Life imitating art?

Both Madam Secretary and the first lady might want to pull up a chair, grab some popcorn (or a stiff drink), and see what kind of ending Hollywood has in mind.

Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.

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