Magazine article Insight on the News

Left Is Losing Its Star Power

Magazine article Insight on the News

Left Is Losing Its Star Power

Article excerpt

Like the boxer staggered by a crushing blow who looks to the audience and insists it didn't hurt, the producers of Forrest Gump took to the Oscar podium to say its success had nothing to do with conservative values. But they couldn't obscure the fact that the sun is setting on the Hollywood left.

Of course, you won't hear them say it. They will point to April 8, when director Steven Spielberg, film executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and record mogul David Geffen - partners in the new DreamWorks SKG venture - hosted a $25,000-a-plate fund-raiser at Spielberg's Los Angeles estate. The beneficiary, to the tune of $2 million, was the Democratic National Committee; the guest of honor was Bill Clinton, who may be down and out in much of America but is still popular with the Beverly Hills set.

Whoopi Goldberg, Rob Reiner, Sharon Stone and Barbra Streisand were among those attending. Performing were singer k.d. lang and Robin Williams, who remarked that Clinton trying to enlighten the Republican Congress is akin to taking Ray Charles on a tour of the Louvre. (When they make these kinds of jokes, they're funny, you understand.)

With such an extravaganza, you'd expect the normal barrage of media coverage. This had, after all, both news and entertainment components to it. Yet something bizarre happened: Reporters were barred from covering the event. Whose call this was is uncertain. Was it the hosts who didn't want to be seen publicly with the president? Was it the White House that didn't want Clinton photographed in the presence of these liberal stars? Or both?

When Clinton came in to office two years ago, the same stars couldn't get enough exposure with him as they flooded the inaugural festivities in Washington. Now, the city is a veritable ghost town. The day after the Spielberg bash, the National Organization for Women held its "Rally for Women's Lives." In years past, an event like this was de rigueur for liberal activists from Hollywood, marching on the front lines, vying for the triumphant statement that would land a sound bite on the evening news. This year, virtually all stayed home, making it hard not to conclude that fickle Hollywood senses, as it did with Clinton months ago, that feminism is a losing cause.

The celebrities who did bother to show up for the NOW rally were mostly 1980s retreads. …

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