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Tuesday, March 11, 2003


Doofus on the Hollywood Right

I have to confess that I’m a little out of place as a member of the Warbloggerwatch. It’s not so much that I am in favor of war with Saddam (my personal views on the matter; Saddam is an evil madman who should be stopped, but I just don’t know the right way to do this; there are reasonable people on both sides). I tend to focus on media issues, not foreign policy matters (e.g., check out my latest on the journalistic dishonesty of two Fox News analysts).

However, one thing I noticed in the media coverage of the anti-war movement is how the hard right is targeting the Hollywood left as a bunch of narcissistic simpletons. As I’m writing this, Bob Dole is blasting the “Hollywood anti-war crowd” on Bill O'Reilly's radio show. Make no mistake, there are plenty of Hollywood people who fit that generalization; I know this firsthand—I have crashed enough Hollywood parties.

However, what gets me is that it isn’t as if there are very many rocket scientists on the Hollywood right. In addition, there are some downright noxious characters in the Hollywood right. I was particularly glad that Charlton Heston got his comeuppance in the film Bowling For Columbine.

Then there’s the case of Fred Thompson. A former US Senator and mediocre actor (though he did well in campaign commercials playing a cornball—wearing flannel shirts and driving a pickup truck), Thompson is countering the Hollywood left with an outfit called Citizens United--described in USA Today as dedicated to “traditional American values.” I didn’t know that a dirty tricks operation represents traditional American values.

David Bossie and Floyd Brown head Citizens United. In 1992, Bossie and Brown attempted to manufacture a rumor that Bill Clinton had impregnated a law student, Susan Coleman, who later committed suicide. Brown and Bossie mercilessly hounded the family of the deceased woman; Bossie was so obsessed that he barged into a hospital room where the deceased woman's mother was visiting her sick husband. CBS’s Eric Engberg did a report on this noxious episode; this caused Brown and Bossie to be such a liability to the Bush campaign that it finally repudiated the duo—calling them “the lowest forms of life.” (read more about this in The Hunting of the President). After Clinton became president, Bossie jumped aboard the Vince-Foster-was-murdered conspiracy train. Representative Dan Burton hired Bossie; on the government payroll, Bossie doctored Web Hubbell’s prison phone tapes to make exculpatory statements sound as if Hubbell implicated Hillary Clinton in wrongdoing. Now, the Hollywood right is giving these men credibility. Yuck.

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