(Published on July 21, 2016)
The Hillary Clinton propaganda machine has been hard at work leading up to her presumptive presidential nomination. Entertainment media have been littered with a multitude of TV shows, movies, children’s books, and even songs inspired by the Democratic candidate.
It’s typical for the media to get involved in a campaign during an election cycle. But in the case of Hillary Clinton, the media have been laying the groundwork for her ascendance to the Presidency since the early 1990s.
Beginning with an episode in the ‘90s featuring President Hillary Clinton, audiences have been treated to Hillary-inspired female presidents and politicians, fictional TV characters endorsing the real-life former FLOTUS, and children’s’ books singing her praises. Pro-Hillary propaganda has been saturating the entertainment world.
And this isn’t just a right-wing conspiracy theory: big names like Morgan Freeman and Sigourney Weaver have cited Clinton as inspiration for their projects.
It gets worse. From gospel hymns to Hillary to children’s books that offer up Clinton as an example of girl power, we’ve had three decades of liberals imagining – and pushing for – a Hillary Clinton Administration.
No Accident: TV Loves Female Presidents
15 TV Shows Support Hillary for President: Of the 15 TV shows supporting Hillary, at least fve are based entirely on fictionalizations of her real life, amounting to more than 189 hours of Hillary-positive airtime. Morgan Freeman, producer of Madam Secretary, was inspired by the way Clinton defended herself during the Benghazi hearings and even wrote the episode “Another Benghazi” as a white wash of the real incident. In an interview, actress Bellamy Young said that Scandal’s Mellie Grant running for president in the show because Hillary is in real life.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the notion of a female president. But as early as the 1990s, TV shows have been promoting the idea of one specific female as president: Hillary Clinton.
One of the earliest cases of presenting the idea of a female President Clinton was in an episode of the ‘90s show Sliders. The characters of the show spend time traveling between alternate universes. At one point, they think they’ve finally landed in their own decade again. However, they realize their mistake when the nightly news host announces that President Clinton will be addressing the nation, and Hillary (not Bill) takes the stage. That was just a taste of the next three decades.
But Hillary Clinton doesn’t just appear in many TV shows. There have been five series actually based on her life. Commander-in-Chief, Political Animals, State of Affairs, The Good Wife, and Madame Secretary were all inspired by the life of the former Secretary of State.
Commander-in-Chief,which first aired in 2005, was about, well, a female Commander-in-Chief. Portrayed by Geena Davis, President Mackenzie Allen assumes her role after the former President suffers an aneurysm. A member of the Independent Party, she was originally put on the Republican ticket as VP to appeal to the woman vote, not because she was the best choice for the job. After the President’s death, Republican leadership tries to convince her not to assume the Presidency, but in a feminist, stick-it-to-the-man move, she refuses to resign. President Allen is portrayed as “equal parts powerful leader, conflicted mother and concerned wife,” i.e. the way liberals want to see Hillary Clinton.
Next came The Good Wife, which ran from 2009 to 2016. In that show, the fictional Democratic Illinois Governor Florrick runs for President … against real-life Hillary Clinton. However, the show’s premise focuses on Florrick’s wife, Alicia, as she pursues her career and sticks with her husband (hence “the good wife”) despite a public sex scandal. This is an onscreen attempt to justify Hillary standing by her own wandering man. Writer Michelle King openly admitted that the Florricks are partly based off of the Clintons.
In 2012, Political Animals premiered during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. The show starred Sigourney Weaver as former First Lady Elaine Barrish serving as another Secretary of State. That was no coincidence – the show’s team openly acknowledged that it was directly based off of Clinton’s own political story. Weavertold NBC that “we are inspired by Mrs. Clinton, who’s such a remarkable woman and a great secretary of state. She was a great senator for New York State.”
And, just like the fictional Barrish, Clinton was married to a philandering but popular POTUS. The show, like The Good Wife, attempted to explain why a First Lady would stick with her man despite his sexual dalliances. After leaving the White House, the former FLOTUS went on to become Governor of Illinois and then ran for President. After losing the Democratic primary race to her opponent in the pilot episode, Barrish became Secretary of State, later declaring her intention to run for president again in the future. Sound familiar?
Political Animals only lasted for one season, so NBC’s State of Affairs picked up the Hillary torch in 2014. This show featured blonde Katherine Heigl as an ace CIA analyst tasked with preparing the president’s daily briefing … oh, and the president just happened to be a woman. President Constance Peyton was played by Alfre Woodard, who is also an activist in the Democratic Party. Perhaps the likeness of Hillary in two different characters, the analyst and the President, was just too much, because this show was also cancelled after one season. But it held out until just after Hillary announced her candidacy in 2015.
CBS ensured that a pro-Hillary drama stayed on the airwaves though, with its blatant propaganda piece Madam Secretary. The creators of Madam Secretary were inspired by Clinton’s testimony at the Benghazi hearings. Producers Lori McCreary and Morgan Freeman were struggling to come up with a great character for the show, until they saw Clinton “raise her fist” at the hearings. (That they found her infamously petulant and dishonest “What difference does is make?” performance inspiring says volumes about McCreary and Freeman.)
The resultant show has been blatant Hillary propaganda. An attractive, blonde, pantsuit-wearing Tea Leoni plays Secretary McCord, who is valued for her knowledge of the Middle East and ability to think outside of the box.
Having admitted where their inspiration for Madam Secretary came from, its creators have gone on to deny that it’s Hillary agit-prop. Yet the second episode was titled “Another Benghazi,” and was a whitewash of the real Benghazi incident. In it, Secretary Clinton, er, McCord desperately wanted to beef up the Libyan Ambassador’s security, and had to jump through many hoops before finally acquiring a contract with a private security firm. And her heroic efforts payed off, of course, when terrorists struck the embassy.
From the start, the show has only portrayed Clinton-look-alike McCord as a wonder woman, juggling her family life with her high stakes job, always providing the right answers to the country’s problems. She’s liberal, values “diversity”, and wants to bring foreign “cultural values” to America – just like Clinton. When asked why they didn’t just name it Madam President, Leoni joked (partly) that “there’s season 4.” Season 3 is set to premiere October 2nd of this year, a month before the election.
Hillary Appears On T-shirts, Posters, and Birthday Promos
At least ten other TV shows have featured entire fictional plot lines or other show elements inspired by Hillary Clinton.
Several shows, such as House of Cards and Scandal, draw major plot lines from Hillary’s life. Others promote her in subtler ways.
Although the creators of 24 denied that the character was expressly based on Clinton, the counterterrorism drama featured a Hillary-esque President. In seasons seven and eight of the popular show, the country was led by President Allison Taylor, whom critics loved to compare to then-Secretary of State Clinton. Taylor’s opinions were similar to those of Barack Obama (despite being a Republican). Though Actress Cherry Jones repeatedly denied that her character was based on Clinton, she told reporters that she hoped Taylor might encourage Americans to elect a female president.
It isn’t that the idea of a female president is inherently bad. It’s that the majority of these onscreen female leaders seem so Hillary-like. The similarities between House of Cards’ Claire Underwood and Hillary Clinton are unmistakable. Both have powerful, popular husbands, but are constantly trying to gain more power for themselves. Claire Underwood’s failure as a UN Ambassador echoes of Clinton’s healthcare debacle in the 90s. Both women were trying to add accomplishments to their resume to lay the groundwork for political careers, and both attempts failed. As the show goes on, it’s clear that Claire’s ambitions reach all the way to the Oval Office; just like another blonde, powerful democratic female.
Actress Robin Wright has, of course, denied claims that her character is explicitly based on Mrs. Clinton. But the show has public ties to the Clinton Foundation. For Bill Clinton’s 68th birthday, the fundraising organization produced an ad featuring Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood on the phone with Hillary, advertising her husband’s upcoming celebration.
Another fictional First Lady runs for president in ABC’s Scandal. After her husband’s fall from grace, Mellie Grant seeks to take his place in the show’s fictional version of the 2016 election. Mellie, like Hillary, left her job as an attorney to get married and raise her family and support her husband as he ran for president. Creator Shonda Rhimes and lead actors Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn are all huge Hillary fans.
In contrast to the more serious Scandal and House of Cards, Veep is entirely satirical and pokes fun at both parties. But it’s no coincidence that the newest season debuted with Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s character Selina Meyer as the newly elected President. The show’s creator, Armando Iannucci, tries to “guesstimate” what the political reality will be when each new episode airs. Apparently, he supposes that that reality will soon include a female president.
Two other shows are set to include female POTUS’s, though how similar they are to Hillary is yet to be seen. What’s important with them is the timing. The newest player in the field, Supergirl, will introduce original Super Woman Lynda Carter as the female President when season 2 airs October 10th, coincidentally a month before the election. Showtime’s Homeland just announced that its season 6 will also feature a female president, though the new season won’t premiere until early 2017. Just in time for the inauguration, perhaps?
Other TV shows, though lacking in female politicians, still find ways to prop up Clinton. An episode of HBO’s organized crime drama The Sopranos saw the female characters praising Hillary as a “role model for all of us,” after turning her husband’s scandal into political “gold” for herself.
Several comedy shows have joined in the propaganda as well. In Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope is a huge Hillary fan-girl. She has Hillary’s official Secretary of State portrait displayed on her office wall. Actress Amy Poehler, who played Knope, helped Clinton stump in Indiana, where Parks and Rec was set, before that state’s primary in May 2016.
In The Big Bang Theory,popular, pretty Penny showed up in one episode sporting a Hillary Clinton campaign t-shirt from 2008, showing that cool kids can vote for Hillary too.
And then there was that flash-forward Simpsons episode that aired in 2000, where Lisa Simpson becomes President after a disastrous term by the one and only Donald Trump. She is tasked with saving the country from the financial disaster it now finds itself in.
Hillary Propaganda Goes Silver Screen
Movies are not exempt from the propaganda push. Several films, from a ‘90s Reese Witherspoon flick to the new Independence Day reboot, take inspiration from Clinton.
Actress Sela Ward plays the pantsuit-wearing female president in 2016’s Independence Day: Resurgence. No attempt at subtlety here; in an interview with Variety, Ward stated that she literally modeled her character off of Clinton. She said that she “watched a lot of Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, just to see physically what she would do, how she would approach a podium, a crowd, etc.” and even listened “to the cadence of her speeches.”
Primary Colors was based off a book by the same name written by journalist Joe Klein, who covered Bill Clinton’s campaign for Newsweek. In the 1998 film expressly based on the Clintons, Hillary Clinton’s stand-in Susan Stanton is portrayed as her husband’s political superior, gifted with the foresight to navigate the choppy waters of the campaign and the know-how to cultivate critical relationships and connections.
1998 also saw Clinton inspire plot lines in a couple of more light-hearted films. Although multiple parties have denied that Tracy Flick was based on Hillary Clinton, critics often compare Reese Witherspoon’s Election character to the presidential nominee. Tracy is portrayed as smart and ambitious, and almost loses her high school election bid because of her own ruthlessness and desperation, an uncanny foreshadowing of Clinton’s own political journey. And in the Godfather spoof Mafia!, Christina Applegate’s character Diane is elected President of the United States; her main goal is global disarmament.
In 2000 movie The Contender, the president must pick a new VP following the death of his current one. He passes over the logical choice, Virginia Governor Hathaway, in favor of female Ohio Senator, Laine Hanson. Why? Because the President wants his legacy to include breaking the glass ceiling for women.
From Golden Calf to Golden Boy
From bizarre religious lyric changes to a Kendrick Lamar rap song, the music industry has been busy promoting Hillary for President.
Hillary’s campaign inspired a woman’s gospel choir to replace the lyrics of a familiar gospel song with the word ‘Hillary’ instead of ‘Jesus.’ The new version of the hymn now goes “I woke up this morning with my heart stayed on Hillary.” (Umm, about that whole “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” thing …)
Kendrick Lamar, in the song “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” rapped “sittin’ next to Hillary smelling’ like dank/ Presidential pardon,” implying that it’s a status symbol to get to sit next to the former FLOTUS.
Several artists have created what can only be called pro-Hillary anthems. The Irish group the Corrigan Brothers released a song called “It’s Time For Hillary,” set to the tune of “I Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode. The band sings “love trumps hate and we just can’t wait to see the White House welcome Hillary,” in between painfully repetitive chants of “it’s time for Hillary” and “Hillary 16.” Folk Singer Sandy Rapp wrote a little ditty titled “Clinton, Clinton,” encouraging listeners to “vote for Hillary, keep the choices free, keep the country free” and to “beat the drum for Clinton!” It’s catchy, if hippie-esque lefty propaganda is your thing. Even jazz-hip hop artist Golden Boy Fospassin dedicated a song to the nominee, which can be bought on iTunes.
Less a campaign chant and more an attempt at lefty education, an album titled “The Wonderbroads” celebrates “the babes and broads who broke the rules.” No such album would be complete without an ode to Mrs. Clinton.
25 Children’s Books Teach About Wonder Woman Hillary
25 Children’s Books Promote Hillary: More than 25 children’s books aimed at kids as young as four years old have been published, singing Clinton’s praises, since 1994, and several more are set to be released right after this month’s Democratic convention. One book teaches kids how “tough as nails” Clinton single-handedly “paved the way for women everywhere.” Jonah Winter, author of Hillary, stated that “by becoming president, she would demonstrate that a girl can grow up to be the most powerful person in the world. That’s the world where I want to live. And this is a story I am thrilled to tell.” Clearly, many other children’s’ authors love to tell the same story.
The sheer volume of Pro-Hillary books marketed to children as young as four is appalling. At least 22 are currently on sale, and three more are set to be released the Democratic convention, making that number jump to a staggering 25 pro-Hillary children’s books.
Like movies and TV, the propaganda publishing machine has been at it ever since the Clintons first entered in the Oval Office in the 90s. One kids’ book, Partners: Bill & Hillary, published in 1994, teaches its readers about how the Clintons’ partnership changed “the way we think about traditional roles, both in and out of the White House,” setting up Hillary as more than just an average First Lady. Author Keith Elliot Greenberg also published a kid’s book about same-sex parents in 1996.
The “inspiring” Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton praises the First Lady for her multiple roles of wife, mother, FLOTUS, and successful lawyer. T.J. Stacey openly displays his admiration for Clinton in Hillary Rodham Clinton: Activist First Lady, and portrays her as a “symbol of American womanhood.” Published in ’97, Hillary Rodham Clinton also emphasizes the ways in which Hillary changed how Americans view the First Lady, and paints her as a talented, ambitious, and often humorous woman.
A picture book is no place to document the numerous affairs, scandals, and cover-ups that are a part of the Clintons’ story. Instead, these books focus on Hillary as a trailblazer for women’s rights everywhere. The cover of the comic book biography Female Force: Hillary Clinton portrays an art-rendering of Clinton posing superhero-esque in front of a waving American flag. The book is designed to prove why Clinton detractors are just wrong. The title of Michael Burgan’s Extraordinary Women: Hillary Clinton betrays what his account of Clinton is like. You can bet Burgan doesn’t call her “extraordinary” for the many crimes she hasn’t been indicted for.
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight is gushy, over-the-top Hillary-worship, even according to several reviewers. The School Library Journal acknowledged that “ardent Clinton supporters may relish this homage, but others probably would appreciate a more down-to-earth biography.” The book was originally published at the end of Clinton’s 2008 campaign, but was updated with info on her time as Secretary of State and re-released in 2015.
Because there can apparently never be too many Hillary books, the list has continued to grow in the midst of her 2016 campaign. The Hillary Clinton Story: How a Girl with a Vision rose to the Center Stage of the World documents how Clinton “overcame obstacles of discrimination and prejudice” (as a white, upper-middle class Chicagoan) to become one of the top women leaders in the world. Author T.S. Lee also wrote The Obama Story: The Boy With the Biggest Dream.
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead is meant to instill girls ages 4-8 with “gender pride.” The book doesn’t really identify anything that Hillary has accomplished, but focuses on Clinton’s identity as a female and a victim of a male-dominated world. The book tells its readers that “in the 1950s, it was a man’s world” and that “only boys had no ceilings on their dreams.” Enter spunky Hillary Clinton, dressed in a bright jumper, set against a gray and brown collection of famous men of the time, such as Jackie Robinson. Only liberals could get away with implying that black men Robinson and Nat King Cole had an easier time succeeding in life during the Civil Rights era than Hillary. Things weren’t rosy for Hillary, because the poor girl was “criticized – in ways [people] would never criticize a man.” But “tough as nails” Clinton single-handedly “paved the way for women everywhere.” Susan B. Anthony would probably disagree.
Hillary Clinton: The Life of a Leader, published in May 2016, is another released just in time for the election. It hypes on the many ways that Hillary is an excellent leader, from volunteering as a young child (never mind that many parents make their children volunteer at some point) to being a leader in college and become an accomplished attorney and president’s wife. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Do All the Good You Can was written by Cynthia Levinson, who once lived across the hall from Clinton at Wellesley. It focuses on how Hillary has spent her life “working for good in the world.”
Jonah Winter, author of Hillary, stated that “by becoming president, she would demonstrate that a girl can grow up to be the most powerful person in the world. That’s the world where I want to live. And this is a story I am thrilled to tell.” According to The Washington Post, the book “blends the twin goals of female empowerment and anti-bullying.”
And after the July 25th Democratic Convention, there will be at least three more books joining the ranks in preparation for the election. Who Is Hillary Clinton?, by Heather Alexander, is already the #1 new release in children’s biographies on Amazon, and it isn’t due to come out until August 2nd.
Superwomen Role Models: Hillary Clinton is “sure to hold readers attention as they learn valuable lessons about citizenship while exploring Clinton’s life story” when it debuts August 16th. And on July 26th, while the Democratic Convention is still taking place, Hillary Clinton: American Woman of the World will hit bookshelves, showing kids that Hillary’s “list of accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinary.”
The list of made-for-kids Hillary propaganda goes on:
- Hillary Rodham Clinton: Politician
- Hillary Rodham Clinton: First Lady and Senator
- Hillary Clinton
- Hillary Clinton: An American Journey
- Hillary Rodham Clinton
- Female Force: Hillary Clinton: Road to Secretary of State
- Female Force: Hillary Clinton: The Road to the White House
- Political Power: Hillary Clinton
- Hillary Clinton
- Hillary Clinton
The Washington Post praised this trend for providing kids with a “message of female strength.”
Coloring Books, Paper Hillary Dolls and More
There have also been adult fiction books, coloring books, and toys created to promote Hillary.
In the midst of those 25 children’s books, adults may feel like they’ve been left out. But there’s also a popular adult fiction series that promotes Hillary for President. Australian author John Birmingham has penned a series of novels named the Axis of Time trilogy. The books, which have been hailed by both Time magazine andEntertainment Weekly, take place in a post-Hillary Clinton world. She is known as the “most uncompromising wartime president in the history of the United States.”
If your kids don’t like to read, don’t worry, Clinton devotees have got parents covered there too. The Hillary Rodham Clinton Presidential Playset includes ten paper dolls and dozens of accessories, making this a “fun and feminist-friendly playset perfect for Hillary fans of every age.”
There’s also Hillary: The Coloring Book, which offers 30 different scenes from Clinton’s life, giving aspiring young artists ample opportunity to put Hillary in any color pantsuit they’d like.
To balance out the propaganda machine, at least there’s Hillary Says!: An Off-Color Hillary Clinton Coloring Book, which pokes fun at the nominee’s most shocking statements. It’s good to know that there’s still someone willing to poke fun at a democratic candidate.
And in case there’s any doubt who the entertainment industry is endorsing for president, Newsbusters recently reported the laundry list of TV shows that have viciously attacked Trump since he announced his candidacy.
If she doesn’t win, that’ll be 30 years of work wasted.