Conservatives can never accept the simple explanation for anything. For instance, they don’t tend to do well with the reality that television is geared toward certain audiences because those audiences are the most common audiences for, ahem, television, and also there’s a whole advertising component involved, as well. No, instead it is a liberal Hollywood conspiracy to hurt wingnuts’ fee fees. Enter Ben Shapiro, a freshly-picked wingnut who somehow managed to make it through Harvard Law. Those are always the best wingnuts — the ones who have been exposed to the reality of gay people and whatnot, and yet still cling to their bitterness and bigotry. Benjamin has a new book out called
My Teevee Is Making Fun of Me, Mom! Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV and he’s doing interviews with friendly wingnut organizations in order to tell his story of shame and victimization at the hands of Ross and Rachel. He interviewed lots of people for this book, by using “liberal code words” to fool them!
Believe it or not, it was as simple as that. People in Hollywood love talking about themselves for the most part, and many were very generous with their time. I approached them and told them exactly who I was: my name, my latest book, my Harvard Law credentials, and what this book was about. I also told them I was profiling the biggest names in Hollywood over the last 50 years. I assume that many of them bought into that last part – people in Hollywood aren’t exactly known for their humility. They must have assumed that with a name like Shapiro and a Harvard Law credential, there was no need to Google; I would have to be a leftist. When I spoke with them, I used certain liberal code words – “social justice,” “tolerance,” “diversity.” And they spoke freely with me, with permission to tape.
Right, and he had to do that because
Everyone knows that people in Hollywood despise traditional conservatives. They think we’re morons, bigots, and Neanderthals.
Okay, so first of all? The kid admits in the interview that his parents actually work in the industry, so for him to be portraying himself as some “outsider tradishnul conservative” seems to be a talking appoint to appeal to morons, bigots and Neanderthals. Cynical, Benjamin, cynical.
Anyway, he whines a bit about his writing being rejected in Hollywood [again due to a conspiracy against conservatives and not possibly because he's not that good], and then gets to the really good part, about the gargantuan conspiracy of primetime television, which is to make fun of conservatives:
Unlike MSNBC, though, the liberal content we see on primetime television and in daytime soaps is typically hidden in plot and character. That makes it far more manipulative and dangerous. It makes the political personal. We don’t want to oppose the politics of those we like, and television characters are like friends. They don’t bug us openly about politics, they just happen to have abortions, bear children out of wedlock, engage in gay marriage, preach about environmentalism, hate Rush Limbaugh, and make fun of religious people.
Uh huh. First of all? Abortion is not seen on television hardly at all. Secondly, bearing children out of wedlock is definitely not a liberal value, as teen pregnancy rates are much, much higher in red, “tradishnul values” states. Perhaps the lack of sex education contributes to this? And, well, the second Rush Limbaugh stops being a mockery of himself, people will stop making fun of him. As for gay people on television, well, a couple of things about that:
1. Gay people actually exist! So to have us on television is simply a representation of that reality!
2. I’d probably concede that Hollywood is helping people understand gay people a little bit better, and it makes sense, since without gay people, there wouldn’t be a Hollywood. There wouldn’t be much in the way of artistic entertainment in general. Hell, even the Christian music industry is full of [closeted] gay people. So the fact that they’re starting to really portray us in a positive light, and the fact that entertainers are coming out of the closet more and more is a net positive, for everyone.
But Ben’s biggest problem isn’t with shows like Will & Grace, which was obviously super-lotsa-gay, but more with the more subversive shows like Friends:
The subtle ones are the ones that are the most problematic on a moral level. Look at Friends. Great show. Well-written. Well-acted. Funny. Bet you didn’t think it was political per se. But not only did the show feature a lesbian wedding during its first season, an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and on-screen fights over condoms, the show promoted the substitution of friends for family as moral guides and sources of responsibility.
Uh huh. Oh, and also, he’s upset that the creator of the show cast Newt Gingrich’s half-sister [Newt, that paragon of moral virtue] as the preacher for the lesbian wedding, which you’ve got to admit, was pretty funny.
Anyway, so what is Ben’s solution? Well, first of all, you have to understand what the conspiracy is:
The biggest scam in American business history is that the 18-49 crowd is more valuable to advertisers than people of other ages. Hollywood has pushed this myth because they prefer to produce liberal programming – and young people like liberal programming.
Yes, because what advertisers REALLY want is the nursing home crowd. They go along with Hollywood’s fake demographics because Hollywood is JUST THAT POWERFUL. But anyway, now that you know the conspiracy, he asserts, I suppose with a straight face:
Conservatives must enter the culture war.
Yes! Because they totally aren’t already there, grubbing everything up with their over-represented paws! Um, let me check my history, but the very idea of a “culture war” was, indeed, created by The Right. I mean, bloody hell.
But I hate the idea of little Ben Shapiro running around with bushy eyebrows and hurt feelings, so I propose that America should get a true, primetime drama series about a typical American conservative family. I haven’t come up with a title yet, but here’s the premise:
Bill and Suzy are just a normal, Evangelical conservative family in, I dunno, let’s say Minnesota. Bill is an elder at the church and Suzy home-schools the kids. After everybody is asleep at night, Bill sneaks down to his study and looks at gay porn and posts ads on gay dating sites for illicit meet-ups in public parks. He does not use face pics. Suzy misses the intimacy she used to have with her husband, but she finds solace in her children, and also pharmaceuticals. Lots and lots of pharmaceuticals. Joey is their sixteen year old son. When his parents catch him in Season 2 locked in his room secretly watching “It Gets Better” videos on his iPhone, they send him to a gay re-education camp, where he is molested by his counselor. Their seventeen year old daughter Margaret becomes a major plot point in Season 3 when she, armed with absolutely no real, useful knowledge on sex besides “a true lady saves her flower,” becomes pregnant by the similarly uneducated Mark, who lives down the street and goes to the same church. Ashamed that their daughter is now “one of those girls,” they spirit her away to a neighboring town so that they may quietly have the pregnancy “taken care of,” so that they don’t have to feel the scorn of their church friends. They would go to the abortion clinic in their town, but they would be recognized, because they protest there every Saturday. In Season 4, Joey attempts suicide, worried that he’s never going to get out of the hell that is his fundamentalist existence, and in Season 5, Suzy, fed up and desperate, begins having an affair with Maria, another similarly situated housewife.
Does this sound good? If you’re a Hollywood producer and you think this has potential, get in touch with me, because I really want to see a normal, typical conservative family on teevee. My straight brother and I will write it. I think it has real potential!
Waiting by the phone!
[h/t Roy Edroso]