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By: May 26, 2011

From Ben Shapiro, author of the upcoming Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV:

Americans love television.  Not only is television by far the most powerful medium of mass communication in history, its product is also wildly entertaining.  The average American watches four hours of television per day.  Scientific studies show that television is actually addictive.

            There is one huge problem with television, however: it’s almost entirely liberal. And these Hollywood liberals are only too happy to use their tremendous power and market leverage to push their own brand of politics and push out those in the industry who disagree.

            I spent two years interviewing dozens of major Hollywood figures, many of whom freely admitted to me that Hollywood is liberal, that television figures routinely discriminate against conservatives, and that Hollywood’s liberalism translates into its products.  Some even celebrated anti-conservative discrimination.  These Hollywood creators took pride in their propagandizing.  Many of the major shows we all love had a covert liberal agenda that the creators and executives championed. 

            I also discovered that Hollywood liberals’ favorite excuse for their open leftist bias – “the market requires leftist programming” – is one of the biggest con jobs in American business history.  The market argument, as I called it, has hamstrung conservatives for years: we’re laissez-faire capitalists, so when liberals claim to be catering to the market, we generally let them get away with it.  The truth, however, is that liberals have spent years shaping the market to which they cater, perverting it beyond recognition. 

            So why is Hollywood so liberal?  The answer lies in a combination of guilt, greed, and insularity.  Hollywood liberals tend toward socialism ideologically, a political strain that has infected the television industry since its earliest days.  By the same token, however, Hollywood liberals earn gobs of cash for doing an incredibly enjoyable job.  The only way they can overcome their guilt for earning while maintaining their lavish lifestyle is to push for “social justice.”  Hence Hollywood creators lecturing the rest of America about narcissism and selfishness while occupying palatial estates off of Sunset Blvd.

            They never see the oddity of this position because they’re surrounded by others who live the same lifestyle.  Despite their ardent desire to change America, most of the creators and executives with whom I spoke believed that their programming reflected America rather than transforming it.  This, of course, is sheer nonsense – nobody could say that Glee reflects most of America.  But because Hollywoodites live inside a bubble, they do reflect the world as they see it – and they transform everybody else’s world by doing so.

            This is not to argue that television is bad, or that we shouldn’t watch it.  Primetime Propaganda’s task isn’t to spur you to turn off the television.  It’s to show you what it is we’re actually watching: propaganda rather than pure entertainment.  And it’s a plea to Hollywood to open up the industry to those of different viewpoints, to cater to Americans across the board, and to return to a time when entertainment, not politics, dominated our living rooms.   

Learn more about the book:

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