September 26, 2004

Speaking of Tinseltown Cons

Last week Attila the Hub and I saw Rated R: Republicans in Hollywood. One of the film's premises may be that with Mel Gibson's success and Arnold's having catapulted himself to a political office, there is a renaissance afoot of conservatism in the television/film industry.

My husband and I are in the two most left-wing LA industries: entertainment and media. (How did this happen? Well, my husband elected to join a sector wherein if you work hard and enjoy a little luck, you can make good money. Not being the brightest bulb in the marquee, I elected to go for an industry wherein if you work had and enjoy a little luck you might—just might—barely be able to eke out a living.)

My husband is "out," though he doesn't talk politics too much with his colleagues and there are awkward moments for those not "in the know." For instance, he hired a youngish writer to contribute to a television series. The bright young man wanted to please him, so he forwarded an e-mail about Kerry having picked John Edwards as his running mate, and the implications of this for the Kerry campaign. Of course, the mail underscored the importance of defeating Bush this November.

The point is not just that a writer committed a faux pas; the point is that it never crossed his mind his boss wasn't anti-Bush.

Reflecting the hard-scrabble nature of the media business, I haven't been "out," except within the community of gun owners and among "outdoor sport" publications, where I've had a handful of articles published over the years. ("Outdoor sport" means hunting and guns.)

Until a week ago Tuesday. My media industry group meets every month, and we usually go around the room and introduce ourselves. This time, instead of just announcing that I was a freelance copy editor, I mentioned the URL for this web site (though I initially garbled it, and had to correct myself—a sure sign of nervousness). Someone—let's call him Rick—asked me about the actual content.

"It's really libertarian; you'll hate it," I assured him. I did not, however, use the word war, as I didn't want to actually start one within our cozy little publishing group.

But things may be changing in media just as they seem to be changing in entertainment: later in the meeting Rick was discussing the kinds of magazines that appeal to the broader country, and made what he obviously meant to be a classic "the asses are masses" point: "people are voting for Bush," he said.

No one laughed, or followed up on his remark. So he said it again, a little louder, and I'm sure everyone heard him, but there was another subthread going on in the discussion, and people continued to be engaged in that rather than in Rick's "joke." At the time I thought it was curious, and assumed people just didn't want to get into politics in a professional setting. Later on, though, I realized just how strange it was, since usually any media/entertainment gathering has leftism in the air like oxygen is in the air, and there is usually no compunction about bringing this up, as we are "all among friends." That night, though, as I was dropping off to sleep I remembered that our group has more people who are shy of their 40th birthdays than middle-agers like me, and I realized I hadn't been the only one in that room who intended to vote for Chimpy McHalliburton.

The times, they are a-changin'. Maybe. I'm not even asking for parity: only that within both industries we attain critical mass to the point that our points of view are respected, and we aren't blackballed as intellectual lightweights. And that we stop losing jobs over our politics.

Posted by Attila at September 26, 2004 03:52 PM

I read you every day - this is my first comment.

This is a fantastic post - you described the feeling in your meeting perfectly. I felt like I was there! I'm an actress, a writer - and also conservative, and I live in Manhattan - so - well - you can imagine!!

There is NO thought in large groups that ANYONE present could be pro-Bush or pro-war. It is ASSUMED that everyone is in agreement. And the reaction when I out myself (because I just can't keep my mouth shut sometimes) is usually: "Wow ... but you seem so cool, so ... normal ..."

It's the most intolerant ignorant attitude.

Anyway. Thanks for this post.

Posted by: red at September 27, 2004 07:47 AM

I think there are basically three cities where this is the attitude: L.A., SF/Berkeley, and Manhattan. And, of course, most college campuses.

Of course, what I'm curious about is what percentage of the denizens actually believe these political passions they seem to have bought "off the rack," and how many thought things through and came to these conclusions.

It's certainly axiomatic that cool, hip, bright people don't support 1) Bush, 2) the war or defense, or 3) any kind of fiscal responsibility.

I have it a little easier, in that I can use the label "libertarian" (because it happens to be true). Of course, once they figure out that I support the war, it's all over.

Thanks for reading my blog, and thanks for sounding off in my comments.

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 27, 2004 12:28 PM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)

Buy Blogads from the
Network here.

This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caņada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings

KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— ERROR: is currently inaccessible

My Wish List

• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"

• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John

Real Indie Production
and Distibution

• Moving Picture Institute


• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
—the Commentary

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other

"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
—Suburban Blight


Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigar Jack

David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
Right Wing News

Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

Support a Blogger
at the
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!