by Norman Horowitz
My career spans fifty years at Screen Gems, CBS, Columbia Pictures, Polygram, and MGM/UA, as well as time spent as an independent. I have never been involved in selling, financing, or producing anything for television with any intention of doing anything other than making money. That is what I was paid to do by the taskmasters where I worked. I often failed, but that’s what this business is all about.
Examples abound. Screen Gems made a TV movie called The Caryl Chessman Murder Case. Chessman was a convicted robber and rapist who gained fame as a death row inmate in California. Chessman’s case attracted worldwide attention. He became a cause célèbre for the movement to ban capital punishment. Yet my company made this TV movie to make money. Nothing more.
So I was surprised when a producer friend sent me a book titled Primetime Propaganda, claiming to be the “inside story of how the most powerful medium of mass communication in human history has become a propaganda tool for the Left.”
According to this book, “television has been used over the past sixty years by Hollywood writers, producers, actors, and executives to promote their liberal ideals, to push the envelope on social and political issues, and to shape America in their own leftist image.” Allegedly, “left-leaning entertainment kingpins in Los Angeles and New York have leveraged — and continue to use — their positions and power to push liberal messages and promote the Democratic Party while actively discriminating against their opponents on the Right.”
Ann Coulter, Mark Levin, Andrew Breitbart, and David Limbaugh all just loved the book.
I have never seen any motivation in the business of television other than that of money and power, which were the only forces driving me. I sold motion pictures, cartoons, and all manner of television content throughout the world, and I never heard a comment about the political nature of the content. Not once. I regularly heard comments about the price and quality of our content, but never anything else.
I must review the Screen Gems production of Celebrity Bowling to determine where the leftwing messages were hidden. Boy, these Commie studios, writers, producers, and network programming people are clever!
When I was at Screen Gems, we produced Commie stuff like The Donna Reed Show and Father Knows Best. CBS was home to those noted Commies Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow. Polgram produced a series with that noted Commie Eric Sevareid.
Enough of this B.S.
I was there. I lived it. I have never seen anything made for commercial broadcast for anything other than money.