Walt Disney Would Be Appalled At What His Company Has Become

There’s little doubt that Walt Disney, and by extension the company he founded, was one of the greatest pop culture icons of the 20th century, and that influence continues right into the present day.

Walt’s determination to appeal to both children and their parents represents a core reason for Disney’s enduring legacy. But, at least at first, it was also clear that the Walt Disney Company’s values were rooted in those of America at large. “Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world,” Walt said of the iconic theme park.

And he wanted Main Street U.S.A., the first “themed land” visitors experience when they enter the park, to represent “everyone’s hometown … the heart line of America.”

But the modern Walt Disney Company seems to be at odds with that notion, with many conservatives arguing that it has strayed far from Walt’s wholesome and patriotic vision. In the last few years, the company has become ever more embroiled in the culture wars. It has filled its recent movie and television content with nods to leftist ideologies, from transgenderism to reparations. One executive producer for Disney boasted during a staff meeting about her “not-at-all-secret gay agenda.”

Additionally, the company has become embroiled in a conflict with the state of Florida over the state’s legislation that prohibits schools from teaching children from kindergarten through 8th grade about gender identity and sexual orientation.

In contrast with the leftward drift the company has experienced, its founder took the opposite route — evolving from a relatively non-political businessman into a strident anti-communist and impassioned advocate for American ideals.

Walt Disney was born in Chicago in 1901, but his family moved to Marceline, Missouri, when he was four. There, Disney became interested in drawing, and the family was active in a local Congregationalist church. The Disney family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and eventually back to Chicago, where Walt took classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

(Original Caption) Thousands of people in all parts of the world laugh at and enjoy the antics of Mickey Mouse, the star of stars, but few know the pain staking and intricate work necessary in making of the popular films. Scores of artists and sound experts work in the Mickey Mouse Studios just outside of Los Angeles making thousands of drawings and accompaniment under the direction of Walt Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse. This photo shows Disney at his desk in his studio.

Bettmann/Contributor. Getty Images.

After the U.S. Army rejected him for being too young, Disney joined the Red Cross in September 1918 as an ambulance driver, but he arrived in France after the armistice that ended World War I. After his stint in the Red Cross, he initially returned to Kansas City to pursue cartoons as a career but soon traveled to Los Angeles to meet up with his brother, Roy O. Disney. Together, they founded the Disney Brothers Studio, which would eventually become The Walt Disney Company, and began producing short cartoon films. The company achieved its breakthrough with 1928’s “Steamboat Willie,” considered to be the debut of Mickey Mouse and the first fully synchronized sound cartoon.

The creation and success of Mickey Mouse cartoons propelled Disney to the forefront of animation in Hollywood in the 1930s to the early ’40s, cemented by the release of such classics as “Snow White” and “Pinocchio.”

Despite the massive political upheaval taking place in the U.S. in the early 1930s as a result of the Great Depression and the first round of Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, Disney was reportedly reluctant to even discuss politics. Joe Grant, who worked on “Snow White,” “Pinocchio,” and “Dumbo,” said that Disney was “very apolitical, believe me,” according to a 2007 biography of Disney by journalist Neal Gabler.

He reportedly voted for Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election, which Roosevelt won in a landslide based on the mass appeal of the New Deal.

(Original Caption) Walt Disney, celebrated cartoonist and the creator of Mickey Mouse, is shown on the beach at Waikiki playing on a ukulele, while his brother and business manager, Roy, makes him the subject of a movie. Bettmann/Contributor. Getty Images.

(Original Caption) Walt Disney, celebrated cartoonist and the creator of Mickey Mouse, is shown on the beach at Waikiki playing on a ukulele, while his brother and business manager, Roy, makes him the subject of a movie. Bettmann/Contributor. Getty Images.

Disney switched his support to the Republican Party in the 1940 presidential election, an affiliation that he would maintain for the rest of his life. Wendell Willkie, a businessman from New York who had never previously held political office and had only become a Republican in 1939, clinched the GOP nomination as a dark horse at the national convention. There was very little difference between Roosevelt and Willkie on the major issues of the campaign — both supported the New Deal and material support for the Allies in World War II “short of war.”

“In the election of 1936, I just couldn’t go Republican. … Roy and I split. Roy went Republican and I voted for Roosevelt. By 1940 and everything that happened in the next four years, I was right back on the other bandwagon. I became a [Wendell] Willkie man. He was a great man,” Disney reportedly told a writer.

Disney declined to officially endorse Willkie and even expressed his wish to stay out of politics, telling the Willkie campaign in a letter that “a long time ago I found out that I knew nothing whatsoever about the game of politics and since then I’ve preferred to keep silent about the entire matter rather than see my name attached to any statement that was not my own.”

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and American’s entry into World War II, Disney’s involvement in politics began to change. Half of Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, were occupied by U.S. troops in order to protect a nearby Lockheed aircraft factory from possible air raids (none ever occurred).

Soon, the U.S. government approached Disney with a contract to make propaganda films to help the war effort. The company ultimately made short films for every branch of the military during the war, including the Academy Award-winning 1943 short film “Der Fuehrer’s Face” (in which Donald Duck takes on Hitler) and the more serious “Victory Through Air Power.”

(Original Caption) Prompted by increasing requests from Army, Navy, and Air Corps branches, Walt Disney artists are now working on defense orders for service insignias. Walt Disney shows Air Corps officer Lieutenant Claude Pevey and insignia recently designed for the Navy's torpedo boats, known as the mosquito fleet. Bettmann/Contributor. Getty Images.

Bettmann/Contributor. Getty Images.

His first explicit endorsement of a presidential candidate was given to Thomas Dewey, the Republican nominee in the 1944 presidential election — once again facing Roosevelt.

He allowed Dewey to hold a rally on studio grounds, donated generously to the Dewey campaign, and even gave a speech in support of Dewey in Los Angeles to a rally of reportedly 93,000 people in September 1944. Other Hollywood stars who came out in support of Dewey at the rally included Lionel Barrymore, Barbara Stanwyck, and Cecil B. DeMille.

Roosevelt again won the White House, for an unprecedented fourth term that would be cut short by his death in April 1945, but it was the closest of his presidential campaigns.

It’s been speculated that the rise of unions in Hollywood, and in the Disney company specifically, provided the catalyst for Walt’s political awakening. After a strike by Disney employees in May 1941 while the company was in dire financial straits, Disney became fiercely anti-communist, believing American communists were behind the labor disputes.

“I definitely feel it was a Communist group trying to take over my artists and they did take them over,” Disney reportedly said about the 1941 strike.

However, Disney never discriminated against employees based on their personal political leanings, according to a biography by historian Michael Barrier.

“He was not an aggressive Red hunter; his conservatism had a strongly personal cast. An employee’s politics were not of any particular concern to him if that employee was not challenging him,” Barrier wrote.

The experience with the Dewey campaign as well as the animators’ strike would cause Disney to become more politically involved in the late 1940s and ’50s, and Walt’s conservative values would become more pronounced as time went on.

The difference between the founder of Disney and its modern iteration could not be more stark. Whereas Walt Disney was personally a Republican but tried to stay out of politics as much as possible in his early life, the modern Walt Disney Company seems to have been overrun by avowed leftist ideologues who are determined to inject politics into all of the company’s products.

(Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans for kids entertainment content.)

via The Daily Wire

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French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens

French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens

Cops in France have been granted the authority to remotely activate a suspect’s cellphone camera, microphone and GPS, after the passage of a provision in a wider “justice reform bill” on Wednesday night.

The bill allows the geolocation of crime suspects, covering other devices like laptops, cars and connected devices, just as it could be remotely activated to record sound and images of people suspected of terror offences, as well as delinquency and organised crime. –People’s Gazette

According to French digital rights advocacy group, La Quadrature du Net, the provisions “raise serious concerns over infringements of fundamental liberties,” and violate the “right to security, right to a private life and to private correspondence” and “the right to come and go freely.”

The group called it part of a “slide into heavy-handed security.”

Lawmakers defended the move – with Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti insisting that the bill would only apply to “dozens of cases a year,” while members of parliament inserted an amendment inserted an amendment which only allows the remote spying “when justified by the nature and seriousness of the crime” and “for a strictly proportional duration” after a judge has approved the surveillance.

Lawmakers also insisted that sensitive professions, such as journalists, judges, lawyers, doctors and MPs would not be legitimate targets, People’s Gazette reports.

Last month, the Senate gave the green light to the provision of the justice bill, which would allow law enforcement to secretly activate cameras and microphones on a suspect’s devices. 

Since 2015, when terrorist attacks rocked France, the country has increased its surveillance powers, and the “Keeper of the Seal” bill has been likened to the infamous US Patriot Act.

“We’re far away from the totalitarianism of ”1984”,” said Dupond-Moretti, adding “People’s lives will be saved” by the law.

Of note, France’s dystopian law is similar to those used by the US FBI in the wake of 9/11, when the government’s use of “roving bugs” came to light in a court case involving an organized crime family.

“Roving bugs” pick up room audio as opposed to traditional wiretaps in which wireless phone conversations and other electronic communications are monitored-subject to court order-by the FBI. Both forms of electronic surveillance are covered by a 1986 law authorizing roving wiretaps, which gives law enforcement flexibility to eavesdrop continuously on suspects who often change locations and use different phones to avoid detection.

Constant movement of suspects was the situation in this case, frustrating the FBI to the point that it applied for and received from a federal judge eavesdropping authority under the roving wiretap statute. With a twist. Government investigators were able to listen to conversations of organized crime suspects even when their cell phones were turned off-at least as far as the suspects were concerned.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected defendants’ arguments that “roving bugs” violated their constitutional rights, noting the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1993 upheld the roving wiretap statute in an identical legal challenge. –rcrwireless.com

How nice.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 07/07/2023 – 05:45

via ZeroHedge News

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Target Caves: Will Stock Mark Levin’s ‘The Democrat Party Hates America’

Target reversed course Thursday and agreed to stock conservative radio host Mark Levin’s forthcoming book, The Democrat Party Hates America, after criticism and outage over the chain store’s apparent hypocrisy.

Levin made the announcement on his Thursday evening radio show, after informing listeners the night before that Target had told his publisher, Simon & Schuster, that it would not stock the book because of its title.

Target had already been in the news in recent weeks due to its decision to stock clothes marketed for Pride month, including what the Associated Press called “‘tuck friendly’ women’s swimsuits that allow trans women who have not had gender-affirming operations to conceal their private parts.” The chain did not supply those suits for children but did include other products for children that had Pride month and transgender themes.

Conservatives were outraged over the store’s apparent willingness to stock items that pushed a left-wing agenda while banning a book from its shelves that reflected a conservative view (it would still sell the book online).

After Breitbart News and others reported that Target had decided not to display Levin’s book, the store came under pressure from conservatives who vowed that they would boycott the store, prompting it to change course.

Levin thanked and congratulated his audience Thursday on his radio show, noting they had acted on their own volition, without any organized boycott effort: “We have a massive audience, an enormously loyal audience.

“So I want to thank you folks — I want to thank some of our friends on Capitol Hill who jumped in — not at my request; I want to thank our friends in the media who jumped in — again, not at my request,” Levin said.

“Enough is enough. We’re sick and tired of this whole thing … And this demonstrates the strength that you have. … It also demonstrates the strength of this platform that I’m on. Millions, and millions, and millions of patriots.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

via Breitbart News

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