Jews invented Hollywood.
While Thomas Edison invented the motion picture camera, immigrant Jewish entrepreneurs (like Sam Goldwyn, Jack and Harry Warner, Louis B. Mayer) created Hollywood. Jews created the three major American television networks, William Paley's CBS, David Sarnoff's NBC and Leonard Goldenson's ABC.
Today about two-thirds of leading TV and movie producers are Jewish.
Jewish domination of entertainment is little discussed in the mainstream media, which is also dominated by Jews, out of fears of arousing hatred of Jews.
In December 2002, the National Lampoon came out with the spoof The Hollywood Retorter, with Jews in Hollywood as the main joke. Nikki Finke writes: "Lampoon editor in chief Scott Rubin, who is quick to point out he himself is Jewish, says the subject of Hollywood Jews was chosen because it's such a taboo in this town. Even the L.A. Times, in a news brief, shied away from mentioning the "Jewish" articles. "Well, who are we kidding? There're a lot of Jews in Hollywood. But no one wants to admit that. This was just having fun with the fact that a disproportionate amount of Jews are in the entertainment business."" (LA Weekly, 12/12/02)
Jews in Hollywood, like most Jews in the media, academia and pornography, tend to be secular Jews, rooted neither in Judaism nor in the majority Christian culture.
In his 1998 book Work in Progress, Disney CEO Michael Eisner writes about Joe Roth (head of movie production at Disney Corp): "Joe was raised in Roslyn Heights on Long Island. His father made a modest living running a plastics manufacturing business, but his passion was social activism. In 1958, when New York State began requiring children to recite the Regent's Prayer at school each day, Joe's father viewed it as a violation of the separation of church and state and recruited an ACLU lawyer to file a lawsuit. Joe, then ten, and his thirteen-year-old brother became two of the plaintiffs in the case. In 1962, the Supreme Court finally ruled that enforced prayer in schools was unconstitutional. Joe and his brother became pariahs at aschool. The family's house was picketed by the American Nazi Party and a cross made of kerosene-soaked rags was set on fire in their driveway. By his own description, the experience fueled his self-image as an outsider." (pg. 304)
British journalist William Cash wrote about Hollywood's Jewish cabal in an October 1994 issue of the British journal Spectator. The article drew hysterical reactions denouncing Cash and the Spectator for anti-Semitism.
William Cash writes:
Los Angeles. WHEN Mr. Mike Ovitz, or His Most Powerfulness (as he is also known here), shows up at a press conference in LA and sits in the audience, you know something big is going on: in this case the founding of a new multi-billion-dollar Hollywood studio by Steven Spielberg, record mogul billionaire David Geffen and their best friend, the recently dumped chief of Disney Studios, Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Although the Hollywood survival rate for studio start-up schemes has been poor, Francis Coppola's American Zoetrope Studios is the most notable recent casualty, this ambitious venture has been widely hailed as having more chance of success than any similar enterprise for 50 years.
Since Katzenberg is to run the company, this may seem odd: as head of Disney he was personally responsible for a disturbing proportion of some of the dullest and crassest films (Aspen Extreme, Love Trouble) of the last five years. He once told a journalist (on the record), 'Our movies are shit. '
But in one respect at least this particular combination of talents, or 'talent combo', in the local argot, will start out on the right foot. Like the old mogul founders of the early studios and unlike most other failed build-your-own studio merchants they are Jewish.
The significance of this fact cannot be simply met by the inevitable shrieks of 'anti-Semitism'. A rare glimpse of the feudal power structure of Hollywood at work was given by the Wall Street Journal's front-page report of the new studio launch. Before any contracts could be signed, a private 'blessing' was required from 81-year-old Lew Wasserman, the long-time chairman of MCA (which owns Universal) and the last surviving Jewish Founder-builder of a studio. To quote the Journal, he is treated in Hollywood 'like a tribal chieftain'.
Spielberg, Geffen, Katzenberg and Spielberg's 30-year personal mentor, MCA president Sidney Sheinberg, gathered at the house of the 'Godfather of the Show' (as Time called Wasserman). After getting his rabbinical blessing, they spoke in 'hushed, reverential tones about the industry potentate', about how he 'spun stories about the history of Hollywood and showed them artifacts'. Geffen and Katzenberg, who have no formal connections with MCA or Wassemman, were reported as being 'nervous' before the meeting.
'The whole thing could have gone sour,' said Katzenberg.
Turn now to pages 202-3 of last month's Vanity Fair and a curious 'group portrait' will grin back at you. Sixteen middle-aged men are decked out in a mixture of nylon jogging anoraks, fluffy white socks, digital watches and faded jeans. You'd probably guess they were a bunch of Californian dentists.
They are, in fact, the magazine reliably informs us, the New Establishment, 'the leaders of the computer, entertainment and communication industries, whose collective power has eclipsed that of Wall Street and Washington'. In his 'Editor's Letter', Graydon Carter confidently boasts that his 30 page 'Special Report' redefines 'the power center of America... as (it) has moved from its role as military-industrial giant to a new supremacy as the world's entertainment-information superpower'.
There again, bottom left, is Hollywood super-agent Mike Ovitz, chairman of the Creative Artists Agency (presumably he won't sign non-creative artists); in the middle is his buddy David Geffen (interests listed as 'Aids, Israel and other causes'); behind them is another close pal, Barry Diller, another Aids activist and chairman of the home-shopping network QVC.
In a Warner Bros. Fitness Center' T-shirt is Gerald Levin, chairman of Time Warner Inc.; in a denim shirt is Jeffrey Katzenberg. Banker Herbert A. Allen their host for this 'Sun Valley Conference of Corporate Leaders' has on his running shoes. Steven Spielberg, snapped by Annie Leibovitz a few pages on, is gazing out to sea, his white sneakers and socks by his side.
Throughout their report, the magazine is repeatedly troubled by the question: 'Is there anything that binds this group of men?' According to Walter Isaacson, Time Inc.'s media editor, the old White Anglo-Saxon Protestant hegemony was linked through shared educational (i.e. 'class') bonds and beliefs: 'What binds these guys is a sense of interlocking ventures and relationships. The Old Establishment was a club. The New Establishment is a network.'
Up to a point. Again, there is something very obvious (apart from white socks) that does bind together most of the leading members of the so-called 'New Establishment' or the Titans of Tripe, as Auberon Waugh recently called them. Only no magazine in America (especially a Conde Nast publication owned by Si Newhouse) would point it out: they are predominantly Jewish.
Whilst part of the blame for the fall of the eastern Establishment is placed on its exclusive good old-boy network and elitist Wasp mentality which excluded outsiders, a delicate question remains. Has the usurping of the white-shoe Establishment by the white-sock meritocracy anything to do with a similarly invidious and protective culture? Now that Jews govern the New Establishment (their official mouthpiece is the New York Times), does any sort of reverse form of class or racial discrimination operate against outsiders trying to get access to the entertainment highway Wasps, blacks, Brits (there is only one Brit, of any level of executive significance in all the major studios, and he is Jewish) and others not so favored?
It should first be said that there is nothing remotely surprising about all this. As Neal Gabler clearly demonstrated in his acclaimed book, An Empire of Their Own, How the Jews Invented Hollywood, the early Jewish movie pioneers such as Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg (Fitzgerald's model for The Last Tycoon) who founded the studios of today came to Hollywood because they felt barred from power in the east.
Although fiercely competitive, the Hollywood Jews worked closely together to build a close-knit empire that shamelessly imitated the social hierarchy of the very East Coast society that they felt alienated and patronized them.
'If the Jews were proscribed from entering the real corridors of gentility and status in America, the movies offered an ingenious option,' wrote Gabler. 'Within the studios and on the screen, the Jews could simply create a new countryone where they would not only be admitted, but would govern as well.'
And govern they always have. That every major studio head is Jewish today is no different from 60 years ago. 'Of 85 names engaged in production,' a 1936 survey noted, '53 are Jews. And the Jewish advantage holds in prestige as well as numbers.' In a recent Premiere magazine 'Special Power Issue' ranking the 100 most powerful people in the 'Industry' the top 12 were Jewish. There were no black or British industry executives ranked.
George Steiner once famously said that to be Jewish is to be a member of a club from which you cannot resign. In Hollywood, the most obvious examples of the Jewish Club are in the side-shows, the lawyers, talent agencies and management and production offices.
Birgit Cunningham, is a glamorous Benenden-educated, 28-year-old, blue-eyed blonde. Her father, who owns one of Hitler's pianos, is German. She told me that when she worked as a personal assistant to Vic Sutton, the Jewish head of the fast-track LA commercials talent agency, Sutton, Barth & Vennari, her boss would often, if signing a deal, bluntly ask if they were Jewish. 'I was surprised,' she said. 'I mean, in England, you'd never hear someone ask "Are you Anglican?" On the other hand, he liked to boast that he had this hot young Nazi working for him. When I told him my family flew in the Luftwaffe he was ecstatic.'
As small-time professional incest it is probably no worse than, say, public schoolboys in the City (an analogy used by one senior Jewish executive to rebut the charge of Jewish favoritism in Hollywood). The 'network' manifests itself in the Jewish country clubssuch as the Hillcrest, the one Groucho Marx refused to join or tennis clubs (application forms always say 'state religion'). Hollywood Jews are not notably religious. Although the town closes down on Jewish holidays, business happily continues at pool-side barbecues, the deli at the Brentwood Country Mart, endless bar mitzvahs and $500-a-plate Jewish causes or political fund-raisers.
Feeling a bit left out of the loop, some non-Jews have been going to extreme measures to get on. Bill Stadiem, a former Harvard-educated Wall Street lawyer who is now a screenwriter in LA, told me that he recently came across an old Wasp friend in an LA restaurant who had been president of the Porcellian at Harvard the most exclusive undergraduate dining club. His friend, a would-be producer, was dressed in a black nylon track suit and had gold chains on his wrist; dangling around his neck was a chunky Star of David. Stadiem asked, 'Why the hell are you dressed like that? ' The Wasp replied, 'I'm trying to look Jewish.'
Just as in the Eighties people were known to fake being homosexual or bisexual as a way of getting on in the entertainment business (it is estimated that around 35 per cent of the film community are gay), it has long been a standing joke in L.A that the way to get on is to convert to Judaism. Simon Kelton, an Eton-and Oxford-educated screenwriter friend with whom I used to share a house, and who was short listed last year for the Samuel Goldwyn film-writing award, always stresses his Jewish 'ancestry' whenever he gets a chance in LA; something few had ever heard about before.
The extent to which this adds up to any sort of Jewish cabal behind the building of the 21st-Century Entertainment Superhighway is difficult to assess. Jews, always compulsive story-tellers and talented negotiators, are extremely compatible with the executive side of the movie business. They are good at it.
The crucial fact that Vanity Fair seems to have blindly swerved past in its 'challenge of redefining the power center of America' is that the whole point of the 'Establishment', as Henry Fairlie noted when coining the phrase in The Spectator back in 1955, is that its power is exercised socially. That the socially maladroit and culturally nihilist white-sock meritocracy is now anointed the Power Elite by a 'smart' glossy magazine only serves to confirm how the divide between social and professional lives in the United States has become blurred to the point of irrelevance.
The important thing about New Establishment power in America is that it is exercised corporately. What is wholly new about today's generation of moguls is that they have made a radical social departure from their Jewish forebears. The likes of Mayer, Cohen, Selznick and Thalberg headed west at a time when the entertainment business was regarded as disreputable, and they went to extreme lengths in their quest for social respectability.
Louis Mayer comically attempted to live like a 19th-century aristocrat, forcing his daughter to have riding lessons every day. He himself joined the Griffith Park Riding Academy and even very nearly converted to Catholicism.
The movie Jews joined the Hollywood Polo and Riding Club in droves; they paid their expensive dues at the West Hills Hunt Club with its own pack of Irish foxhounds, whose (mostly Jewish) members still gallop every Saturday in season around the hills around Los Angeles in sunglasses and full British hunting gear. The idea of 'New Establishment' players like David Geffen (who refuses to wear a suit), Mike Ovitz or Steven Spielberg dressing up in a tail-coat to go fox-hunting is ludicrous. Now that they are the Power Elite, they view the creaky East Coast Wasp institutions and such reserves as the LA Country Club (which still proudly excludes Jews and showbiz types') as anachronistic jokes. Whilst Louis Mayer would have been trying everything to get a photograph of himself shaking hands with Prince Charles during his three-day visit (or escape) to LA, today's breed of super-mogul couldn't care less.
The rise of the white-sock mediocracy, of course, is only another example of how driven Jews have always dealt with exclusion. Barred from one form of Establishment, they have ended up helping to create their own.
THE SPECTATOR 5 November 1994
SIR:The total dominance of the American film industry by the Jewish Establishment, past and present, is admirably related by William Cash (Kings of the Deal, 29 October)...Cash illustrates the attempts by the pre-war studio bosses to copy the mores of the old East Coast Establishment, and he notes that this is no longer so.
In fact, one can detect a distinct hostility. The same industry which produced the elegant high society comedies, featuring a Cary Grant or a David Niven, will now systematically portray well-to-do gentiles as caricatures...This is not done as ignorance. It is just reverse discrimination. Claus von Bulow, 109 Onslow Square, London SW7 19 November 1994
SIR: William Cash worries about inevitable shrieks of anti-Semitism as a consequence of his anti-Semitism. Not to worry. People as powerful as us have no need to shriek. We will bide our time and silently see justice done. Maybe before Passover. You run a filthy magazine. Leon Wieseltier Literary Editor, The New Republic, Washington, DC
SIR: William Cash's article about Jewish influence in Hollywood has caused a great deal of offense and outrage. His suggestion that the founders of a new studio venture are more likely to succeed if they are Jews is bizarre... The reference to a 'rabbinical blessing' from an individual who is a Jew but has no pretensions to rabbinical status is crudely offensive...
Mr. Cash refers to a possible 'Jewish cabal' and asks pointedly whether this cabal seeks to exclude or discriminate against non-Jews. This language perpetrates the discredited old myth about a Jewish conspiracy and a Jewish monopoly of power which is allegedly used to disadvantage and exclude non-Jews. There is no credible evidence to support the evidence of a 'Jewish cabal' operating to exclude non-Jews. The deeply offensive reference to a 'Jewish cabal' is compounded by sneering references to 'a socially maladroit and culturally nihilistic white sock meritocracy' or a 'white sock mediocracy'.
Overall this is a deeply unpleasant and distasteful article...It should
not have found a place in a serious journal.
SIR: The reaction to my article pointing out that Hollywood's feudal power structure is predominantly Jewish ('Kings of the deal', 29 October) has been wholly misconstrued. If I have injured any feelings, I apologize but certainly no anti-Semitism was intended or felt.
The purpose of the article was to contrast and challenge Vanity Fair's criteria of the New Establishment with the original definition of the Establishment by The Spectator in 1955. Since Vanity Fair made so much play about the Protestant religion of the old Wasp Establishment, it seemed legitimate to observe that the majority of the 'New Boys' Network' shared a common Jewish background.
Unfortunately, Americans don't understand what is meant by the term Establishment. According to The Spectator in 1955, it was by definition exclusionary, and exercised its power socially. My 'point' was that 'the leaders of the computer, entertainment and communication industries' were not a real Establishmentas their power was exercised corporately. Far from constituting any sort of 'cabal', I stated that Jewish influence in Hollywood was to quote Barry Isaacson's own words when I called him up'no worse than public schoolboys in the City'.
The attacks on me in the American media have been led by Neal Gabler, author of An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood. What is so galling is that all the historical data I present in my article about how Jews have always worked together in the movie business, along with the very words that have been objected to, came straight from his book, including the red-flag phrase 'Jewish cabal', which he employs almost with relish on page 263.
On the first page of his book he states how the industry was 'supervised' by Jews, goes on to detail the workings of the 'Jewish network', specifies how the studios 'preferred to deal with other Jews' (p.272) and admits precisely the firebrand question raised by my articlenamely, does Hollywood exclude outsiders?
Gabler asserts that the Hollywood Jews practiced 'reverse discrimination'' Those goyim!" Harry Warner would yell in derision, or "He's a nice fellow for a goy" a Jew might saybut only in their inner sanctums, when they were safe among fellow Jews, and only verbally' (p.280). Gabler's book was described as an 'enthralling book of social history' by the New York Times.
The subtext of this is that a double standard seems to exist. While it is acceptable for a Jewish writer, like Gabler, to use words like 'network' or 'reverse discrimination', when a Brit (the English are invariably cast as villains in Hollywood today) uses similar phrases he is barbecued.
Again, whilst it is fine for the Wall Street Journal to refer to MCA chairman Lew Wasserman as Hollywood's 'tribal chieftain', a Brit cannot. Again, it is acceptable for Time magazine to call Wasserman Godfather of the Show' but not for The Spectator.
Instead of sucking up to Hollywood Michael Williams Jones (Letters, 12 j November) should learn to read. I stated that almost all the major studio and talent agency heads' were Jewish, not their owners. That Hollywood is a Jewish-run town, despite only 4% per cent of the country being Jewish, is, indeed, always joked about.
At a recent tribute evening at the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York in honor of Frank Biondi Jr., the head of Viacom, Jeffrey Katzenberg, sent a telegram which said: 'I wanted you to be part of our dream-team until we decided to go all Jewish.' Larry Tisch, head of CBS, sent another: 'I was going to come along tonight until Jeffrey Katzenberg told me you were not Jewish.'
The row about my article, in reality, has far less to do with perceived anti-Semitism, than the glib tone of my piece which badly ruffled sensitive egos in a town where journalistic criticism on a personal level is as taboo as having badly capped teeth. In Hollywood, where insecurity is endemic, with the livelihood of entertainment journalists depending on access to the executive power suites, most write about suzerains such as David Geffen, Mike Ovitz or Jeffrey Katzenberg with a caution and timidity once reserved for birthday odes to Nero. Moguls have become used to viewing themselves as above criticism and the media as their servants. They are used to employing bullying tactics to get the press to oblige with their personal presentation. One dirty secret of Hollywood is the remarkable transfer rate of Hollywood-based journalists who behave themselves, and play the game, to nicely overpaid jobs in the industry.
What Hollywood may have misunderstood is the colorfully subversive and
coruscating tradition of British journalism; what I may have under-estimated
are the sensibilities of certain Hollywood individuals to any whisper
of criticism. As Evelyn Waugh wrote after his visit of 1947: 'Artists
and public men elsewhere live under a fusillade of distraction and derision;
they accept it as a condition of their calling. Not so in Hollywood, where
all is a continuous psalm of self-praise.'
TABOO OR NOT TABOO, THAT IS THE QUESTION THE SPECTATOR, Nov. 19, 1994
A recent article in The Spectator has caused consternation in America. Dominic Lawson explains how two nations are becoming increasingly divided by a common language.
OCCASIONALLY I receive plaintive letters from our small but loyal expatriate readership in Saudi Arabia. Usually, they complain that their enjoyment of an issue of The Spectator has been diminished by the actions of the Wahabbi religious censors of Riyadh, who had taken their scissors to an article in the magazine, and removed some offending passages before they could be read by the intended recipients. I am beginning to wonder how long it will be before The Spectator will receive similarly subtle vetting at the hands of the arbiters of political correctness in the United States of America.
...It is clear that the American public, as befits a great democratic nation, knows when it is being fed what Damon Runyon called 'the old phonus balonus'. Were such papers as the New York Times and the Washington Post not companies with gerrymandered share structures there is little doubt that the ordinary shareholders would be clamoring for some relief from the dead hand of liberal self-censorship.
. ..The point is that if the mainstream media jointly and severally decide to censor themselves, then the only people who question that orthodoxy will tend to be those at the extremes. In many ways this is undesirable, and destabilizing for American society. It would be far better if part of the mainstream media were to take up the task of challenging the Washington Post/New York Times/Boston Globe consensus. The debate would at least then be civilized, and possibly even interesting.
But, in the meantime, another article written out of America for The Spectator has caused consternation among the grand folk of the media in that country, while passing almost unnoticed here, where the overwhelming majority of our readership live. The article ('Kings of the deal', 29 October) was written by William Cash as a response to a 'Special Report' in the October issue of the American magazine Vanity Fair called 'Redefining Power in America: The New Establishment'.
The Vanity Fair piece took as its starting point the classic definition of Establishment in The Spectator by the American journalist Henry Fairlie in 1955, then purported to prove that the most powerful men in America were now centered on the West Coast and particularly around Hollywood (this is Vanity Fair, remember), and tried to find common factors among the men (and Barbra Streisand) it termed ' The New Establishment'.
Prominent among this new elite were Hollywood big-shots such as Michael Ovilz, the town's top agent, Gerald Levin the president of Time Warner, David Geffen, chairman of the eponymous company, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former chairman of Walt Disney Studios, and, of course, Barbra. Of course Barbra.
Vanity Fair, with a certain panache and preening, made the point (and made it, and made it) that these people were anything but the old White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (herein after known as Wasp) establishment. 'It's their world now. Welcome to it,' concluded Vanity Fair's sortable editor in chief, Graydon Carter.
What struck William Cash, was that, while strenuously pointing out that the New Establishment was not Wasp, Vanity Fair had at no point in a survey the size of a small book mentioned that most of the members of the soi-disant 'New Establishment', particularly in Hollywood, are Jewish.
In his article, Cash went on to point out that there was in fact nothing new in this, that Hollywood had for well over 50 years been the scene of triumphs on the part of the most talented Jewish businessmen. He concluded that the main difference was that whereas the old moguls such as Warner and Mayer craved acceptance by the old Wasp establishment, and mimicked the staid clubs and horsey pastimes of the Anglophile East Coast elite, the new Hollywood moguls were more secure in their own identity, and needed no such reassurances.
As I say, the article caused little comment in Britain when it was published. However, Mr. Michael Williams-Jones, the chief executive of United International Pictures in London, which distributes films abroad for MGM, Paramount and Universal, took the trouble to send faxes of the article to his contacts in Hollywood. Mr. Williams-Jones wrote in an accompanying note, 'The article is odious in its innuendo and inaccurate in its facts.'
At the other end the moguls got in touch with Mr. Bernard Weinraub, the highly experienced Los Angeles correspondent of the New York Times. While none of them wished to be quoted personally, Mr. Weinraub reported that they were collectively of the view that the Cash article was 'disgusting' 'despicable', 'bigoted' and 'odious'.
The most upsetting words which Mr. Weinraub was able to quote from Cash's article were that he described Jews as 'fiercely competitive', 'compulsive storytellers' and 'talented negotiators'. Mr. Weinraub appended to these exact extracts from Cash's article his own comment: 'Few in Hollywood could recall such an anti-Semitic article in a mainstream publication.'
Following Mr. Weinraub's article, the Anti-Defamation League swung into action from its New York officeas a result of this one of our valued advertisers canceled its contract with usand the Los Angeles Times ran a leader page article to denounce young William Cash. The New York Times article appeared on Monday 7 November, and was given the honor of the front page in the paper's Arts section. It quoted me, absolutely accurately, as saying to Mr. Weinraub that The Spectator seeks to be 'highly polemical and highly controversial. There is a difference between what is deemed acceptable in an American paper and what is deemed acceptable in a British paper. American papers have a code of political correctness. It's simply impossible to run views counter to that product.'
Mr. Weinraub added, 'Mr. Lawson, who said he was Jewish, remarked that he did not necessarily agree with the views of authors in his magazine. He said he was "well aware of the sensitivities of Jews" but had had no second thoughts about publishing the article.'
Mr. Weinraub had called me on Sunday evening (the 6th). He seemed a little agitated. I suspect he was most offended by William Cash's remark that the New York Times was the 'official mouthpiece' of the new Jewish establishment. I now accept without reservation that this allegation is totally without foundation...
Mr. Weinraub's own article was very well written. I would have been happy to have published such a piece in The Spectator, although I didn't agree with it. But it did not quite do justice to the spice of our telephone conversation, part of which went as follows:
Self (after being told, at length, how offended le tout Hollywood was
by Mr. Cash's article): I am quite sensitive to the attitudes of Jews
to this sort of thing.
...Now we are getting to the point, and it is one which lifts the current Spectator controversy quite out of the range of mere matters of political correctness. Anti-Semitism has an ancient and foul history, and Americans Jews, many of whom can name relatives who were exterminated in the Holocaust, are understandably highly sensitive to even the faintest whiff of anti-Jewish prejudice. But it is simply wrong, and hysterical, to equate what we can at worst call British snobbery with the genocidal impulses and actions of the Third Reich.
...As a matter of fact, we have published a few articles which might be broadly construed as anti-German, and it is true, as I pointed out to Mr. Weinraub, that The Spectator from time to time publishes pieces which make polemical generalization about national attitudes and characteristics. But generalizations about national or ethnic characteristics are not merely gratuitous, still less redundant. Understanding of the German character is a useful and valuable aid to analyzing the history of modern Germany, for example.
The Hollywood executive, Mr. Barry Isaacson, who last week denounced William Cash as 'a Monty Python caricature of an English upper-class twit' clearly understands the value of racial and social generalizations.
It would be an exaggeration to say that only Americans have found something
distasteful in pieces which make generalizations about national characteristics.
The editor of the Times Literary Supplement, Ferdinand Mount, in an article
in the Sunday Telegraph two years ago entitled
To be fair to Mr. Mount, his broader point was that The Spectators writers had left British political institutions untouched by diatribes about national decay and corruption. Clearly Mr. Mount is not in the habit of reading Paul Johnsons weekly column.
However, earlier this year even the saintly Mr. Mount succumbed. He called me to offer a brilliantly written polemic ('No pontification in this realm of England', 29 January) about the domination of the English media by Catholic triumphalists. He began what I steadfastly refuse to describe as an article of astonishing sourness with the remark:
'Is it possible that, after all, we shall come to think that Catholic Emancipation has turned out to be a mistake?' He went on to recall the good old days when 'Catholics had shown that they were just as British as the rest of us', and complained that 'suddenly the most insensitive Protestant nostril cannot help detecting an intrusive whiff of incense, the dullest Anglican air cannot fail to catch a note of triumphalism'. Mr. Mount further remarked that 'the paranoic literalism of the Catholic campaigners against Maastricht seemed to have a fractionally deranged and, I can't help adding, alien quality to it'.
'If any of my remarks should happen to give offense to good Catholics,' added Mr. Mount generously, 'they might care to reflect that the Anglican Church and clergy have had to put up with a thousand times worse from Catholic polemicists .. it is the Pope's big guns who dominate the media.' Now insert the word Jew, where Mr. Mount uses the word Catholic, and you realize how innocuous by comparison is William Cash's now notorious articleit scarcely deserves the word 'diatribe'.
And neither Mr. Cash nor even Mr. Mount was suggesting that Jews or Catholics should suffer any discrimination, let alone suffer wholesale slaughter at the hands of a Wasp Sturmabteilung manned by pure-bred Old Etonians such as themselves.
The question is whether Jews should be as robustly unparanoic in their response to Cash's article as Catholics have been to Mount's deliberately provocative polemic. Perhaps the best example of a mature response to mild anti-Semitism was expounded in The Spectator by Barbara Amiel, before, I should add, she was married to our proprietor, Conrad Black.
In 'Jews your partners' (3 November 1990) Miss Amiel reported her embarrassment when, at a ball she was seated next to a man who drew attention to the Jewishness of a number of businessmen who had recently been convicted of financial misdemeanors, such as Gerald Ronson, Ernest Saunders and Michael Milken. Ms. Amiel's tedious interlocutor did not realize that she was Jewish. Ms. Amiel later wrote:
Although the conversation depressed me, it didn't make me angry. I don't find it illegitimate for one group to have an opinion about the characteristics of another group. Group characteristics never turn out to be accurate when applied to individuals but they may be statistically accurate in terms of the group as a whole. Sometimes these views raise rather interesting and valid questions. Jews, after all, have all sorts of strong views about Gentile society such as the way they deal with their families (meanly), alcohol (copiously) and their emotions (anal retentive).
Erroneous opinions on the Jews are no more illegitimate than any other erroneous opinion. One crosses the line only when you believe that the opinion you hold of another group entitles you to injure or restrict them in some way, such as denying them access to certain professions or passing laws to curtail their civil liberties.
It is, in fact, possible to make a very nice living by making generalizations in public about Jews. Such as: 'Jews don't go to the theatre to see a show. They go to the theatre to hear their own opinions of the show. And the Jews won't buy drinks. Only a Gentile would be willing to pay $2.75 for a Coca-Cola.' So: Jews are over-opinionated and money-obsessed. These, almost verbatim, are gags from a show called Jackie Mason: Brand New, which was an immense hit on Broadway. Jackie Mason can get away with it . He is the son of a rabbi, his three brothers are rabbis, and he was ordained as a rabbi.
One might argue that Jackie Mason is a beneficiary of the Rush Limbaugh effect: that as the mainstream becomes ever more self censoring, rather crude and unedifying people step into the spotlight and financial rewardsthat should be enjoyed by the more thoughtful. But there is another point about these politically incorrect humorists. They are offering essential truths, however brashly. What makes people laugh at jokes is the honesty in them....
One might even claim that the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Mason have the role in modern America that underground satirists had in Russia during the late Soviet years. They were popular, and even loved, because they were the only people who could publicly demonstrate the absurdity of the official media dogma the bogus brotherhood of man, promulgated in the USSR by Pravda and Izvestia, and in the USA by the likes of the Washington Post and the New York Times.
I must confess, however, that I had not appreciated, when publishing William Cash's article, just how far political correctness had traveled in the land where freedom of speech is guaranteed by the constitution. I accept that William Cash's use of the word 'cabal'when asking if any such thing existed in Hollywood was unfortunate. But then he went on to say that, if it existed, it was, as 'a form of professional incest, no worse than, say, public schoolboys in the city of London'.
For this to be told that they are as bad as public schoolboys the Anti Defamation League and its billionaire backers among the Hollywood elite turn their big guns on the 20-something Mr. Cash. One wonders what steps they would take if they ever encountered genuine anti-Semitism, such as that which is currently sweeping Russia. ..the journalist Leon Wieseltier... the literary editor of New Republic, is the nearest thing the political correctness mob have to a cultural Gauleiter. In an interview with New York magazine earlier this year Mr. Wieseltier referred grandly to 'part of my job of policing the culture'. (See the policeman wield his truncheon in this issue's letters pages.)
Charles Fleming of Newsweek, who wrote a report on this great outrage perpetrated by William Cash, told me that what had most galled Hollywood were Cash's remarks that the Jews are 'always compulsive story-tellers and talented negotiators, are extremely compatible with the executive side of the movie business'.
When I showed Cash's entire article to my grandmother, to gain the opinion of a Jew whose historical memory goes back far further than Barbara Amiel's or mine, she merely commented. 'All facts: we are better at some things.'
According to modern American political discourse therefore, my grandmother is an anti-Semite. Am I allowed to say that I find that offensive?...
LETTERS _______________ THE SPECTATOR 26 November 1994
SIR: The 29 October issue of The Spectator, was marred by the inclusion of an article ('Kings of the deal') which advanced the basest of anti-Semitic stereotypes. Far from being the thought-provoking discourse usually found in your magazine, this appeal to the worst kind of 'group think' also crosses the line into very dangerous territory.
Conspiracy theories, 'facts' with little or no basis in truth, code words like 'Jewish cabal', all the usual canards are rounded up in this 'investigation' into the supposed dominance by a new elite. There is, however, nothing new here. We have seen it all before, from the Inquisition in 13th-century Spain to the Holocaust of 20th-century Germany.
We have seen the results of hateful scapegoating, of ascribing group traits, of baseless charges of exclusionism. What we have not seen lately is this type of racist creed aired in distinguished journals such as The Spectator.
When, to the editors of magazines like The Spectator, racist cant becomes indistinguishable from thoughtful commentary, it should sound a loud warning that we have not progressed so very far after all. The demons of religious and racial hatred which have wreaked such havoc throughout the course of human existence are with us still. When these demons show themselves, however distinguished the venue, they must be condemned, publicly and immediately, lest these ancient hatreds find fertile ground once again in our communities. Kevin Costner Actor/director/producer Tom Cruise Actor/producer Bob Daly Chairman, Warner Bros. Kirk Douglas Actor/director/producer Charlton Heston Actor/director Jim Hilvert Executive Director, NCCJ Frank Mancuso Chairman, MGM Michael Ovitz Chairman, CAA Sidney Poitier Actor/director/producer Bruce M. Ramer Attorney Sidney J. Sheinberg President, MCA Steven Spielberg Director/producer Barbra Streisand Actress/director/producer Jack Valenti Chairman, MPA Lew Wasserman Chairman, MCA
Arthur J. Magida writes in the Baltimore Jewish Times 11/11/94:
Hollywood movie executives are "outraged" and "disgusted" about an article in the British magazine, The Spectator, that revives a stereotype from the early days of failmmaking that a "Jewish cabal" controls the entertainment industry.
The article by William Cash, a Hollywood correspondent for the British conservative newspaper The Daily Telegraph, describes Jews as "fiercely competitive," "clannish" "and compulsive storytellers and talented negotiators." The "invidious and protective culture" they have created in Hollywood denies employment to non-Jews, according to Mr. Cash, who answered in the positive this question that he posed:
"Now that Jews govern the New Establishment does any sort of reverse form of class or racial discrimination operate against outsiders trying to get access to the entertainment high-ways -- WASPS, blacks, Brits, and others not so favored?"
Neal Sandberg, former head of the western region of the American Jewish Committee and currently head of AJC's Pacific Rim Institute, said Mr. Cash's article was "overstated, even in terms of genteel anti- Semitism. It's a classic portrayal of Jews that goes back to an embellished image of Shylock."
Jews now function in Hollywood, he said, "not as an ethnic or cultural group, but as individuals answerable to banks and foreign and corporate sponsorship. These are business people, like anywhere else, trying to make a profit. They're not defending ethnic or cultural interests."
Mr. Cash's article appeared at the same time that an anonymous Sony executive in Tokyo was quoted in the Japanese business weekly Keizaikai as saying, "... The U.S. film business is almost completely controlled by Jews. This is true of what we are doing as well and our job is to use them in an efficient manner."
The Japanese magazine then concluded, "What this person is saying is that you cannot ignore Jews if you do business in the U.S."
Gabler wrote in the 11/13/94 Los Angeles Times:
The article might be dismissed as an anti-Semitic bleat from a reactionary crackpot if it didn't have a respectable platform in the Spectator and didn't play to a pre-existing prejudice-that Jews control the U.S. media. But here the canard is given new impetus in an environment of anti-political correctness, where hostility often passes for honesty.
Cash realizes his discovery will trigger the "inevitable shrieks of anti-Semitism"-and it has-though he seems willing to brave these attacks in the interest of social science. This New Establishment is a "culturally maladroit and culturally nihilist (sic)" band, Titans of Tripe, Cash calls them after Auberon Waugh, who wear, "nylon jogging anoraks, fluffy white socks, digital watches and faded jeans." You call this a power structure!
Once upon a glorious time, Cash laments, power was in the hands (or the feet) of a white-shoe aristocracy. These were well-born, well-educated, well-dressed men (at least when wearing wingtips)-culturally adroit and not at all nihilistic. They looked and acted the part of the Establishment-in fact, very much like the British Establishment. Nothing arriviste here. They ruled seigneurially and sartorially.
But now the big feet of the New Establishment wear white socks-and sneakers. These power brokers-including Rupert Murdoch of Fox Film and Television, Bill Gates of Microsoft computer-operating systems, John C. Malone of the Tele-Communications cable empire, not to mention the Jews among them-have not only nudged aside the Old Establishment. Their cabal practices, in Cash's analysis, are a "reverse form of class or racial discrimination," denying access to "Wasps, blacks and Brits." French, too?
Can it be that the godfather of the Jewish cabal that excludes Wasps, blacks and Brits pays obeisance to a higher authority? It can, because the studios and telecommunications empires that Cash identifies as predominantly Jewish are owned and controlled by non-Jews: MCA by Mashushita, Columbia and Tri-Star by Sony, Fox by Murdoch, Time-Warner by stockholders and a corporate board.
Ignoring the facts to suit his myth of Jewish control, Cash is in a long tradition of anti-Semites who began smiting Jewish movie executives almost from the moment the Jews entered the film industry in the 1910s.
One reform group demanded that movies be liberated "from the hands of the devil and 500 un-Christian Jews." Another religious zealot blasted Hollywood Jews for the "seduction of hundreds of thoughtless girls every day," which he ascribed, euphemistically, to a general "Europeanization" of the country. Henry Ford, in his Dearborn Independent, cited Jewish control of the film industry and said, "It is the genius of that race to create problems of a moral character in whatever business they achieve a majority."
The idea was that Jews were somehow different from the majority of Gentile Americans. Jews didn't subscribe to the same values. They had taken control of this powerful instrument of social control, but they couldn't use it responsibly.
Whether by design or sheer ignorance, they were said to be using the movies to subvert so-called traditional values, though anyone who studies film history knows, no group was more conscious of traditional values or more eagerly sought to purvey them than the Jewish movie pioneers-who regarded themselves as American first, Jewish second.
He obviously believes Hollywood and the world would be better places if the New Establishment and its nine Jews would hand culture back to the people who deserve it-people presumably like Cash. At the very least, they should share their power. He closes by citing the "white-sock mediocracy" as "another example of how driven Jews have always dealt with exclusion. Barred from one form of Establishment, they have ended up helping to create their own."
Similarly, an article like Cash's is another example of how powerless elitists have always dealt with exclusion. Barred from one form of Establishment, they end up spewing anti-Semitic bile.
From the 11/11/94 St. Louis Dispatch:
Anti-Semitism is as old as the hills. Even in today's enlightened age, it endures. The latest addition comes from William Cash, Hollywood correspondent for Britain's The Daily Telegraph. He has written an article for another British publication, The Spectator, titled "Kings of the Deal," asserting that Jews control Hollywood.
He is entitled to his opinion, of course, though it is flat wrong. Most Hollywood studios are owned either by foreign interests or New York banks. What Mr. Cash is not entitled to, if he is to retain any respect from civilized people, is his opinion that Jews are the authors of "an invidious and protective culture" that bars work to non-Jews. It is neither true nor fair.
Worse, Mr. Cash goes on to picture Jews as "clannish" and "vulgar." That's way beyond serious analysis. It is nothing but unadulterated anti-Semitism. Mr. Cash convicts himself with his own words. He says his motive for writing the piece was a Vanity Fair article about the new video establishment and its executives that didn't reveal how many of them were Jewish. He insists that keeping silent on this point is "so politically correct." That shows how little Mr. Cash understands either America or Jews. Failure to mention the religion of U.S. executives isn't political correctness, but moral and cultural virtue.
From the 12/05/94 New Republic:
The Spectator of London has always mistaken the expression of prejudice for an intellectual activity, and found it invigorating; but this time the journal has surpassed itself. In its issue of October 29, there appears a piece called "Kings of the Deal," which reveals that "Jews govern the New Establishment," that is to say, Hollywood and the new communication technologies. The piece might have been translated from, well, the English of the 1920s and 1930s. It is the kind of rank social anti-Semitism that has always characterized a type of British snob on his or her way down. "The idea of `New Establishment' players like David Geffen (who refuses to wear a suit), Mike Ovitz or Steven Spielberg dressing up in a tail-coat to go fox-hunting is ludicrous," writes William Cash. The Hollywood hebes, he notes, prefer to wear white socks. It's an observation from which they are unlikely to recover. According to Cash, who covers l.a. for The Daily Telegraph, the Jews in Hollywood created an "invidious and protective culture" in which they generally hire each other. Cash even has people in Hollywood trying to pass for Jews. We have been unable to verify this; but we have been able to verify that there are people in Hollywood trying to pass for journalists.
Phil Reeves writes from Los Angeles for the British newspaper Independent 11/06/94:
London-Los Angeles fax lines have been humming with copies of an article by William Cash which has been variously described by Hollywood players as ``odious, despicable and fascist garbage''. As a shaken Mr Cash admits: ``All hell has broken loose.''
Mr Cash, son of the right-wing Tory MP Bill Cash, claims that Hollywood is controlled by a ``Jewish cabal'' and suggests that it may operate reverse discrimination against outsiders, including blacks, Wasps and Britons. He characterises Hollywood's Jewish leaders as vulgar (a ``white-sock mediocracy''), ``compulsive story-tellers and talented negotiators''.
Few have disputed that the industry has been dominated by Jews since the days of Adolph Zukor, Louis B Mayer and Harry Cohn - although it includes many others. But these days its moguls and powerbrokers are answerable to banks, stockbrokers andinternational coporations based in Japan and Australia.
``Few in Hollywood (can) recall such an anti-Semitic article in a mainstream publication,'' wrote Bernard Weinraub, the New York Times' Hollywood correspondent. Others appear to agree. The writer-director Lionel Chetwynd described the piece as the work of a ``certain upper-class Brit . . . what they are really saying is: `We may not be as important and powerful as you, but we're more civilised'.''
Mr Cash, a correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, is unrepentant. He denies anti-Semitism, insists he was only seeking to raise questions, and points out that Dominic Lawson is Jewish, and that the Spectator' s proprietor, Conrad Black, owns the Jerusalem Post. And he has found an unexpected ally. This week's Spectator includes a letter from Claus von Bulow, whose acquittal on charges of attempting to murder his wife was made into the Hollywood film Reversal of Fortune.
``The same industry which produces the elegant `High Society' comedies featuring a Cary Grant or a David Niven will now systematically portray well-to-do Gentiles as caricatures, and their homes as hotel lobbies, '' he wrote.
Miles Kington makes this sensible response in the 12/06/94 Independent: But then my wife reminded me that it is still possible to touch a nerve by pointing to the recent furore over William Cash's Spectator piece on the supposed Jewish domination of Hollywood.
If you missed this, you didn't miss much, but if you did followit, you would have been amazed to see how one muddle-headed piece could bring the hornets out. Now, if you or I read an article about the Jewish domination of Hollywood, I think we would react sensibly by saying: ''Well, if the Jews are so clever and are so much in charge, how come Hollywood isn't making any good films these days? Maybe the wrongJews are in charge!''
But that wasn't the reaction in the Spectator. The letter columns were filled with horrified reactions, including a letter from Hollywood whose list of well-known signatories (Kevin Costner, Sidney Poitier, Tom Cruise, etc) was actually longer than theletter itself. The letter warned against racist cant and raised the spectre of the Holocaust and the Spanish Inquisition. Another letter voiced the same thought, though negatively: ''No doubt there has been an over- reaction to Cash's article; it is a long way from gas ovens . . .' '
Indeed, you might think, so why mention it? Because, I suppose, the awful trump card of the Holocaust is such a powerful card to play, and the Jewish community finds it tempting to play it, or even just to get it out and wave it around without actually playing it.
Mark Lawson wrote in the 12/06/94 Independent:
"Writing about television, I have regularly received letters asking me to point out the number of Jews in positions of influence in British broadcasting. Generally underground, this allegation occasionally goes public: some of the Catholic agitators protesting against the recent Christopher Hitchens polemic against Mother Theresa of Calcutta on Channel 4 saw fit to mention the Jewish background of the station's chief executive, Michael Grade. This implication was at least as slanderous as anything Hitchens said about the nun. (I write this as a Catholic, a fact which had perhaps better be declared as there is enough anti-Semitism in Britain for it to be assumed that any defence of Judaism comes from within.)"
Lawson admits that Jews do dominate the entertainment industry but this does not lead to our movie and TV screens filling with Jewish culture.
"Jewish movies - Crossing Delancey, Yentl, Brighton Beach Memoirs - have been relatively few. Zionist conspiracy theorists are limited to such exhibits as the two films about the Entebbe rescueproduced in 1976 and the obscure 1971 US/Israeli co-production, The Jerusalem File, a thriller about the Six-Day War.
"In general, Hollywood movies reflect Middle American Christian values. For example, Forest Gump, this year's smash hit and likely 1995 Oscar winner, is a fairly standard weepie but, like most American films of this genre, a Jesus-weepie... The two big family releases in 1994 - The Lion King and The Nightmare Before Christmas - were also submerged sermons: in the latter, various forces of negativity are trying to destroy the spirit of Christmas, until taught a lesson by military force.
"Baddies in action films do often have an Arab aspect, but this panders less to Zionism than a general American prejudice, as demonstrated in the Gulf War.
"The gags in Nora Ephron's When Harry Met Sally are Jewish; the ending is Middle American. Jewish humour has saved Hollywood from a complete surrender to the mawkish sentimentality of American Christian culture: its tendency towards - to use, appropriately, a Yiddish word - schmaltz.
"...In mainstream cinema and television, content is dictated by consumers not producers, and there are onlylimited ticket sales in Judaism. The second is that Jews in Hollywood have been keen to assimilate and avoid self declaration, a parallel to the paradox that although the movie business contained numerous homosexuals, there was scarcely a gay film before the 1980s."
When Marlon Brando held a news conference at the Museum of Tolerance (MOT, a state-funded Holocaust museum operated by Orthodox rabbis) to apologize for his comments about Jews on the Larry King Show, William Cash leaped on stage and started babbling about his desire to repent for his article. Cash was led away by security guards.
Later, Cash was told by Jack Valenti and the honchos at the MOT that he was forgiven. Cash now lives in Great Britain and Italy.