Today, Andrew Breitbart and David Ehrenstein discuss what role filmmakers should and do play in the domestic debate. Yesterday, they pondered the fall season of antiwar flicks. Later in the week they'll attempt to define Hollywood values, locate Hollywood conservatives and assess whether Tinseltown even matters anymore.

Good night and good laugh

David,

Trust me, David, my expectations for the cinematic braintrust you eagerly defend are quite low. I have no false hope that the Gulfstream-flying, eco-warrior billionaires that propagate Westside L.A.'s convoluted, one-way dialogue will begin to show their gratefulness to this country. (The Democratic Party, yes. Their country, no.)

Sure, Hollywood's founding fathers commandeered the studio system and turned it into a World War II propaganda mill helping to motivate the citizenry to make the hard sacrifices of a just war. [Editors: Fill in the blank three pertinent film examples with a nice sprinkling of IMDB links and references to obscure dead actors that make me look half as learned as David.] And, of course, the Jimmy Stewarts, Charles Durnings and Don Adamses, to name but a few, risked their lives on the front lines to defend our way of life.

But in the 21st century, the notion of a pop cultural "war effort" is embarrassingly dated, and should nauseate the post-modern sensibilities of any self-respecting cineaste.

In fact, I'm perfectly happy with a war-time conveyor belt of mindless fare such as "Superbad" and "Knocked Up" -- or even the latest installment of "Die Hard." Who needs Rosie the Riveter when you've got Rosie O'Donnell ganging up with Barry Manilow to destroy the "dangerous and offensive" global threat of Elizabeth Hasselbeck?

Just don't try to sell me that Brian De Palma and George Clooney are making brave gestures when they churn out antiwar films and make self-congratulatory award show pronunciations. Just admit it: Your idols simply toe the company line, and get their jollies mocking bourgeois America's notions of "patriotism."

Yet the conservatives who defend and, to a great degree, prosecute this war have only themselves to blame for not putting enough emphasis on popular entertainment, and refusing to get bloody in the trenches of Melrose and Vine. There wouldn't be reverse McCarthyism (to coin a phrase) if there weren't so few conservatives plying their trade out here in the first place.

Whether it be at the film schools that graduate screenwriters and auteur directors or the theater departments and acting classes that used to develop our great actors; or the brothels, vomitoriums and gyms that produce the big stars of today, conservatives are conspicuously outnumbered or not represented at all.

But maybe we were put together for a reason. Perhaps our exploration of our political differences in Tinseltown's paper of record can be an exercise in creating a bridge to our shared values: Getting to live. Given that you are a gay expert of gays in cinema and an upstanding liberal Democrat, and I'm straight with four kids and have voted consistently Republican over the last 10 years, I propose that we start a bipartisan, bisexual artistic commission to fix the mess we've gotten ourselves into.

We both love our country and waste endless hours watching Hollywood bilge. Let's promote the "diversity education" notion that has made American higher education the gold standard around the world. But instead of race, gender and sexuality as the dominant precepts, our creative coaltion will focus on differing ideas -- left, center AND right. Think of that "fairness doctrine" some of your allies have been bandying about.

Fair?

It won't be about "identity" politics; it will be about American politics. It will be a publicly funded national artistic reunification project -- like something FDR would've implemented -- where Tim Robbins and his common-law wife will actually get to hear the other side. Maybe she'll even take off her shirt like she does in all her movies. But this time it will be for America!

Andrew Breitbart is coauthor of "Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon -- The Case Against Celebrity;" a longtime editor at the Drudge Report, (he speaks neither on behalf of Drudge or his report), and co-creator of the Huffington Post. He also publishes the news aggregation site Breitbart.com, and the best-of news video and audio site Breitbart.tv.


Always at cinematic war with Eastasia