Posted by | September 28, 2010 15:15 | Filed under: Contributors Opinion Politics Sandi Behrns

by Sandi Behrns

Last Thursday’s season premier of the CBS crime drama CSI featured a very special guest star: teen heartthrob Justin Bieber. The casting was certainly calculated to bring a larger audience to the show; but did it also serve a more nefarious purpose?

Bieber played [in the words of Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times] a “domestic terrorist with Tea Party leanings.” Even though the episode made no direct reference to the Tea Party, the “right-wing” protest depicted resembled a Tea Party protest, at least according to some viewers who have commented on FreeRepublic.com, a conservative blog.

But it wasn’t just the commenters at FreeRepublic who saw a “Liberal Hollywood” smear campaign; Andrew Breitbart told the Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle,

“This is predictable behavior from Hollywood. Over the past year and a half, the Democratic Party, left-wing media and, now, Hollywood, have done anything they can to portray the Tea Party movement as a violent Timothy McVeigh-esque or as a racist movement.”

Is Breitbart making a bit too much out of a single television episode? Yes, and no. For Breitbart, and the Tea Party, this isn’t just about the Bieber episode of CSI. It is a political battle being fought through the media. Take, for instance, the Tea Party rally held yesterday in Beverly Hills, as covered by the Hollywood Reporter:

It’s business as usual for Tea Party protesters to react negatively at the mention of liberal politicians, or even left-leaning celebrity pundits like Keith Olbermann. But at a rally in Beverly Hills they were celebrating the departure of media executives whose names are likely foreign to much of the rest of the country.

When Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart told a Tea Party gathering Sunday that NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, ultimate overseer of left-wing MSNBC, was on his way out, and ditto for ABC News president David Westin, the crowd cheered.

The mainstream media, in fact, was a primary target of this particular Tea Party rally, where Breitbart not only celebrated the departures of Zucker and Westin but also chastised an industry that is inhospitable to those in its midst who don’t lean sufficiently left on the political spectrum.

Breitbart was joined at yesterday’s event by Pat Boone and Victoria Jackson, apparently two such victims of left-leaning Hollywood discrimination. The culture warriors on the Right have long railed against the liberal messaging of Hollywood. Now it’s become a convenient target for the political operatives, as well.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Sandi Behrns

Sandi Behrns is a noted policy nerd, new media & web developer, and consultant to progressive organizations and campaigns. She is a senior contributor to Liberaland, and the Executive Editor of Progressive Congress News.