Populism took the elites by surprise in 2016, so a review of this year’s cultural winners and losers must begin with a very long list of arrogant entertainers who thought it was completely impossible for the American people to descend into a pit of despair and ignorance and elect Donald Trump. No one believed for a second the rich-and-famous losers who promised to move their arrogance to Canada or elsewhere if the Hillary Clinton juggernaut were to tank.
Right behind them on the losers list is the liberal journalist Mark Miller at Esquire, who actually scolded celebrities like Taylor Swift and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for staying out of the Clinton endorsement game. This somehow showed that they rejected “the very values that make them human.”
The first winner is the reality-TV star himself: Donald Trump. NBC probably had no idea it was creating its own political horror movie by broadcasting “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice” for 14 seasons, touting Trump as the “ultimate businessman.” A Media Research Center Business study found 335 NBC News stories on Trump’s business empire from 2004 to 2015, and only 15 of them were negative.
Loser: Barack Obama movies. Liberal newspaper critics loved “Southside with You,” an 81-minute film loosely based on the first date of President Obama and Michelle Obama. The actual date didn’t last much longer than the movie. It flopped at the box office, earning only $6.3 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
Loser: Michael Moore. Speaking of box-office flops, Moore’s downward spiral continued. His tiresome documentary “Where to Invade Next” (touting socialist wonders of the world) only grossed a reported $3.8 million. But that looked like a bonanza next to “Michael Moore in Trumpland,” an anti-Trump screed released late in the campaign season. It reportedly grossed less than $150,000.
Winner: animated movies and comic-book spinoffs. The Box Office Mojo list of top-grossing movies continues to be dominated by these two formulas. “Finding Dory” and “The Secret Life of Pets” were first and third, and “Captain America: Civil War” was second. The top 10 also included “Zootopia” and the comic-book movies “Deadpool,” “Doctor Strange,” “Suicide Squad” and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Winner: transgender propaganda products. “The Danish Girl,” a fictionalized account of the first man to undergo a sex-change operation, led to an Oscar for Alicia Vikander, who played the man’s supportive wife. The Amazon web show “Transparent” was showered with TV awards again. And ABC’s “Modern Family” made “history” by featuring an 8-year-old girl (a transgender boy) to raise our awareness of gender fluidity.
Loser: Colin Kaepernick. The liberal elites rallied to the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who kneeled during the national anthem before games, declaring that he could not “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Photos showed this disgraceful ingrate wearing socks featuring pigs with police hats during training camp. He’s “led” the 49ers to a terrible 2-13 record so far.
Winner: Olympic pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve who caused a viral-video moment after Kaepernick’s brazen gesture. During the games in Rio de Janeiro, he stopped abruptly mid-charge down the runway when he heard the national anthem playing in the stadium. He dropped his pole and stood at attention until the song finished. That kind of respect for the flag and the military is still popular, despite the liberal elites.