It’s always interesting when seemingly separate news stories converge on a similar theme. This week, this has happened with three stories about recent studies.
First, the Census Bureau announced last week that married couples are now a minority of US households, and more people are cohabiting than married.
Second, a fellow named Ben Shapiro has royally ticked off the Hollywood elite with his upcoming book, _Primetime Propaganda_, based upon interviews he conducted with various TV executives about their agendas. Shapiro, a Jewish Harvard grad, asked for interviews with various TV executives for a study of “social themes in television,” and thinking he was a fellow liberal, they gladly shared their agendas with him. He also recorded all the interviews, and he has published many of the videos.
I’ve read several articles about the controversy, and mentioning some key quotations. He’s got some real zingers from big time producers, directors, writers, etc., saying how conservatives are “stupid” and “medieval” and completely unwelcome in Hollywood. He talks about some performers who, while not totally blacklisted, were relegated to B or C-list status merely because of their conservative beliefs. One example was _A-Team_ and _Star Trek_ star Dwight Schults (Murdoch/Barclay), who was rejected for a role on _St. Elsewhere_ (which went to Howie Mandel) because, as producer Bruce “Gwyneth’s dad” Paltrow put it, “There’s not going to be a Reagan a****** on this show!”
Thoughts on this issue:
1. The “Teletubby Principle”: Liberals love pushing their agenda in every avenue they can, but they hate it when their agenda is exposed. In other words, among themselves, or when they think they’re among themselves, they’ll be completely up front about what they’re doing. If a conservative exposes it, however, even *quoting* what they’ve said to begin with (or, in this case, showing them on video saying it!), that conservative is a nutcase conspiracy theorist. Way back in the late 1990s, gay publications started proudly proclaiming that the then-new PBS fad, _Teletubbies_, was full of homosexual subtext. Someone writing for a magazine owned by Jerry Falwell quoted what these gay rights activists were saying about the show, and the mainstream media spun the story as, “Jerry Falwell says _Teletubbies are gay. What a loon!” (Falwell for his part said he thought _Teletubbies_ was a great show, that his grandkids watched it, and he didn’t even know of the controversy till everyone else did).
The MSM, including FOX News, like to push the notion that conservatives are uneducated and anti-intellectual, but whenever conservatives demonstrate critical thinking skills or cite their sources, it’s “paranoia,” “conspiracy theories,” etc.
I spent 2 years in graduate school taking classes from liberal literature professors telling me all about postmodernism, Marxist criticism, feminist criticism, etc. It’s OK if you apply those methods *as* a liberal among liberals, but if you’re a conservative, and you turn their own methods back on them, you’re a bigot and a conspiracy theorist. Thus, the “spin” on Shapiro’s book is not what he’s recorded and quoted straight from the horses’ mouths, but it’s that Shapiro is obviously a racist and a liar!!
2. For example, I just saw a comment from one liberal who referred to Stephen Colbert (the liberal Catholic darling of all sorts of people) saying that “Hollywood has a liberal bias because life has a liberal bias.” To the minds of liberals, conservatism = racism, and the existence of minorities is itself liberal. They’re trying to spin Shapiro’s quotations to make it sound like Shapiro is uncomfortable with depictions of minorities on TV. That’s not Shapiro’s point. One of the most-quoted points in the book is that Sesame Street was intended for inner city minority kids. This is no closely guarded secret that Shapiro has uncovered by deep cover spy work; it can be found in any article or retrospective about the show. My kids and I were watching the old 20th Anniversary special on tape a couple months (OK, I was watching it; the kids left the room) back, and they talked about the same thing. Gordon (played by a different actor then) was originally supposed to be the main character, and Oscar the Grouch was supposed to be a metaphorical racist. Now, what the liberals are taking out of Shapiro talking about this is that *he’s* a racist because he doesn’t like that _Sesame Street_ depicted minorities. That’s not his point. His point is that the producers of _Sesame Street_, like typical liberals, have a condescending attitude towards minorities.
His point is that _Sesame Street_, by the producers’ own admission, is designed to make children comfortable with liberal ideas like divorce, etc. Again, watch any retrospective special, DVD commentary, or whatever about _Sesame Street_, and they’ll brag about the “expert educators” they use to determine how to integrate “social themes” into the show. I’m a huge Henson fan, but come on, watch or read *any* real life interview with the guy, and it’s obvious he was a pinko. He made no secret of it. And Sesame Street is on the Socialist Broadcasting System. What is the big secret? The only reason people find this notion absurd is precisely that they’ve been brainwashed by it.
3. Does anyone think people like Susan Harris, Linda Bloodworth Thomason, Tony Thomas or Norman Lear are *not* flaming liberals? Again, they make no secret of their agendas!!! They say it! The only thing that makes Shapiro’s book special is that he catches them showing what absolute contempt they have for conservatives, and even that is no big secret.
Yet the idiots in the comboxes keep saying things like, “Don’t conservatives have something better to do,” and “Come on, it’s just a TV show.” And we’re to believe that conservatives are idiots?
A liberal won’t let you read a book or watch a show or movie, without telling you every little theme of subtext in it, and without insisting it *has* to have subtext, but if a conservative does the same thing, the conservative is a nutjob, a time waster, a spoilsport, etc.
That brings us to the third related tidbit in the news this week: a survey which asked Americans what percentage of the population they think is homosexual. 52% of Americans think that 20% or more of the population are gay. 35% think that 25% or more are gay, which means that they think there are more “gay” people than Catholics, African Americans, Hispanics, etc. In reality, the most generous figure of people who identify themselves as “gay” or bisexual is maybe 4%.
Another case of liberal hypocrisy I like to point out, along with the “Teletubby Principle”, is how, when Ellen Degeneres “came out of the closet” and had her TV character do the same, ABC said it was important to represent gays and lesbians on TV because they were supposedly 10% of the population. A couple years later, when the Catholic League led a coalition of devout religious groups (Including the Jewish ADL) and pro-life groups in protesting ABC’s _Nothing Sacred_, the network claimed, “We cannot allow programming decisions to be made by what amounts to 10% of the population.” HUH? (And so they think that sincere religious believers and pro-lifers account for only 10% of the population??)
Joe Carter at First Things matches these perceptions up to GLAAD’s evaluations of representations of “GLBT” people on scripted “prime time” television (he notes the numbers are even higher if you include “reality TV,” news, talk shows and daytime dramas. Now, the number of gay characters on network and cable scripted series today has skyrocketed since Ellen’s controversial outing nearly 20 years ago. The number of prominent “gay” characters out of the total number of regular and recurring characters on current-running shows is probably about 4%, anyway.
However, Carter points out that this doesn’t match up to the depiction of Christians, which he claims is unfavorably skewed down. Of course, a barrage of commentors have challenged Carter’s claims, arguing that people presume TV characters are “Christian” unless otherwise noted, or that studio execs are afraid of touching Christianity and courting controversy. Yet they’re *not* afraid of courting controversy by a) insulting Christians; b) depicting committed Christians, if at all, as hypocrites and freaks and terrorists; c) depicting *other* religions in a favorable manner; d) depicting divorce, fornication, adultery, etc.
If the argument is that characters on TV should fairly depict what America “looks like,” and so they need to have a certain percentage of gay characters just like they have to have certain percentages of black and hispanic and female characters, that’s fine. Then let’s look at ABC’s statements about the _Ellen_ controversy and the _Nothing Sacred_ controversy again: 10% are homosexual (actually, far less)? 10% are pro-life, committed believers of Christianity and Judaism (actually, far more)? Then there should be at *least* as many characters on TV who are sincere, committed Evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox Jews as there are characters who are gay.
Why don’t we ever see a TV show with a man or woman who has more than 3 kids *and is happy about it*?
I’m pretty sure there are more Catholic monks and nuns in this country than Buddhist monks, but if TV shows want to depict someone “holy” and “at peace” and all that, they show a Buddhist monk or monastery.
People on TV shows and movies always recommend yoga and tantric meditation and stuff as ways of attaining peace, but you never hear them suggesting the Rosary or Eucharistic Adoration.
Quotes of Wisdom come from Confucius and the Bhagavad Gita and whatever, but never from the Bible. If they do quote the Bible, it’s that one verse from Leviticus they love to quote, or maybe Psalm 23 or something, and usually it’s some made-up verse that anyone with a modicum of familiarity with Sacred Scripture knows doesn’t exist. (One of my favorite examples of this was a time on _The X-Files_, when a “Bible verse” was cited from the Gospel of John. I forget the exact made-up chapter and verse they used, but it implied that the 21-chapter Gospel of John had well over 50 chapters).
And people think there is no liberal bias in the media?