If you think liberal media bias is strictly an issue for The New York Times and the Washington Post, you haven’t looked at your average entertainment site lately.
Nearly every major Hollywood news site leans left. It has been that way for some time, but in recent years it has gotten worse. The improbable rise of Donald Trump is hastening that shift. And, in an age when pop culture plays an increasing role in our body politic, that matters.
This reporter follows a gaggle of entertainment scribes on Twitter. Most work for mainstream news outlets with no agenda. . . on the surface. Think Variety, not Mother Jones, or The Hollywood Reporter as opposed to The Nation.
Let’s just say these writers show no sign of hiding their biases. Here’s Tim Goodman, TV critic for The Hollywood Reporter:
So for the next four years, if he makes it that far, I’m just going to refer to him as Russian Vice President Trump.
— Tim Goodman (@BastardMachine) December 10, 2016
Deadline.com’s Dominic Patten recently retweeted a Stephen King broadside against Trump’s emerging cabinet, which called it the “worst in American history.”
— Dominic Patten (@DeadlineDominic) December 11, 2016
That’s just a sample. Now, reporters can tweet whatever they wish, but they call their objectivity into question by doing so. And, sadly, it doesn’t take a long examination to see how their tweets reflect their arts coverage.
The LA Times’ entertainment site recently questioned if it was appropriate for a straight white male comic, Jimmy Kimmel, to host the Oscars given Trump’s win.
Or consider Variety TV critic Maureen Ryan’s recent column on TV in the so-called Age of Trump.
You don’t need me to tell you that Trump’s election is partly a reaction to the long-overdue progress of men and women of color in America. It’s frightening that small improvements in a limited number of areas are so hated and feared, and that justifiable demands for dignity and respect have produced such a terrifying backlash. Even modest signs of progress have been greeted with ferocious pushback.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg recently paid tribute to Trevor Noah’s interview with President Obama, during which time Noah didn’t challenge the two-term leader in any substantial way. Fienberg raved about the Q&A all the same. Would he have done the same had Noah let President Bush off so easily? If not. . . why not?
The reporter also referred to former Daily Show host Jon Stewart as “the most trusted man in comedy news.” Trusted? Sure, liberals trust he’ll echo their worldview. What about the other half of the country? Doesn’t Fienberg have a duty to consider them?
And then there’s the recent news that Adam McKay signed up to shoot a movie based on former Vice President Dick Cheney. Deadline.com broke the story but failed to mention McKay’s political leanings.
Here’s a clue: He’s one of the most progressive talents in Hollywood. He routinely taps into that with his work, from the liberal comedy The Campaign to his hard-left comedy site Funny or Die. McKay was briefly attached to a comedy about Ronald Reagan’s dementia. Let that one sink in for a moment.
Is there any chance McKay’s politics won’t factor into the movie? Shouldn’t readers get a heads up on that fact so they can decide for themselves?
Generally speaking, entertainment outlets cheer every anti-Trump missive from the late night crowd. They applaud Samantha Bee’s weekly excoriation of the GOP on her TBS show Full Frontal, even though she does so in the coarsest way possible.
Variety took its bias to a new level with its “Worst TV of 2016” feature. The listicle, compiled by “Variety Staff,” reserved the number one spot to. . .Trump.
This is hardly a new problem.
Michael Moore, the far-left filmmaker, has enjoyed near universal support since his first major release Roger & Me hit theaters. Critics hailed his worldview and pugnacious spirit. It’s rare to find the word “propaganda” attached to a Moore documentary, from either arts reporters or film critics, even though his features are always one-sided.
If a film praised a pro-life position, though, then you’ll see that word. A lot.
Reporters routinely cover Moore like he’s a truth-teller, not a hard partisan. They still do, considering his every anti-Trump missive as manna from heaven.
Would they treat him the same had he championed limited government and lowering taxes? Of course not.
Maybe entertainment reporters simply assume that they are writing for their liberal friends in Hollywood. But if they are covering an industry that wants to make money off the rest of America, they might try to learn something from the election results.