ANDREW BRIETBART GETS THE FJM TREATMENT

Andrew Brietbart, the man who took a reasonably well-regarded book about the idiocy of Hollywood celebrity culture and turned it into a career as a phenomenally stupid right-wing pundit, columnist, and stuff-linker for the Drudge Report, has some interesting ideas about how to get more right-leaning product out of Hollywood. Given your understanding of conservative ideology, try to guess his answer! Ready? Let's see if you got it.

While conservatives own an ironclad argument that Hollywood discriminates against our kind, we are certainly not blameless for the predicament.

"Ironclad"? Hollywood is a business. If studios thought they would make money off of "conservative" product they'd step over their mothers to sell it. I thought you right-wingers understood the market. Maybe – just maybe – Hollywood thinks that no one wants to watch the kind of movies that Breitbart's "kind" find interesting. I mean, think of the market for films about how Ollie North is a hero and George W. Bush was right and supply-side tax cuts rule.

Also, kudos for consistent application of right-wing victim-blaming ideology. You're being discriminated against, but it's kinda your fault. You deserve it, you whore. Look at how you were dressed.

The most frequent snipe thrown our way by industry stalwarts and Huffington Post bloggers (when presented with the overwhelming evidence that the entertainment industry tilts dangerously to the left) is to say that we sound whiny. The truth hurts.

Here's a better argument: Box office gross for Fahrenheit 9-11, $220,078,393. Box office gross for Michael Moore Hates America, $0. Box office gross for Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, $7,598,071.

Nielsen ratings for the Daily Show: 1.5 million (0.7). Nielsen ratings for Dennis Miller's shitfest: cancelled when they hit zero. Nielsen ratings for The Half-Hour News Hour: impossible to calculate since everyone involved with its production was shot in the face at point-blank range, cremated, and had their ashes fired into the sun aboard a Russian space probe investigating the interaction of solar wind and Mercury's atmosphere.

The victim card – liberalism's reliable ace in the hole – is not a winning ploy for conservatives who want to make inroads in Hollywood. David Geffen certainly owes it to no one to produce work that runs contrary to his point of view. Until artists and entrepreneurs work together to make a stream of successful products openly rebelling against the status quo, then the game isn't even on.

OK, you admit the problem is that what you've been pitching to Hollywood thus far has been complete and utter dreck. Where's the discrimination? You know, the discrimination you were just talking about five sentences ago?

When conservative icon Paul Weyrich wrote in 1999, "we probably have lost the culture war," he was grossly mistaken. We never fought it. What a terrible message Mr. Weyrich sent to young foot soldiers looking for a battle plan at the end of the subject-rich Clinton years. If Bill Clinton couldn't spawn a cultural revolution, then who can?

Yes, those years were subject-rich! What great source material there was for movies about how Clinton couldn't holster his dick. Or how Clinton was a tax-and-spend librul. Or how terrible the economy was under his administration. Shit, the box-office gold practically writes, films, and advertises itself!

Where are the young playwrights that romanticize freedom over servitude? Where are the brash Gen Y artists mocking baby boomer excesses? Where are the scholarships cultivating fresh talent? Where are the venture capitalists ready to fill the void? Where are the movie stars telling the press gaggle at Cannes that America is still beautiful?

I will answer your questions individually and sequentially.

1. In business school. Find me a young playwright who is conservative. Find me a single one.
2. Yeah, no one has ever made a film about that.
3. What?
4. Hollywood is laden with people who will financially back anything with the merest potential to break even, i.e. exactly what your Young Conservative Artists can't produce. The Adventures of Pluto Nash was greenlit. Starship Troopers 3 is coming out soon. These people are not picky.
5. This is roughly akin to asking "Why don't any actors have the balls to go to Cannes and talk about how tasty McDonald's is?"

While it's mostly true that the conservative experience in Hollywood is long on diagnosis and short on remedy, what sets us apart from our liberal counterparts is that we don't ask for a legislative fix.

Surely there's an affirmative-action program that can put Republicans to work in the entertainment industry at ratios similar to our numbers in the general population.

I swear I did not edit this. These sentences follow one another.

And…if you guessed that the conservative solution would be affirmative action, YOU WIN! Come on down to the ring-toss booth and collect your prize: a 13-foot stuffed Mallard Fillmore and a pink tambourine made from Phyllis Schlafly's surgically-removed excess labial skin!

Conservatives who allegedly embrace free markets need to take responsibility for allowing the left to become the dominant pop cultural force, and for granting homogenized radicals creative control over America's second-largest – and arguably most important – export.

I would like to reiterate that I am not presenting this out of sequence. This is actually how he wrote it – as a perplexing, whiplash-inducing exercise in alternating paragraphs about personal responsibility with pleas for affirmative action.

Today, the conservative movement is alive and well at the American university, though certainly not at the faculty level. The College Republicans, Young America's Foundation and the Leadership Institute, not to mention countless alternative campus newspapers, all exude a rebel spirit that greatly resembles the motivations and enthusiasms of the liberal counterculture of the '60s and '70s.

(chokes, spits up YooHoo)

He's not seriously going to propose that the solution to the lack of right-leaning entertainment media is to dip into the well of creative talent that is the average College Fucking Republicans meeting, is he? Is he?

Yet mistakenly, when they receive their degrees, they are directed to Washington, D.C., and their state capitals, thinking politics is how you win. Or they think the path to victory is becoming the next George Will or Rush Limbaugh.

Sounds like they understand A) how the market works and B) what they do well. Fools.

This has to change. Now!

Send your application packet, a money order for $7 made out to "cash", and two color photos of women urinating to:

Young Conservative Talent Search
c/o Andrew Brietbart
Abandonded Metal Shipping Container 3F
Bagram Air Force Base Sex Offender Detention Unit
Charikar, Afghanistan H3M P4J

There are enough talk-radio and opinion-journalist aspirants in the pipeline to last us through the Sasha Obama administration. AM radio harangues, books, speeches, seminars and campus affirmative-action bake sales may be wildly provocative and endlessly entertaining

The fact that you think this qualifies as "provocative and endlessly entertaining" says everything you need to know about why the situation that is the basis of this column exists.

Today, we have the resources to change things a lot. Perhaps we can wage a different kind of culture war – and not one directed by armchair generals from church pews in Virginia.

Andrew Brietbart, you are a horrendous writer. Just horrendous. Aside from the hacky reference to "armchair" anything, your War metaphor has "generals" who sit in church pews in Virginia. That does not even make sense. I must also come to the conclusion that, unlike me, you have never been to a College Republicans meeting. No one who has attended a College Republicans meeting would feel that the people in attendance could create televised programming that isn't immediately preceded by "Made possible by a grant from the John M. Olin Foundation."

We need to break out of this mind-set and send our best young minds to Hollywood. There are tons of low-level jobs that lead to greater opportunities for industrious young adults. Our armed forces coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq provide us with a source to replenish the Hollywood creative bloodstream, too.

Keys to winning culture-product war:

1. 19 year old buzzcuts who finished at the bottom of their high school classes
2. College Republicans

You have just identified the two most creative groups in society. By far.

Soldiers should vie for leading roles – especially with all those Laguna Beach swimming-trunk-laden shows.

I ask Andrew Brietbart, avowed expert in the talent potential of sweaty, shirtless men, why these Marines are more qualified than the tens of thousands of "hot bod" "actors" already staffing the Inland Empire's minimum wage sector.

Wouldn't a Marine who helped turn around the Anbar province make a better grip, runner or mail-room clerk at CAA than Maggie Gyllenhaal's yoga instructor's niece?

OK, this is how it ends. This is the end of the piece.

Andrew, I am going to offer you a free lesson in writing like you are not the world's biggest hack. The "comically obscure friend/relative" reference is only slightly less hacky than concluding with "Talk to the hand!" Spend 10 seconds doing research on Google to find a real example of an obscure – and perhaps even humorous – celebrity friend or relative working in such roles. I bet that wouldn't be too hard. And it would reassure the reader that you are a Pro Writer putting a little effort into your column. Try to convince us that you are not just some dragon-shirted asshole pounding this garbage into your iMac off the top of your head (20 minutes before deadline) like the overgrown fratboy you are.

To that end you might also consider explaining the "affirmative action" idea rather than orphaning the metaphor that was allegedly the main fucking idea of your column.

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9 Responses to “ANDREW BRIETBART GETS THE FJM TREATMENT”

  1. J. Dryden Says:

    Ah, the suggestion to allow party politics to drive art; it's produced so many great pieces of creative genius, like…um…hang on, I can do this…

    Seriously, Ed, you could have quit right at the beginning with your point about how Hollywood is driven solely by economics; I grew up a literal stone's throw from a major studio and went to high school and college with the children of the Great And Powerful movers and/or shakers in Hollywood, and I can say without reservation that if those people thought that they could get any of their films to net an extra five bucks by pushing a vision of America that would make Fred Birch nervous, they'd do it without so much as a two-minute meeting to confirm the agenda. And to claim otherwise–well, you didn't say it, Ed, so I will:

    Andrew Breitbart, you are a very stupid person.

    Hollywood Is A Business. Nothing else. It is not art–it's *craft*, and a lot of it–but it exists *solely* to make money. There is no other reason for its continuing existence. And movies are incredibly expensive, incredibly risky investments–witness the fact that the Japanese came into their Sony deal thinking they could apply their much-vaunted corporate paradigm and clean up, only to be bitch-slapped by market forces they didn't have a clue how to predict or control. So bitching about the fact that Hollywood sells a tried-and-true product that audiences can be depended upon to gobble up is like bitching about how KFC always has the same menu, and what the hell is up with Taco Bell *only* serving Mexican food–what are they, bigots?

  2. Matthew Says:

    The idea of a 13-foot tall stuffed Mallard Fillmore shall haunt my dreams. Thanks.

  3. Heqit Says:

    Wait, what? I just…OK, the whole thing is mind-bogglingly stupid (seriously, has he met any College Republicans recently? Or any playwrights? Or seen a decent movie? …oh, right. Never mind.), but the thing I can't get over is the ending:

    Wouldn’t a Marine who helped turn around the Anbar province make a better grip, runner or mail-room clerk at CAA than Maggie Gyllenhaal’s yoga instructor’s niece?

    THIS is what a staunch defender of conservative principles thinks Marines returning from serving in Iraq or Afghanistan should do to earn a living once they're back in the States? Be runners or mail-room clerks?! (N.B.: I am essentially a clerk who, among other things, works in a mail room. I know whereof I speak on this.) Aren't these people supposed to be American Heros(tm)? What a great recruitment line: "Come serve your country! Get shot at in a foreign land! Have your health and peace of mind possibly irretrievably shattered! Then come back to your home and fetch coffee and specially-formulated mineral water for some Hollywood asshole!"

    Gee, I can't imagine why bright young conservative writers aren't just lining up to fight a pointless war and then invade Hollywood. (Get it? Get it? Invade! They have experience!) I mean, hell: I'm an anti-military negotiation-promoting pansy-assed liberal, and *I* think that's insulting to our troops.

    Which brings me back to the original point of how mind-bogglingly ridiculous this whole article of Breitbart's is. Is it possible that he's attempting satire? Because otherwise one has to assume that he doesn't know shit about Hollywood, popular American tastes, Young Republicans, writers, Marines, Iraq, creativity, Virginia, armchairs, and money.

    Oh? Well, carry on, then.

    (Sorry for hugely long comment — I'm sputtering over here.)

  4. You can call me, 'Sir' Says:

    Well, now. That was just awful. The idea that someone pays him for such insightful eloquence makes me throw up a little. I spent ~14 years in the military (though not the Marines) and have served with enough Marines to feel qualified to state that no self-respecting Marine would lower himself/herself to being a grip on a movie set packed with pampered vacuous hose-bags. I have a feeling that violence would ensue.

    I would buy tickets to watch such violence.

  5. Dustin Says:

    "While it’s mostly true that the conservative experience in Hollywood is long on diagnosis and short on remedy, what sets us apart from our liberal counterparts is that we don’t ask for a legislative fix.

    Surely there’s an affirmative-action program that can put Republicans to work in the entertainment industry at ratios similar to our numbers in the general population."

    The second part is obviously sarcasm, right?

  6. j Says:

    To anyone: what is the largest US export?

    And when I think of College Republicans, I think of Donald Fleischman (http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Wisconsin_GOP_chair_faces_charges_in_1014.html).

  7. Nate Says:

    Probably the funniest, and my favorite line in that article is "those Laguna Beach swimming-trunk laden shows". SWIMMING TRUNK LADEN?

    Holy sheep shit! Funniest damn phrase I've read all week.

  8. Mike S. Says:

    right on, save one specific thing:
    the affirmative action bake-sale at Cal a few months ago was literally quite provocative, and endlessly entertaining.
    For example, the student body was provoked into outrage such that they called a public meeting (essentially a town hall in a public venue, advertised as open to the public) wherein there was loud proclaiming of the need for inclusivity… and they demanded that everyone affiliated with the College Republicans leave the meeting.
    Ha!

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