Unless you know your way around the blogosphere or get your news from publications like the Malaysia Sun, Australia’s Sunday Morning Herald or Germany’s Die Welt, you likely missed the story last week that some 84 Hollywood celebrities – actors, directors and producers – had signed an ad condemning Hizbullah and Hamas that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
The American news media apparently failed to find it newsworthy that representatives of an industry known more for championing environmentalism than anti-terrorism – and that, notwithstanding its hugely disproportionate share of Jewish movers and shakers, has increasingly viewed the Middle East through a lens of moral equivalence – would publicly support such a refreshingly unequivocal declaration.
While Jews made up roughly half of the ad’s signatories, notably missing were many of Holly-wood’s most recognizable Jewish names – worthies like Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, David Geffen, Norman Lear, Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner, Larry David, Debra Messing, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and more than enough others to easily fill this column and then some.
(Most of the above-mentioned individuals are far from shy when it comes to supporting gay rights, abortion on demand, or the impeachment of Presi-dent Bush. The ridiculous Richard Dreyfuss, for ex-ample, who actually pays someone to advise him on politics, told the National Press Club that “there are causes worth fighting for” such as “the difficult and perhaps embarrassing process of impeachment.”
(H.L. Mencken died when Dreyfuss was a child, but the Sage of Baltimore no doubt had char-acters like him in mind when he described actors as being “full of hot and rancid gases….blatant and ob-noxious posturers and wind-bags.”)
What was really interesting about the anti-Hizbullah ad, though, was that so many of the non-Jewish celebrities who signed it are political conser-vatives, who of course comprise a lonely, often em-battled minority in ultra-liberal Tinseltown.
Interesting, but hardly surprising, in light of recent polls showing that conservatives in general and Republicans in particular are far more suppor-tive of Israel than are liberals and Democrats. In this case, at least, Hollywood is merely reflecting a trend rather than starting one.
Appearing in the ad were the names of actors Bruce Willis, James Woods, Sylvester Stallone, Gary Sinise and Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Ray-mond”), all of whom have received varying degrees of media scrutiny for bucking Hollywood’s leftist trend. (In the documentary “Rated R: Republicans in Hol-lywood,” Heaton told the story of how, at a dinner party in 2004, she happened to mention her support for George Bush and the other guests reacted as though she’d just committed an unspeakably anti-social act.)
Also signing the ad was “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak, whose conservatism is as out in the open as Heaton’s. (“There is a reason the Democrats have had only two presidents since 1968 and have managed to lose control of both houses of Congress in recent years,” Sajak has written. “There is a reason they keep snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And it’s not fraud and it’s not dirty politics and it’s not stupid voters. It’s the plain and simple fact that the majority of those who vote don’t like them.”)
The biggest surprise among the names on the ad, if one is to judge from the reaction of betrayal expressed by some lefty bloggers, was the veteran actor Dennis Hopper, whose image, based chiefly on a turbulent private life and his starring roles in clas-sic anti-establishment and edgy films like “Easy Rider” (1969) and “Blue Velvet” (1986), is one of a countercultural rebel.
Hopper, though, is anything but countercul-tural, and in fact has acknowledged voting a “straight Republican ticket” for the past 26 years.
“I’ve been a Republican since Reagan,” he re-cently told an interviewer. “I voted for Bush and his father. I don’t tell a lot of people, because I live in a city where somebody who voted for Bush is really an outcast.”