Burt Prelutsky

For several years, I have marveled at the arrogance that Hollywood has displayed towards its customers. Or, perhaps, I should say potential customers or even ex-customers. Why, I’ve been asking myself, have they insisted on churning out one movie after another about lowlife drug addicts? The only druggie movie I can think of that made money was “The Man With the Golden Arm,” back in 1955, and that was based on a best-selling novel and starred Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak.

Lately, they’ve added a second genre that has proven equally unprofitable. I refer to war movies that present the American military in a bad light. No sooner, it seems, does “In the Valley of Elah” bomb at the box office than Hollywood rolls out “Redacted.” Even the titles they stick on these turkeys seem to have no other purpose than to keep audiences as far away as possible.

Unless these movies are simply some accountant’s madcap idea of a tax shelter, I can not imagine why they keep producing them. Perhaps red ink has become Tinsel Town’s version of the red badge of courage.

In the old days, Hollywood was run by a bunch of tough cookies who kept one eye on the starlets and one eye on the bottom line. These days, it appears as if the movies are in the hands of bozos who think there’s something tacky about making movies that actually turn a profit.

Still, there’s another group that makes these guys look like hard-headed businessmen. I refer to those people who own newspapers. The way they carry on, you’d think their names were Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Gummo.

Thanks to all the many incarnations of Hecht and MacArthur’s “Front Page,” we’ve always known that reporters were fast-talking, hard-drinking, irresponsible double-dealers who’d run over their own grannies to get a scoop. But their bosses, the lords of the fourth estate, appeared to be a collection of sober-sided capitalists who could read a profit-and-loss statement even if they were sitting in a cave during a solar eclipse.

That, however, is no longer the case. And while I have heard various theories as to why people are canceling their subscriptions, the main one being the Internet, I think there is yet another reason; namely, liberal bias.

People on the left, even those who believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, deny that liberal bias even exists. That’s because they believe everything they read in the New York Times and the Washington Post, everything they see on CNN and WSNBC, and every word uttered by Chris Matthews and Bill Maher. Once you accept that those institutions and individuals are dispensing objective truth, it stands to reason that only those at the opposite end of the political spectrum could possibly be slanting the news.