Monday, 27 April 2015

Why I rarely watch US sitcoms - the relentless TV propaganda war against conservative values

Here’s a list of the US sitcoms – including animated series – I have watched regularly since 1980: Friends, Frasier, The Simpsons, King of the Hill and the occasional episode of South Park. I got into Friends and Frasier because my wife enjoyed them, and I watched The Simpsons and South Park because my son is a fan: the King of the Hill was my own choice. Given how many of the damned things have been shown on British TV, that’s a surprisingly small number. I only realised how few US sitcoms I’ve watched while reading Ben Shapiro’s Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV (available here)

I’ve always considered myself a fan of TV comedy, and I adore Jewish humour (almost all US sitcoms are written by Jews). So why, I wondered, have I avoided the likes of Seinfeld, Will & Grace, Family Guy, Modern Family, Roseanne,  Ellen, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and 30 Rock – well, name it and I haven’t seen it. I’ve tried, believe me  - but when I try to engage with one of these things, I find myself becoming irritated after a few minutes. Now, after reading Shapiro’s genuinely excellent book, I understand why: they’re all written by left-wingers for youngish left-wingers, and they all push a cultural Marxist agenda – all gays are lovely; gay marriage is adorable; all blacks are noble or oppressed; lesbians are simply to die for; babies are fashion accessories; war is never the answer; the traditional family is just one of many lifestyle choices (and a pretty sucky one at that); Christians are rural fascist idiots; women are pretty much the same as men when it comes to the sex urge; sex can be indulged in without conscience or consequence; all corporations are evil; in order to be, like, mega-happy, you just need to ditch all that guilt crap your school and your parents taught you; all conservatives are racist, homophobic, misogynistic kill-joys; the culture we were brought up in is nothing to be proud of; the government is your buddy, apart from the military and the spies of course, etc.

It struck me that, whenever I try to watch a US sitcom I haven’t seen before, it doesn’t take long before I find one of these messages – often several at once - being lobbed my way. As a conservative, I don’t agree with any of them – so why (unless I’m laughing my head off) would I go on watching? The Simpsons and South Park manage the trick, because they tend to be fairly even-handed when it comes to targets – especially South Park, whose vile attacks on traditional values I’m willing to overlook because I know some left-liberal shibboleth is about to get a right old kicking a little way down the line.

Of course, it isn’t only comedy programmes that attack practically everything someone like me believes in – US drama’s anti-conservative bias is almost as relentless. For instance, I was truly bemused recently when an Asian cop character in the horror series, Grimm, suddenly made an utterly irrelevant remark about the cruelty of capitalism, which had absolutely sod all to do with the plot. Huh? I gave up watching the crime series Law & Order a few years ago when I realised that its central message seemed to be that, whatever crime has been committed, a white, middle-class, male businessman is bound to have been ultimately responsible for it – and if it ever featured a Muslim immigrant or a young black as the main suspect, you knew they could be discounted instantly.  Even in crime series which take a robust law & order stance, the levels of social liberalism are eye-watering – it often feels as if the writers and executives feel the need to justify their own somewhat louche moral and sexual attitudes.

This isn’t a modern phenomenon – US TV turned sharply leftwards in the early ‘60s when producers and writers who didn’t want to go on churning out stuff like The Beverley Hillbillies convinced advertisers that the demographic to go for was young urbanites rather than older viewers. This of course makes absolutely no commercial sense, because (as Shapiro points out in the video below) young urbanites don’t have nearly as much disposable income as people who’ve been working for a few decades and who’ve packed the kids off to college. But the creatives knew they couldn’t produce the sort of edgy, liberal, society-changing stuff their hearts were set on while being made to cater to an older, more conservative demographic: so they hoodwinked the ad-men.

Ben Shapiro, who has his own radio show, is the editor-at-large for Breitbart and founder and editor-in-chief of TruthRevolt, a right-wing media watchdog group. He’s young, incredibly smart, and very conservative. While researching this book – which was published in 2011 – he interviewed a large number of the liberal writers and producers responsible for the unremitting left-liberal slant of most American TV since the ‘70s. Here, in an entertaining interview with Glenn Beck (yes, I know) Shapiro reveals why so many of the men and women who’ve done so much to reshape the American mind over the past half century were willing to spill their left-liberal, cultural Marxist guts on tape:

What confuses me about many compassion-mongering leftists is how incredibly nasty they are: I'm a right-winger - that's my job! Given that they've basically won, what the hell are they so angry about?

Nothing to do with any of the above - and now way out of date, given that the appalling Piers Morgan was sacked by CNN lst year, but readers might enjoy this 2013 interview, during which Shapiro utterly shreds the vile Brit on (inevitably) the issue of gun control. (It must be really galling to be intellectually destroyed by someone who looks like a schoolboy):


  1. All very true but, sadly, just as true of the situation here in the UK. From The Archers to Eastenders to Radio 4 drama, cultural Marxists use entertainment to drip poison, more or less unnoticed, into the audience's ears.

    1. The new head of BBC 2, Kate Shillinglaw, says she's looking for shows that grab viewers "by the balls", that the BBC needs a younger demographic, and that, while BBC 2 viewers might be old, they're "punks at heart".

      So that'll be Russell Brand presenting Gardener's World and Owen Jones doing Newsnight.

    2. So she intends to chase a shrinking demographic?

      Where the hell does the BBC find these people?

    3. Sorry - she's actually called Kim, not Kate. Where does the BBC find them? Here's her background:

      "...she attended Holland Park Comprehensive and then read history at Wadham College, Oxford. Following her graduation, she joined Observer Films in 1990 (for a time part of the Guardian Media Group) as a researcher, eventually becoming a series producer."

      She's married to producer who used to work for Newsnight.

      Among her other pronouncements was this one: ‘If you are in your fifties or sixties you grew up with punk. You don’t have an automatically staid view of the world.’

      So, anyone who didn't like punk is "automatically staid". She wants producers who display "cheeky irreverence" and who demonstrate "edge and attitude".

      The reason Ben Shapiro gives for producers chasing the "younger demographic" is that it justifies them pumping out the left-wing programmes they want to make, which don't go down well with older viewers. The average age of BBC2 viewers is 60, but as they're "young at heart" (?) and were subjected to punk music, they'll no doubt adore all the lefty drivel heading their way.

    4. The funny thing is, I think (and thought at the time) that punk itself was 'staid'. Worse, that it was, just as Mclaren said, a 'swindle'. A scam masquerading as a youth movement..About as sincere and genuine as a friendly invitation from a Scientologist.

      That polytechnic near Cowley really needs to do something about its admission standards. As does the BBC.

    5. Because I have somewhat primitive pop music tastes, I rather enjoyed the profusion of noisy 1'30" singles, even if they were mainly created by well brought up middle class children playing at revolution (like public schoolboy Joe Strummer). But why anyone imagined a bunch of cosmically ignorant 17-year old nihilists had anything important to tell us was always beyond me.

      As for Oxford's admission policies, I think they should simply ask every candidte whether they harbour a burning desire to change the world for the better, and then reject all those who say they do.

  2. Sure Shapiro won the argument - in my eyes - because I happen to agree with him. However, as usual in this kind of thing, the left - in the shape of Morgan - refused to engage. Certainly there was skirmishing on the ground of Morgan's/the left's wish to ban assault weapons but not go the whole hog and abolish the Second Amendment. Also the gibe concering Morgan standing on the graves of slaughtered children hit the mark. However, as I saw it, Shapiro's main argument for the retention of the right to bear arms went straight past Morgan.
    Morgan - being the British lefty that he is - sees "government" as entirely benevolent. He scoffed at Shapiro's notion (even given examples of where governments had gone "rogue") that US or UK citizens might need protection from their rulers. Were Morgan a US citizen this might have had some resonance. As it is Morgan is a prime member of the UK political class evidenced by, for instance, being protected from serious consequences his prima facie criminality in the matter of quasi-insider share dealing while editor of the Mirror. Even so, Shapiro came out ahead and on that basis I'll award him half a cigar. However, this was not a slugfest ending in Morgan being led bleeding from the ring: not really surprising since Morgan both chaired and participated in the discussion.

    1. Unfortunately, the TV talk show host holds all the cards, so they're never going to be utterly slaughtered - although this was as close to it as a guest is ever allowed to get. The way Morgan kept lamely repeating "How dare you..." told the story, and every time he went into standard sneering bully mode, you could see the realisation in his eyes that he was merely proving Shapiro's point.

      As you say, what Shapiro managed brilliantly was to neutralise Morgan's standard line of attack right at the start. Afterwards, Shapiro reported that Morgan had a young relative of a gun massacre victim standing by to wheel on and embarrass his guest - but, because of Shapiro's line of attack, he had to abandon that particularly revolting ploy.

      Like you, I was struck by how bemused Morgan was by the argument that American gun ownership rights were designed to protect the citizen against the state: the idea simply didn't compute - the trouble with CNN appointing a non-American who hadn't lived in the country long as the host (plus, of course, Morgan's bovine stupidity).

      The incident that confirmed what a truly disgusting human being Morgan is was his attempt to justify publishing fake pictures purporting to show British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, on the grounds that it represented some sort of higher truth - that was the act which got the blister fired from the Mirror. Why the Daily Mail allows him to write for it is a mystery.

    2. Yes, that puzzles me, too. I can't think of a single reason why the Mail employs that crooked moron. Nor why anyone else does, for that matter.

      Any Mail hacks out there with an explanation? He sure as sugar doesn't sell newspapers

    3. Nope - it's got me neat. I have to admit I rather enjoy Celia Walden's reports in the Sunday Telegraph on the madness of Los Angeles - why she married Piers Morgan is an even greater mystery than his employment by the Mail.