He was very lonely and extremely depressed about his struggling career.
JONATHAN BRANDIS : 1976 – 2003
Making it a bit easier for Hollywood Republicans to come out of the political closet has been THE WEDNESDAY MORNING CLUB.
( “Rebels With A Cause : Are Hollywood Republicans On The Verge Of A Big Break?” by Bridget Johnson, www.opinionjournal.com : July 21, 2004 )
Author and activist David Horowitz founded The Center For The Study Of Popular Culture and THE WEDNESDAY MORNING CLUB.
The club is one of the few places in Hollywood where conservative ideas can actually be uttered out loud. The club’s purpose is to support diversity of thought and expression within the entertainment community.
( “Tales From The Left Coast : True Stories Of Hollywood Stars And Their Outrageous Politics” by James Hirsen, Crown Forum : 2003, p. 160 )
In the meantime, Hollywood conservatives are taking things into their own hands. There’s THE WEDNESDAY MORNING CLUB, a cozy nest of Bel Air true believers who pay $ 500 for monthly receptions at the Beverly Hills hotel.
Those who actually employ personal assistants gravitate to THE SUNDAY NIGHT CLUB, an informal conservative political salon run by veteran character actor Robert Davi.
“Actors are frightened,” Davi told me. “They need a safe place to talk about politics.”
( “Young And Republican In Hollywood” by Ruth Shalit, DETAILS magazine : September 2004, p. 216 )
Given the scads of shoot’em-up movies that Hollywood produces every year, you might think the issue of gun rights could get a fair hearing here. Or maybe lowering taxes, especially those on the rich. ( Spielberg, are you tracking? )
You would be wrong.
Put it this way : IT’S LONELY TO BE A CONSERVATIVE PERSON OR IDEA IN HOLLYWOOD.
Conservative author and frequent cable talk show guest David Horowitz has been about changing that for 15 years now, providing a public forum for right-wing thinkers and views in Tinseltown.
The day after Bill Clinton was elected president in November 1992, THE WEDNESDAY MORNING CLUB was born, the brainchild of a group of like-minded Southland conservatives who gathered over breakfast to discuss how to advance Republican ideas amid a Democratic electoral wave.
Today, the name isn’t strictly correct. “It’s rarely in the mornings and it’s rarely on Wednesdays,” Horowitz said. But its mission remains the same : to give conservatives an opportunity to share ideas, push their agendas, swap political tales and lament their endangered species status in Hollywood.
An off-shoot of the West Los Angeles based David Horowitz Freedom Center, the group attracts entertainment industry figures, high-powered lawyers and others to its dozen or so events a year. Speakers include prominent elected officials, authors, pundits and the occasional conservative-leaning entertainer. Confabs are usually held at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Horowitz said he founded the club to foster ideas and intellectual discussion about political issues that often get short shrift in Hollywood, such as gun rights and tax breaks.
HOLLYWOOD IS SO DOMINATED BY LIBERALISM THAT CONSERVATIVE AND EVEN MODERATE VOICES ARE FREQUENTLY STIFLED.
“The idea was just to have a civilized conversation,” Horowitz said. “That’s very difficult in Hollywood.”
He was once part of that left-wing movement himself. A self-described communist in his younger days, he edited the far-left Ramparts magazine. But he gradually grew disillusioned with liberalism and tacked sharply rightward during the 1980s.
In the early 1990s, he set up breakfast and lunch forums around Los Angeles to foster political debate, precursors of THE WEDNESDAY MORNING CLUB. Invitees included producer Danny Goldberg, a prominent liberal, and actor Ed Begley Jr., an environmental activist.
After the 1992 election, THE WEDNESDAY MORNING CLUB‘s first meeting was held at the home of producer and screenwriter Lionel Chetwynd, one of Hollywood’s few conservative producers. Noting the hypocrisy of studio bosses who aren’t so progressive when it comes to their own workers’ rights, Catherine Seipp wrote that “HOLLYWOOD IS A PLACE WHERE THE LIBERALISM STOPS AT THE STUDIO GATES”, as conservative screenwriter Lionel Chetwynd has long maintained.
Following that initial gathering, the club’s audience began to grow. Former Education Secretary Bill Bennett spoke to 15 to 20 people. Former congressman and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp was next up, drawing double that. The group then met for a while at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood – site of the early Academy Awards ceremonies – with crowds numbering as many as 150 people.
Horowitz privately heard from many Hollywood conservatives who declined to show up because they feared a career backlash. Entertainment industry figures who know what’s good for them, he said, keep their conservative creeds to themselves.
“PEOPLE WERE JUST AFRAID OF APPEARING IN PUBLIC WITH ANYTHING CONNECTED TO A REPUBLICAN,” he said.
The club reached its zenith of influence in the late 1990s when House members, senators and other political bigwigs regularly spoke before the group while in Southern California to scoop up campaign cash.
Speakers included then Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott ( R-Miss. ); Newt Gingrich who was House Speaker at the time; Weekly Standard editor William Kristol; and former Supreme Court nominee and federal appeals court Judge Robert Bork.
In 1999, then Texas Gov. George W. Bush made his first speech in California as a declared presidential candidate at THE WEDNESDAY MORNING CLUB.
In recent years, attendance has dropped due to the busy schedules of entertainment types and politicos who were once more active. Still, the group has extended speaking invitations to all of the 2008 Republican presidential candidates.
THE WEDNESDAY MORNING CLUB’s greatest legacy, Horowitz said, are the other conservative-related groups it spawned among entertainment professionals.
That includes THE LIBERTY FILM FESTIVAL founded in July 2004 “to celebrate free speech, patriotism, religious freedom and democracy by providing a forum in the heart of Hollywood for conservative and libertarian filmmakers” according to the group’s website.
Another off-shoot of the group – THE SUNDAY EVENING CLUB – meets from time to time at Havana on Sunset, a popular Cuban restaurant and bar in Los Angeles.
Look for the menu to include lots of conservative political talk.
( “Breakfast Club : A Sanctum For Lonely L. A. Conservatives” by David Mark, POLITICO : May 1, 2007 )