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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

After the horrors of mass shootings at Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, the nation is finally having a conversation about more than guns. This is a welcome turn of events. For a generation, politicians and their obsession with banning firearms have made it impossible to discuss the multitude of issues leading up to these hideous acts.

One of these major issues is the growing toxicity of our culture due to ultra-violent films, television and video games. This has been a problem for quite some time, but now with Trump Derangement Syndrome fast-walking so many liberals into a frothing madness, its obscene impact on filmmaking shouldn’t come as a surprise.


Now, a movie called “The Hunt” has been withdrawn for release after Universal Pictures (a studio owned by Comcast through its subsidiary NBCUniversal) faced increasing pressure from conservatives and criticism by the president about its vile and dangerous premise.

The New York Post explains, ” ‘The Hunt,’ starring Hilary Swank — and billed as a ‘satirical horror film’ — told the story of liberal elitists who gleefully track and kill Trump-supporting ‘deplorables’ kidnapped from red states and dumped in a hunting preserve.”

Then on Aug. 6, just a few days after the both the El Paso and Dayton shootings, The Hollywood Reporter headline read, “Ads Pulled for Gory Universal Thriller ‘The Hunt’ in Wake of Mass Shootings.”

President Trump then chimed in without naming the film specifically, “The movie coming is made in order to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!” he tweeted.

Finally, Universal pulled the film, “at this time,” indicating it still think this is just fine to release, you know, when it can be done with less attention.

In a statement to The Hill, the studio said, ” ‘While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for ‘The Hunt,’ after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our plans to release the film,’ a Universal Pictures spokesperson told The Hill in a statement. ‘We stand by our filmmakers and will continue to distribute films in partnership with bold and visionary creators, like those associated with this satirical social thriller, but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film.’ “

Others insist the pulling of this film is censorship. Yeah, no. Censorship is the government telling you what you can’t make. It’s called “good judgment” when you decide distributing a film glorifying the murder of your political opponents, especially during a time which includes calls for violence against Trump supporters, conservatives and even of people because of their skin color is a bad idea.

We all know what is being done in public by “celebrities”: Madonna stating to a rally after Mr. Trump’s inauguration that she fantasizes about blowing up the White House; Kathy Griffin holding up a bloody, severed head of the president; Robert De Niro expressing a desire to physically assault the president; the New York City Public Theatre’s version of “Julius Caesar,” set in modern day, featuring Mr. Trump as Caesar being stabbed to death; Johnny Depp musing about Mr. Trump during an interview, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”

The list goes on and on.

None of this is not about disagreeing on the details of issues or policy. It is a 24/7 drumbeat to dehumanize conservatives, and it’s having an impact. Within the last week at a demonstration outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home, a protester screamed, “Just stab the motherf– in the heart.”

In the last few days, a panelist on an MSNBC program called for most white people to be “destroyed.” The Federalist reported, “In a feisty segment on Sunday’s ‘A.M. Joy,’ [the guest] made an inflammatory comment in which he said white people who voted for Donald Trump should be destroyed. This came after a segment in which he argued there is no moral difference between avowed white supremacists and any white person who votes for Trump.”

This is a predictable result of Rep. Maxine Waters’ now infamous encouragement of angry liberals to confront the president’s supporters in public places. In the aftermath, some of Mr. Trump’s children, staff, aides and appointees have been verbally and physically assaulted in public.

In case anyone was confused about the intent of the film, reports included a snippet of dialogue reflecting the unhinged hatred we see expressed almost every day on social media, legacy media and even from some politicians: ” ‘Did anyone see what our ratf—ker-in-chief just did?’ one character asks early in the screenplay for The Hunt. … Another responds: ‘At least The Hunt’s coming up. Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables …,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Mr. Trump, in the meantime, has been the one steady, reasonable voice in the midst of this madness.

In his statement after the shootings, he condemned racism and bigotry, but also dared to address the multitude of issues we face, “We must recognize that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts. … We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. … It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. …”

High-profile liberals say Trump is the problem: Perhaps they need to look in the mirror.

• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk-show host.


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