The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Taking Lessons from Joe Camel

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Legendary actress Laurette Taylor (1884–1946) described acting as “the physical representation of a mental picture and the projection of an emotional concept.” As I mentioned in my article “Brokeback Morality,” the movie Brokeback Mountain is a Hollywood propaganda film designed to desensitize the American people so more will accept homosexuality as normative. The actors and setting of the story were chosen by the writers to get an audience uncomfortable with explicit, not comedic, homosexuality to adopt the “emotional concept” of a different kind of love. These two cowboys love one another. How can anyone be against that?

I wonder how the film would have been received by the general public if Nathan Lane and that homosexual ditz on “Will and Grace” had been the two guys in the pup-tent? Two popular heterosexual actors were chosen for the Brokeback Mountain roles in an attempt to breakdown stereotypes about homosexuality. The goal is to sell a distasteful product by wrapping it in a new container and then finding some attractive spokesman to promote it. Selling death in Hollywood has a history.

How many times did we hear how “Joe Camel” was being used by the tobacco industry to make smoking attractive to children? Campaigns were lodged to force “Big Tobacco” to stop using the cartoonish figure because it was giving the impression to kids that smoking is OK. Hook ’em early, and they’ll be addicted for a lifetime. The anti-tobacco crowd understood how propaganda worked and how it could be used to sell a dangerous product. The homosexual community is using the same method to promote homosexuality.

For years prior to Joe Camel, the goal of the tobacco industry was to show high-profile people smoking. Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne approached all their roles with cigarette in hand. Ronald Reagan was the spokesman for Chesterfield cigarettes. Even sports figures were called on to promote smoking. Before pushing “Mr. Coffee,” Joe DiMaggio was hawking cancer sticks. If actors and athletes at the height of their careers are smoking, how could smoking be a bad thing? Using popular media figures was a well-promoted tactic of the tobacco industry. Consider these comments from a confidential report from the Rogers & Cowan Public Relations firm dated June 19, 1980:

We are approaching various national and syndicated television talk shows including the “Tonight Show,” the “Mike Douglas Show,” the “John Davidson Show,” the “Merv Griffin Show,” the “Phil Donahue Show” and the “Toni Tanille Show,” with regard to supplying cigarettes for guests while they are interviewed. We are supplying product to these individual program’s producers, executive personnel, directors and the hosts themselves, providing, of course, that they are smokers. Additionally, we are encouraging our clients and other celebrity friends of ours that smoke to do so when they appear on these various shows. This entire effort has been made through personal contact on a one-on-one basis thus keeping a certain level of confidentiality but still creating exposure.[1]

It isn’t enough to have just anyone smoking. The right kind of people must be lighting up. I doubt that cigarettes were being made available to Liberace or Truman Capote, two flaming homosexuals! The report lists some of the celebrities who had already been supplied with their “favorite cigarette brand,” with the goal of making smoking fun, sexy, and even calming:

Among the stars to whom we have already serviced product include: James Caan, Neil Diamond, George Segal, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Willie Aames, Dean Martin, Richard Dreyfuss, Barbara Rush, Nick Nolte, Dennis Christopher, Richard Carpenter, Mac Davis, Pat Harrington, Paul Newman, Jan-Michael Vincent, Kirk Douglas, Bette Midler, and Danny Kaye, as wall as musical stars Neil Sedaka, Paul Williams, The Tubes, Tommy Roe and David Foster. We are continuing our personal contact with celebrities to determine their favorite cigarette brand and will advise as this list expands.[2]

A similar approach was taken with the movies. The report states, “To date, we have made contact with several top motion picture producers and directors to determine their favorite cigarette brand and to provide them with the product. This contact has been made through personal telephone calls and meetings with the individuals involved. By approaching these producers and directors based on our personal relationship with them, we better enhance the position of the product and its potential use in upcoming projects.”[3] For example, in the move Cannonball Run (1981), the report states that “there will be numerous scenes showing cigarette smoking in a most favorable light.”[4]

A similar statement could be made by the promoters of homosexuality in films like Brokeback Mountain: “There will be numerous scenes showing homosexuality in a most favorable light.” Only history will tell if homosexuality will be seen as dangerous to civilization as smoking was to health.

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