Timothy Influenced Politics” gives us a historical

Timothy Stanley’s article “Seven Surprising Ways Hollywood
Has Influenced Politics” gives us a historical look of how Hollywood has had its
hand in shaping politics. Friendships between politicians and the Hollywood
elite have had a huge impact on how Americans believe in what politics should
be in both manner and matter. Hollywood has shaped American’s imaginations as
to what politicians should be, superheroes, idols, and saviors this leaving
statesmen to believe they are stars.

Here are Stanley’s seven most surprising Hollywood’s influences
of politics. 1. John Kenney wasn’t born a president, his father Joe set up a
meeting with Gary Cooper in hopes John would absorb Cooper’s “star power.” Not
impressed with Cooper, John Kennedy found the idol making tools: makeup,
lighting and publicity.  2. Richard Nixon
found out from a survey his people conducted that Middle Americans were big
fans of John Wayne, so Nixon starting name dropping the “Duke.’ 3. During the
McCarty’s campaign in 1968, New Hampshire residents were surprised to find the
likes of Dustin Hoffman, and Paul Simon when they opened their door. While Paul
Newman’s speeches drove the vote for McCarty upward. 4. Hollywood donations for
Obama were down due to non-action on LGBT issues.  Once Obama announced his support of gay
marriage, big money was raised for his campaign fund at George Clooney’s house.
5. Hollywood portrays political races as battles between giants as opposed to
thoughtful discussions about policies. 6. McGovern cozied up with Warren Beatty
and Shirley MacLaine, but did not get the results he desire but reinforced the
far left label. 7. The television show The West Wing (1999-2006) used Barack
Obama (at the time little known senator from Illinois) to base the character of
Bartlet’s (the best darn president ever) successor.

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Although this article may be a little dated I chose it
because there is a direct link of topic from our textbook “Gender, Race, and
Class in Media” to this article.  Gender,
Race and Class in Media speaks about how Barack Obama’s election was not caused
by Hollywood but, because of Hollywood’s abundance of liberal films that
featured heroes who were men of color, anticipated a black president. The
article is more specific on Hollywood/Obama connection.  The political television show “West Wing” main
character President Bartlet was the epitome of political leaders.  Towards the end of the series when President
Barlet was towards the end of his second term the character Matt Santos was
introduced a one of the candidates to take over the office of president.   Little
did the viewing public know that Santo’s character was based on a little know
senator from Illinois named Barack Obama.  

The second point this article had directly related to
chapter 1 in “Gender, Race, and Class in Media” was way four, which is also a
Barack Obama story.  This speaks to
multiculturalism in specific the LGBTQ community.  It was reported that President Obama’s
financial support from the Hollywood community was down, it was reported that
the Hollywood industry people were holding out because Obama failed to act on
LGBT issues.  One out of six people who
collected major donations for Obama’s campaign was gay and Obama’s lack of
action put him in danger of losing their support. When President Obama came out
in support of gay marriages, George Clooney hosted a major fundraiser at his
house.

The fundamental importance of cultural studies is ideology.   I must
admit I was surprised how this article did not confirm my hypothesis that
Hollywood elites would use their power, money and influence to continue the ideology
of domination and subordination in both race and sexuality when it came to the
two President Obama stories.   In fact it was polar opposite, with Hollywood
planting the seeds for the first African American male president of the Unites
States of America, and withholding campaign contributions until President Obama
supported the LBGT community.  In this
case maybe we should say hooray for Hollywood!

I am not quite ready to jump on the Hollywood
bandwagon.  For it does not seem to have
the same willingness to support woman in politics, black, white or any other
color of the rainbow. The recent accusations, of sexual harassing, assaulting
and rape, by dozens of women against Hollywood’s mogul Harvey Weinstein seem to
have all kinds of Hollywood skeletons falling out of the closet.  The list includes but is not limited to Matt
Lauer, Charlie Rose, Russell Simmons, and Kevin Spacey.  Is this why Hilary Clinton was unsessful at 2
different runs for presidency.

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