Hollywood's Obamacare Zombies
By Matthew Vadum
If you’re sick and tired of TV news broadcasts spewing pro-Obamacare propaganda, get ready to be inundated with even more progressive health care proselytizing in the dramas and comedies that follow those news shows.
For this you have the left-wing California Endowment to thank. The radical philanthropy is in the news because it is funding Obamacare public outreach efforts.
As Newsmax reports, the Obama administration is “turning its focus on prime time television series, using the influential platform and the power of celebrity to spread the word about its healthcare initiative.”
With the White House’s blessing, the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Norman Lear Center, which has something called a “Hollywood, Health & Society program,” has accepted a $500,000 grant from the left-wing California Endowment to help TV producers condition the masses into supporting Obama’s Soviet-style health care program.
USC will aim to keep producers, writers, and directors up to speed so they can incorporate the latest information into their storylines. It will also generate public service announcements to match the TV shows’ storylines.
“Our experience has shown that the public gets just as much, if not more, information about current events and important issues from their favorite television shows and characters as they do from the news media and online resources,” said Martin Kaplan, head of the USC program. The grant “will allow us to ensure that industry practitioners have up-to-date, relevant facts on health care reform to integrate into their storylines and projects.”
The program, which also aids in the spread of Al Gore’s anthropogenic global warming hysteria, boasts that its “storytelling resources” have contributed to more than 550 “Hollywood, Health & Society-assisted storylines over the span of three years.”
It has placed left-wing political propaganda in a plethora of popular broadcast and cable TV shows including “All My Children,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Boston Legal,” “Breaking Bad,” “CSI,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Dexter,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Judging Amy,” “Law & Order,” “Mad Men,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “NCIS,” “24,” “West Wing,” “The Wire,” and even the alleged CBS News program “60 Minutes.”
The Hollywood, Health & Society program’s advisory board includes a galaxy of big-name players in the entertainment industry. Among them are: Michelle Alban, a vice president at Telemundo; Kelly Delap, a vice president at Disney ABC Networks Group; David Foster, writer and executive producer of “House” on Fox; Vince Gilligan, writer and executive producer of “Breaking Bad” on AMC; Christopher Keyser, president of Writers Guild of America-West; actress Judith Light, best known for her role on “Who’s The Boss?”; Thom Mount, CEO of Reliant Pictures Corp.; actress and left-wing activist Gloria Reuben of “ER” fame; and Michael Roberts, executive vice president for current programming at The CW.
With its anti-social left-wing mission, the misnamed Hollywood, Health & Society program can inflict a lot of damage to American culture and the body politic.
The Los Angeles-based California Endowment that is funding the HH&S program has been working to undermine American freedoms for years. The wealthy charitable organization had a little under $3.3 billion in net assets as of March 31, 2012, according to its most recent publicly available tax return (Form 990-PF).
The philanthropy is closely associated with political extremism.
Going back to 1999, the philanthropy has given $50.4 million (23 grants) to the notorious neo-Marxist Tides Foundation in San Francisco and an astounding $87 million (187 grants) to its sister organization, the Tides Center, which incubates new leftist groups. The Tides network, whose then-leader Drummond Pike participated in the attempted cover-up of a million-dollar embezzlement at ACORN, has close ties to the preeminent funder of the Left, radical anti-American billionaire George Soros.
Since 2001, the California Endowment has also given $4.9 million (29 grants) to Families USA Foundation, a pro-Obamacare activist group.
Obama’s labor secretary, Sharia law supporter and immigration amnesty champion Thomas Perez, was a paid consultant to the California Endowment and the George Soros-funded Public Health Institute. Soros, along with Hugo Chavez, the late communist leader of Venezuela, funded Casa de Maryland, an open-borders group on whose board Perez served.
Soros, incidentally, has been funding left-wing cinematic propaganda for years. Soros’s foundation, the Open Society Institute has been underwriting “social justice” documentaries since 1996. In 2001 Soros let actor Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute take over management of his Soros Documentary Fund, which was rechristened the Soros/Sundance Documentary Fund.
Meanwhile, some otherwise mild-mannered lawmakers are losing patience with the architect of the administration’s Obamacare rollout strategy.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), hardly a conservative firebrand, called upon bungling Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to fall on her sword “for gross incompetence” in preparing the legendarily botched initial six-month implementation phase of the online insurance markets required by the Affordable Care Act.
“In the absence of a full repeal of Obamacare, which is my preference, we need new leadership from top to bottom,” Roberts said last week. “I am calling on the secretary to resign.”
“Today, we know, the problems with the exchanges are systematic, profound and indisputable,” the senator said. “And yet the secretary won’t shoot straight with the American people.
Sebelius, a former Kansas governor and lobbyist for vulturous trial lawyers, dove deep last year, swimming with the worst of the coprophagic bottom-feeders of the activist Left in a quest to recruit fellow thugs from Al Sharpton’s gang to help con the American people into supporting Obamacare.
“In our country what we know is healthcare inequality [has been] one of the most persistent forms of injustice but over the past three years, as Rev. Sharpton reminded us, we have begun to turn the tide,” Sebelius told an audience in April 2012. “Now is not the time to turn back.”
“We know that the best way to keep moving in the right direction is to get people the facts. Right now there are a lot of people who are benefiting from this law who don’t even know that’s why they are benefiting.”
By virtue of her post at HHS, a federal agency whose very existence would make the Founding Fathers tremble in anger, Sebelius virtually runs the federal Leviathan.
According to Sebelius’s testimony before Congress this past June, the proposed budget for the federal fiscal year that began two weeks ago “totals $967.3 billion in outlays and proposes $80.1 billion in discretionary budget authority.”
Assuming the $967.3 billion and $80.1 billion are two separate pools of money, as her use of the word and suggests, then the proposed fiscal 2014 budget for HHS is a staggering $1.0474 trillion. That’s trillion with a ‘T,’ or $1,047,000,000,000.
The $1 trillion-plus figure for the welfare agency known as HHS is so huge the Obama administration goes to great lengths to hide it from the public. A White House summary intended for public consumption doesn’t even mention the total proposed annual spending figure for the meddlesome do-gooders at HHS, tiptoeing around the frightening sum, while lovingly laying out the details of the Left’s we-know-what’s-best-for-you social programs.
Of course, it’s difficult to know what’s really going on in Washington’s ledger sheets. Government accounting is inherently deceptive, designed to paper over the relentless growth of useless vote-buying programs and the ugly redistributionism that is crowding out civil society.
Sebelius has also unleashed the leftovers of the radical crime syndicate ACORN, President Obama’s ally and former employer, on unsuspecting communities. This means that as you read this article community organizers with a track record for fraud and identity theft are getting their hands on important personal information such as income figures and Social Security numbers of those they convince to sign up for Obamacare.
This is the new normal in the Obama era.