What got into Good Morning America? Each of the network shows ran its compulsory pre-Oscar segment this morning. But while Today was airing a bland piece on the freebies that celebrities in attendance get in gift bags, GMA's segment had a most unexpected angle, asking whether Hollywood has become too political - read 'liberal.' As Tim Graham has noted, Jon Stewart and George Clooney have denied that Hollywood suffers from any such bias, but GMA host Charlie Gibson acknowledged the slant frankly.
He framed it this way:
"Now we turn to the politics of the Oscars. We've talked a lot about the culture wars in America, the blue state/red state divide, the clash between more traditional moral values and more liberal points of view.
"When you look at the pictures nominated for the best film of the year, there's not much question where Hollywood stands. The five nominated films for best picture, an ensemble piece on the insidious effects of racism: 'Crash'. A love story between two cowboys, 'Brokeback Mountain'. 'Good Night and Good luck' [about the McCarthy era]. The politics of terrorism in 'Munich' and a character study of a famous gay writer, 'Capote'. All five dealing in various degrees with divisive issues, political issues, and all five can be considered as having distinctly left-of-center perspectives."
Variety's Peter Bart defended the choices in this way: "These are more sophisticated pictures aimed at a dedicated filmgoer."
A skeptical Gibson: "It is not uncommon for one or two nominated films to have a political point of view. But all five?"
Continued Gibson: "George Clooney's film 'Good Night and Good Luck' tells of attempts to silence the media reporting on the excesses of McCarthyism in the 1950'S. Clooney's attempt to draw parallels to today are apparent. Steven Spielberg's 'Munich' makes the argument that in the face of terror, societies that fight violence with more violence cede the moral high ground. It focuses on the Olympics of 1972, but the [attempt to draw a] parallel to today is apparent.
"Now add in Jon Stewart as host. He skewers all politicians but is seen as particularly tough on President Bush. Last year the White House issued a statement in response to host Chris Rock's barbs. This year, who knows? Everyone loves the Oscars. Everyone loves movies. This year, however, the Oscars may play well in some parts in country -- not so well in others."
Wow! Give GMA an Oscar for honesty about Hollywood liberal bias. Now, if the folks at ABC would like to shoot for the golden statuette for Best Morning Show, they might consider having a look at NewsBusters 'scripts' - and do a segment on liberal bias . . . at the broadcast networks.
Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY. 'Right Angle', the TV show he hosts, was recently named 'Best of the Best' among public-access shows in his area. Contact him at: email@example.com