Thursday, June 2, 2011

Praising Ben Shapiro

From time to time I've been a wee bit critical of Ben Shapiro. . . and I don't take any of it back. But I will give credit where credit is due, and junior has scored this time with his new book: "Primetime Propaganda." Indeed, his book could come to be seen to be very significant.

When I first heard that young Ben was going to expose the fact that Hollywood is dominated by liberals who actively use their positions to try to brainwash the public and exclude conservatives, I was not impressed. After all, this isn't exactly earth-shattering news. But then I read what he achieved and I must admit he's done a good thing.

Now I haven't actually read the book and I can't tell you if it's worth reading or not. So be warned this is not an endorsement of the book. But it is an endorsement of what Shapiro achieved. Specifically, he convinced a series of famous Hollywood movers and shakers to go on the record with taped interviews in which they openly admit they've been injecting liberal bias into television shows. Yet, the quotes go beyond that. Indeed, the quotes Shapiro obtained evidence hidden agendas, open discrimination against conservatives, disdain and direct attacks on conservatives, and it puts the lie to the decades long cover up where Hollywood types claim their bias is incidental to the finished product and that conservatives are being overly-sensitive.

Consider the following quotes about the open discrimination against conservatives in Hollywood:

● "America's Funniest Home Videos" creator Vin DiBona agrees that everyone in Hollywood is liberal and adds "I'm happy about it."

● Several admit that conservatives face discrimination in Hollywood. Leonard Goldberg, producer of "Blue Bloods," "Fantasy Island," "Charlie's Angels," etc. agrees the TV industry is "100 percent [liberal] dominant, and anyone who denies it is kidding, or not telling the truth." Fred Pierce president of ABC in the 1980s agrees that it's difficult for conservatives to break into television and says of their conservative views: "don't promote it. It stays underground." House creator David Shore says there "is an assumption in this town that everybody is on the left side of the spectrum, and that the few people on the right side, I think people look at them somewhat aghast, and I'm sure it doesn't help them." Former ABC/NBC head Fred Silverman agrees "there's only one perspective [in comedy today], and it's a very progressive perspective."

Star Trek II director Nicholas Meyer was asked if conservatives are discriminated against in Hollywood and he responded: "Well, I hope so."

● In one example of such bias, Bruce Paltrow refused to hire Ronald Reagan-fan Dwight Schulz for "St. Elsewhere." Said Paltrow: "There's not going to be a Reagan [expletive] on this show!"

● In another example, "Friends" co-creator Marta Kauffman acknowledges that she "put together a staff of mostly liberal people," to promote liberal ideas. And she did things like cast Candace Gingrich-Jones, half-sister of Newt Gingrich, as the minister of a lesbian wedding as "a bit of [a middle finger] to the right wing."
Beyond this, Shapiro exposes a lot of anger directed at the right. "Soap" and "Golden Girls" creator Susan Harris says conservatives are "idiots" and have "medieval minds." "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" producer George Schlatter slammed Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham. He apparently uses a vulgar word to describe Coulter. Two additional producers attack Coulter by name as well. One attacks Sean Hannity.

And even beyond that, Shapiro obtained admissions that liberal ideas were actively promoted, sometimes secretly in these shows. Indeed, it's no surprise that "Friends" co-creator Marta Kauffman promoted social liberalism. Or that Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds put pacifist messages into "M*A*S*H," or that Vin DiBona made sure anti-gun messages were a recurring theme in "MacGyver," or that Nicholas Meyer hoped his lousy film The Day After "would unseat Ronald Reagan when he ran for re-election." But what is surprising is the inclusion of such messages in less obvious shows:
● William Bickley, a producer on "Happy Days," infused Vietnam War protest messages into the show: "I was into all that." So was George Schlatter, who used "Laugh-In" to knock Republicans and the Vietnam War.

● "Soap" and "Roseanne" producer Marcy Carsey tried to advance a gay and lesbian political agenda in those shows. This was apparently a common goal among several executives, including "Desperate Housewives" producer Marc Cherry.

● Marcy Carsey used "That 70's Show" to promote the smoking of marijuana.

● COPS creator John Langley says he's partial to segments where white people are the criminals.
So why is this important? For decades, conservatives have complained about bias in Hollywood. And the response from Hollywood has been: "you're crazy" or "you're just being overly-sensitive" or "you're reading too much into this." Now there's proof that this was a lie, and that the things the left claimed weren't meant to be political were in fact political. Indeed, this is akin to the revelation of the Journolist, which showed that leftist journalists had been unethically coordinating their stories like talking points, just as conservatives claimed.

Moreover, the proof comes not from an outsider looking in with statistical tools or interpreting meanings. This proof comes directly from the people who snuck the messages into these shows. These are the kinds of admissions that make it impossible to continue the lie. These are the kinds of admissions conservatives can point to hereafter to support their claims of bias and discrimination. These are the kinds of admissions that make shareholders very, very nervous.

So let me congratulate Ben on a job well done. He didn't just write a book based on his opinions as seems to be the rage these days, he went out and found very damning evidence. That's good journalism. Nice work!


Anonymous said...

I'll simply repeat some of what I've said before for the benefit of other commenters. I know what you're going to say and I'm NOT excusing anything.

The only thing that really bothers me (at the moment) is, once again, the social stuff. I sincerely hope Shapiro realizes that there's a HUGE difference between, say, the presence of a gay character on TV, versus characters advocating for gay marriage. (Just an example.) Or, for that matter, a child being told to recycle versus a child being told to join the ELF and burn down a coal plant. (Slight exaggeration.)

One of Ben's favorite recent shows is Lost (I'll say this... he's got taste!) and I have to wonder, if Lost featured a gay character, would his opinion of the show change? I'm betting yes.

Or for that matter, why is pot smoking automatically associated with the left? Or what if it had been a conservative who'd written such a scene? (And showing doesn't always = promoting. You can make the same argument about the left and cigarette smoking and trans-fats.)

Shapiro, for all his good intentions, also makes the mistake of assuming the terms "conservative" and "family friendly" are synonymous when they are not.

I also hope he realizes that TV shows are like mini-movies and every show is like a set of 22 movies every year. For every liberal idea that might get airtime, there might just be a conservative one as well. It would be a mistake to judge an entire multi-year show from a handful of episodes.

The COPS thing actually surprises me. I mean, I can understand why they do what they do but it's simply statistically incorrect.

And lastly, many of these people are fully capable of creating conservative work as well, whether it's intentional or not. (Meyer and Star Trek II being a great example.)

I know, I should imagine the situation reversed, and I have. Discrimination sucks. Life's too short to see things through narrow political left-right blinders. I was surprised to find out that Shapiro actually likes TV. From reading his prior work, you'd think he lived in a convent!

P.S. As an independent, it wouldn't surprise me if I was considered "too far to the right" for some of these people. "He's a secular Jew! What do you mean he's pro-death penalty?!?" :-)

I'm at work right now - I'll try to chime in later if a response is needed.

Tennessee Jed said...

after reading your post, Andrew--as well as your reply, Scott, I would only offer the following: I think both of you make valid points.

I am politically conservative (really?) Admittedly more so fiscally than socially. Having viewed comments, letters, and now internet blogs concerning politics, I have come to realize how set most people are in their beliefs, and how we all use something called "the ladder of inference" to make use of that data which reinforces our own position and reject that which conflicts with it. This is done through a variety of mental devices. My point is that I try to at least recognize my own bias for what it is, and realize it probably is at least somewhat at work in most observations I make.

That said, it certainly APPEARS to me that network news (until Fox) daily and weekly newspapers/magazines, films, and television programming is overwhelmingly controlled by people who are politically liberal. These people inject their own bias into their work to VARYING DEGREES. It appears to me that this bias has become less subtle over time. While recognizing that my bias probably results, in some cases, as an over-reaction, the cumulative effect for a conservative is to eventually gag on it all because something that we enjoy (films, t.v. etc.) seems to be so overwhelmingly aimed at mocking us. At some point, making "Bush is a moron" comments on Weeds when nothing is ever said about say, Obama, makes one throw up their hands and say "I vote with my pocketbook, screw it, I am no mlonger watching this."

Conservatives do smoke weed by the way and many actually like music made by people who openly criticize our beliefs. I try not to measure friendship or individual worth by political beliefs, but it does become wearying. There is a reason we have a secret ballot, and a reason politics and religion are the third rail of polite social discourse.

Notawonk said...

it wasn't until i was a young mother that i noticed the left-leaning slant, especially in children's programming. i was shocked and wondered if others saw it too. most didn't. i was deemed too political.

i think i'll send an email this morning with the subject line: hate to say i was right, AGAIN

Joel Farnham said...

So Andrew,

Would this be categorized as a pre-review review? ;-)

In the articles he provides for Big Hollywood, I don't like Ben Shapiro's conclusions, or his cutting off all debate. He is almost as bad as commentators on MSNBC and the rest. I too haven't read his book. I might, but don't count on it.

Having written that, I hope he doesn't try to force opinions in this book. As an old cliche from a venerable show, "Just the facts, maam."

AndrewPrice said...

Scott and Jed, I will respond shortly.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I honestly think a big chunk of the population doesn't notice. And that's because Hollywood keeps repeating the idea that there is no bias, that conservatives are just being hypersensitive. It's the same thing with journalists -- they claim to be fair and unbiased, and they aren't. But people believe it because they are told it's true and they don't want to think about it to see what they are really getting. But once you have a reason to think about it, e.g. you have kids and you become concerned about what they are being taught, then it suddenly becomes obvious.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, In truth, I am not a fan of Shapiro's for a lot of reasons. I think he's a mental light-weight who has lived a sheltered life and doesn't understand that the rest of the world doesn't work the way he thinks it does. He also confuses his personal tastes with right and wrong and has never shown an ability to reconsider his opinions in light of new facts he never considered. He's strident, intolerant, and usually wrong. That's a bad combination.

I actually don't plan to read the book. I don't think I want to read a whole book of his and I suspect that these are the only interesting points -- the rest seems to be his analysis, which I don't think will have any value.

Plus, he turned me off by whining that media is focusing on his attack on "Sesame Street" -- I can't stand people who play the victim card.

BUT, I do give him credit for obtaining these quotes, which show what conservatives have been claiming for decades.

Ed said...

Andrew, I'm not a fan of Shapiro either, but I appreciate the value of these quotes. Thanks for pointing them out because I've skipped the story otherwise.

Unknown said...

Andrew: I cut Sesame Street off for my kids (and remember, they now have kids of their own). I just didn't think much of the idea of "getting real" by having the wonderful world of slums inhabited by language-challenged kids who thought the greatest character on earth was a philosopher who lived in a trash can. And mind you, I was still a liberal Democrat at the time. I was also convinced that Big Bird was a child-molester in disguise.

I remember Shapiro when he was still a senior in college. He seemed very bright, overly-opinionated, and showed a need for using obscure words to prove his college cred. That said, I still tend to agree with much of what he says. I think he's more a work-in-progress than a finished product, but I also agree with most of your points.

As for his criticism of pushing the gay agenda, I somewhat agree with him, but on a slightly different basis. As readers here know, I have zero negative feelings toward gays and lesbians, while at the same time having personal objections to parts of the agenda, particularly gay marriage as it is currently being pursued. But my objection is to the fact that TV and movies both tend to have more gay couples per capita than I ever saw living most of my life in San Francisco, queen city of the west. It's unrealistic and statistically ridiculous, so I tend to agree there is an agenda there.

Anonymous said...

LawHawk -

Obviously we have different opinions on the subject but, re: the number of gay people on TV, I actually agree with you. Now with Friends, I'd hardly call it gratuitous - a bunch of young people hanging out in Manhattan... what do you expect? (Though Marta Kauffman's qoute obviously speaks for itself.)

Every time I read that GLAAD wants a gay character on seemingly every TV show, I just roll my eyes.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, You and I have discussed this several times and you know that I agree with much of what you've said. But here is my response:

1. I have a lot of issues with Shapiro's small-minded thought process that doesn't grasp that not everyone thinks like he does and which jumps to extreme conclusions based on the most insignificant evidence. His analysis is usually wrong and shallow, which is why I limit my praise here to what he has uncovered.

2. I agree with your point that something like the inclusion of a gay character or a kid doing recycling does not make something into a left-wing plot to undermine America. But I wrote this article because I think the evidence Shapiro has found goes beyond that. I think he’s uncovered evidence of systematic, conscious discrimination and the intentional attempt to hide messages in stories.

And that’s where my complaints come from. If you want to stand up and say, “I believe X and that’s going to be in my stories,” then I am totally fine with your right to do that and I will not complain. I may choose to skip your product or I may not, but I won’t complain about the inclusion of the message.

But that’s not what Hollywood has been doing. They’ve been SNEAKING messages into shows that are ostensibly non-political, like “Happy Days.” And then they’ve been denying that they’ve done this. What’s more, they attack/ridicule the people who point out the bias. That’s deceitful (if not fraud), and slander.

And look at how outraged the left gets that FOX doesn’t stand up and say “our producers are right wing.” Yet, we’re supposed to not get upset that all of Hollywood has been doing the above for years in supposedly non-political shows? Or look at how upset the left got when they learned that bloggers were getting paid by companies to pimp products without revealing that fact, i.e. without revealing “their bias.” They even passed legislation to force bloggers to start disclosing this. Yet we’re not supposed to get upset that leftists have been doing the exact same thing for decades in Hollywood?

I’m sorry Scott, but that’s too much to say that conservatives should turn the other cheek to something that the left itself complains about all the time and which would be considered a crime if it were done for commercial gain by show sponsors, i.e. “hey, sneak in some nasty shots at our competitor and don’t tell anyone we did this.”


AndrewPrice said...

Also, don’t dismiss the “reverse it” so easily. If every sit com on television was produced by religious conservatives, and they claimed that the shows were entirely non-political.... but each show had non-fundamentalist characters making fundamentalist points and accepting fundamentalist doctrine as true, e.g. a Jewish character accepting the divinity of Jesus, and then taking nasty shots at every other religion including their own characters’ religions, then I think you and everyone on the left would be outraged. And I don’t think you would be taking that as well as conservatives have handled Hollywood’s bias. For while you occasionally get calls for boycotts and you get grumbling from conservatives, what you don’t get from conservatives is the full-blown personal destruction attacks in which the left specializes at the smallest slight.

3. On gays. I agree to a large degree. Conservatism is not synonymous with religion, despite some people thinking it is. And there is nothing inherently anti-conservative about being gay. In fact, most gays would be better off on the right than the left.

But, there is a difference between gay and the gay agenda. Gay is gay and is just about being like any other person on the street, i.e. no discrimination, no singling out, i.e. acceptance. That’s very consistent with conservative ideas. But the gay agenda is something else. The gay agenda is about obtaining special rights thought legislation, about school recruitment, about a whole host of practices that are hidden from public view like lowering the age of consent, and is deeply and actively anti-religious. Hollywood is not promoting “gay”, it is promoting the “gay agenda.”

It’s the same thing with environmentalism. There is nothing inherently anti-conservative about being an environmentalist. Many conservatives are very much environmentalists. BUT, there IS something anti-conservative about the environmental movement. That movement has become a catchall for anti-capitalist, anti-Western, anti-conservative and anti-American ideas. And that is the environmentalism Hollywood promotes.

Kosh said...

I think that many in the Hollywood left don't respect the intelligence of most Americans. It is interesting how many shows often start out pretty entertaining with perhaps a soft left agenda start to jump the shark when they ramp it up. Rosanne the first few seasons was pretty damn funny, but then they started with the gay marriage agenda and lost their core audiance. The first few seasons of MASH are awesome; the latter blech. I think the reason I like Trey Parker and Matt Stone so much is the go after everyone. Immature and crude? Very much and I would not let my children watch, but very, very funny.

Anonymous said...

I’m sorry Scott, but that’s too much to say that conservatives should turn the other cheek to something that the left itself complains about all the time...

I'm sorry, I didn't realize I had implied such a thing. If I did, then it was not intentional.

Other than that, I certainly can't argue with anything you've said and I'm not dismissing the "reverse it" idea out of hand. I also admit, being an average citizen and not subject to attacks from the left, it is somewhat hard for me to put myself in the shoes of the people who have suffered such things.

(And, as I mentioned above, even this independent is probably too far to the right for some of these people.)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, One of the things you learn in lawschool (if you pay attention, which not everyone does) is to spot bias. There's the obvious bias of spotting someone with an interest in the outcome, and then there's the bias inherent in the assumptions and the language. A good lawyer needs to be able to spot that so that they can figure out how to "work" the judge and to be able to accurately predict for the client what will happen.

For decades now, it has been entirely obvious to me that the major news shows and Hollywood are biased. But not just biased -- offensively biased. By that, I mean something very similar to what you say. At first, the media just did the following: (1) interpreting facts in the way that fits their own believes. But then the started (2) shading facts. By now, they've added these tricks: (3) ignoring contrary facts, (4) making up facts, (5) mischaracterizing the sides, and (6) demonizing the opponents. The degree of change is incredible.

Hollywood has followed a similar pattern, where the bias has gotten worse over time. There is no doubt that Hollywood has always had bias. In fact, all storytelling does, that's just the nature of the human condition. But it wasn't until the past few decades that they got it in their heads that they could brainwash us hicks by presenting only one view. And once they started that, they started presenting falsehoods as true and openly mocking our views over and over and over and in every instance they could. That's why you can't even turn on a purely mindless action flick anymore without hearing some anti-conservative rant.

It's tiring, it's infuriating.

And what really pisses me off about it, has been that Hollywood has been denying they've been doing this. In interview after interview, these people have claimed "we don't have bias, we need to be able to reach all audiences.... we're only giving the audience what they want." And yet here is proof that they have been intentionally, systematically engaged in the very thing they deny. That's fraud.

Think about this in economic terms. If GE bought a chunk of prime time through a dummy company and then put out programs that took shots their competitor's products as cheap and worthless and their companies as full of perverts and child molesters, would that or would that no be considered a crime? It would. It would be considered slander. And if GE denied being involved, that would make it fraud. Yet, somehow, we're supposed to not be upset that the left is doing this very thing to us?

No. I don't accept that.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Jed, the pot thing. I think it is a valid point that this was an attack on conservatism because at the time this was done, there was a political battle between "law and order conservatives" and leftists who wanted to legalize dope. Libertarians have since adopted the dope cause, which fuzzies things up.

Personally, as I've said before, I do not favor legalization for a variety of reasons. But I can't say that this is a conservative/liberal issue anymore.
though as I've said and for reasons I've outlined, I don't agree with them.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Sorry I'm slow in responding today, but work is keeping me busy at the moment.

You're welcome. I find Ben frustrating, but in this instance, he does deserve credit.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, My biggest beef with Shapiro is that he's so sheltered. I get the feeling he's never met anyone outside of his church group. And his writing shows an inability to grasp that the world is not purely black and white. He may get better over time, but until then I'm not particularly interested in his writings.

What's funny about "Sesame Street" and political correctness is that it was always politically correct. And those standards have changed over time as the alliances have shifted on the left. So when they issues the old ones on DVD, they actually put a warning label on it that it was "not suitable for children"! LOL!

On gays, I think that's all part of the agenda. Hollywood gives a very "safe" portrayal of the gay lifestyle, which is inconsistent with what is really going on. The idea is to make American comfortable with the idea that gays are "just like you." One of the interesting aspect of this is that I've found that they really down play the misogynism in the gay community, and they entirely ignore the push to lower/eliminate the age of consent.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, You've asked before what political correctness is, and that's it -- the forced inclusion of certain characters and limits on what the character may or may not do on the shows.

If you want to include gays on a show then do it because it fits your story or you like the idea, but don't do it because you're being forced to do it under threat of punishment.

One of the interesting side-effects of this political correctness is that the opportunities for minorities have been artificially limited because slots are allocated according to which group is on the rise and which isn't, and you can't take certain roles because that would no longer be considered politically correct. Hence, blacks can no longer play criminals. Gays can't be the bad guy and can never be sexual predators. Women can't be stupid. It's actually kind of funny how in the name of "inclusion" they are actually limiting the possibilities for minorities.

AndrewPrice said...

Kosh, I think South Park is genius for that very reason. They have learned the old rule that Hollywood wants to forget -- nothing is above being mocked.

There is a huge audience out there that is ready to embrace shows that are fair, or openly conservative. I would be prefer just fair, to tell the truth. But Hollywood can't stomach the idea. They don't see television as a means of entertainment, they see it as a means of influencing us stupid people. So they simply won't allow contrary messages.

On your point about how shows change, that's actually an interesting point. It's like these producers know they need to do it right to develop the audience and then, once they have the audience, then they think they can drop what got them there and start the propaganda machine. I see that a lot as well, where shows lose their way once they get famous, and it's usually by making sharp left turns. The Simpsons is another good example of this -- that show changed ideology almost 100% after it became the "in" thing.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm sorry, I thought that is what you were saying.

Let me just boil my take on all of this down though:

I don't care that they are biased. I do care that they try to hide it and deny it.

That's all.

Unknown said...

Scott: My views on gay marriage are those I've expressed in other posts. I'm not sure we actually disagree, if that's what you meant. The gay marriage agenda has next-to-nothing to do with the eponymous subject. It is actually a leftist attack on religion, and a surprising number of gays recognize that. The religious ceremony is nobody else's business, including mine. My religious beliefs are antithetical to gay marriage, but that doesn't mean I have the right to dictate the religious beliefs of others. Would that liberals were that tolerant.

But they don't want gay marriage, they want secular law to override religious freedom. That underlying agenda is why I said that I oppose the gay marriage movement as it is currently being pursued. When my pastor is forced to perform a gay marriage in violation of our religious belief because "civil rights" and "human rights" trump First Amendment freedom of religion, there's going to be trouble.

And before anyone says that won't happen, check out the "human rights" rulings in Canada. If the word "marriage" has to be eliminated and replaced by civil ceremonies in order to avoid that confrontation, I can live with it. Take religion entirely out of domestic partnerships (or whatever other name it might take) and that's fine.

But in California, there is absolutely no legal distinction between a domestic partnership and a traditional marriage, so you must ask yourself why this issue is so acrimonious. It's because the left wants to reduce the religious ceremony to a civil matter over which they will have control, including forcing traditional religious entities into performing the ceremony regardless of their doctrine and theology.

If the law is changed so that everybody has a civil ceremony (or even a simple pro forma contract filed with the county clerk) and can then choose whether to solemnize it with a religious ceremony entirely separate from the legal status, so be it. But that's not what the left wants. It wants control over religion, not over the legal status of couples.

T-Rav said...

Arrgghh. Spend several hours cleaning out spyware and rebooting your computer and this is what you miss.

Okay, very quickly, I'll just say that as someone with much more of a social conservative bent, I'm bound to disagree with Scott and maybe a couple of others as well (this won't force us to disband the Temple of Doom fanclub, though). I don't really have time to discuss my take on conservatism, religion, and morality and how they all intersect; I figure most people have a pretty good notion of my stance on things like drugs and homosexuality anyway. So I'll just say that while having a gay character or a stoned character on a TV show may not be a big deal in itself, it's a much different story when these characters are deliberately inserted into episodes for the purpose of subverting conservative Christians. There's nothing even remotely right-leaning about that, especially when you consider how often the negative aspects of such lifestyles are discussed (which would be "never"). From what I've seen of Shapiro's interviews, there is only one reason the producers are making these casting and writing decisions, which is to promote their own warped view of the world.

Kosh said...

Out of curiosity, has anyone been watching The Killing on AMC? I think this is a good example where there is in general a soft left agenda, the democratic candidate is portrayed as gentle and caring for the little guy while the other is a coniving businessman. However, they have also had situations showing the dirty side of politics with the dem, such as promising a city job to a prominent person and digging up dirt.

My point is (did I have a point? oh, yeah) that despite the bent, I don't feel that it is shoved down my throat and thus not detracting from the overall story. I also really like how they are very slowly developing characters. Just when you think you have figured out you did it, they clear him or they kill him. Sort of reminds me more of shows like the Sopranos.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree with you that the issue isn't giving gays equal rights -- I have no problem with that, the issue is whether the government will use its power to force people who oppose homosexuality to accept it.

And since we're digging deeper into that issue, let me remind people that I've written two article on this, which probably do a much better job explaining this than my comments here:

First is why I oppose gay marriage -- which has nothing to do with any feelings I have about gays. Indeed, I've know many gays. I've liked some, didn't like others, and I don't care how they live their lives or if they want to be married or not. That's up to them, not me. Yet, I oppose gay marriage because I see it as a violation of religious freedom and I don't believe in forcing people to accept others beliefs. Here's the link: Why I Oppose Gay Marriage

The second article is about attempts to force churches to perform gay marriages in England. That article is here: Exempting Churches. This is pretty good proof that the gay marriage will go beyond just legalizing gay marriage and will go into coersion.

T-Rav said...

Kosh, I actually have been watching The Killing, and I do detect a liberal slant to the show, though I think it has more to do with the Muslim/ethnic profiling thing. If Seattle is prone to engaging in anti-Islamic bigotry and violence at the drop of a hat, I'm Elvis Presley.

Actually, my problems with the show have more to do with the pacing and structure of the show itself, which I guess I have a more critical opinion of than you (though not as much as some reviewers). I didn't like the fact that several episodes' worth of material were suddenly revealed last week to be a red herring, and I think some of the secondary characters still need fleshing out. But despite all that, I do like the show, and I'll keep watching.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Sorry about the viruses, that stinks. I've been there many times. Ug.

I definitely agree with your point. I think what you see in Hollywood is "advocacy," and you see that because they never show the negative consequences or sides of things they promote and they always mock the opposition. Take the issue of religion. Who was the last religious character on television that wasn't a child molester or money hungry hypocrite? Moreover, show me the conservative who actually stuck to their value and didn't "learn a valuable lesson" that leftist ideas are best at the end of the episode. That's how propaganda works and I'm tired of it.

BUT like I say above, the issue for me isn't that they do this -- they have that right. The issue for me is the deception.

Kosh said...

I don't disagree with you about the pacing, T. It is a trade off I am willing to accept to actually develop the characters. Often shows have caricatures rather than true characters/people who are often much deeper. Thus far the conservative? running for mayor is still a caricature, which is annoying. LOL regarding Seattle, especially with a conservative incombent mayor.

T-Rav said...

Yeah, computer's been screwing up since Saturday and it really crashed yesterday afternoon. Just got it back a couple hours ago and I've still lost a bunch of stuff. Bleh.

Anyway, I think when considering TV shows, a good thing to look at is how they present extremists. Most shows will admit that both Left and Right have their crazies. HOWEVER, when a radically left-wing person or group is the topic of a crime procedural, for example, their actions will usually be criticized by the lead characters, but with the qualification that they were only doing what they thought was right, and that they do have a point about the social/political/environmental oppression they were combating. As a bonus, you'll usually see a fat-cat businessman sent to jail by the end, to balance the scales and all. But if it's a right-wing or religious extremist who's the topic of the hour, then there's no understanding, no sympathy; these people are unequivocally condemned as "monsters" and "irrational." (Only once have I seen this not happen, and it was on CSI:NY, starring the conservative Gary Sinise.)

And you're right that the producers have the right to spin it how they want, but I wonder: If they're so sure of the Marxist line that people in power inevitably band together and impose their will on everyone else, why doesn't that apply to them as well?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav and Kosh, I haven't been watching though I keep meaning to. At this point, I'm thinking of waiting for it to come to Netflix.

I know what you mean though about the difference between a soft-left slant and an all-out slant. The further the slant, the harder it is to take -- in any direction frankly.

T_Rav (aka Elvis), Didn't you know that Seattle is a hateful place?! Yep, of all the cities in the world, Seattle is easily the most right wing. LOL!

T-Rav said...

Kosh, has the mayor actually been identified as a Republican? I might have missed it but I don't remember that label. I guess if a GOP member can get the top job in NYC, he can get it in Seattle--but yeah, it strains the boundaries of believability.

Elvis Presley said...

Thank you for clearing that up for me Andrew. Thank you very much.

Unknown said...

Andrew: We've done extensive articles on the subject, and in each we have expressed our live and let live attitude toward gays in general as well as our objections to the gay marriage agenda. I started to look for my past articles for Scott's reference, and realized that was easily done by going to our Index (right-hand side of the Commentarama front page), and simply clicking on the gay marriage link.

Our legal discussions are somewhat lengthy, as are our political opinions on the subject, but that is only indicative of the fact that the subject is not nearly as black-and-white as it is often portrayed.

AndrewPrice said...

Elvis, You need to get out of the upstairs hidden part of Graceland more my friend! So hello to Michael Jackson for me! :-)

Kosh said...

To be fair, there have been shows where the lead character(s) have been religious without being portrayed as insane. Little House on the Praire, Highway to Heaven, Touched by an Angel, Father Murphy. Very popular family shows during their time. It seems to me that the family show has disappeared and been replaced by (un)reality shows. Some day they may come back. The shows I watch with my kids are often nature and discovery channel fare such as River Monsters. Have to be vigilant as some of these shows will throw some crap about global warming killing the penguins, which makes my daughter cry. I then have to explain to her that the penguin populations are fine and more penguins die due to being eaten than anything else.

I could only stand to watch 10 minutes of it, but does anyone else watch Whale Wars hoping to see the captain harpooned and hauled aboard the whaling vessel?
Please sink the Steve Irwin...
Please sink the Steve Irwin...

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, It's definitely not black and white. But then, few issue are.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, On your point about the extremists, I think that's a good point. Though I would say that leftist extremists are never identified as "leftists," they are usually "crazed loners" who "just went too far in the name of a good cause that we all share and in which they cared about too deeply." And usually, "they were forced by a system that just won't address this problem.

By comparison, right wing extremists are shown to be part of large movements and every one of the main characters will state their disgust and then wonder how someone could have become so insane. And usually, they blur what the extremist believes well into the mainstream of conservative thought. Not to mention, right-wingers are usually bloodthirsty, whereas leftists are only violent if forced.

rlaWTX said...

how dare they make me work and miss all of this great conversation!!! evil church bosses! oops, I forgot that I work for a progressive, mainline denomination... OH! but I work in conservative WTX - grrr evil church bosses!

anyway, I agree with the overall impression of Shapiro. I think I liked his first article as a kid. After that - not so much. But I am impressed he got these folks to admit this, on tape, to a conservative, writing a book. Since he was a conservative, did they think no one would notice the book?

I have noticed that I will let the occasional lib crap slide on my favorite shows. I have gotten into discussions over at BH about this. Even "conservative" (defined as pro-military) NCIS is written by regular H'wood folks, so OF COURSE the Muslim is going to be the good guy over the right-wing Christian. But I love the show, I accept the limitations of H'wood produced TV, and try to ignore the annoying. I admit that it bugs me when some character who ought to know better slips in some leftie talking point, but if it's not the end all, be all of the show (and I like the show), I can let it slide. (and I also admit that I am one of those who like the cop shows - which seems to be a guilty pleasure when discussing TV online)
However, I used to (WAAAAAAAY back) like Law and Order. I haven't watched it in years, and still avoid the reruns, because they are a constant leftie whining drill press.

(my cop shows: NCIS & NCIS LA [not as good, but I enjoy it], CSI:NY [started watching because of Sinise a couple years into the show], Hawaii 5-0, Castle, Criminal Minds, Flashpoint [in Canada, so a little more touchy feely, but enjoyable], White Collar - that's pretty much all I watch, hum, hadn't noticed)

StanH said...

What “Big Hollywood,” and by extension Ben Shapiro have done, is simply shined a light on the obvious. I never needed either to confirm what I knew, but! …their attack of the liberal establishment are invaluable, and having an effect…that’s good.

And I don’t want to be to tough on young Ben (Reagan’s 11th commandment), he’s out there trying to fight the good fight, he’s young, and that’s a good thing, he’ll learn. Perhaps as he ages he’ll learn not to be so doctrinaire, we’ll see.

As far as the gay thing, who gives a damn, do what you want, just don’t foist your hooey on me. I have a remote control, and I will use it.

Most of the writing is simple liberal projection, and most people are savvy enough to discern the difference.

“The Killing,” is an interesting little show, worth a watch, and I too have never heard anybody’s political persuasions, the writers leave it to assumption, I could have missed something.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Better late than never! Tell you bosses that they should give you time off to read Commentarama! :-)

I can look past most bias in films, even though I don't like it. But sometimes, it just gets to be so much or so constant that I will stop watching -- especially when the show/film wasn't great to begin with.

I actually don't watch any cop shows at the moment. I'm not sure why. I guess I just don't find them all that interesting.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I think Big Hollywood is definitely having an effect. I don't know if they are the cause or just part of it, but I'm suddenly seeing more conservatives in Hollywood than at any point in my life.

I do appreciate what Ben had done here. My objections are to things like his pontification about film or music, where he's totally out of his element. Plus, it's stylistic. I'll still take Ben over a leftist any day.

On gays, that's my view... whatever, just don't make me get involved or I will push back. In fact, that's my view on all issues like this.... change your lightbulbs, good for you, change my lightbulbs and them's fightin' words.

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