Hollywood is in the business of telling stories, captivating the imaginations of viewers, striking emotional connections and selling products to the masses for a pretty profit. These very same “suspension of disbelief” skills were masterfully deployed to get Barack Obama elected in 2008. Thanks to Jason Mattera, we shouldn’t be fooled again.
In his new book, “Hollywood Hypocrites: The Devastating Truth About Obama’s Biggest Backers,” Mattera provides the ammunition conservatives need to neuter A-List celebrities like Bono, Matt Damon, Cameron Diaz and Kanye West in the lead up to the most important election of our lifetimes.
Not only did these one-percenters max out on campaign contributions, they produced ads and songs, performed concerts and stumped on the campaign trail in order to convince America to elect the least qualified person to ever occupy the White House. At no point were these Tinsel Town elitists challenged because Republicans gravely underestimated the power of the celebrity culture. Obama-bots actually believed Obama was going to bring world peace, stop the oceans from rising and pay their mortgages.
The reality of course was that the shape-shifting Obama had gone from a community organizer to the White House without ever having had a real job. Now, after three disastrous years — a $15 trillion national debt, 8.3% unemployment, record numbers of food stamp recipients, relentless assaults on religious freedom — he’s back on the campaign trail (as if he’s ever left it) making empty promises and using divisive, class-warfare, racialist rhetoric to justify his re-election. And, to fund his $1 billion campaign, Obama is once again tapping his Hollywood minions.
Last week, he was in Atlanta for a $35,000-per-person fundraiser hosted by movie director and producer Tyler Perry. Ironically, those attending Obama’s fundraisers — he’s had over 100 now, more than any other president — though in the business of irony don’t seem to notice the irony of sitting through speeches about how “the rich” should be paying higher taxes. But of course, we know who their small-m messiah means when he says “the rich” — America’s entrepreneurs. The real job creators. For someone who speaks about the American dream, Obama certainly knows how to deride people who have achieved it and set up roadblocks in front of those seeking it.
In an incredibly well-researched book Jason, with his trademark wit, calls out celebrities who have backed Obama’s calls for higher taxes, more regulations, more spending and bigger government. You won’t be shocked to learn how celebrities’ lifestyles and business decisions stand in stark contrast to the rules and regulations they want regular folks to follow.
In New Jersey, Bon Jovi pays almost no property taxes on his large estate because he takes advantage of a loophole for bee farmers, depriving the neediest of his fellow citizens of the tax dollars necessary to run the public programs he chides Republicans for wanting to reform. Sting, Julia Roberts and Leonardo DiCaprio are flying private jets around the world, expanding their carbon footprints faster than they can buy carbon offsets as they call for anti-global warming policies to stifle business and economic growth. Robert Redford lobbied against home building near his Napa Valley estate, but earned large sums by selling off land for homes on untouched land close to his Sundance, Utah getaway.
Where was Hollywood when the people of the Gulf Coast needed help after the BP oil spill? Crickets. Weeks went by before Hollywood jumped in to help raise funds. Just compare that reaction to how Hollywood reacted to Hurricane Katrina. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, stars immediately condemned Bush. Five years later, they ignored an equivalent disaster in the same region out of fear that it would be seen as a condemnation of Obama. To them it was more important to cover up for Obama’s mishandling of the cleanup than to help the people of the Gulf rebuild their lives and clean up the environment these leftists claim to care so deeply about.
The movie industry, through “Hollywood welfare,” is soaking the American taxpayer for $1.5 billion a year to finance its productions. These state movie tax credits are sold to the public as money-making opportunities for taxpayers, but numerous studies demonstrate that these credits always ends up being losing propositions instead. But Hollywood cares about “the little people.”
As Jason writes in Hollywood Hypocrites:
It’s only when they rail against the evil rich, stoke the flames of class warfare, and push their phony populist pablum that their actions morph into straight-up Hollywood hypocrisy, the kind that makes a mockery of their progressive message and lays to waste the idea that high tax rates produce growth and economic flourishing. If that were the case, they would gladly fork over their mountains of money without claiming a single deduction. Furthermore, they wouldn’t hunt for every loophole in the monstrosity that is the tax code.
Bottom line: Hollywood makes decisions based on dollars and keeping up their luxurious lifestyles, not lofty liberal policies. If even the most ardent supporters of liberalism don’t want to live by such oppressive policies, doesn’t that prove their utter bankruptcy? Jason’s book should be your guide to smack down any Hollywood-generated talking points used by your Democrat friends.
As November 6 nears, Hollywood is going to ramp up efforts to make over Obama’s image and pretend the past three years never happened. And it has begun. The Obama campaign recently released a 17-minute documentary (read: infomercial) about this president’s “historic” first term narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks. News flash: This presidency has been historic — for its record debt, unprecedented rounds of golf and massive expansion of government. We cannot allow Tinsel Town to package Obama like its next big blockbuster without a challenge. The truth is on our side. So heed Jason’s message. When you see a Hollywood hypocrite stumping for Obama, your best counter is to know the facts — render them powerless. As he says, “This time around, we must be the ones doing the steamrolling.”
Orit Sklar is a public relations consultant, conservative columnist and political commentator. Orit has been particularly involved in issues related to culture, millennials and Israel. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, she is known nationwide for her advancement of First Amendment rights and academic freedom on American university campuses, and is the co-recipient of the 2009 Ronald Reagan Award from the American Conservative Union. Orit is the founder of the consumer choice coalition “My Food. My Choice!” — the citizen-led counterweight to the Food Police. Follow her at Twitter.com/OritSklar.