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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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'Primetime Propaganda': Does it matter that most Hollywood liberals are Jews?

Mel_bnrooks I've been working on a column--which should be up here on the blog soon--about Ben Shapiro, who's caused a big stink with his new expose, "Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV." The book has become a sensation in the conservative blogosphere, largely because it gets showbiz liberals to shoot themselves in the foot. Shapiro interviewed tons of big-name TV creators, many of whom not only proudly boast about their liberal credentials but show disdain for conservatives and occasionally make it appear that they'd be perfectly happy if conservatives were never allowed in any writers rooms. 

For example, when Shapiro asked if conservatives are discriminated against in Hollywood, writer-director Nicholas Meyer responded: “Well, I hope so.” Ouch!

By the time I sat down to talk with Shapiro earlier this week, some of the fallout from his book had prompted veteran Hollywood writer Lionel Chetwynd and former CBS Entertainment Productions chief Norman Powell to resign from the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors, a values-oriented showbiz group geared toward promoting creative freedom and diversity. The two men cited inflammatory remarks made by Vin Di Bono, a fellow caucus member and executive producer of “MacGyver,” who said, when Shapiro asked him if everyone in Hollywood was a liberal, that “it's probably accurate and I'm happy about it.”

I have my own thoughts about whether showbiz liberals actually actively discriminate against conservatives, but remarks like that certainly don't make Hollywood lefties look especially open-minded. But what caught my eye as I was reading "Primetime Propaganda" was Shapiro's habit of describing a variety of prominent showbiz icons not only as liberal but as Jewish. As in: "Carl Reiner was another Bronx-born Jew who got his break in Sid Caesar's writer's room." Or, as he writes about Ed Asner: "Born in Missouri, the Jewish Asner served in the army, then went to New York...."

This happens over and over with the likes of Mel Brooks, Larry David, Woody Allen, Bea Arthur and Aaron Spelling. But oddly enough, Shapiro doesn't mention the religion of showbiz non-Jews like David Kelley, Diane English, Marc Cherry, Marcy Carsey or Matt Groening. Shapiro is no anti-Semite. In fact, he's an Orthodox Jew who wore a yarmulke when he was on "The O'Reilly Factor" the other night and keeps kosher, so when I asked him to meet me for lunch, I had to scramble to find a decent kosher restaurant on the Westside.

So why single out the Jewishness of so many showbiz liberals? "I wanted to head off the right-wing anti-Semites," Shapiro explained. "Let's face it, that's the first place they go. 'Oh, all that Hollywood liberalism is because they're Jewish.' Or 'Oh, TV was created by Jews, so it's their fault.' I didn't want it to seem as if I were hiding some grand Jewish conspiracy."

Shapiro says he also had another point to make. "I want people to know, by seeing an Orthodox Jew like me on places like 'O'Reilly,' that Jews are on both sides of the aisle and that Jewishness isn't just tied to socialism. I wanted to take that bat out of their hands."

I'm not so sure that the best way to take a bat out of an anti-Semite's hand is by specifically referring to a host of showbiz liberals as Jews, even if it's a Jewish author who's behind it. After all, it wasn't that long ago that conservative Jews were in a tizzy when liberal critics made a point of noting how many neoconservatives were Jews. After centuries of prejudice and worse, its not surprising that Jews can be sensitive about any perceived slights or slurs. Unless of course, they come from fellow Jewish comics, liberal or otherwise, who've learned long ago that you need an especially thick skin to survive in showbiz.

--Patrick Goldstein

Photo: Mel Brooks in his Culver Studios office in 2010. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times


Comments () | Archives (38)

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What am I missing in this non-story! We all know who runs Hollywood and I don't watch their crap!! Liberals attempt to destroy the basic foundations of this country and for want another Russia...move there.

I love Israel but the Jews killed my savior, and I am not laughing (hear that Larry David).

Listen, Hollywood makes junk and spreads it like its the sweetest smell when it stinks like a dead Bea Arthur.....really the days of Hollywood are over....

Does it matter? Well, if I were an ethnic Jew, I suppose it would very much. But as I have discovered: There are jews, and then there are Jews; the latter of which are observant, orthodox, and morally on par with most Christians.
Michael Medved would be a good example of the latter, while Norman Lear and Rob Reiner would epitomize the former.

According to the Bible, a true "Jew" is one who has the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I find very little evidence of such faith in men like Lear and Reiner, and quite the opposite, an open, sneering hostility towards it. Are these men "Jews"? I think not; and that, better than anything diffuses the anti-Semite.

Yes I find it embarrassing

IMO it doesnt matter that so many Hollywood Jews are libs, but I find it rather surprising that most Jews (Hollywood and otherwise) are liberals. Especially on issues like Israel...I expected Obama's turning his back on such a longtime ally as Israel to unsettle more liberal Jews than it seems to have done so far.

Of course it's still uncertain how that will play out in the 2012 elections...even though there has been very little criticism of Obama's treatment of Israel by Jews, that doesnt mean he wont be losing Jewish votes in 2012. Only time will tell...

By the way, Ben Shapiro is a great young mind and I expect to see his influence grow as he gains experience and more people become familiar with his work.

The vast majority of Americans have no idea of the religion of the entertainment elite nor do the care. There are very few right-wing anti-Semites. The best friends that Israel has in the US are fundamentalist Christians and Catholics. We have not nor will we ever forget that Lord Jesus was a Jew and we will never abandon Israel.

It is the liberals in this country that are hot to sell out Israel and it is the conservative Christians that stand in there way.

95% are Liberal until the discussion moves to Gaza.

"After centuries of prejudice and worse, its not surprising that Jews can be sensitive about any perceived slights or slurs."

Like Blacks always using the RACE card, Jews play this same game. When will Jews admit that they harbor racism and tribalism like no other group in this country.Growing up I worked at a Jewish only Country Clubs and heard first hand racist remarks about blacks, Italians, and the Irish. In college I dated Jewish girls who's parents said things in front of me that would horrify anyone. I worked at companies run by Jews, who surrounded themselves with only other Jews... forget about moving up there. It goes on and on. and Hollywood and the media is a fine example.

But this gentile is expected to go through life and forget all this... yeah just like we are not aloud to forget the Holocaust. But like the blacks, Jews use this as a sheild to allow themselves to behave in ways they would find antisemitic if it was done to them. Start treating people the way they want to be treated, and get rid of their "tribe" mentality will things change.

Then lets talk about all the Anti American social causes started and to this driven by the Jews. ACLU is the best example.

I think the problem with Jews in this country and the World is their utter arrogance. And Hollywood and those who suck up to your twisted world view have corrupted the American Family through borsch belt crude TV and movies... congratulations!

When the Jews turn away from money at any cost mindset as their God, maybe then they will stop being so damn self righteous!

"Does it matter that most Hollywood liberals are Jews?"

Does this mean they will be supporting a Palestinian state, and voting rights for Arabs who reside in Israel?

That's correct, isn't it, that the Arabs in Israel cannot vote, because if they did, they'd be the majority?

That's rather like not allowing Latinos to vote in California because it would be "inconvienent".

Why should the likes of Ben Shapiro be taken seriously by anyone? Are we to have a new pogrom in Hollywood where Liberal Jews will be interrogated and made to "confess" their "sin" on antipathy to Andrew Breitbart's neo-fascism?

I have a simple question. What is the point of this article? I know it addressed the liberal Jews in Hollywood. Who cares? Really? Why do people feel that the world "revolves" around Jews. It doesn't. Trust me. I understand "they" were the chosen people. Or are they "still'? It doesn't matter for people are no longer under the Mosaic law. We are now under the blood of Jesus. Perhaps that is the reason Jews have a problem accepting Jesus Christ. I am merely speculating. If I were the only "flavor" and then a "new" flavor is introduced I would be upset. Kinda like being the "only" child then discovering you're going to have a brother or sister. Sometimes you don't "want" a brother or a sister. I think the Jews views Jesus Christ as the brother they got but don't "want". I could be wrong and may very well be. The Jews were addressed by God in Deut31:27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck... The Jews "pissed' God off righteously. Why do you think they were made to wander in the desert for 40 years?I guess if I were the "only" child and had my position "usurped" I wouldn't be too happy. I may even want to "kill" the "usurper".

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