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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Hollywood, Trumped

So Hollywood bravely took on President Trump this year, spurning and mocking the choice of the people of more states than anyone had won since Reagan was president (Bush in 1988 carried 40 states).

And this year, lefties mocked the Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel.

Michael Schneider reported on December 1: "Hallmark’s Cheesy Christmas Movies Are Already Dominating Cable This Holiday Season — Ratings Watch."


His was not an opinion column but a straight-forward report on ratings -- and journalists consider calling Christmas movies on Hallmark cheesy.

The Washington Post had noticed in August: "The feel-good Hallmark Channel is booming in the age of Trump."

It was the only non-news cable outlet to see a substantial increase in viewers. The Post said, "Turn on the news and you see people who can't get along, even in the same party. Turn on Hallmark and everyone ends the show smiling. You get re-runs of 'The Golden Girls' and lots of romantic films. The characters work together to save their town or store or farm."

Naturally, if middle-class Americans like something -- Chick-fil-A, Velveeta, Donald Trump -- lefties gotta hate it.

Salon said, "A super white Christmas: The Hallmark Channel gives us TV’s most homogeneous view of the holiday."

From Salon:
Unless you’re a holiday die-hard or a regular Hallmark viewer you may be wondering why this matters. Let’s begin with the obvious statement that holiday-themed viewing plays a huge role in the annual traditions of all kinds of families. So, yes, this is a cultural representation issue and one made especially disheartening when you take into account the way these movies sell a nostalgia for a false, if durable, vision of an America that never existed. But it’s also a problem of hiring and economics.
Sugar-spun traits of “real” America dominate Hallmark’s movie plots through the year, in fact. Plots typically involve characters from or living in the mythological small towns of “real” America, melting the hard hearts of big-city folks or bah humbug grinches with their honest optimism and pure, decent values.
To be fair, Hallmark isn’t the first or only entertainment entity to sell viewers on this kind of imagery. “Dreaming of a white Christmas” isn’t merely a nostalgic Irving Berlin lyric; it’s also a standard television industry practice.
But trucking in such marshmallow fuzziness has increasingly paid off for Hallmark.
Enjoying the holidays by watching a movie in which the protagonist works through a Christmas crisis is somehow evil.

Steve Goldstein wrote on Friday, "What Is It About Hallmark Channel Christmas Movies That Attract 70 Million Viewers?"

Wow. 70 million people.

That's a lot of people.

That's more than are watching NFL games these days.

Meanwhile, in Hollywood, the Los Angeles Times reported that after a year of feuding with President Trump, "Even with 'Star Wars' surge, movie-going could hit 22-year low. Blame bad sequels, rising ticket prices and streaming."

From the LA Times:
Although movie ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada are expected to dip just below last year's record of $11.38 billion, the number of tickets sold is projected to drop 4% to 1.26 billion — the lowest level since 1995, according to preliminary estimates from studio executives. 
The falloff in ticket sales can mostly be explained by a handful of movies that flopped, especially during the dreary summer season that posted the worst results in more than two decades. Even such massive hits as “Wonder Woman,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “It” couldn’t make up for a lackluster summer lineup populated by rickety franchises (“Alien: Covenant”) and poorly reviewed retreads (“The Mummy”).
However, the long-term decline in attendance reflects systemic challenges facing the industry. Audiences are spending less time going to the movies and are consuming more entertainment on small screens and through streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon that are spending billions on original video content.
Here's an idea: Stop feuding with Trump.

The Trump Effect is real.

Here's another idea: Try a little cheese.

People like to feel good about a movie.

The Trump Effect List:

1. Casey Affleck.

February 2017: "Casey Affleck Slams Trump Administration’s ‘Abhorrent’ Policies in Spirit Awards Speech."

November 2017: "Thousands Sign Petition To Keep Casey Affleck From Presenting At Oscars."

2. Alec Baldwin.

2016: "Alec Baldwin totally nailed Trump on the 'SNL' premiere."

2017: "Alec Baldwin Admits He's 'Bullied Women,' Calls for a Change in Hollywood."

3. LaVar Ball.

November 2017: "LaVar Ball Is Feuding with Donald Trump Over His Son's Release From China."

December 2017: "LaVar Ball sends his sons to play in LITHUANIA after pulling them both out of school in the United States after UCLA-Trump row."

4. Hillary Clinton:

2016: "Clinton has 90 percent chance of winning."

2017: "Hillary, I love you. But please go away."

5. George Clooney.

2016: "Clooney's Vow: Trump Will Not Be President; See Trump's Response."

2017: "Clooney's 'Suburbicon' tanks, 'Saw' sequel No. 1 with $16.3M."

6. John Conyers.

2016: "Rep. John Conyers: Donald Trump Is the Next Richard Nixon."

2017: "Rep. John Conyers Jr. resigns over sexual harassment allegations."

7. David Corn.

2016: "MSNBC’s David Corn destroys Ann Coulter for defending Trump’s decision not to release tax returns."

2017: "David Corn investigated for inappropriate workplace behavior."

8. Bill Cosby.

2011: "During an appearance on the 'Today Show,' Bill Cosby slammed Donald Trump's political aspirations, telling him to 'run or shut up'."

2017: "Bill Cosby trying to take out $30M loan to pay mounting legal bills."

9. Lena Dunham.

2016: "Lena Dunham: I'll move to Canada if Trump is president."

2017: "Lena Dunham Apologizes for Defending Girls Writer Accused of Rape."

10. Eminem.

October 2017: "Eminem unleashes on Trump: The 11 fiercest lines."

November 2017: "Eminem is SKEWERED on social media after his bizarre performance on SNL."

Bonus: "Rapper Eminem ‘extremely angry’ that Trump didn’t respond to castigating freestyle rap."

11. Al Franken.

2016: "Al Franken Hilariously Mocks Donald Trump."

2017: "Al Franken to Resign From Senate Amid Harassment Allegations."

12. GQ.

2016: "If You Vote For Trump, Then Screw You."

2017: "Layoffs Hit GQ as Condé Nast Cuts Continue."

13. Kathy Griffin.

2016: "Kathy Griffin Thinks Comedy Should Go All Out on ‘President Piece of Shit’ Donald Trump."

2017: "CNN fires Kathy Griffin."

143. Alcee Hastings.

2016: "Democratic congressman calls Donald Trump 'pile of excrement'."

2017: "Taxpayers paid $220K to settle sexual harassment case involving Hastings."

15. Stephen Henderson.

2016: "Henderson: Vote for Trump was a consent, purposeful or not, to bigotry."

2017: "Free Press’ Stephen Henderson terminated for misconduct."

16. Megyn Kelly.

2016: "GOP Debate: Donald Trump's 'Spat' With Megyn Kelly Is Sexism."

2017: "Megyn Kelly drags down 'Today' ratings."

17. Garrison Keillor.

2016: “So, he won. The nation takes a deep breath. Raw ego and proud illiteracy have won out and a severely learning-disabled man with a real character problem will be president. We are so exhausted from thinking about this election, millions of people will take up leaf-raking and garage cleaning with intense pleasure. We liberal elitists are wrecks. The Trumpers had a whale of a good time, waving their signs, jeering at the media, beating up protesters, chanting ‘Lock her up’ — we elitists just stood and clapped. Nobody chanted ‘Stronger Together.’ It just doesn't chant.”

2017: "Minnesota Public Radio Fires Garrison Keillor Over Allegations of Improper Conduct."

18. Shia LaBeouf.

January 2017: "Shia Labeouf Verbally and Physically Assaults Trump Supporter."

April 2017: "Shia LaBeouf Thriller ‘Man Down’ Sells Just One Ticket at U.K. Box Office."

19. Ryan Lizza,

2016: "Trump Gets Ready to Be a Bad Loser."

2017: "New Yorker Fires Star Reporter Ryan Lizza Over 'Improper Sexual Conduct'."

20. Louis C.K.

2016: "Louis C.K. Compares Donald Trump to Hitler: ‘He’s an Insane Bigot’."

2017: "FX fires Louis C.K. after comic confirms sexual misconduct claims."

21. Macy's.

2015: "Macy's Drops Donald Trump's Fashion Line Over Immigrant Remarks."

2017: "Macy's Announces Store Closings for 2017."

22. Rose McGowan.

2016: "Rose McGowan Blasts Donald Trump, Murdochs, Networks in Open Letter: 'You Are Causing a Worldwide Sickness.'"

2017: "Rose McGowan arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance."

23. Alyssa Milano.

March 2017: "Alyssa Milano on Trump: 'Removing him will be up to' women."

June 2017: "Anti-Trumper Alyssa Milano is broke as a joke, didn’t pay taxes and stiffed her employees."

24. Democrat Ed Murray.

2016: "Seattle mayor decries Trump, says immigrants welcome."

2017: "Seattle Mayor Resigns After Multiple Sexual Abuse Allegations."

25. Rupert Myers.

January 2017: "British GQ writer: Could Obama ‘murder Trump and Pence’ then pardon himself?"

October 2017: "Male feminist writer fired by GQ Magazine after woman accuses him of sexual assault."

26. NFL.

September 2017: "After Trump Blasts N.F.L., Players Kneel and Lock Arms in Solidarity."

November 2017: "NFL TV Partners Set To Lose Up To $500 Million On Ratings Decline."

27. Barack Obama.

During the campaign, Trump tweeted, "President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States!"

Obama went on Jimmy Kimmel's show, read the tweet, and replied, "At least I'll go down as a president."

Fifteen days later, we elected Trump as Obama's successor.

28. Rosie O'Donnell.

1996: "Queen of Nice Can Rosie O'Donnell Clean Up Trash TV?"

2017: "Rosie O’Donnell Admits: ‘I Spend 90% Of My Hours Tweeting Hatred’ At Trump."

29. Tony Podesta.

2010: "Tony Podesta, Superlobbyist."

2017: "Tony Podesta stepping down from lobbying giant amid Mueller probe."

30. Brett Ratner.

June 2017: "Brett Ratner Regrets Not Naming 'Tower Heist' After Trump."

November 2017: "Six women accuse filmmaker Brett Ratner of sexual harassment or misconduct."

31. Eric Schmidt.

January 2017: "Google's Eric Schmidt: Trump Administration Will Do Evil Things."

December 2017: "Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is stepping down as Alphabet’s executive chairman."

32. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

2016: "Arnold Schwarzenegger: ‘I Will Not Vote for the Republican Candidate for President.’"

2017: "He won't be back: Schwarzenegger's Terminator franchise terminated."

2017: "Arnold Schwarzenegger's Legend of Conan Isn't Happening."

2017: "Donald Trump Says Arnold Schwarzenegger Fired From ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’"

33. Andy Signore.

June 2017: "I am so damn sick of bully @realDonaldTrump taking words out of context to act out his agenda of fear, corruption & bigotry. #NotMyPresident."

October 2017: "‘Honest Trailers’ Creator Andy Signore Fired for ‘Egregious and Intolerable’ Sexual Behavior."

34. John Skipper.

October 2017: "Report: ESPN’s John Skipper Attacks President Trump, Fox News, and Clay Travis, in Private Employee Meeting."

December 2017: "John Skipper's resignation caps a tumultuous year at ESPN."

35. Tavis Smiley.

2016: "Tavis Smiley: BFOTs (Black Friends of Trump) Are Normalizing Racism."

2017: "PBS Suspends Tavis Smiley For Allegedly Forcing Women and Men to Have Sex With Him to Keep Their Jobs."

36. Kevin Spacey.

2016: "Kevin Spacey mocks Donald Trump and calls him a 'disease' at Cannes."

2017: "Actor Anthony Rapp: Kevin Spacey Made A Sexual Advance Toward Me When I Was 14."

37. Alwaleed Bin Talal.

2016: "Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Trolls Trump: ‘I Bailed You Out Twice’."

2017: "Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal arrested in corruption crackdown."

38. George Takei.

2016: "George Takei: Trump's Muslim registry is 'prelude to internment'."

2017: "George Takei’s Facebook empire strains under sexual harassment allegations."

39. Teen Vogue.

2016: "Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America."

2017: "Teen Vogue is going to cease printing."

40. Harvey Weinstein.

2016: "Harvey Weinstein says Trump 'appeals to the worst in us'."

2017: "Harvey Weinstein Is Fired After Sexual Harassment Reports."

41. Brian Williams.

2012: "Donald Trump has driven well past the last exit to relevance and veered into something closer to irresponsible."

2015: "Brian Williams Demoted to MSNBC Breaking News Anchor."


Please enjoy my two books about the press and how it missed the rise of Donald Trump.

The first was "Trump the Press," which covered his nomination.

The second was "Trump the Establishment," which covered his election.

To order autographed copies, write

Friend me on Facebook.

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As always, Make America Great Again.


  1. Merry Christmas, Don and Mrs. Surber, and happy holidays to all your loyal readers.

    1. Thanks. Merry Christmas to you, and to all a good night!

  2. Channeling my inner Mr. T.,
    "I don't pity da Fools."
    I second Anonymous' sentiments.

  3. My wife loves Hallmark. And she's been glued to it through December.

    The money quote this is a cultural representation issue and one made especially disheartening when you take into account the way these movies sell a nostalgia for a false, if durable, vision of an America that never existed.

    Well, at least they admit their hatred is based on their vision of pre-Zippy America as a gulag, but, if they really buy the notion that America never existed, they ought to talk to their grandparents (if they're still on speaking terms).

    Plots typically involve characters from or living in the mythological small towns of “real” America, melting the hard hearts of big-city folks or bah humbug grinches with their honest optimism and pure, decent values.

    Pretty much how the Lefties view everything. How many Lefties are all that happy? You can't be a Lefty unless you're perpetually outraged. And "honest optimism and pure, decent values" are what the Left has been trying to destroy for at least the last half century.

    And the fact that people spend less time going to the movies and are consuming more entertainment on small screens and through streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon means their days of controlling the country through mass media are over.

    So Hallmark is winning the culture war.

    Whoda thunk?

    1. My wife is a hallmark hound. I agree with you.

    2. So's mine, Schlongy. And my mom in law too. They dealt with kind of a bum dad/husband who refused to see my kids or me up until the day he died. The Hallmark movies are REAL in ways the haters, in their hearts, know they are. You can choose to be bitter and spiteful, or you can choose success and smiles. My wife chose B. That's how I met her. Thank the Lord.

    3. My dear wife loves the Hallmark movies, and they are a blessing to my quadriplegic, ventilator-dependent heroine. "Whatsoever things are good...think ye therefore on these."

  4. Today’s Movies suck. All pyrotechnics and noise and graphics. No original ideas. We love Turner Classic Movies - Cagney, Robinson, etc. real stars.

    1. This sums up the modern i phone addicted American left and it's tastes.

    2. Not to blame the i phone addicted -

      They grew up watching sitcoms on TV in which the plot involved 6-8 boys and girls standing around after school and a boy says to a girl, "want to see my pee pee?". Then all the girls made sort of a face as all the boys smile while a loud laugh track is played.

      Bogie and Bacall makes no sense to the i phone generation. That's for dinosaurs. When they get older and finish school they migrate to Steve Colbert and John Oliver to find out what to think.

      P.S. This is why private schools and home schooling have become popular over the past 20 or so years. No matter the cost, most people I know refused to send their children to state run schools to come out indoctrinated, dumb, and unable to think for themselves.

    3. "Today’s Movies suck. All pyrotechnics and noise and graphics.
      Not only that, it seems to me they're made entirely by people with ADD - no image stays on the screen for more than about 2 seconds! It's maddening - and also why I haven't paid to see a movie since 'American Sniper'.

  5. Hallmark has G-rated movies. That's a refreshing plus in my book. Merry Christmas, Don!

  6. And not one car chase or phony explosion. Merry Christmas everyone.

  7. Salon said, "...these movies sell a nostalgia for a false, if durable, vision of an America that never existed."

    Never existed, hey? I must have a lot of false memories then.

    I can vividly remember walking home from school, with no fear of being mugged or assaulted; I remember arriving at my house where the door was unlocked, like it always was (I didn't know anyone who locked their door) and going right in. I remember my mother telling me that she expected my back for dinner, but until then I could play outside (we all lived in those "Hallmark" kind of communities, where it was safe.)

    I'd often take my bow & arrow down to the creek to try & shoot frogs, or engage in a BB gun match with other neighborhood miscreants (no, none of us ever shot their eye out.)

    I lived in the America that Salon scoffs at. I want it BACK!

    And we've started restoring that America, with the election of President Donald J. Trump!

    Merry Christmas, everyone! Happy MAGA New Year!

  8. Hollywood decided their job was to lecture us, not to entertain us.

    Hallmark didn't get the memo.

    Merry Christmas, Mr. & Mrs. Surber!

    1. Hallmark wants to make some honest dollars.
      And IS. Make silly greeting cards, too.

  9. Don, great stuff as usual. Keep up the great work! May God bless you and yours.
    From me and the princess in northern West Virgina.

  10. When I was still in grade school, in the early 60's, my grandparents had a summer cabin on a lake in Wisconsin. Every summer, my mother would take us up there for a month or so. My dad would commute on the weekends, for the fishing.
    Some weekdays, I'd take my scoped .22, bicycle into the village, buy a box of LR hollow points, then go on to the town dump, and snipe rats.
    It's not a Hallmark card, but that village, that country, that world is gone forever...

  11. I hope Don is putting together his third and fourth Trump books! Trump Hollywood will be a fun read!

  12. Please continue to update this. Whenever my liberal friends make some broad generalization based on the bad behavior of a single conservative it will be fun to toss a few of these out and innocently ask if there's something about trump hating that appeals to the worst people.

  13. Nice Job Dono,lets hope the list gets even longer in 2018 as they all start to Really Lose It.

  14. “What Is It About Hallmark Channel Christmas Movies That Attract 70 Million Viewers?"

    Peace on Earth. Goodwill towards Man(kind).

    Well, Jimminy Cricket, no wonder the Antifa Leftists are so steamed.

  15. Add another to your list, Don: