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The Podium and the Odium


Jay’s round-up of politicized conductors, Boston Pops narrators, etc, tossing in dreary reflex Bush-bashing even in the middle of “Peter And The Wolf” should really be read in concert with Andrew Breitbart’s plans for his new Hollywood website. They both address the same phenomenon: Liberalism is the default mode of the culture — to the point where the left-of-center position is so pervasive it’s no longer a position at all, but rather something uncontentious, received wisdom, part of the air we breathe. In several of the examples Jay cites, I’ll bet the musicians involved would be stunned to find that there was anyone in the room who would find the message remotely disagreeable.

In these conversations, one should distinguish between the activist types — the Sean Penns and whatnot — and the far bigger number of actors and musicians who don’t think about politics terribly much and for whom a passive allegiance to the only recognized party of the entertainment state is just the easy option. Personally, I wouldn’t want to live in a one-party state, and I’m slightly taken aback by the number of bigtime Hollywood stars who’ve said to me sotto voce in the last two years how much they agree with my book but please don’t mention it to anyone. But Andrew Breitbart gets to what’s really at stake:

If conservatives don’t figure out popular culture soon, the movement will die a deserving death.

I think that’s right. If the non-political sphere is permanently left-of-center — the movies, the pop songs, the plays, the sitcoms, the newspapers plus the churches, schools and much else — it’s simply unreasonable to expect people to walk into a polling booth every other November and vote conservative. The culture is where the issues get framed and the boundaries set. 


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