How Hollywood Maligns The Right

We all know of the great slights that Hollywood deals out to the American right. We see them all the time. From the TV shows that casts Republicans as villains, the movies that make Christians out to be hypocrites or even outright evil. Traditional motherhood and fatherhood also find constant ridicule at the hands of Hollywood. The overt examples are everywhere, of course. But the grand swipe isn’t all that Hollywood indulges. There are also these ubiquitous, small, quick, too fast to notice swipes against the right perpetrated by Hollywood. A fine example of the side-swipe approach to denigrating the right came in the April 29 episode of The Mentalist, a CBS detective show starring Australian actor Simon Baker.

Now, at the top here I want to say that The Mentalist is generally an inoffensive, amusing little show fashioned in the Sherlock Holmes mode featuring a detective that sees every little clue and can with ease assemble these disparate facts to solve the crime. Baker turns in a funny performance with just enough underlying darkness to make his character interesting.

But, despite that it is generally a diverting entertainment, the show is just as disposed to slam anything from the right as any other and the April 29 episode gives us a prime example of that.

In the episode titled “Red All Over,” the investigative team tries to solve the murder of a media mogul. One of the plot lines deals with the leader of a Scientology-styled cult played by famed actor Malcolm McDowell.

McDowell is presented as a slick, con man that is up to no good and hero Simon Baker reacts to him in that manner. In one of the central scenes the two characters verbally spar with each other each looking for vulnerabilities in the other’s wall of self-surety.

In that scene detective Baker asks con-man McDowell about a self-help book he wrote that was personalized to a suspected bomber. Baker tells McDowell that he must know the bomber because he so carefully personalized the book. McDowell returns by telling Baker that he personalizes thousands of books like that. It is a trick, McDowell’s character says, that he learned from his old friend “Ron Reagan.”

And now you see what these right-hating denizens of Hollywood just did, don’t you? They took the sleazy, com man character and made him out as a close personal friend of Ronald Reagan! They’ve maligned Ronald Reagan as one who would keep company with a low-life con man. Apparently, these Hollywood types expect every viewer to slap their heads and say to themselves, “of COURSE Ronald Reagan would be friends with a scummy con man!” It’s a natural fit… right?

This was a quick, hard to notice shot at Ronald Reagan but for what reason? Couldn’t they just as easily have said that the con man was a close personal friend with Jimmy Carter? How about Bill Clinton? No better con man ever set foot in the White House than Bill Clinton! Yet these TV writers had to reach back decades to slag Ronald Reagan!

This episode’s slap at Reagan is a perfect example of the quick, anti-right slant that Hollywood wallows in every day in ways small as well as big.

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!