A quarterly magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute, edited by Brian C. Anderson.
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The Sky is Blue, but the List is Black
The Left cannot tolerate dissenting views.
13 May 2010
Over the last 40 years, leftism has failed in every particular but one: it has succeeded in demonizing the opposition.
Leftists will blacklist youand then if you complain, theyll attack you for whining. They will call you a racist and compare your leaders to Hitlerand then if you return the insult, theyll scream about the decline of civility. They will do everything in their power to cut you off from media and artistic outletsand then when you create outlets of your own, they will savage them for their bias. Like the mobster in a Raymond Chandler novel, they will beat your teeth out, then kick you in the stomach for mumbling.
As a result of leftists success in marginalizing dissenting opinions, nothing now creates a greater commotion in modern American discourse than speaking the obvious truth.
During a recent stop in Washington, D.C., I gave a five-minute interview to an extremely nice reporter named Peggy Star from CNSNews. I pointed out that, while leftists speak their political minds openly and aggressively in Hollywood, conservatives are forced to meet in secret and speak in whispers to avoid insult and tacit blacklisting.
As if I had said something shocking or hitherto unknown, the video of this interview went viral. On the left, Nikke Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily attacked me, and Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times called for proof. On the right, my friend John Nolte at Big Hollywood leapt to my defense, and even Sean Hannity asked me about it when I appeared on his panel.
But is anyone, left or right, really surprised or skeptical about what I said? Can I prove that conservatives are excluded from work in the movie business? Of course notnot without revealing the identities of the frightened people who tell me their horror stories. Even I, who will speak openly in general, wont name the names of black-listers because it would violate the trust of business interactions and close specific markets irretrievably.
But consider the circumstantial evidence. More than a dozen movies attacking the war on terror without shading or nuance, but not one film that said simply Were heroically right and they are villainously wrong. Not one film exposing the lies and excesses of environmentalism. Not one in which, say, a brave radio talker battles the mainstream media on behalf of white boys wrongly accused of raping a black girl. There are some narrativesevil corporations, American military abuse, desperate housewives, victimized minoritiesthat are acceptable and othersthe glories of capitalism, Americas defense of liberty, fulfilled homemakers, race-baiting con menthat are not, despite their truth and the fact that the majority of the audience approves them. Thats proof aplenty.
As always, Im not petitioning the Left for redress here. I find their worldview deluded, but thats their business. Nor do I want their films silenced. Talent and truth will out. This is the responsibility of the Right: the Right whose TV shows interview Karl Rove (God bless him) a million times but David Mamet almost never, whose magazines review every volume published by every political think tank anywhere but a novel only once in a blue moon, who give no artistic awards and precious few grants and who think, in short, that they can beat culture with politics, which is like bringing a club to a nuclear war.
Im not asking the Left to stop excluding us; Im asking the Right to break down its walls. But it would be nice, for purposes of discussion, if we could all begin by acknowledging the obvious.
Andrew Klavan is a City Journal contributing editor and the author of such best-selling novels as Dont Say a Word and Empire of Lies. His new thriller for young adults, The Long Way Home, is out now.