I like Peggy Noonan. I am a wordsmith. She is a tremendous speech writer. I appreciate her abilities.
Recently, she wrote a response in The Wall Street Journal to the Netflix series The Crown and Steven Spielberg’s movie on The Washington Post, appropriately called The Post. She pointed out historical inaccuracies in both dramas. In both cases, these inaccuracies had to do with politics. She is an expert on politics. Here’s how she ended her column:
Why does all this matter? Because we are losing history. It is not the fault of Hollywood, as they used to call it, but Hollywood is a contributor to it.When people care enough about history to study and read it, it’s a small sin to lie and mislead in dramas. But when people get their history through entertainment, when they absorb the story of their times only through screens, then the tendency to fabricate is more damaging.
Those who make movies and television dramas should start caring about this.
It is wrong in an age of lies to add to their sum total. It’s not right. It will do harm.
Why should people who make movies and television start caring about all this at this late date? They never have before.
The main problem is not the people who make television series and movies. The main problem is the history professors who write textbooks for public high schools and the mostly tax-funded universities. The liberal mindset that has dominated Hollywood since 1960 has dominated American academia since at least 1900.
When it comes to historical accuracy, there isn’t much of it when it comes to a discussion of civil government. Those who write today’s textbooks have been trained in institutions that have been funded by the state. Even in the institutions that have not been funded…