Bestselling Author Reveals How Show Business Shapes Our National Politics
“Hollywood has had its fingers and toes in the White House for decades,” according to award-winning journalist Kathleen Sharp. In her Nov. 15 SBCC School of Extended Learning lecture, the acclaimed author and investigative journalist will reveal the surprising ways that moguls and agents have shaped American politics. From the era of Eisenhower and JFK, through the administrations of LBJ, farmer Jimmy Carter, actor Ronald Reagan, Gov. Bill Clinton and culminating with TV game show host Donald Trump, entertainment impresarios have secretly packaged “talent” for our nation’s highest offices.
“Hollywood’s Overarching Influence on the Body Politic” will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the SBCC Schott Campus, 310 Padre Street in Santa Barbara.
The topic is so timely that Blackstone Publishing is issuing a new paperback version of Sharp’s classic history Mr. & Mrs. Hollywood: Edie and Lew Wasserman and Their Entertainment Empire, which Kirkus Reviews called “dramatic and enthralling.”
As Sharp says: “As early as 1951, Hollywood was already advising presidents. Our culture started to become, from the Eisenhower days on, more attuned to entertainment, flash and dazzle. Eventually, the superficial aspects of a candidate mattered more than his public policies or experience.”
Sharp will cover the complex relationship between studio moguls, lobbyists and the federal government—from the mobbed-up studio days of the 1930s, to the Justice Department’s crackdown in the 1960s, to the pernicious tradition of the “casting couch,” Hollywood has shaped Washington D.C., in ways you never imagined
Sharp will also outline three things that citizens can do to refocus voters’ attention on the things that truly matter in a functioning democracy. Her talk includes a lively slide presentation. Signed copies of Mr. & Mrs. Hollywood will be available for purchase, courtesy of Tecolote Book Shop.
“The SBCC School for Extended Learning is committed to serving our diverse community with in-demand classes that help to enrich our lives or advance our careers,” said Dr. Melissa Moreno, Interim Vice President, School of Extended Learning. “We are fortunate to have such dynamic professionals as Kathleen Sharp here to share insights into such a timely topic.”
Kathleen Sharp is an esteemed writer and has been published in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Elle, Vogue, Fortune and many other publications. Oprah Magazine selected Sharp’s book, “Blood Medicine: Blowing the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever”, as a Top Ten Pick. Sharp has been a featured speaker at events as varied as the Museum of Television & Radio in New York City, the National Steinbeck Center, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the JP Morgan Global Leaders Conference, and CALM’s Author Luncheon.