Your cable box is about to tilt a little further to the left this summer, thanks to the media company that brought you Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and Matt Damon's anti-fracking movie "Promised Land."
Participant Media is set to launch Pivot beginning August 1. The new cable network is expected to have a 40+ million audience designed to lure young millennials, 18 - 34-year-olds, via a new tactic: social change. The channel will feature more than 300 hours of original programming in its first year, including six greenlit series.
To taste-test Pivot's view of social change, look no further than the spin from Participant Media's past films. There's Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," which propagandized the climate to change the percentage of Americans who cited global warming as a concern from 30 percent to 87 percent, according to the company.
Next is "North Country" which Participant claimed spurred thousands to support the Violence Against Women Act. The company's "Syriana" taught Americans to "understand" terrorists rather than "label" them, according to George Clooney, while a more recent film, the anti-fracking "Promised Land," starred liberal environmentalist Matt Damon lying about gas drilling.
The company has seven films currently in theaters or coming soon and every one of them has a political spin - including a film about lefty labor organizer Cesar Chavez, a pro-Palestinian statehood picture and one promoting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The others depicted the drug war as bad, Occupy Wall Street as good, and had one complaining about poverty and a lefty, internationalist flick about Argentina.
The new network, Pivot, promises to funnel similar agendas directly into the minds of young millennials via TV packages and accessible broadband. As former eBay executive and current Participant Chairman and founder Jeff Skoll explained, "The goal of Participant is to tell stories that serve as catalysts for social change. With our television channel, we can bring those stories into the homes of our viewers every day."
Pivot has lined up some Hollywood types to help - names like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, from "3rd Rock From the Sun," who will host a variety show "HitRECord on TV!" The star boasted a left-leaning history: in 2012, a Joseph Gordon-Levitt from Van Nuys (where the celebrity attended high-school) donated $1,000 to Obama and in 2008 he offered more: $3,300. He adhered to Sesame Street's definition of marriage - which, to put it politely, doesn't outline traditional marriage's definition. MTV's Brian Graden produces the show - a man who helped launch, among other projects, "South Park" and LGBT channel "Logo."
Meghan McCain, the socially liberal daughter of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., also boosts name recognition with her show "Raising McCain," a "genre-busting docu-talk" series. The Daily Beast columnist and MSNBC darling is an outspoken gay marriage supporter who told the GOP to "go gay" and criticized the Tea Party for losing young voters over the issue. She called Joe the Plumber a "dumb ass" who should "stick to plumbing" after his comments on homosexuality and in a speech to the Log Cabin Republican Convention, she stated, "Most of the old school Republicans are scared shitless of th[e] future."
But wait. Pivot promises even more.
Also reaching his fingers into Pivot's original programming appears "An Inconvenient Truth" director Davis Guggenheim. He's good enough that President Obama hired him repeatedly for projects such as "The Road We've Traveled" - a 17 minute short film documenting the president's first term.
The Jim Henson Company holds a piece of original programming too. While the company earned a name through "The Muppets," the company more recently surfaced in the news when it recalled toys from Chick-fil-A kids' meals over the gay marriage controversy.
Next comes Morgan Spurlock, the anti-fast food "Supersize Me"-star-turned-CNN-host, who aired a TV show which twisted a sympathetic illegal immigration story and then made light of 9/11 attacks in an Osama Bin Laden documentary. Oh, and he planned to direct a documentary titled "The Republican War on Science." Yes, title is self-explanatory.
When it came to adding filmmakers to the team, Participant Media went extreme: Mary Harron. Harron found her niche writing "I shot Andy Warhol," which followed the life of feminist Valerie Solanas who not only taught hatred against men, but also shot Warhol when he ignored her screenplay (Harron personally sympathized with Solanas). Harron directed and wrote "The Notorious Bettie Page," a film on a 50's pin-up model and American sex icon. She directed other intense documentaries such as "Big Love," about a polygamist and his three wives, "The L Word," on a small group of lesbians in LA, and produced a documentary detailing The Weather Underground, while serving as a creative consultant for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which examined military stories of men silenced by the policy.
Rolling Stone, which has often attacked the GOP and even rejoiced in conservative leader Andrew Breitbart's death, recently boarded the Pivot boat as well, to make appearances and conduct research on millennial lifestyles. Hint: Millennials, you're not just watching, you're also being watched.
The shows to be on the channel include several reruns, such as WestWind Pictures' "Little Mosque on the Prairie," a popular Canadian sitcom humanizing a Muslim community through humor, "Friday Night Lights," a show about a small town Texas football team, and "Farscape," a program about an astronaut who joins a fugitive alien starship crew.