Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mike Gravel Criticizes Pro-War Hollywood in Iran

Mike Gravel, who ran for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination in 2008, recently attended Iran's third annual "Hollywoodism" conference. This appears to be an event that examines how Iran and Islam are portrayed by America's entertainment industry. Iranians are especially unhappy with the recently released film, Argo.

Thomas Erdbrink reports in The New York Times (February 18, 2013):

Mike Gravel, a former Democratic senator from Alaska, said Hollywood had brainwashed its audiences into thinking negatively about Iran. He said it was "fundamental" to discuss the American movie industry's ways of portraying Iran in order to prevent "an insane war."

While seeking the LP nomination in 2008, Gravel ran on a strongly antiwar platform.

Read the rest of Erdbrink's report.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

SNL's Hagel Satire Shows Israel Lobby Losing Grip on Popular Culture

The Israel lobby has long dominated America's mideast foreign policy, not only though a direct political influence, but also by its influence on America's popular culture. Any real criticism of Israel has long been absent (taboo?) on America TV.

But this recent Saturday Night Live parody of the Senator Chuck Hagel hearings shows that that may be changing. America's cultural elite are not turning against Israel -- just against blind, worshipful, uncritical, knee-jerk support of all things Israel.

It's that blind, knee-jerk Israel-worship that is being parodied here:

It's a small thing, one solitary SNL skit. But it's a positive development, and perhaps a bellwether of more to come.