TheDC Book Review: Primetime Propaganda

The ratio of liberals to conservatives in Hollywood is notoriously high. Closeted Reagan-lovers may exist within the industry, but outspoken conservatives are a rare breed in the entertainment business. Or so the story goes.

It’s not surprising, then, that someone has written a book about what that means for prime-time television. Shows like Friends, Glee, and Mad Men are more than just shows. They are, says Ben Shapiro in his new book Primetime Propaganda, part of a larger monopoly Hollywood has on society.

In his latest treatise, Shapiro spends almost 400 pages railing against a progressive, liberal Hollywood. It would, in fact, be just another typical conservative lament if it weren’t for the fact that it is dotted with actual documentation.

Fred Silverman – former head of NBC, ABC and CBS – for example, told Shapiro “Right now, there’s only one perspective. And it’s a very progressive perspective.”

Likewise, Leanard Goldberg, former ABC executive and current board member of CBS, is quoted as saying “There’s no question about that. I don’t know about the content being pushed, but in terms of the thought about various matters social and political, [liberalism is] 100 percent dominant. And anyone who denies it is kidding or not telling the truth.”

Another particularly telling example is when Shapiro got his hands on a character description for a casting call. The villain was described as “A cross between a refined, somewhat more controlled version of General Buck Turgison (George C. Scott) from Dr. Strangelove, and Dick Cheney…”

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In an interview with The Daily Caller, Shapiro diagnosed the liberal persuasion in Hollywood, calling it another Ivory Tower.

“It’s the kind of place where liberal opinion is accepted as fact, so if you’re anti-gay marriage, it’s not because you have a different opinion than those who are pro-gay marriage. It’s because you are actually wrong or stupid or not compassionate.”

“So people will not hire you,” he added.

But Shapiro admits the problem is two-sided. Conservatives, he said, have failed by “tak[ing] themselves out of the ballgame.”