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"This is a recognition that Sept. 11 was a day that changed the world and if we can step forward and help our country contend with how their world has changed, I think that's the patriotic thing for us to do."
——Walt Disney President Robert Iger
WHITE HOUSE ADVISER MEETS WITH HOLLYWOOD EXECS
Government NOT Asking for Propaganda, Just Entertainment That Assists the War Effort
Entertainment leaders in Hollywood are moving quickly to squelch talk of the word "propaganda" after having a meet-and-greet with Bush Senior Adviser Karl Rove.

On Sunday (11/11), Rove met with Hollywood execs in a closed-door meeting at the Peninsula Hotel to discuss the entertainment industry’s role in the war on terrorism.

The meeting was attended, primarily, by studio chiefs, network heads and heads of the major unions. Despite the propagandish sound of the meeting, all those involved denied that was the intent.

"Content was off the table," said MPAA President Jack Valenti. "Directors, writers, producers, studios will determine the kind of pictures they choose to make and the compelling stories they want to tell."

"We're not going to set out to in any way to influence opinion in a manner which can be construed as a propaganda effort backed by the administration," said Walt Disney President Robert Iger. "This is a recognition that Sept. 11 was a day that changed the world and if we can step forward and help our country contend with how their world has changed, I think that's the patriotic thing for us to do."

Rove said that he discussed seven broad themes with the participants, including: the need to encourage volunteerism; to offer support for American troops and their families and that the administration's war was against terrorism, not Islam.

"It's clear that the leaders of the industry have ideas about how they want to contribute to the war effort, and we certainly want to encourage that," Rove said.

So, to translate, the government isn’t exactly calling for propaganda, but if propaganda just happens to be produced, well, that would be OK too.

Participants said their conversation was an early step toward determining Hollywood's role in the war effort. Executives said they would meet among themselves to discuss more specific proposals. No further meeting with administration officials has been planned.

"I think there will be a lot more work tomorrow than there was today in terms of specifics," said Bryce Zabel, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. "The Hollywood community is as patriotic as other Americans and wants to help get America's message out there."

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