On "Hollywood Bush-bashing": Fox's Varney said he "will not go to see people who insulted my president"

››› ››› EVA HOWE

On Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, substitute host Stuart Varney, after complaining about the "essentially leftist movies" produced by Hollywood, offered an apparent explanation of declining movie ticket sales: "[T]here has got to be a lot of people like me who will not go to see people who insulted my president in the year 2004 and that election. I can not divorce their talent from their political views."

In a January 2 discussion about what he dubbed "Hollywood Bush-bashing," Fox News contributor Stuart Varney said, "[T]here has got to be a lot of people like me who will not go to see people who insulted my president in the year '04 and that election. I cannot divorce their talent from their political views." As substitute host of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Varney asked guest Tom O'Neil, an awards blogger for the Los Angeles Times, about the choice of Comedy Central host Jon Stewart to emcee the 2006 Academy Awards: "Tom, you think that Jon Stewart just can't resist engaging in Bush-bashing?"

Varney then asked O'Neil: "Will Hollywood never learn? Their Bush-bashing in the '04 election was a noticeable failure. Why do they return to it now?" Regarding declining ticket sales, Varney stated: "You've got movie attendance constantly declining, box office revenue keeps going down, fewer and fewer tickets sold at the box office, and yet Hollywood keeps on coming out with essentially leftist movies. Don't they see the writing on the wall?"

After proclaiming the upcoming 2006 Academy Awards "the most political Oscars in years," O'Neil included in his list of "political" movies the "three gay films: Brokeback Mountain, Transamerica, Capote."

From the January 6 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

VARNEY: Well, try finding a show of Jon Stewart's where he isn't taking pot shots at President Bush. Now imagine him hosting the Oscars. It's about to happen. My next guest says the Academy Awards this year could be one big Hollywood Bush-bashing event. From Los Angeles, Tom O'Neil, columnist for the LA Times site TheEnvelope.com. Tom, you think that Jon Stewart, he just can't resist engaging in Bush-bashing?

O'NEIL: No, that's what he does, and he does it very well too. Let's give this guy his due. The Daily Show is brilliant, and his satires are right on, but putting him at the Oscars -- and not just any old Oscars -- the most political Oscars we've seen in years. Look at the movies we've got: Good Night, And Good Luck. -- Edward R. Murrow going after [Sen.] Joe McCarthy -- we have three gay films: Brokeback Mountain, Transamerica, Capote; we have Syriana about oil conspiracies, etc. We are putting Stewart into that mix.

VARNEY: Well, you know, I am inclined to ask. Will Hollywood never learn? Their Bush-bashing in the '04 election was a noticeable failure. Why do they return to it now? I mean, it just doesn't seem to be working for them.

O'NEIL: They are so desperate, the Oscars are, to bring in that young demographic that they are forgetting what the Oscars are all about. These aren't the MTV awards; you don't bring in an anti-establishment comic to preside over the ultimate establishment experience. This is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This represents the inner sanctum of the movie business. These people in the audience are supposed to be friends of each other. And when Bob Hope or Billy Crystal or Johnny Carson presided, they were all friends hugging each other. In the recent years, the Oscars have been bringing in combat comedians, like David Letterman and Chris Rock and now Jon Stewart, and they are losing that sense of family intimacy.

[...]

VARNEY: Explain this to me. You've got movie attendance constantly declining, box office revenue keeps on going down, fewer and fewer tickets sold at the box office, and yet Hollywood keeps on coming out with essentially leftist movies. Don't they see the writing on the wall?

O'NEIL: I don't think it is a bad thing -- the leftist movies, Stuart. Look back at Oscar history to see some of the greatest movies, which were considered leftist in their day. Going back to one of the first winners of Best Picture, which we consider a classic now: All Quiet on the Western Front. Hollywood is always going to be liberal. That's fine, and they are going to inject some of that into the Oscars, and that is fine too, as long as they do it tastefully and don't turn it into a political agenda.

VARNEY: Yeah, but, well, wait a second, there has got to be a lot of people like me who will not go to see people who insulted my president in the year '04 in that election. I cannot divorce their talent from their political views. I'm sure there's a lot of people like me.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Stuart Varney
Show/Publication
Your World w/ Neil Cavuto
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