The NRA’s Political Muscle? It’s Got Nothing on Hollywood
To hear Democrats tell it, you might think the National Rifle Association is the most powerful lobby in all of America. And there’s some truth to that. After suspected gunman James Holmes massacred 12 people in a Colorado movie theater, Republican and Democratic leaders offered their prayers and sympathy, but little in the way of ideas or legislation about how to make the country safer. In fact, Democrats have spent most of their time painting the gun lobby as unstoppable, even suggesting that lawmakers are too chicken to cross the NRA and support tougher gun control laws.
But Republicans, weary of the NRA invincibility narrative, wonder why there’s no discussion of Hollywood’s lobbying clout. After all, some argue, movie studios and television stations reap huge profits selling violence — like the kind featured in the Batman movie whose fans Holmes targeted — and have developed a sophisticated political and lobbying strategy to ensure government doesn’t get into the business of regulating it.
For instance, Time Warner, the parent company of Warner Bros., the studio that produced “The Dark Knight Rises,” has given almost $22 million in campaign contributions since 1989, mostly to Democrats. And that’s just one of the six major studios. The NRA, by contrast, has given almost $19 million, mostly to Republicans, over the same amount of time. George Clooney’s Hollywood fundraiser raised almost that much in one night for President Obama.