- The Very Real Connection Between Hollywood and Washington
by John Harrison, https://sputniknews.com/
Hollywood has long been respected as a centre of excellence – the world’s premier film making centre. And perhaps quite rightly so. But there is a mostly unknown aspect to Hollywood – the influence of Washington on scripts and production. The two authors of the new book ‘American Security Cinema’ reveal the extent of this involvement.
The authors are: Dr. Matthew Alford, who is a Teaching Fellow in propaganda and theory at the University of Bath in England and Tom Secker, who is a private researcher who runs spyculture.com — the world’s premier online archive about government involvement in the entertainment industry.
Tom starts the program by tracing the history of US government involvement in Hollywood. “It really got going in the 1920s and 1930s and then accelerated rapidly during World War II, and into the post-war period. The FBI got involved in the 1930s, and up until the death of J. Edgar Hoover had quite a prominent influence on Hollywood. The CIA had a covert influence, at least from their inception up until the 1990s when they founded their own entertainment liaison office, and now we have other agencies such as Homeland Security; it’s now quite a large operation.”
The motivation for the DOD getting involved, Matthew says: “is primarily and most overtly to recruit more people. To recruit soldiers and other people and personnel because the movies obviously appeal to young people in particular, and they make no particular secret about that, although they may say sometimes that recruitment efforts are just incidental; that we just like to help out in the movies, that sort of thing… What Tom and I find more sinister is the by-product of that in that they tend to rewrite history through the movies and give a very benign spin on the nature of their own institutions. A benign spin on the White House and the same goes for the CIA, the Department of Defence, and of course the FBI for a historical period of time, much less so now.”
As regards present day motivation for government influence, Tom says: “I would say that in the current period, it is not so much about the individual wars themselves, indeed what we found is that when we look at Iraq and Afghanistan, there are very few films being made about these wars. Virtually none of them have benefitted from military support. So it’s not really about that anymore. It’s more about promoting the DOD and the Security State itself, and the broad paradigm of US and NATO foreign policies. That there is a world out there that is full of threats and we need these institutions to be about to combat them.”