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'Holistic' Hollywood

This morning, Bob Bauer looks at whether "holistic" campaign-finance regulation might stifle the left-wing filmmaking community:

A "holistic" approach to influence would certainly have to reckon with so mighty an influence network [the Hollywood Left, that is]. The law is not yet equal to the task, but a minor step in this direction was taken in 2004, when complaints were lodged against Michael Moore's filmed assault on George Bush. Moore, faced with the electioneering communication prohibition, suspended his television advertising in the weeks before the election. This is one among other examples of an established connection between this kind of activity and the influencing of political opinion generally, and of voter choice in particular.

And now back to Clooney, who, interviewed about his involvement with political film-making, wisely said: "the most patriotic thing you can do in our country is question your government." He appreciates the elemental proposition that political debate--debate seeking influence--should be open to all wishing to join in. Commenting on Bill O'Reilly's attacks on his views, Clooney has said this: "Fair enough. They [conservatives] can say what they want. I can't demand freedom of speech and then say don't say bad things about me. But I'm also not going to stop presenting opposing views."

No, he won't stop or be stopped, unless faced with the demands, maybe sometime in the future, of "holistic" legal restrictions on political influence.

If campaign-finance regulation starts backfiring on the Left -- and, well, it already has -- one of the first casualties will be the Hollywood political money machine. Yet one more reason for the Left to start rethinking their alliance with the cleanies.