Did you hear about the A-list director who weaponized cancer-stricken teens to mock President Donald Trump?
Or how the same director predicted Trump would soon round up, and kill, gay Americans?
What about how the star of Netflix’s “Bill Nye Saves the World” apparently edited his old show to fix formerly “settled” science?
Three juicy stories. All three were mostly or completely ignored by mainstream media outlets. More specifically, outlets covering Hollywood.
Nothing to see here. Move along. Please.
It’s par for the course when it comes to some liberal stars.
Director Joss Whedon coughed up $1 million of his own cash to create a string of anti-Trump videos before Election Day 2016. He’s one of the biggest directors in Hollywood, renowned for his crisp take of geek-friendly fare. And he taps his fame, cash and Twitter account to promote progressive causes.
Yet when he used a photograph of cancer survivors to poke fun at Trump the story didn’t interest many reporters.
Nye has become one of the most prominent climate change alarmists in our culture. He’s second, perhaps, only to former Vice President Al Gore. News of Nye’s after-the-fact edits haven’t exactly lit up media outlets, either.
Whedon and Nye get special treatment from the press. Positive stories are the norm. Negative items? You have to squint hard to find them … if you can at all.
They’re hardly the only liberal stars to get that treatment, though
Take Madonna. The former Material Girl did generate press earlier this year for her confession at the Women’s March.
She said she considered blowing up the White House in the Age of Trump.
“Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged .. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair.”
Most outlets reported the information straight. No hand wringing or op-eds condemning the nasty rhetoric, the kind that could spark a Secret Service inquiry. It’s the kind of “hate speech” Howard Dean condemns.
One outlet, Deadline.com, rushed to her defense. “Madonna Clarifies Nonviolent Intent Of Women’s March Speech For Critics Immune To Context,” read the headline.
“Eagle-eyed readers might notice that Madonna used “blowing up the White House” metaphorically as an example of what not to do. … right wing detractors seized on her hyperbole, pretended not to understand context, and essentially accused her of making a terrorist threat.”
That’s either a laughable defense or a sad case of pure media bias. Take your pick.
What about liberal stars like Leonardo DiCaprio? His eco-hypocrisy is the stuff of Hollywood legend. More often than not, media outlets celebrate his activism without mentioning the cold, hard fact that he won’t practice what he preaches.
Again and again. Yet that blinding hypocrisy rarely creeps into his news coverage.
Lena Dunham? The “Girls” star got caught making up details of a story in her 2014 memoir “Not That Kind of Girl.” The tale ensnared an innocent ex-college student, who she appeared to accuse of sexual assault. Dunham’s publisher agreed to pay the man’s legal fees and update the memoir to avoid the matter in the future.
Media outlets dragged their feet on that story every step of the way. It’s never mentioned now, of course, despite wall-to-wall coverage of her latest projects and causes.
And, of course, Dunham is one of the most vocal progressive activists in Hollywood.
Meanwhile, when Scott Baio made clumsy comments following the death of his former co-star Erin Moran it made all the usual media outlets. Deadline.com. The Hollywood Reporter. Variety. TheWrap.com (2 stories).
Baio is a minor celebrity, at best, at this point in his career. He is openly conservative, though. He actively supported Trump during last year’s Republic National Convention
Most press outlets ignored when liberal comic Amy Schumer compared Trump voters to the KKK. Liberal indie star Michael Shannon did her one better. The “Nocturnal Animals” star cursed Trump and his voters in the most alarming ways a few months back. He capped the comments by saying Trump voters were ready for the urn.
Did you read that in many mainstream media outlets? If not, why not?
Here’s a related case showing the media swinging into action. Let’s see what’s different about it.
Rob Schneider formerly leaned to the left, politically speaking. Lately, the “Saturday Night Live” alum’s social media comments reflect a right-of-center view. Here’s one example:
The American people REALLY NEED TO READ THIS!! And learn just what has become of the supposed “Democratic” party.
— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) May 2, 2017
That political evolution makes him a ripe target to entertainment outlets, apparently. So when Schneider ever so gently questioned Rep. John Lewis about a particular civil rights matter TheWrap.com pounced.
So did USA Today, Us Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter. That’s the same THR that has yet to report on the #FireColbert movement following the “Late Show” host’s crude joke against President Donald Trump, by the way.
TheWrap.com didn’t file a single story about Whedon’s cancer tweet. Nor did it cover the furor after Whedon compared Nicole Kidman to a plastic puppet for daring to support President Trump in the most generic way possible.
That tweet suggested Whedon targeted more than Kidman’s opinion. He used a less than glamorous picture of the Oscar winner juxtaposed to a marionette from “Thunderbirds.”
More recently, comic Norm Macdonald made the unforgivable sin of disparaging Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The 1980s novel is currently popular with liberals who can’t stop comparing the Hulu version of the book to Trump’s America. Naturally, media reporters are doing exactly the same thing.
So when Macdonald said he found the book boring TheWrap.com once more rose up in, admittedly confused, fury. TheWrap has ignored Nye’s odd editing move, for what it’s worth.
Once again, the hard liberal bias in entertainment media rears its ugly head. Liberal stars are given a measure of protection, either by outright defense tactics or simply ignoring their sins.
Conservative stars? It’s game on.
Expect both trends to intensify in the Age of Trump.