It was kind of a funny story that took place at the 2014 Cincinnati Tea Party Tax Day Rally in Eastgate, Ohio. Doc Thompson was brought in to perform as emcee, however, when the event began he was outside the crowd filled room on the radio with Matt Clark leaving Ann Becker standing at the podium waiting. So I had to get Doc off the radio and fill in for him during the broadcast so he could begin the ceremony. You can hear that exchange below as Doc and Matt were involved in an interview for WAAM Ann Arbor, Michigan.
As can be seen below, Doc doesn’t need notes. He does so much radio every day from 6 AM to 9 AM on The Blaze Radio Network that he can just rattle off statistics and current events from memory. He occasionally does television on The Blaze, so he has become very proficient at public speaking. He was always good at it, but now it’s effortless for him.
During Doc’s radio segment with Matt he hit on something that is at the core of a huge modern problem. Doc is moving beyond just providing radio commentary. If you are a conservative, there are not film production venues out there that can currently represent our viewpoints. Not that long ago in Hollywood conservatives like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood were openly attending Republican conventions in Los Angeles—but now, a Republican cannot be found in mainstream Hollywood—until very recently. One of the reasons the Atlas Production Company had to be formed was to actually produce the novel, Atlas Shrugged—because Hollywood was not interested.
I have been to film festivals and at those events, there are seldom openly conservative films because it is well-known that projects with those kinds of messages will not get play—there is nowhere to distribute those types of creations—until now. Prior to Glenn Beck’s Blaze television station, there was not a single conservative distribution outlet for a conservative project. Anyone who wanted to make such a thing these days had to invent not just the product, but the production company as well, making funding of those types of projects even more difficult. For instance, when my novel Tail of the Dragon hit the market the people who read it all agreed that it would make a great movie, it had product placement tie-ins, a strong NASCAR type storyline, and had its roots in traditional American film. I would thank them, but in the back of my mind was—who would make it—Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Paramount……………Amblin, would Harvey Weinstein at Miramax make a movie of the novel—of course not. As a progressive Harvey would be repulsed by my material. Not even Jerry Bruckheimer was able to overcome the hatred of conservative values in Hollywood with the Disney backed The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp. The Hollywood machine hated the ideal of a modern western taking America back to the good ol’ days, so they attacked the film out of the gate. It is nearly impossible to produce conservative projects like movies and documentaries unless a production company is created to make them. Even then, distribution outlets are even scarcer—until now. Perhaps Depp’s heart is changing with time and wisdom, his new fiancé is Amber Heard, who is a bisexual and would otherwise be touted among the Hollywood elite with welcome arms—except that she is a huge Ayn Rand fan. That represents part of an emerging undercurrent that cannot be stopped and Hollywood is not happy about it.
Among conservatives like Doc, Beck, the Atlas Shrugged guys, and me we are all approaching our projects from the ground level. The Steven Spielberg’s of our day are not able to provide the kind of mentorship that he had learning from Hitchcock and other notable directors from the past, because they are afraid to be associated with conservatives—for fear of blacklisting. Some great filmmakers like Gerald Molen have broken loose from Hollywood and are now associating with Glenn Beck’s studios—and more are on the way. But things are now changing because technology has given power to conservatives to bypass the studio system if they can figure out the distribution issue—and now that Doc has The Blaze at his back, he is making his move.
A few years ago I had the very grim realization that only I could make a project I had written into the kind of movie I wanted to see. I had worked with selling to Hollywood for years but they never understood what I was trying to do. I was sitting with some very notable Hollywood types at a restaurant in Glendale where belly dancers were performing and everyone wanted to think of themselves as very worldly. The women were dressed in the latest fashion all perfumed up, and the men looked cut from the pages of GQ. I had on camouflage pants and my outback hat with Gargoyle sunglasses and they accepted me well enough. I cracked my whips in front of a movie theater on Brand Blvd and cut targets out of people’s mouths and everyone was having a delightful time—until someone brought up politics. I voiced my opinion and that was the end of a productive evening. They didn’t want to understand my Midwestern sensibilities, my position against public education, my views on small government, my hatred of Marxism, and my love of traditional westerns.
It’s not that people didn’t agree with me—often they do—but in a town run by progressive labor unions, and Hollywood is, it is hard to get work unless you are properly politically aligned. And it is nearly impossible to even make a movie unless Hollywood is backing the project at least through distribution. I have never known a single independent filmmaker who didn’t enter a film at Sundance or some other place like the Cannes Film Festival and hope that Hollywood picked up the project for distribution. A Tea Party documentary is not the way to get distribution in Hollywood, and neither is a western. Even though Disney has the power and money to produce a film like that, and even distribute it—the town of Hollywood attacked it through their critics and trade magazines to preserve their industry. The same thing happened to the Atlas Shrugged films.
When I watch the Atlas films, or the Dinesh D’Souza’s documentaries, or even Glenn Beck’s documentaries there is something unpolished about them—even though the filmmakers are often industry professionals. I attribute a lot of this to the fresh perspective of conservatism being represented once again in the film industry more than any lack of experience in film production. But the key to reaching a public is through those methods and unless conservatives retake the film industry, the plight of traditional values returning to mainstream America is nearly impossible.
Doc is now moving into that realm. His Tea Party documentary is just the first step. He and I are planning to work on a project together, and I am planning things of my own. It has taken time for me to assemble my thoughts on the matter, but I’m nearly there. Like a lot of things, I had to go through a process of unlearning what was taught to me and that is matching up with the magnificent tools that are now at the disposal of anybody who dares to use them.
As usual, it was good to see Doc, and this year had a different feel to it than in times past—where a sense of desperation was ever-present. This time we all had a presence of veterans who had been around and done most everything before. Like I said on the air with Matt while sitting in for Doc Thompson as he went to emcee the Tea Party event, conservatives are getting better at putting our message out—and that is something that the other side is significantly terrified of. In the future, there will be a lot more conservative competition in visual arts than there has been, and that is something to be very excited about.