THE CONSERVATIVE UNDERGROUND IN HOLLYWOOD

BY   RICK   MORAN  ,  THE   AMERICAN   THINKER  :  JULY   23,   2008

He  was  very  lonely  and  extremely  depressed  about  his  struggling  career.

jonathanbrandisunderground1

JONATHAN    BRANDIS    :    1976    –    2003

THEY  MEET  SURREPTITIOUSLY  IN  BARS,  RESTAURANTS  AND  PRIVATE  HOMES.         THEY  LIVE  IN  CONSTANT  FEAR  THAT  THEY  MIGHT  BE  DISCOVERED.  IF  THEY  WERE,  IT  MIGHT  MEAN  THE  VIRTUAL  END  TO  THEIR  CAREERS.  THEY  NEVER  SPEAK  OF  THEIR  ACTIVITIES.  AND  ON  THOSE  RARE  OCCASIONS  THEY  SPEAK  TO  THE  PRESS,  THEY  REFUSE  TO  GIVE  THE  NAMES  OF  ANYONE  ELSE  IN  THE  GROUP.  

WHO  ARE  THESE  FOLKS?  ANTI-COMMUNIST  REBELS?  FREEDOM  FIGHTERS            FROM  SOME  WOEBEGONE  DICTATORSHIP?  MAYBE  AN  AL-QAEDA  CELL  BENT  ON  DESTROYING  US?

NOPE.  THEY’RE  HOLLYWOOD  CONSERVATIVES.

A  group  of  politically  conservative  and  centrist  Hollywood  figures  organized  by  actor  Gary  Sinise  and  others  has  been  meeting  quietly  in  restaurants  and  private  homes,  forming  a  loosely-knit  network  of  entertainers  who  share  common  beliefs  like  supporting  U.S.  troops  and  traditional  American  values.

Some  of  those  involved  are  taking  more  public  steps  to  counter  the  entertainment  industry’s  tilt  toward  liberalism  and  Democratic  Party  politics,  such  as              campaigning  for  Republican  Senator  John  McCain  or  crafting  projects  to  portray            America  in  a  more  positive  light.

The  group,  whose  members  call  themselves,  “FRIENDS  OF  ABE”,  after  Abraham  Lincoln,  was  organized  as  an  underground  movement  because  of  fears  that  prominent  industry  titans  with  outspoken  liberal  views  would  retaliate,  said  participants.  They  often          were  reluctant  to  name  members  of  the  group  in  interviews  for  fear  it  would  hurt          their  careers.

“It’s  a  growing  movement  and  word  is  getting  out  that  there’s  many  of  us  in                  this  business,”  said  1950s  singer  Pat  Boone,  one  of  the  few  conservatives  to  talk  about  the  movement  publicly.  “If  certain  studio  execs  –  hirers  and  firers  –  learn  that  this  is  a  growing  movement  and  that  some  of  the  people  they  hire  are  of  this  inclination,  these  people  could  be  unemployed.”  

Friends  of  Abe  has  functioned  like  a  support  group,  organizing  informal  gatherings  where  actors,  producers,  screenwriters,  key  grips  and  other  industry  types  can  share  common  values  or  discuss  concerns  like  anti-Americanism  in  Hollywood  movies          or  the  perception  of  industry  bias  against  conservatives  and  Republicans.

THAT  SUCH  A  THING  IS  NECESSARY  IN  AMERICA  IS  SICKENING  BUT  ALSO         QUITE  REVEALING.  

FOR  ALL  THEIR  TALK  OF  “TOLERANCE”,  LIBERALS  IN  HOLLYWOOD  ARE                   A  BUNCH  OF  BLOWHARDS.  

HOLLYWOOD  LIBERALS  ONLY  TOLERATE  THOSE  WHO  AGREE  WITH  THEM.            ALL  OTHERS  ARE  THE  DEVIL  INCARNATE.

The  movement  has  grown  over  the  past  few  years  from  gatherings  of  a  few  dozen      to  one  last  month  that  drew  more  than  600  to  a  billionaire’s  California  estate,                  Mr.  Boone  said.

People  familiar  with  the  movement  credited  Mr.  Sinise,  whose  roles  range  from                      the  blockbuster  movie  “Forrest  Gump”  to  the  TV  show  “CSI :  New  York”,  for  helping  organize  the  movement.

Sinise  spokeswoman  Staci  Wolfe  said  the  actor  was  traveling  with  a  band  to  entertain         U.S.  troops  overseas  and  was  unavailable  for  an  interview.  She  would  say  only:               “He  is  not  registered  with  any  political  party.”  

Participants  said  FRIENDS  OF  ABE  is  not  partisan  but  rather  functions  as                      a  support  group  where  Republicans,  Democrats  and  Independents  alike  can          discuss  issues  they  care  about.  And  the  low-key  gatherings  at  restaurants  and  homes  have  given  conservatives  a  safe  place  to  meet  and  express  their  views,  they  added.

“A  FRIEND  OF  ABE  is  someone  who  has  reverence  for  those  who  serve  in              our  military  and  believes  that  American  liberal  democracy  is  a  unique  success,  different  from  others,  and  it’s  worthy  of  the  respect  of  our  popular  culture  and        of  Hollywood  in  particular,”  said  screenwriter  Lionel  Chetwynd  who  helped  organize  FRIENDS  OF  ABE  luncheons  when  they  began  four  years  ago.

Mr.  Chetwynd  said  FRIENDS  OF  ABE  generally  find  themselves  at  odds  with                 the  rhetoric  of  their  hard-left  colleagues  in  Hollywood.

Craig  Haffner,  a  producer  who  also  attended  the  gatherings,  said  “FRIENDS  OF  ABE          is  not  a  political  action  group;  people  are  gravitating  to  it  because  they  love          their  country.”

While  the  group  is  not  organizing  any  political  activities,  some  of  its  members  are          taking  action  into  their  own  hands.

Actor  Jon  Voight,  Pat  Boone,  Lionel  Chetwynd  and  Craig  Haffner  have  stepped  forward       and  actively  campaigned  for  John  McCain’s  presidential  bid.  Mr.  Boone  said  he  talked          to  McCain’s  campaign  staffers  last  week  about  how  he  and  other  stars  can  help.  Supporters  now  are  assembling  a  formal  organization  for  Mr.  McCain  in  Hollywood,              a  few  of  the  leaders  said.

Meanwhile,  many  want  to  produce  more  movies  and  theater  projects  with                    a  positive  American  message  and  stronger  emphasis  on  positive  cultural  values  instead  of  films  that  paint  America  as  “the  great  Satan”.  Mr.  Chetwynd  said  such  efforts  have  been  under  way  for  several  years  well  before  the  FRIENDS  OF  ABE  luncheons  began.  

A  PROJECT  WITH  A  CONSERVATIVE  TAKE  ON  ISSUES  HAS  AS  MUCH  CHANCE         OF  BEING  MADE  IN  HOLLYWOOD  AS  A  MOVIE  WITHOUT  SEX  –  FEW  AND               FAR  BETWEEN.  

Actor  Kelsey  Grammer,  a  Republican,  is  aware  of  the  group  but  won’t  comment  further,       his  publicist  said.

David  Horowitz,  another  Hollywood  conservative  and  founder  of  the  Los  Angeles  based  Center  For  The  Study  Of  Popular  Culture,  said  the  group  is  serving  a  good  purpose  but  he  worries  that  its  members  won’t  be  aggressive  enough.

“There’s  a  kind  of  intellectual  terror  in  this  town.  People  are  terrorized;                     they’re  afraid  to  say  what  they  think.  So  what  Gary  is  doing  to  provide  aid         and  comfort  to  its  victims  is  admirable  and  I  applaud  him  for  it,”  he  said.              “But  my  concern  is  it’s  not  going  to  be  much  more  than  that.”

GOOD  LUCK  TO  THOSE  FEW  IN  HOLLYWOOD  WHO  FOLLOW  THE  BEAT  OF         THAT  DIFFERENT  DRUMMER  AND  REFUSE  TO  WALK  IN  LOCKSTEP  WITH                     THE  REST  OF  THE  INDUSTRY.   

( “Hollywood’s  Conservative  Underground”  by  Amy  Fagan,  The  Washington  Times :                      July  23,  2008 )

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