The Occupy movement continues to stumble across the country, prompting MTV reality show buzz and, according to high-ranking NYC police officials, a 154% increase in city-wide shootings thanks to the protest’s draw on law enforcement resources.
It has also attracted various celebrity visitors and endorsements, from the dubious: Roseanne Barr – to the obvious: Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon – to the uber-famous: Kanye West, Radiohead.
A particularly fawning AP piece about the radical folk singer Pete Seeger and his grandson, who visited the Wall St. protest Friday night, is an instructive example of the mainstream media’s bias toward far-Left celebrities, especially when they commingle with protesters, revolutionaries, and traitors.
The op/ed starts out with a melodramatic account of a NYC police officer approaching Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, Pete Seeger’s grandson, and shaking his hand. Obviously the officer was an admirer of Rodriguez-Seeger’s music, but the musician took it as ideological validation. “The cops recognized what we were about,” he said.
“That moment affirmed the message that his grandfather has preached tirelessly across nine decades,” cooed the AP writer. “The causes and movements have changed from time to time over 75 years, but his message has always been the same: Song is the key to understanding and change.”
“You take any one of Bob Dylan’s songs and you get to the heart of the matter where it took Homer volumes and volumes of books to get to the same point,” said Rodriguez-Seeger. Okay. Let’s compare the two, shall we?
“The difficulty is not so great to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for.” That’s Homer.
“The geometry of innocence flesh on the bone / Causes Galileo’s math book to get thrown / At Delilah who sits worthlessly alone / But the tears on her cheeks are from laughter.” That’s Bob Dylan. Maybe not his finest moment, but still… Something tells me that whatever Bob Dylan meant by that – and who knows? – Homer may have had a fair shot at saying it pretty well.
So just who is the grandfather of this staggering intellect, Rodriguez-Seeger? The AP gloats of Pete Seeger that “the government that runs things… failed to shut him up. The courts had no chance.” This American hero “endured a blacklisting” by Joseph McCarthy which he “simply shrugged away.” What a brave man! In an industry dominated by people with the exact same beliefs as his, he had the courage to endure a blacklisting – horror of horrors! – while the government he preferred was busy torturing, killing, and starving literally tens of millions people in the USSR.
That’s right, folks, get ready to put on your shocked faces: Pete Seeger was a Communist. Although he has since “apologized” for it, even the AP fluff piece says, “Seeger hasn’t changed much since he began singing out against fascism in the mid-1930s…”
Seeger started out protesting American involvement in WWII, but “changed his mind when Hitler broke his nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union.”
There it all is. It wasn’t Hitler’s mass-murder the American Left had a problem with, it was the ideology under which it occurred. Kill Jews? Cool! Attack the Leftist Fatherland, Communist Russia? Not so much.
But the hero’s tale is not yet over. “He also spoke out against the war inVietnam, a move that got him censored on ‘The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,’ and visited North Vietnam in 1972.”
Here’s to the Smothers Brothers!
The idea that an entertainer speaking out against the Vietnam War makes him brave is simply ridiculous. There was nothing less brave or more commonplace in show business than opposing the Vietnam War. Can you imagine a celebrity today — outside country music, of course — experiencing one second of blowback from Hollywood for condemning the war in Iraq?
The Left loves pretending like the celebrities who agree with them are brave trailblazers. Nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, it is conservative celebrities who often fear speaking up about their political beliefs. While Hollywood tends to be more forgiving of older conservatives – think Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall – possibly blaming their “outdated” views on their age, younger conservatives have a marked tendency to work less and be, well, less famous than their liberal counterparts.
Google “conservative celebrities,” search at length, and what you tend to find is a long list of B, C, and D-listers, and a very short list of those you see on the screen often. Many of these – such as Bruce Willis – have kept in favor for decrying the “religious right” faction of conservatism. Fine actors like Kelsey Grammer, Jon Voight, and Gary Sinise, to name a few of the more vocal right-wing celebrities, aren’t seen or heard from too often these days. Sinise is best known now in conservative circles for his Lt. Dan Band performances, proceeds from which go to benefit U.S. troops. Dennis Miller famously fell from favor with the comedy elite when he turned neo-con after 9/11, and now works for Fox News Channel. On the other side, celebs of dubious talent or marketability have been able to keep their careers alive by being shockingly far-Left or anti-Christian; think Janeane Garofalo and Kathy Griffin.
The list of conservative celebrities reads like a who’s-who of has-beens and the marginally famous – Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kevin Sorbo, Angie Harmon, Cindy Crawford, Hillary Duff, Heather Locklear, Jessica Simpson – and those who fly their Gadsden flags under the rader – Vince Vaughn, Adam Sandler, Kurt Russell, Sly Stallone. Quite simply, outside of country music – the only entertainment industry still unabashedly saluting God and country – being a vocal right-winger has for many years spelled death for a career in show business.
There is, however, a faction of industry insiders dedicated to restoring balance to Hollywood politics. In 1992, David Horowitz, former Marxist and author of the book Radical Son, a memoir of his early life as the child of American Communists, began the Wednesday Morning Club, a weekly gathering of like-minded folks in Hollywood. More recently, companies like Metanoia Films have released beautiful cinematic works of art, such as Bella, an award-winning drama with a pro-life message. I had the pleasure of meeting Metanoia producer Jason Jones earlier this year, and was delighted to hear him say, with confidence, that he believed in twenty years Hollywood could be conservative. He told us we’d be amazed if we knew the number of “closet Christians” in L.A.
The problem, of course, is that Christians often have to be “in the closet” to work in the entertainment industry. Meanwhile, we are still being spoon-fed by the mainstream media the colossal lie that being a radical Leftist working in the media requires any amount of bravery. It does not.
Pete Seeger is not and never has been a trailblazing, damn-the-torpedoes hero for being a Communist, anti-Capitalist, or radical Leftist. There are many just like him: Sean Penn, who visited Baghdad on the even of the Iraq war; Jane Fonda, who like Seeger visited North Vietnam during the war; and those like Jessica “It’s an embarrassing time to be an American” Lange, Norman “What if those perpetrators were right?” Mailer, and Susan “I think Jesus would be very supportive of John Edwards” Sarandon, who have made often ridiculous, sometimes traitorous statements about the United States.
Agree with Seeger, Sarandon, Penn, and their ilk if it pleases you to do so. But please: let’s stop the lie that being far Left in show business requires even one iota of character or courage. It does not. Liberalism is the easiest, most reflexive, knee-jerk ideology one can espouse as an actor, musician, artist, journalist, or academic. It requires no independent thought or action, only a willingness to glean talking points and work oneself into an outrage about snippets of propaganda such as “the 99%” and “blood for oil.”
These people know nothing of history or policy. They read New York Times headlines to see what they are supposed to find newsworthy, and watch The Daily Show so they know what they are supposed to find laughable. They are self-congratulatory, pretentious masters of groupthink. They are not heroes. They are America’s shame.