The trade group that represents Hollywood loathes President Obama's opposition to SOPA but that won't stop Tinseltown's biggest names from pouring cash into his re-election bid. In their coverage of the first California fundraising trip since Congress shelved the SOPA and PIPA, The New York Times and Bloomberg are playing up the "juggling act" the president must perform to curry favor with both Hollywood, which supported SOPA, and the tech industry, which opposed it. But some ties run deeper than business interests and Hollywood's effection for Obama appears to be one of them—despite protestations from the Motion Picture Association of America.
But as John Emerson, a veteran Democratic fundraiser, explains to the Los Angeles Times, "Hollywood money for the most part is actually quite pure. It's given by people who really believe in the issues. They're not writing the checks because they're after some regulatory change." There's another way to put it, though: while the famous names on some of Obama's fundraisers (say, Will Ferrell) have little in common with the lesser-known suits who write their checks, like Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman who compared the anti-SOPA campaign to a "mob mentality." So, when MPAA president Chris Dodd threatens to leverage the entertainment industry's financial clout over the president ( he told Fox News, “Those who count on quote Hollywood for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them"), he's talking more about people like Dauman, who gives the bulk of his political donations to industry PACs, than Ferrell, who has already given $35,800 to the Obama campaign and DNC this election cycle.