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Hollywood Nation: Left Coast Lies, Old Media Spin, and the New Media Revolution Hardcover – August 30, 2005

3.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Advance Praise for Hollywood Nation

“Jim Hirsen’s keen sense of the entertainment industry and its warped outlook, along with his take-no-prisoners style of writing, is enough to send Streisand, Sarandon, and Penn into therapy for weeks.” —Laura Ingraham, nationally syndicated talk radio host and bestselling author of Shut Up and Sing

Hollywood Nation exposes the sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant liberal spin employed by so many in the entertainment industry to push their leftist agenda and anti–free market bias. Reading this book will let you go to the movies and watch with vaccinated eyes.” —G. Gordon Liddy, nationally syndicated talk radio host

“Jim Hirsen understands the overwhelming power of celebrity. You will too after reading Hollywood Nation.” —Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online

“This readable, eye-opening book makes an important contribution to the debate on media bias by focusing on the more subtle, unexpected, and utterly gratuitous means that Hollywood too often employs to transmit its political messages.” —Michael Medved, author, film critic, and nationally syndicated talk radio host

“The Hollywood Left operates in a sort of Twilight Zone of political insularity, cultural arrogance, and intellectual vacuity. Hollywood Nation lays bare all of the hypocrisy, self-absorption, and ill-informed points of view that drive the entertainment industry—and its powerful influence over American politics. Before you go to your next movie, read this book!” —Monica Crowley, MSNBC and WABC Radio host

About the Author

James Hirsen is the author of the New York Times bestseller Tales from the Left Coast. He writes the popular weekly NewsMax.com column “The Left Coast Report” and regularly discusses Hollywood and politics on the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, PBS, and Bravo and on radio programs across the country. Now a professor of law, Hirsen formerly played keyboards for the Temptations. He lives in southern California.

NewsMax.com is America’s leading Internet source for news from a conservative perspective, receiving more than five million unique visitors every month.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum (August 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400081920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400081929
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,665,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hollywood Nation : Left Coast Lies, Old Media Spin, and the New Media Revolution by James Hirsen is a bit dishonest in its title. While Hirsen does cover some interesting aspects of how Hollywood's politics is affecting what we see and hear in the media, it doesn't cover all of the aspects I was hoping for. Hirsen trots out the same old liberals names everyone knows: Sarandon, Robbins, Streisand, etc, but doesn't really bring anything new to the table. Yes, we know that the mainstream media is remarkably left of center, but that's nothing that Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, and many others have written about already. The most interesting chapters were those that discussed the hidden messages of movies like Kingdom of Heaven and Million Dollar Baby. I would have enjoyed reading an entire book about more of that along with information about the TV shows that are beamed into our homes claiming to represent middle-class America. One chapter Hirsen could have done without is the long love letter to Mel Gibson about The Passion of the Christ. I was moved by the film, and I deeply respect Gibson for making it, but Hirsen's devotion to him makes the book lose some credibility. Hirsen also interviews several celebrities for the book like Bill O'Reilly and Dayna Devon. The interviews make for interesting reading, but sometimes it feels like Hirsen was throwing Nerf balls instead of hardballs at them. This book is not a must read, but it could have been.
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Format: Hardcover
No sooner do I finish James Hirsen's "Tales From the Left Coast" than I discover he's just released another tome dealing with the machinations of Hollywood and the Old Media systems. Obviously, when the term "Old Media" rears its ugly head, the reader automatically knows he or she is in for yet another treatment of the rise of Internet blogging and the FOX News Channel. It seems like dozens of books concerning this topic come out every month. So many books have examined this phenomenon--the slow slide into irrelevancy of the traditional media outlets like The New York Times and the Big Three television networks--that one wonders what is left to say about it. The problem with the emergence of the New Media, as it is so imaginatively called, is that it's...well...new. We're not exactly sure what's going to happen ten years down the road. Personally, although I find myself getting more and more of my news from Internet sources, I don't really want the print media to disappear. What I and many others do want, which Hirsen seems to embrace as well if "Hollywood Nation" is any indication, is as many points of view as possible regarding events around the world.

At the same time I want to see infotainment--that obnoxious fusion of mindless entertainment recounted with a "hard" news edge--kicked to the gutter. This brand of media benefits no one except those personalities who make millions of dollars a year spewing this junk. We're all dumber and less effective citizens because of people like Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, and those news shows that cover Hollywood celebrities. Far too many of our fellow featherless bipeds are relying exclusively on these people and programs to learn about what goes on in the world. And that's the main focus of "Hollywood Nation.
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Format: Hardcover
Except perhaps for the liberal elitists of Hollywood, no one else doubts that entertainment and the media have shared the same leftist bed for the last three decades. Further, there is little doubt that this union of media and Hollywood combine to spin the news in ways that raise Democratic causes and debase Republican ones. In HOLLYWOOD NATION, James Hirsen takes the reader down a well-trodden path to prove these very points. In his first three chapters, he focuses on the glitzy aspect of the televised news business. He discusses good looking news anchors who present the news in breezy dumbed down ways that Edward R. Murrow would certainly have found repellent. This part of the book is Hirsen's weakest. Beginning in the fourth chapter, however, Hirsen picks up steam by getting down to his real business--that of slamming the entrenched liberal Powers That Be who not only deny that there is no bias from the left but that if any bias does exist, it comes from the right. Hirsen lists a number of books that prove this pervasive left bias. Most of these are well-known: Bernard Goldberg's BIAS, William McGowan's COLORING THE NEWS, and Ann Coulter's SLANDER. Hirsen notes that the left counters with books that purport to prove the opposite. I have read most of these latter texts--Alterman's WHAT LIBERAL MEDIA and Conason's BIG LIES come to mind--and Hirsen rightfully points out that these authors often undercut their own arguments by admitting that most media moguls are indeed liberal, but they are cosmopolitan enough to recognize and to control their biases, a balancing act that they think they maintain but the more conservative and competing writers cannot.

Hirsen makes his most telling points when he reviews the well-documented failure of Air America to encroach on the turf of talk radio.
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Format: Hardcover
James Hirsen's latest book is just in time and aptly focused on just how much Hollywood has become the news and how the news has become Hollywoodized. And it couldn't have been released on a more appropriate date, as Americans join together to aid and strengthen the victims of hurricane Katrina and now Rita. And the Hollywood sect of elitists couldn't be sillier and more self-serving in yet another opportunity for them to come to the rescue of all the "little people" - easily making James Hirsen's point FOR him. Oprah, in touch with the regular people? Sean Penn in a rowboat in New Orleans with a cameraman? That Kanye guy blasting Bush for hating blacks. Michael Moore's shenanigans designed only to make him richer.

This book illustrates how journalists are rising to the level of superstars and how our stars are journalists and our journalists are stars and the line's getting blurrier every day. James exposes their hidden agendas and how they manipulate public opinion while analyzing all the behind-the-scenes activities we don't hear about. Being so well respected in the field of politics and media, James was able to land some great key interviews with the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Peggy Noonan, Ann Coulter, Joel Siegel, Michael Savage and many others. Hirsen's book is a wonderful expose on new media and its influence on our lives and his articles in NewsMax magazine and NewsMax.com are at the forefront reporting the news that the mainstream media refuses to print.
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