Democratic candidates are often treated to high-profile, fundraising parties, attended by the glitterati, with thousands of dollars raised for the candidate of choice. Barack has Oprah. La Hillary has Rob Reiner (director). Pretty boy Edwards has Brett Ratner (director/producer). But, unlike their Democratic counterparts, you won't find any Republican actors, directors or producers hosting high-dollar, fundraising bashes for their favoured candidate. Nope. You never hear of those. Not because there aren't any Republicans in the entertainment industry, but because:
a. you couldn't find one willing to openly host an event and
b. even if you did, you couldn't find enough of them to attend that event.
Although many people scoff at the idea of blacklisting in Hollywood, it does exist, at least the fear of it does. Particularly for the rank and file actor. All you have to do is look at who gives to whom (forgive the Huffpo link) and you'll notice a major disparity between what the Democratic candidates receive and the paltry amount the Republicans receive. No-one in the entertainment industry (save for a fearless few) wants to openly admit they are Republican. A recent article by Joseph Curl, in the Washington Times, illustrates exactly how reluctant they are; of those he contacted for the article none were willing to comment, even those who have donated in the past to the GOP and those who appear to be conservative, like 'Desperate Housewives', Terri Hatcher. According to the article, although Ms. Hatcher lunched with Bush Sr., this past February, and has repeatedly refused to be interviewed on the ultra liberal 'Real Time With Bill Maher', her lawyer Barry Tyerman emailed the following to Curl:
"Please be advised that Ms. Hatcher is not a Republican, but more importantly does not choose to have her political affiliation or viewpoints on any particular candidate or issue in the current presidential campaign included in your proposed article."
Calling yourself a Republican is akin to admitting you're, say, a serial killer in the minds of those who aren't, so most keep their politics a private matter, to avoid any potential discrimination. And sadly, discrimination against conservatives isn't confined to the entertainment biz. People in other industries are subject to the same type of prejudice, at least in those industries dominated by liberals. One would think that the self-proclaimed heralds of tolerance and inclusiveness would be a little more tolerant and inclusive, but not so. Far from it. As I have mentioned before, I have been privy to some incredibly nasty conservative-bashing sessions, proving that liberals aren't so liberal with their compassion and understanding, either.
So, understandably, donations from conservative Hollywood are lagging far behind those from liberal Hollywood-ites, in a time when donations from all sectors has substantially increased. According to the Center For Responsive Politics (CRP)
"Top industries and interest groups have increased their giving over 2004 by 46 percent, Center finds. As money shifts to Democrats, giving from Republican strongholds is mostly flat."
CRP's executive director, Sheila Krumholz claims that:
"A power shift in Congress and a wide-open race for the White House add up to record-breaking contributions from the nation's biggest givers." "There is an intensity to the fundraising for 2008 that we've
never seen before, which means the candidates and parties will be all the more beholden to their biggest donors."
A CRP article goes on to explain that:
"As interest groups and industries contribute substantially more money, they are also shifting their giving to Democrats, both to members of Congress now that the party is in control and to Democratic presidential candidates. The typical big-giving industry is now giving 57 percent of its contributions to Democrats, a shift of 14 percentage points from both 2006 and 2004, when the party and its candidates collected only 43 percent of the money."
Well, isn't that heartening?!
In light of the above facts, I don't think we can afford to sit on our duffs and expect our candidate to win in 2008 if we don't give him our full support, both in time and/or money. We need to rally around whoever is chosen as the Republican nominee, regardless of our differences or personal preferences. This is not a time to thumb our noses at GOP because a particular candidate does not fully represent our voice.
There is a slight glimmer of hope, though. The recent spate of anti-war films 'bombing', no pun intended, is hopefully an indication that the times they are a changing. As quoted in the Washington Times article, Andrew Breitbart (of Breitbart.com) said in reference to conservative Hollywood: "A lot of these people really believe that we're at crossroads, whether or not we're going to be aggressively taking on ascendant radical Islam." "At that point, you'll see a lot of people come out of the closet."
I hope he's right!
Some interesting side-notes:
Robert Duvall has publicly endorsed Giuliani. Adam Sandler has donated and is expected to endorse Giuliani. Kelsey Grammar and Ben Stein have both donated to Giuliani. Chuck Norris has donated to Huckabee.
For a list of the top 25 most conservative actors click here. It also lists others, but some of them are questionable as conservatives. Morgan Freeman is listed but he has endorsed Barack Obama, so I wouldn't put much credence into it.
And here's a list of corporate donors, and the political parties they donate to. I know which companies I'm going to support.
Here's a post by an emmy Award winning Hollywood screenwriter who talks about the perils of being openly Republican. He also links to a great FrontPage article he wrote.
H/T Kate via email