Just like the mainstream media, Hollywood remains tone-deaf about its American audience in the wake of Donald Trump's ascension to the Presidency. Trump has exposed the news media's activist bias and goaded Hollywood into proudly declaring its elitist contempt for the flyover country between the coasts, and yet the media and Hollywood have simply chosen to double down on their bias and cluelessness.
In the latest example of Hollywood's tone-deafness, Tom Hanks plays famed Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep plays WaPo publisher Katherine Graham in a new Steven Spielberg drama The Post, about the newspaper clashing with the Nixon government over the publication of government secrets (some are even calling the flick a "journalistic thriller," which in this case is oxymoronic).
Reviewers are already touting the film's "relevance" to the contemporary political scene due to the press's contentious relationship with President Trump. The filmmakers themselves want so badly to depict the press battling an oppressive government, they might as well have titled the movie, "Democracy Dies in Darkness," after WaPo's pompous new anti-Trump slogan. At least that would be a more compelling title than the boring and unimaginative "The Post."
The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Hanks about the movie and predictably asked him about "the significance of this story today." Hanks tried to connect the dots between past and present:
"The Nixon administration tried to stop the story from being published. They took on the First Amendment by saying: 'You can't tell that story, and if you do, we're going to threaten you.' That is going on, of course, right now."
Actually, Tom, what's happening is that the media today don't even pretend to care about objectivity or journalistic integrity. Their mission is to bring down Donald Trump by any means necessary and promote the Progressive agenda at every turn. Hence Trump's legitimate accusations of "fake news." As for the First Amendment, that's under assault from the left, not the right.
Hanks went on to pontificate about how the First Amendment has been threatened, past and present:
"There's a number of ways that you can assault the First Amendment. Back in 1971, it was done in such a boldfaced way that a newspaper, The New York Times, was stopped from publishing a story. And it was threatened; anybody who was going to try to publish that story was going to go to jail for treason. Treason, my friend. That's the stuff that goes on with tin-pot dictators and communist tyrants and third-world banana republics. [But] I'd have to say, as Steven Spielberg said: 'The truth is making a comeback.'"
Indeed it is, but the mainstream media not only are not responsible for that, they're an impediment to it.
"What troubles you about the way the press is treated today?" the interviewer asked Hanks, hoping for more anti-Trump material.
"Facts are irrefutable," he answered. "Well, it turns out people are saying: 'No, facts are not irrefutable. We can decide whatever facts that we want, that we would like.'"
Tom wants you to believe that those "people" are the Trump administration; in fact, they are the leftist media.
"Right now, without a doubt, there are people in power trying to — if not quash or stop the right to publication, [then at least] denigrate it to the point [where] they are saying there is no truth to it whatsoever. And there are stories out there that are the truth, [in] organs of the Fourth Estate like the New York Times and the Washington Post."
Claiming that WaPo and the New York Times are truthful is laughable. Those papers don't represent the Fourth Estate so much as they do a fifth column.
The interviewer concluded by asking Hanks, "If Donald Trump wanted you to screen this movie at the White House, would you go?"
"I don't think I would. Because I think that at some point — look, I didn't think things were going to be this way last November. I would not have been able to imagine that we would be living in a country where neo-Nazis are doing torchlight parades in Charlottesville [Va.] and jokes about Pocahontas are being made in front of the Navajo code talkers. And individually we have to decide when we take to the ramparts. You don't take to the ramparts necessarily right away, but you do have to start weighing things. You may think: 'You know what? I think now is the time.' This is the moment where, in some ways, our personal choices are going to have to reflect our opinions. We have to start voting, actually, before the election. So, I would probably vote not to go."
It's always amusing when pampered millionaire actors talk about "taking to the ramparts" or "taking the streets." In any case, Trump almost certainly won't bother to screen this at the White House, much less invite Hanks and the virulently anti-Trump Streep, so you won't have to make that courageous choice, Tom.
Speaking of personal choices, few Americans are going to choose to go to theaters to see Hanks' movie, a narcissistic exercise in news media and Hollywood self-righteousness. Check out the trailer above, if you can stomach the melodrama and the sanctimonious depiction of the news media bravely risking everything by speaking truth to power.
The Post promises to be another preachy leftist box office dud, although the filmmakers and actors will still pat themselves on the back with Oscars.