Hollywood, biased media need to stay in their lane

by Ethan Mikolay, COLUMNIST
8 March 2018


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Last year’s election was a disaster. Surrounded by controversy and led by two polar opposite ideologues, it was a far cry from presidential elections in the past. Every debate left me yearning for a shred of the dignity found in the 2012 general election between Obama and Romney.

So why then, after Americans had to choose between the lesser of two evils, are they digging themselves deeper and deeper into ideological holes?

A simple answer would be comfort. As Americans who stand firmly with their ideological belief systems, they tend to surround themselves with dialogue that affirms their beliefs rather than dialogue that questions their beliefs.

At the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4th, this couldn’t be truer.

Though less politically charged than I had anticipated, it was very clear what Hollywood’s message was:

Democrats: Good.

Trump and the GOP: Bad.

It can no longer be an awards show without preaching and name-calling, after all.

“Oscar is 89 years old this year, which probably means he’s at home watching Fox News,” Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel said in his opening monologue according to a CNN article published on March 5th.

He also took a jab at Mike Pence, joking that the Oscar-winning film Call Me By Your Name, featuring gay characters, was made to upset him.

It didn’t stop there.

“Tell the NRA they ain’t God’s way and tell the people of Parkland we say àse (a West African philosophy about creating change),” rapper Common said according to the same CNN report.

At the very least, a criticism of the NRA by Hollywood is a bit hypocritical when the film industry spends no small amount of money on the glorification of violence, particularly with guns.

It’s also worth noting that the Internet did not blow up on Monday morning with a single story of a politically-charged comment from the awards ceremony that aligned itself with the right side of the aisle.

Sadly, this isn’t the first instance of Hollywood’s obnoxious political activism this year.


If celebrities want to make statements, more power to them: they have every right. If they truly think injecting political agendas into every fathomable art form is a good idea: let them think that.


At the 60th Annual Grammy Awards this January, a clip was broadcast showcasing celebrities and none other than Hillary Clinton reading quotes from the controversial and questionable book Fire and Fury, written by the controversial and questionable author Michael Wolff.

Some members of the audience also booed when Ed Sheeran won best solo performance over Kelly Clarkson, Kesha, Lady Gaga, and P!nk, according to a CNN article published on January 31st. Apparently, female representation is more important than talent.

Imagine coming home after a long, hard day at work wanting nothing more than to shut off your brain and be entertained. You flip on the Grammys only to be force-fed political and cultural messages from some of the most detached and elitist personalities in the entertainment industry.

If celebrities want to make statements, more power to them: they have every right. If they truly think injecting political agendas into every fathomable art form is a good idea: let them think that.

However, what makes this issue impossible to avoid is the fact that it’s present in the media as well.

A prime example of this political entrenchment outside of the Hollywood bubble is a woman by the name of Marcy Fleisher.

In her CNN article entitled “Why I swipe left on Trump voters,” published on February 13th, she seems to feel obligated to share her romantic tendencies and preferences with the world.

“Thirty years ago, I don’t recall ever asking my date whom he voted for or even what party he supported,” Fleisher writes in the piece. “Yet today, I proudly wear a pink pussy hat, and a casual coffee date with a Trumpster nearly comes to blows. Where once age, religion and geography were dating criteria I considered, it’s now politics that’s most polarizing. I’m not only asking whom someone voted for, but also disqualifying that individual based on his answer.”

It’s quite ironic that later in the piece, she exclaims how she is tolerant and accepting of other viewpoints.

Now I don’t know about you, but dismissing all romantic potential based on how somebody voted without knowing even a sliver of their rationale seems pretty intolerant to me.

Of course, dating someone with opposing political views is difficult, but as she says in the article, “It’s why, for me, a vote for Trump signals a fundamental difference in core values, a difference I can’t disregard or move past when looking for love.”

A member of the alt-right certainly wouldn’t be interested in dating an Antifa member. What you shouldn’t do, though, is pretend to be tolerant while refusing to date anyone who simply voted for a political candidate you don’t agree with.

I suppose it wouldn’t be all that bad if this stupidity was reserved for the left, but spoiler alert: it’s not!

According to a Washington Times article published on February 15th, Milo Yiannopoulos, (a prominent far-right troll), intended to give a speech at UCLA entitled “10 Things I Hate About Mexico.” Luckily, the College Republicans that invited him decided to cancel his visit after receiving public backlash.

Yiannopoulos is affiliated with the site Infowars, which routinely demonstrates the idiotic conspiratory nature of entrenched ideologues.

“In a video titled “David Hogg Can’t Remember His Lines In TV Interview,” Infowars suggested that Hogg and other student activists were paid ‘crisis actors,’” according to an article published by HuffPost on February 27th.

In short, this devolution of politics is found on both sides of the aisle.

To those on the far-left, Trump can do no right. He is Hitler reincarnated and anyone who disagrees is a racist, homophobic, Islamophobic right-wing nut.

On the flip side, you have far-right ideologues that think Trump is Jesus reincarnated. He can do no wrong. Anyone who disagrees is simply a leftist, brain-dead snowflake.

Now what I’m going to argue is something truly radical: something truly extreme.

Trump is neither Hitler nor Jesus.

What if you find his personality appalling but his policies effective?

What if you simply disagree with both his personality and policies but recognize you’re not living in Nazi-controlled Poland?

I know.

Crazy, right?

I despise just about every aspect of Trump’s personality: he’s narcissistic, simplistic, and a far cry from Presidents of the past.

At the same time, I can differentiate between his personality and his policies. I can recognize that he frequently makes ridiculous, tone-deaf, and braggadocious claims while I simultaneously recognize the positive impacts of, say, his tax plan.

If you don’t agree with me, that’s all right.

Just don’t mistake your artistic talent for political insight the next time you walk onto that stage.



Ethan Mikolay is a columnist for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the HOWL

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