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Hollywood Nation
Left Coast Lies, Old Media Spin, and the New Media Revolution
By James Hirsen
Crown Forum
HC, 272 pgs. US$25.95
ISBN: 1-4000-8192-0

Hollywood and the media: Liberals' last resort

By Christian Hartsock
web posted September 5, 2005

Hollywood Nation: Left Coast Lies, Old Media Spin and the New Media RevolutionHaving lost almost all three branches of government, seven of the past ten presidential elections, the radio, and the hearts and minds of "primitive" Middle Americans in red "fly-over" country, desperate to reinstitute their power and influence on culture and the course of human events, liberals collectively flock to Hollywood and inundate the media and entertainment industries, dive under the knives of plastic surgeons, make silly little movies, start silly little news and talk shows, and hold press conferences and broadcasts foaming at the mouth with bombastic, wild-eyed pontifications about The State of Things As They See It. Radical liberals have a hard time getting along in the real world where people have to work for a living, so they envelope themselves in clouds of narcissism and luxuriousness from which they rain down their relativistic morals, outrageous lies and quixotic utopian ideals on society.

Tinseltown politics and the double-take-warranting statements and left-wing affiliations of clueless, self-righteous celebrities was the subject of Newsmax pundit James Hirsen's last book, Tales From the Left Coast: True Stories of Hollywood Stars and their Outrageous Politics. But in his new book, Hollywood Nation: Left Coast Lies, Old Media Spin and the New Media Revolution, Hirsen observes the efforts of not only celebrities like Michael Moore, but journalists as well, to extinguish the divorce between news and entertainment.

Hirsen opens Hollywood Nation by defending his previous book in light of the criticisms it received from those who insisted simply that no one cares what celebrities think and that such a topic does not warrant a 314-page book. "[L]ike it or not, celebrities do matter. They influence all of us, often in powerful ways," Hirsen writes. "Think about it: if the public weren't influenced by famous names and faces, then celebrities wouldn't be getting paid big bucks to hawk products and services, and celebrity endorsements wouldn't be so actively pursued by activist groups, charitable organizations, and politicians."

Hirsen also discusses the new phenomenon of journalists becoming and behaving like celebrities, using many examples including that of Sharon Tay, the morning news anchor on the Los Angeles WB affiliate KTLA. Tay, along with her news team, collected an Emmy Award for the Best Regularly Scheduled Daily News, after a previously won Emmy for cohosting Making It: Minority Success Stories, a KTLA community affairs program. In 2004, Tay posed for Razor magazine. Hirsen describes one of her photographs as being an "above-the-waist nude shot with only a couple of vital points protected." He goes on to mention that Tay has a website replete with photo clips and beauty tips. Hirsen quotes Ron Fineman, who said, "If a journalist is a serious news anchor, a certain public image should be maintained, and ‘sex kitten' shouldn't be one of them."

Throughout much of the book, Hirsen takes a look at liberal bias in the media. He writes that "we should…expect journalists to strive to achieve objectivity…to recognize personal bias and do one's best to be fair. But many big-time news figures simply refuse to acknowledge any prejudices." Hirsen points out the fact that journalists obsessively use the "conservative" label when referring to conservatives, but don't find it necessary to use the term "liberal" when speaking of liberals. In a 2003 study conducted by Stanford scholars David Brady and Jonathan Ma, who examined articles published in the New York Times and the Washington Post between 1990 and 2002, it was discovered that over the course of six congressional sessions, both newspapers used the term "conservative" five times more often than the term "liberal." Hirsen writes that not only are liberals in fierce denial of there being a media bias, but also that they are "pushing the theory that the media are being controlled by the Right." When one calmly inquires of a liberal as to how they plan to back up this claim, they predictably respond by whining about Fox News. As Ann Coulter once said, "If conservatives complained about CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, CNN and NPR half as much as liberals complained about Fox News, even I would say they're starting to get redundant."

Liberals have been trying to bully conservatives out of power for decades. In reaction to the monopoly liberals had on the news media, conservatives came up with Fox News and talk radio as alternatives. Immediately, liberals began smearing Fox as a "fascist" news outlet and calling Rush Limbaugh a "big fat idiot." After George W. Bush won the election in 2000, spoiled by eight years of Clinton, liberals explained that the election was fixed and that Bush was an illegitimate president. In a departure from the moral relativism and secular values promoted by the Hollywood establishment, Mel Gibson made the bold and heroic film, The Passion of the Christ, and months before its release, liberals slandered and maligned the picture as "anti-Semitic." (Ponder, for a moment, the irony of a film that celebrates a Jew being deemed "anti-Semitic".)

What Hirsen has written is a book that is more ambitious than his last one, and that deals with a more broad and consequential subject matter. And unlike Tales from the Left Coast, which teemed with hit-and-miss jokes, the humor in Hollywood Nation is even more on-target. Hirsen's book, much of which consists of interviews with entertainment and media insiders, provides us with the rare experience of catching a well-researched, well-conceived glimpse of liberal Hollywood culture through the eyes of an Orange County conservative who clearly isn't fooled by anything.

Christian Lee Hartsock, 18, is a screenwriter, political columnist and aspiring director. He writes for American Eagle and TownHall.com, and has been a guest on Sharon Hughes'™ radio show. His columns have been run in various newspapers, publications and websites including American Daily, Newsmax, Political Vanguard, Renew America, The Berkeley Daily Planet, the World Magazine blog, TheConservativeVoice.com and others. A native of Oakland, California, Chris is currently a student at Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film and Video Production.

Buy Hollywood Nation: Left Coast Lies, Old Media Spin and the New Media Revolution at Amazon.com for only $17.13 (34% off)

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