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Airwaves abuzz with Hollywood blacklist; no secrets this time

by C/O Diogenes Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 8:52 AM

"Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, whose anti-war comments got a Baseball Hall of Fame event in honor of Bull Durham's 15th anniversary canceled. And please don't forget the Dixie Chicks. All of a sudden, making contrary or outre political comments isn't only not OK, it's a punishable offense."

hursday, May 15, 2003



Airwaves abuzz with Hollywood blacklist; no secrets this time

By Laura Berman / The Detroit News

In his TV commercials for telephone giant MCI, actor Danny Glover is appealing and likable. He's honed to perfection the character of a trustworthy buddy, a genuine guy.

But Danny Glover's image is under revision. It's being revamped on cable TV and talk shows that portray him as an un-American creep who deserves to lose his job for speaking out against the Bush administration.

His is the latest name on the new Hollywood blacklist that's being compiled by high-tech bullies trying to work a two-fer: drum up ratings and drown out dissent.

Round 'em up: Sean Penn, for doing Saddam Hussein's PR in the month before the war broke out. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, whose anti-war comments got a Baseball Hall of Fame event in honor of Bull Durham's 15th anniversary canceled.

And please don't forget the Dixie Chicks.

All of a sudden, making contrary or outre political comments isn't only not OK, it's a punishable offense.

On Wednesday, operators at MCI took calls all day long from viewers of MSNBC's Scarborough Country. The show's host, Joe Scarborough, a Republican ex-congressman who goes for the jugular, encouraged viewers to urge MCI to cancel Glover's contract.

He even flashed the telephone number on screen, so viewers could "demand that MCI get rid of him."

Glover may be the guy you'd turn to for help if a covey of Columbian drug dealers had you cornered in a deserted warehouse, and he's the kind of guy you listen to when he's pitching phone service. But is he really someone whose political views you heed?

Americans are insistent in polls that they don't listen to actors spouting politics. By smearing their public images, and publicizing their political views, talk show hosts like Scarborough taint the actors' work -- and make us less comfortable watching them.

Scarborough characterized Sean Penn and Glover as "anti-Bush." And so far as I know, being opposed to the president -- any U.S. president -- has never been considered cause for an American to get fired.

Scarborough and other talkmeisters, like Bill O'Reilly, insist that there's a price to be paid for free expression. I agree with that.

But the airwaves are alive right now with the code words used so effectively during the red-baiting era of Sen. Joseph P. McCarthy and the 1950s blacklisters.

It's been 50 years since Hollywood's top actors, writers, and directors suddenly stopped working after being branded as political untouchables. And, golly, the vocabulary of "loyalty" "patriotism" and "anti-American," that was used so effectively and notoriously to end people's careers is making a resurgence.

Scarborough likes to trot out Jon Alvarez, the founder of something called Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood, a title that conveys the congenial spirit of the group.

Liking the president is not what I'd consider a qualification for an acting, or public spokesperson, job. Certainly, people like Scarborough weren't keen on backing a popular president when he was a Democrat named Bill Clinton.

The old Hollywood blacklist was a secret, a document composed of whispers, based on rumor and innuendo. The new one is blasted over the airwaves, not the least bit secret. But its intent -- to silence debate by costing people their livelihoods--is just as insidious.

Laura Berman's column runs Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Reach her at (248) 647-7221 or e-mail lberman@detnews.com.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 96 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Fight back... Diogenes Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 8:54 AM
Boycott Clear Channel?? muddywaters Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 9:18 AM
Yes! Support those who speak out... daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 9:25 AM
daveman Dan Quayle Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:00 AM
No, Dan... daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:25 AM
daveman Arnold Schwartzeneggar Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:30 AM
But Ah-nold, daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:31 AM
P.S., Ah-nold daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:32 AM
daveman Arnold Schwartzeneggar Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:33 AM
Sure, fake guy... daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:36 AM
daveman Ted Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:37 AM
Thanks for the warning, Ted. daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:40 AM
daveman Ted Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:40 AM
FSU, huh? daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:42 AM
daveman Ted Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:44 AM
Are you saying... davveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:45 AM
daveman Ted Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:48 AM
Excuse me, Skippy... daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:55 AM
daveman Ted Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 10:56 AM
Who says Skippy isn't lazy? daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:00 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:00 AM
daveman Ted Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:01 AM
Skippy wants me... daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:03 AM
daveman Ted Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:04 AM
Blacklist? I. Reilly Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:05 AM
Like I said: daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:06 AM
Help Bruce Willis Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:07 AM
daveman Ted Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:08 AM
Like I said: daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:11 AM
daveman the moron Arnold Shwartzeneggar Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:12 AM
Skippy, you're getting tiresome. daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:14 AM
Ted Smarmster Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:15 AM
daveman pointer Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:15 AM
daveman School for the Mentally Retarded Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:18 AM
There is a difference... Diogenes Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:24 AM
Sorry... daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 11:26 AM
Diogones daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 12:26 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 12:30 PM
That's right, KFC... daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 12:34 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 12:58 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 1:02 PM
KFC daveman Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 2:38 PM
The resolution is one of those... Diogenes Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 4:49 PM
Idiot fresca Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 5:16 PM
Actually they have... Diogenes Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 5:26 PM
fresca is like janitor Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 5:31 PM
LOl fresca Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 6:03 PM
How is that? Diognenes Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 7:08 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 8:54 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, May. 16, 2003 at 8:58 PM
There IS no difference... daveman Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 1:28 AM
shut it down? Kiss my whips. Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 1:44 AM
Diogenes handleit Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 3:46 AM
oooooooo oooooooo Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 4:21 AM
"I highly suspecious of someone who claims such things and then... Eric Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 4:25 AM
Well said, daveman Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 5:05 AM
The vote counts are a matter of Public Record... Diogenes Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 6:52 AM
Good ol Cincinnati... Pissed Off in Ohio Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 7:34 AM
Diogones, as well as... daveman Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 7:39 AM
oooooo oooooo Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 7:54 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 8:37 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 8:40 AM
answers handleit Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 9:09 AM
I see no refutation here... Diogenes Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 9:16 AM
Diogenes handleit Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 9:33 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 1:04 PM
Like I said, handleit... daveman Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 2:18 PM
Yeah daveman... Eric Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 2:38 PM
And handleit... Eric Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 2:43 PM
welcome handleit fresca Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 2:53 PM
unbelikeable cuzin its a ... Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 3:01 PM
cuzin its a... daveman Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 5:09 PM
davemoron and company... Diogenes Saturday, May. 17, 2003 at 6:36 PM
military men thomaston Monday, May. 19, 2003 at 11:44 PM
thomaston daveman Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 12:38 AM
I can see your reasoning... Diogenes Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 6:06 AM
Simple Simple Simon Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 6:40 AM
Psympleton slinks into vomit. Diogenes Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 6:57 AM
Freudian Slip or disinfo post? Diogenes Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 7:25 AM
Simple Simple Simon Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 7:40 AM
Cuisinart's are overpriced... Diogenes Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 7:45 AM
Not "Inconvenienced"? stu Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 4:32 PM
The reason the Chix... daveman Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 4:47 PM
jesus fresca Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 5:49 PM
Fresca fresca Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 5:57 PM
Thanks fresca Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 6:16 PM
Not "Inconvenienced"? stu Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 6:29 PM
uh stu...? fresca Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 6:39 PM
Let me hip you to something my good man. Let me hip you to something my good man. Tuesday, May. 20, 2003 at 6:45 PM
daveman debate coach Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 3:40 AM
Logical Fallacy debate coach Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 3:49 AM
debate coach's debating strategy masterdebater Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 4:17 AM
Logical Fallacy debate coach Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 4:25 AM
^ KOBE SBM Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 4:27 AM

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