David Horowitz crazy with Oscar™ fever!
In many ways, I want to have the relationship with David Horowitz that I have with Britney Spears, watching his slow descent into madness with a sense of bemused pity until he either ended up institutionalized or sequestered in a small shack in Idaho. When he positions himself as a cultural critic, his lack of cultural competency is as painful to watch as Spears' utterly clueless political ramblings in Fahrenheit 9/11 were (piece of liberal agit-prop or no).
Unfortunately, the folks who who are in a position to intervene and tell Horowitz he's making a complete fool of himself are actually enabling him, giving him a multi-million dollar platform with which he can do some real damage to important institutions and a lot of people's lives. That means folks like us have to shake off the torpor that comes with feeling sorry for this intellectual shill and point out that the man is nuts, nuts, nuts.
So what bee is in Horowitz's bonnet? Liberal Hollywood, my friends, and their partisan awards shows. From a fundraising letter:
This Sunday's Oscar ceremony is shaping up to be the most partisan, left-wing awards show yet. If you're tired of Hollywood's liberal agenda and would like to see films made that celebrate America, Israel, and conservative values, then please read to the end of this email and join our cause.
Hollywood's liberal agenda, blah blah blah. Partisan, left-wing awards show yadda yadda yadda. Michael Moore is fat, fat, fat and probably sells crack to kindergarteners after Sunday School. Uh huh. We get it. So what's Horowitz's proof this time of the left-wing awards show agenda?
Al Gore's misleading documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" (which blames global warming on America) is nominated for both the Best Documentary Oscar and the Best Original Song Oscar. Gore is the favorite to win, and some say it may even re-launch his chances of a presidential run in 2008.
You know what, I'm almost feeling charitable enough to give Horowitz this one. Al Gore is certainly a Democrat - some might even go so far as to say he's a liberal. And I don't doubt that every now and again, the Academy likes to send a message with their awards. But then I read that Horowitz thinks An Inconvenient Truth is misleading (which is surely the pot calling the kettle black). What's misleading about it? Gore provides a ton of empirical, peer-reviewed evidence to back his claims in the film. What have you got Horowitz?
And did Gore "blame" global warming on America? No, he claims that the build-up of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere is a result of human, primarily industrial, activity. As the United States is a major contributor of greenhouse emissions, there is a moral responsibility for us to do something. But if Horowitz didn't have on his ideological blinders, he'd realize that Gore sees the solution to global warming in America, in the innovative and entrepreneurial characteristics that made us a world leader in the first place. Imagine that, a film that makes the bold claim that we, as a nation, can do better! How un-American.
And finally, uh... Davis Guggenheim made a really compelling documentary that was engaging, relevant, timely, and commerically successful. Political agenda or no, that is what an Oscar-winning film is supposed to be.
"Letters From Iwo Jima," nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, posits a moral equivalency between America and Imperial Japan during World War II, while the Oscar-nominated "Flags of Our Fathers" depicts the American war-time government as greedy and corrupt.
You'll note that Horowitz is too much of a chickenshit coward to come out and call the director of both films an anti-American Hollywood leftist. The director, of course, is Clint Eastwood.
Clint Eastwood. Horowitz's statement can only lead me to two conclusions: 1) Horowitz is too stupid to realize that just about everyone knows that Clint Eastwood is a libertarian Republican, or 2) Horowitz manipulatively cherry-picks information which helps prove his point. I suspect we all know that the latter conclusion is most likely.
I think it's also important to again note how full of bile Horowitz is that he can't feel empathy. Does Letters from Iwo Jima posit a moral equivalency between two warring nations, or does it posit a common, tragic humanity among combatants? Sixty years after the end of the Second World War, and Horowitz still can't let go of the fact that the Japanese were then our enemies. Sad.
"Jesus Camp," nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar, ridicules conservative evangelical Christians.
No, Jesus Camp didn't ridicule them - it made a certain sect of conservative evangelical Christians appear downright dangerous. There was nothing funny about it. Given the prevalence of eliminationist rhetoric in mainstream conservative political discourse, and given that anti-government right-wingers have shot doctors and bombed abortion clinics and government buildings, I think a documentary which shows the conditioning of young children into Christian warriors is more than fair game.
"Children of Men," nominated for three Oscars, is about a heroic illegal alien who tries to save the human race, and the racist conservative government that is trying to deport her.
This would seem to me to be un-American only if Horowitz thought our current government was racist and conservative and would try to deport humanity's savior. And that's clearly not the case: our government would disappear them into a Kafka-esque no-man's land, where they'd eventually, years later, re-appear with serious psychological damage in Gitmo.
"Babel," nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, depicts Americans overseas as arrogant, racist, and abusive to foreigners.
Never in the known history of the world, has an American overseas been arrogant, racist, or abusive to foreigners. Or worn matching star-spangled outfits, dark socks and sandals for that matter.
So, now that Horowitz has shown himself to be a heartless, intellectually bankrupt coward who is unable to feel empathy towards any human being who doesn't reflect back to him a jingoistic parody of American-ness, what would he have us do to combat the scourge that is Hollywood?
If you're as disturbed by this as we are...
I'm sorry David, "disturbed" is a really unfortunate word for you to use here. All I can see is Britney Spears shaving off your very chic "intellectual's" beard. You were saying?
[Y]ou have a chance to make a difference. For the first time since Ronald Reagan left Hollywood for Washington there is a voice in Hollywood to counter the political left. The Liberty Film Festival is Hollywood's first pro-American, pro-Israel, conservative film festival and cultural organization. Its purpose is to create the kind of film product of which Americans who love freedom and love their country can be proud.
That's right, you can instead help make possible a film festival where the only requirement for entry is that your film be pro-American, pro-Israel and conservative. They can't say that the films will be any good, mind you, just that they'll all hew closely to the odd-ball fantasy world that passes for consensus reality on the far right.
So what kind of "talent" has Horowitz discovered at his little film festival?
Successful films launched at the Liberty Film Festival include "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," which had its World Premiere at the 2005 Liberty Film Festival and went on to be aired five times on Fox News the weekend before the 2006 election.
Okay, a bit of right-wing agit-prop broadcast on Fox News in order to influence the 2006 elections. Given the election results, we can see how effective and persuasive this particular "documentary" was. And you're telling me it wasn't nominated for an Oscar?
Also, Joel Surnow, creator of "24," launched his new hit conservative comedy Fox News show "The Half Hour News Hour" at the 2006 Liberty Film Festival, where it received thunderous applause.
Ah yes, the widely-panned blatant rip-off of The Daily Show, recipients of another left-wing partisan award. You're right, Horowitz! The right-wing creative brain trust churning out original conservative programming is on fire! Hit me again!
The Liberty Film Festival was also instrumental in promoting ABC's "The Path to 9/11," the outstanding miniseries that bravely depicted Clinton's failure to capture Bin Laden.
"Outstanding" wasn't the word I heard. "Misleading," "historically inaccurate," and "steaming piece of shit" were what I recall being attributed to this particular miniseries.
It is critical that Americans like you support the Liberty Film Festival and the brave conservative filmmakers countering the anti-American propaganda of the Hollywood Left!
The left understands the stakes. On opening night of the 2005 Liberty Film Festival, left-wing protestors rushed the stage of the Pacific Design Center and tried to attack me as I introduced the film "Brainwashing 101" which is about the left's efforts to indoctrinate students on American college campuses. The protestors screamed "Fascists have no right to free speech!" "You have no right to free speech!" They had to be tackled by members of the audience to prevent them from doing me bodily harm. Their message couldn't have been clearer: in Hollywood, conservatives have no right to free speech.
Ugh. Okay kids, here's where I partially agree with David. Stop rushing the podium at his speeches and screaming at him. Stop it for three reasons: 1) it makes us look like intolerant jackasses, 2) it allows Horowitz to continue his whiny ass titty-baby, "help, help, I'm being oppressed" victim routine, and 3) shutting him up would deprive bloggers like me the much needed resources we require for the production of high quality, grade A snark. Let him speak, and show his silly movies, and write his books. You should have no problem de-bunking his anecdotally supported half-truths, dissecting his addled logical leaps, and deconstructing his bizarre cultural assumptions on their own merits for all but the most fervent Kool-Aid drinkers.
Kool-Aid drinkers like Britney.
[updated on 2/26/07 at 11:24 AM]: Welcome Free Exchange on Campus readers! Please enjoy your look around!