How Jewish is Hollywood? That’s the question Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein asked two years ago just before Christmas. In answer, he wrote:
When the studio chiefs took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago to demand that the Screen Actors Guild settle its contract, the open letter was signed by: News Corp. President Peter Chernin (Jewish), Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey (Jewish), Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger (Jewish), Sony Pictures Chairman Michael Lynton (surprise, Dutch Jew), Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer (Jewish), CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves (so Jewish his great uncle was the first prime minister of Israel), MGM Chairman Harry Sloan (Jewish) and NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker (mega-Jewish). If either of the Weinstein brothers had signed, this group would have not only the power to shut down all film production but to form a minyan with enough Fiji water on hand to fill a mikvah.
Funny guy, Joel Stein. But his point is important. To sum up, he wrote sarcastically, “The Jews are so dominant, I had to scour the trades to come up with six Gentiles in high positions at entertainment companies. When I called them to talk about their incredible advancement, five of them refused to talk to me, apparently out of fear of insulting Jews. The sixth, AMC President Charlie Collier, turned out to be Jewish.”
Stein ended his column by saying, “As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we control Hollywood. Without us, you’d be flipping between ‘The 700 Club’ and ‘Davey and Goliath’ on TV all day.”
Needless to say, Stein was not fired for writing this, nor was he rebuked in the least. As we have seen time and again, there is a glaring double standard about alluding to Jewish power in the media. Jews are free to reference it, but woe unto the non-Jew who wades into those shark-infested waters.
We now have a very high visibility example of this double standard in action. As reported recently, “CNN anchor Rick Sanchez abruptly left the network Friday afternoon, just one day after making controversial comments on a satellite radio program. ‘Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company,’ according to a statement from CNN. ‘We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well.’”
Our editor Kevin MacDonald immediately picked up on this and commented in a blog called Joe Sobran was Right on Jewish Media Power:
In my post on Joe Sobran, I included this quote from Joe:
“Jewish control of the major media in the media age makes the enforced silence both paradoxical and paralyzing. Survival in public life requires that you know all about it, but never refer to it. A hypocritical etiquette forces us to pretend that the Jews are powerless victims; and if you don’t respect their victimhood, they’ll destroy you. It’s a phenomenal display not of wickedness, really, but of fierce ethnocentrism, a sort of furtive racial superpatriotism.”
A current example that illustrates exactly this is the firing of Rick Sanchez from CNN for saying the following about Jews as victims:
“Very powerless people… [snickers] He’s such a minority, I mean, you know [sarcastically]… Please, what are you kidding? … I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they — the people in this country who are Jewish — are an oppressed minority? Yeah.” [sarcastically]
This kind of media development is right up my alley, for my academic specialty is the impact Jews have on American media, especially film. While the firing of Mr. Sanchez is perhaps more high profile than previous instances, it is still part of an all-too-typical pattern.
While I’ve long explored how Jews have translated their own concerns into Hollywood and television fare, I’ve had to devote a fair amount of time to proving first that Jews in fact have immense power in American media. Among other things I’ve written toward this goal are essays in the print journal The Occidental Quarterly. One such essay was “The Jews of Prime Time” where I collected these examples of testimony of Jewish power:
Michael Medved, Orthodox Jew and author of Hollywood vs. America: “It makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture . . . Any Martian monitoring American television . . . would view Seinfeld, Friends, The Nanny, Northern Exposure, Mad about You, and other shows and be surprised to learn that fewer than 1 in 40 Americans is Jewish.”
Brandies Professor Stephen J. Whitfield: “From its origins, Hollywood has been stamped with a Jewish identity, but nobody else was supposed to know about it. But somehow, no matter how thorough the attempt to suppress or disguise it, Jewishness is going to bob to the surface anyway.”
Author Stephen Schiff: “The way Steven Spielberg sees the world has become the way the world is communicated back to us every day.”
Neal Gabler, author of An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, wrote that “The American Dream—is a Jewish invention.” As he documented: “The storefront theaters of the late teens were transformed into the movie palaces of the twenties by Jewish exhibitors. And when sound movies commandeered the industry, Hollywood was invaded by a battalion of Jewish writers, mostly from the East. The most powerful talent agencies were run by Jews. Jewish lawyers transacted most of the industry’s business and Jewish doctors ministered to the industry’s sick. Above all, Jews produced the movies.”
Because the double standard about revealing Jewish media power was so critical, I devoted a section to it called “Denial and Deception Regarding Jewish Power.”
Any number of Jewish observers are willing to acknowledge the immense power of Jews in American media, particularly in Hollywood film and television, although this view cannot yet be described as conventional wisdom as far as the general public is concerned. But for informed observers, identity always matters. In Jews and the Left, Arthur Liebman observes that “one of the most important pieces of information a researcher can gather on a social movement is the socioeconomic composition of its membership.” The same can be said about the ethnic composition of those openly commenting on Jewish power in the media: they are overwhelmingly Jews themselves.
In contrast, Gentiles are routinely discouraged from noticing, yet alone analyzing, this phenomenon which is crucial in a democracy. As MacDonald notes, “Jewish groups have made any critical discussion of Jewish issues off limits, and that’s vitally important because, yes, Jews are a very powerful group.”
It appears that a regime of silence has been imposed, with ample rewards going to those Gentiles willing to toe the party line and a graduated range of punishments being administered to those unwilling to abide by the established rules of discourse. Prominent examples have been cited by MacDonald et al., including the case of young British journalist William Cash. He is the one who, with innocent candor, noted the Hollywood presence of Michael Ovitz, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Lew Wasserman, Sidney Sheinberg, Barry Diller, Gerald Levin, Herbert Allen and others and wrote of the Spielberg-Geffen-Katzenberg “Dream Team”: “But in one respect at least this particular combination of talents, or ‘talent combo’ in the local argot, will start out on the right foot. Like the old mogul founders of the early studios — and unlike most other failed build-your-own studio merchants — they are Jewish.”
I recall how one defender of this secret, Vincent Brook, author of Something Ain’t Kosher Here, attempted to enforce this silence among non-Jews, applauding the fact that a group critical of some TV portrayals “refrained from reviving the old canard of Jewish media control.” Never mind that Brook’s book is all about Jewish prominence in Hollywood.
Brook followed this censure of Cash with a condemnation of Marlon Brando for his unsettling statements on Larry King Live, claiming that Jews run Hollywood and exploit stereotypes of minorities. “Hollywood is run by Jews, it is owned by Jews, but we never saw the kike because they know perfectly well that’s where you draw the wagons around.”
Two comments about Brando’s observation are in order. First, Brando could easily have added White Christians to the list of exploited Hollywood stereotypes, but perhaps his greatest insight was about the “kike.” Though an unfortunate choice of words, it did point to the fact that we do not begin to see in Hollywood fare even a fraction of the real behavior of real Jews.
The absence of any narrative of Jewish power—political, financial, academic—forces us to reconsider David Zurawik’s concept of “surplus visibility” and its application to American media. Zurawik defined the sociological concept of “surplus visibility” as “the feeling among minority members and others that whatever members of that group say or do, it is too much and, moreover, they are being too conspicuous about it.” Zurawik accepts the conventional wisdom that membership in a “particular community of production” will result in less stereotypical images of that community and images “more representative of social reality.” The paradox he finds is that this “is not what happened with Jews and television.”
In my view, the Jewish “self-censorship” exhibited by important gatekeepers of TV programming such as William Paley, David Sarnoff, and Brandon Tartikoff can best be described as a form of deception in which Jewish producers of culture are highly conscious of the perceived interests of the Jewish community. The question “Is it good for the Jews?” is often uppermost in their thoughts. But almost without exception, these producers of culture refuse to depict Jews as they really are. Instead, the images are created in order to bolster the image of Jews among the goyim.
And yet Jews themselves often fail to see that the implications of the fact that images of Jews presented in the media are sanitized for public consumption. Jewish film critic Lester Friedman makes this error even though he acknowledges that Jews intensely police images of themselves: “Unlike films about other American minorities, movies with Jews were often scrutinized by one segment of that minority group with the power to decide how the entire group would be presented to society as a whole. The resulting images of Jews in films constitute a rich and varied tapestry woven by several generations of moviemakers responding to the world around them.”
Of course, this rich and varied tapestry is nothing more than a creative public relations campaign. In the old days, there were formal agreements between the Hollywood studios to subject their films to scrutiny by Jewish organizations.
In An Empire of Their Own, Neal Gabler describes how major Jewish organizations, such as the American Jewish Committee, the ADL, and the American Jewish Congress, developed a formal liaison with the studios by which depictions of Jews would be subjected to censorship. One such group stated in 1947 that “Jewish organizations have a clear and rightful interest in making sure that Hollywood films do not present Jews in such a way as to arouse prejudice. . . . In some cases, such pictures should be taken out of production entirely. In other cases, scripts should be edited carefully to eliminate questionable passages. Everything should be done to eliminate unfortunate stereotypes of the Jews.” Gabler describes several instances where scripts were altered to provide more positive portrayals of Jews. The activities of this group were not publicized, out of fear that it could result in “the charge that [a] Jewish group is trying to censor the industry,” which, as Gabler notes, “was exactly what it was trying to do” (p. 304).
We haven’t seen realistic visual portrayals of Jewish power and behavior because Jews in control know that far too many non-Jews imbibe their sense of reality from the visual media. It would most certainly be bad for the Jews to show what is actually going on. That is the whole reason for the taboo against Gentiles noting Jewish media power. I suppose the reason some Jews get away with it in print is that the audience for most print media is relatively small, so the risks are smaller, too. Film and TV, on the other hand, broadcast information to millions, if not tens of millions, at a time.
Here are some more examples of Jews who have discussed Jewish power in the media, from my “Understanding Hollywood” series.
Film critic Lester D. Friedman: “Indeed, from the very beginnings of the industry until the present, it is impossible to ignore the influence of Jews on the movie business or to overlook the importance of a Jewish consciousness in American films.”
Steven Silbiger, author of The Jewish Phenomenon: “The Jewish involvement in motion pictures is more than a success story; it is the basis of the disproportionate influence that Jews have had in shaping American popular culture.”
Silbiger again: “In addition to the corporate chieftains, a huge number of Jewish people participate in the entertainment industry. It has not been part of a grand scheme, but when an ethnic group becomes as heavily involved, and as successful, in a particular industry as Jewish people have been in movies, the group’s influence, connections and power produce a vast ripple effect, and other Jewish actors, writers, editors, technicians, directors, and producers follow in their footsteps.”
David Desser and Lester D. Friedman: “Regardless of a Jewish author’s past or present involvement with organized religion, current religious or cultural practices, and personal sense of group attachment or isolation, the underlying critical assumption is that the work of a Jewish writer must either overtly or covertly reflect a Jewish sensibility.”
In their book Jewtopia: The Chosen Book for the Chosen People, Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson confirm Jewish dominance in Hollywood, noting that of the ten major studios under discussion, nine were created by Jews (Walt Disney was a Gentile), and as of 2006 all ten studios were run by Jews. As they concluded: “Yes, we do control the movie studios. All Jews please report to the World Conspiracy Headquarters immediately (don’t forget to bring your pass code).” Playwright David Mamet confirmed this by adding, “For those who have not been paying attention, this group [Ashkenazi Jews] constitutes, and has constituted since its earliest days, the bulk of America’s movie directors and studio heads.”
(Incidentally, Fogel and Wolfson also did the same for American TV networks, finding a leadership figure of seventy-five percent. Discussing print media, they found that seven of ten major publications are run by Jews. “Conclusion: Jews have lots of opinions that they love to write about and charge you money to read! Cool.”)
Clearly, Jews are given the freedom to write about Jewish power if they like. But what would happen if someone who was only half-Jewish were to do so?
Olivers Stone is a case in point. The Wall Street Journal reported this past summer that Stone said that “public opinion was focused on the Holocaust because of ‘Jewish domination of the media.’” Stone also said that the Jews “stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f—– up United States foreign policy for years.”
Like so many others before him, Stone groveled: “In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret. Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry.”
I think that qualifies perfectly as an example of Sobran’s paradox on Jewish power and how (not) to refer to it. Perhaps because he’s got one foot in the Tribe’s tent, however, Stone’s apology was quickly accepted. Said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. “I believe he now understands the issues and where he was wrong, and this puts an end to the matter.”
Goyim who violate this rule, though, fair worse. Writing about the recent Rick Sanchez affair, Steve Sailer reminds us how Gregg Easterbrook was punished for his informational transgression. Recall back in 2003 how Easterbrook had written:
Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney’s CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice.
Apologies or not, Disney, the parent of ESPN, fired Easterbrook.
In his blog, MacDonald summed up current unspoken rules nicely:
So the scenario is exactly as Joe Sobran described it. Deep down you must be fully aware of Jewish power, but public utterances must pledge allegiance to the idea that Jews are powerless victims. Don’t mention the fact that “a lot of people who run [CNN and] all the other networks are a lot like [Jon] Stewart” — that they are Jews with immense power, able to shape public discourse on everything of importance. Never mention the obvious fact that Jews are a very large component of the elite in the US and throughout the West. And if you don’t go along with the “Jews as powerless victims” idea, then Jews will destroy you.
Powerless victims with the power to destroy their enemies. And that’s exactly what happened.
As emphasized here, however, not everyone who calls attention to Jewish media power is fired or forced to grovel. Jews who proudly call attention to Jewish media power get a free pass. And that fact is yet another indication of the enormity of Jewish power in America.