Political Projections: Hollywood's Political Cynicism

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

From scandals and spin to special interest groups and lobbyists, many Americans are very cynical about the motives of politicians and even the democratic process itself. On Political Projections, we look at how Hollywood has showcased American cynicism about politics.

Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist at The Cleveland Plain Dealer, is also the wife of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and the author of ...and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man. Philip Gianos is the Chair of the Department of Politics, Administration and Justice at California State University, Fullerton and the author of Politics and Politicians in American Film.

You can watch the films we've selected and weigh in on the conversation. The three films are:

"Advise and Consent" (1962) – Otto Preminger directed this movie about how a liberal nominee for Secretary of State tries to hide his past.

"Wag the Dog" (1997) – David Mamet wrote and Barry Levinson directed this Clinton-era comedy about a spin doctor’s creation of a fake war to distract the electorate from a presidential sex scandal.

"Bulworth" (1998) – Written and directed by Warren Beatty, a veteran Senator grows weary of the state of politics and begins to speak openly and honestly about his controversial feelings.

Weigh in: How well do you think these 3 movies capture the spirit of political cynicism? Are you cynical about politics during the 2008 election cycle?


Philip Gianos and Connie Schultz

Comments [3]

Ken from Manhattan

Advise & Consent not only makes gays look squeamish, it changes the plot of the novel which made perfectly clear that Sen. Brigham Young Anderson was indeed gay.

Mar. 04 2008 01:13 PM
Judith Knipe

I hope you're planning to look back to earlier films such as the un-Capra The Great McGinty (Sturges) and The Senator Was Indiscreet (Kaufman).

Mar. 03 2008 11:54 AM
Joe Adams from Bergen County, New Jersey

Let me reiterate a previous appeal. "The Senator Was Indiscreet", made 61 years ago is as fresh and relevant --and as extremely funny-- today as it was when it was made. The message I got from it when I saw it about eight years ago is that things were pretty bad even then although I now believe nothing to compare with the past eight years.

Feb. 26 2008 03:25 PM

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