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Media conspiracy: now it’s official


Ben Shapiro, the author of the national bestsellers Brainwashed, Porn Generation, and Project President, has just written a hard-hitting expose of Hollywood, entitled Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV. From the editorial review at Amazon.com:

The inside story of how the most powerful medium of mass communication in human history has become a propaganda tool for the Left.

Primetime Propaganda is the story – told in their own words – of how television has been used over the past sixty years by Hollywood writers, producers, actors, and executives to promote their liberal ideals, to push the envelope on social and political issues, and to shape America in their own leftist image.

… According to Shapiro, television isn’t just about entertainment – it’s an attempt to convince Americans that the social, economic, and foreign policy shaped by leftism is morally righteous.

But don’t take his word for it. Shapiro interviewed more than one hundred of the industry’s biggest players, including Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H), Fred Silverman (former president of ABC Entertainment, NBC, and vice president of programming at CBS), Marta Kauffman (Friends), David Shore (House), and Mark Burnett (Survivor). Many of these insiders boast that not only is Hollywood biased against conservatives, but that many of the shows being broadcast have secret political messages. With this groundbreaking expose, readers will never watch television the same way again.

Curious? Then take a look at this report by Paul Bond from The Hollywood Reporter. I can guarantee that you will be shocked.

Ben Shapiro bases his claim that TV has become a propaganda tool for the left on 39 taped interviews that he’ll roll out piecemeal during the next three weeks. Readers can view some of these videos on Ben Shapiro’s Website here. A few highlights from Paul Bond’s report:

One video has Leonard Goldberg – who executive produces Blue Bloods for CBS and exec produced such hits as Fantasy Island, Charlie’s Angels and Starsky and Hutch a few decades ago – saying that liberalism in the TV industry is “100 percent dominant, and anyone who denies it is kidding, or not telling the truth.”

Shapiro asks if politics are a barrier to entry. “Absolutely,” Goldberg says.
MacGyver producer Vin Di Bona is blunt about his approval of a lack of political diversity in Hollywood. When Shapiro asks what he thinks of conservative critics who say everyone in Hollywood is liberal, Di Bona responds: “I think it’s probably accurate, and I’m happy about it.”

Shapiro asks producer-director Nicholas Meyer whether conservatives are discriminated against in Hollywood. “Well, I hope so,” he answers. Meyer also admits his political agenda for The Day After, a TV movie he directed for ABC that was seen by 100 million people when it aired in 1983. “My private, grandiose notion was that this movie would unseat Ronald Reagan when he ran for re-election,” Meyer says.

So what’s my point here? My point is that TV viewers have no chance of being exposed to a fair hearing for viewpoints that are anathema to people on the Left. Intelligent Design Theory is obviously one of these viewpoints, because it is deemed to be “religion-friendly.” Hence it must be brought down. And I’m sure readers can think of dozens of other viewpoints that will be unfairly ridiculed by a Left-wing media.

So here’s my question: what should we do about it? Should we attempt to reclaim television, or bypass it altogether? What do readers think?

Mel: May I modify: hit them in the cash flow. If there are enough profit-making ventures to cover, then we can see using cross-subsidisation to keep the loss-making ideology promoting lines going. But if overall cash flow is drying up [and: no tax-funded bailouts!], that is a very different story. Create an alternative that is credible and walk away from the nasties and the cash cows they milk to keep their habits going. Multimedia digital tech allows this to be done, and at reasonable cost. Big challenge here: I gather the porn industry is so big and so addictive that it more or less funded the broadband internet rollout. You can safely bet your last dollar that that industry knows which pols etc to fund, by whatever backdoor routes. We need a C21 temperance revival that targets TV, porn, movies, music videos, vid games etc etc that are connected to the nexus. Drying up demand for porn and propaganda will have a significant effect. Ole demon rum is not the only dangerous but legal drug. Going beyond, we need to bust the education monopoly. Providing an alternative web based balancing education that exposes, corrects and provides an alternative makes a difference. On news and views [special focus: origins science], the obvious alternative is all over the internet: we need a network that is mutually supportive and can find a way to pay its way. I suspect, as a beginning, seminars, courses and workshops help. Then, there is the establishment in the govts, educator unions, sci institutions, etc etc. These will only yield when they find their support and cash flows drying up. And, they will try to strike a devils bargain with strong enough threats -- compromise. We should make a clear decision: no integrity sapping compromises, we want justice. As in no more censorship of news, education and even definitions of science. No more unjust expulsions. No more slander -- before we will even talk. Then let us hear the negotiation terms on how you are going to apologise for and correct the harm done over the years, and pay compensation to victims. Then, after you begin to set things right, we can see about the agreements to build a future. (And red herring draggers, strawman builders and slander-rhetoric firebugs, THAT is my "political" agenda on this: no discussions on compromises or deal until you admit what you have been doing and apologise then begin to make amends for it. Then, we can see about beginning to restore trust and rebuild our civilisation and key institutions.) GEM of TKI kairosfocus
Hitting progressives in their pocketbooks doesn't matter them. They've ruined many businesses and are bankrupting the nation because, like children bent on having their way, they don't care about the consequences in the pursuit of their utopian agenda. The reason so many films are made in Canada and overseas these days, and the reason such long-running soap operas have been cancelled, and one of the reasons TV has largely been shifting to so-called "reality" TV is that the various associated unions have priced their talent and skills out of the market. What we really need is a non-unionized version of Hollywood that is actually about making a profit, providing jobs and offering entertainment, not a apparatchik propaganda arm of the socialist party. Once you're aware of the progressive subtext, you'll realize it's just about everywhere, and it ruins otherwise good shows. I've often wondered if Hollywood is really just a money-laundering system for leftists; they make sure and filter out the conservatives (so as to not enrich the opposition), then use the industry to gather in billions from the general public, funnel that money into making their leftist propaganda and into the hands of leftist politicians and funding leftist causes. Then their hand-picked stars use their star power to further promote the leftist agenda. Pretty ingenious, when you think about it. Almost as clever as federal employees unions, where tax money from the general public is funneled into the hands of leftist organizations to fund more leftist politicians. Meleagar
Always knew up here in Canada that Hollywood had not just liberals but used the medium to propagate liberal presumptions and agendas. Where do you start in showing they are not just doing entertainment ?! Lots is just entertainment but a great deal is not. if they believe they have a great influence and take advantage of the people who watch just for fun then they are deceivers. They are presenting knowingly just one side of the case on many matters. This discredits them as seriously trying to persuade someone with a fair case. In fact they should be held to account for when they interfere with the great contentions of America. is this special medium of entertainment worthy to give opinion on these issues? What to do. the great thing to be done is to question and demand why is Hollywood not a cross section of America ? why is it so unrelated to the values, beliefs, or apathy of great America.??? Is this skewering of identity statistics moral and legal in a free nation of fair and square play? Is discrimination going on behind and in front of the camera? it seems its hinted that at least there is political discrimination. If its there about political issues then why not in greater issues? Hollywood is not liberal just because it taps into the more loose men and women or desperate folks. I find Hollywood people are very sensitive to the great audiences they reach and it affects and motivates them to be more interested in issues they otherwise would have casual opinions about. Getting famous or rich or influential in product makes you see yourself as more important. so it provokes more awareness and then one follows the crowd. however its the great issue of identity that is behind Hollywoods moral, intellectual, political, social, conclusions and activism's. Its not mainstreet. Hollywood should have a result of a free movement of the American people and its being so liberal is saying segregation and great walls will keep out the vast majority of those who give their wealth and hearts to Hollywood. Just keep up a drumbeat that Hollywood doesn't represent America. Does America know this or imagine its a reflection of her? Trumpets and drums about this can change immoral and illegal things. Say the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, I didn't say everything as its not the place. Robert Byers
Hm, I'm not convinced by this. If the Liberals in the media are so dominant, they don't seem to be terribly successful at persuading people to vote for liberal candidates, so I wouldn't worry about it. What I would worry about is that, apparently, Fox News is a part of a liberal media conspiracy. Now that's sneaky. Heinrich
If revenue isn't healthy they'll have no choice but to change. Expose? Yes. But if that doesn't make a difference in the products being purchased from advertisers who are the middle-men, then the players will just laugh all the way to the bank. We need books like the one coming out, websites that document and "blast" the top offending shows and networks (a rating system for each show, and the networks overall), and within each of those we need the specific products which we should avoid purchasing, along with email and traditional mail addresses so we can tell these companies why they will be seeing their revenues take a hit. Tell them, for example, because they advertised their products on such and such a show that you will no longer be purchasing their brand, and suggest better shows, or networks, perhaps. If a few top shows were hit hard in this way, I think things would change rather quickly. A website could accomplish this, I believe. Brent
One answer is to make sure all your friends know about the leftie bias. I would recommend we mock TV addicts -- call them time wasters, bozos, idiots, losers, and intellectually challenged -- perhaps not directly to their faces :-) Seriously, if TV is as bad as I personally think it is, then these are actually kind comments -- like rescuing a friend from a sewer. TV generally makes a culture dumb (read "Why Johnny can't preach" for example...). Also, it definitely pushes an agenda or worldview. Conservative (or perhaps Christian friendly) programs are not likely to get your hormones racing, or be full of bad stuff that our fleshly desires (contrary to Christ's desires for us) like us to watch. Do yourself a favor. Use your gun to shoot your TV, video its death, and put it on YouTube :-) Then get a life and read some books. That way conservatives can stop being idiots, and get educated and actually contribute toward changing our society. NZer
H'mm: Plato's Cave, C20 - 21 style; where even supposedly innocent entertainment is not. Expose it [cf gradesheet approach here], and create a solid alternative. On the specific case of design theory, we need to expose outright lies and willfully reckless slanders. Don't be afraid to name names and expose specific dirty tricks. Just make sure you have the facts straight and that your conclusions are solid. Be prepared for a slanderous, nasty, abusive counter-attack. I think we need to provide an alternative, balancing education in origins science that exposes the deceptions and bias in the name of education and in the name of science. (Here is my rough draft6 for a first try at that.) And where dirty tricks are commonly resorted to, we must be prepared to expose them. GEM of TKI kairosfocus
I stopped watching TV around 20 years ago. I am skeptical of the thesis that the left took over the media. It seems to me that the media, particularly TV, are dominated by entertainment values. That is hated by many on the left and by many on the right. Neil Rickert
I think my "tried and true" descriptor for television holds true. Particularly for entertainment TV. That descriptor being: "When you turn on the TV, you are turning off your mind.". ciphertext
VJ Torley, By “we” I mean anyone who believes in free and open debate on the big issues, where all sides can present their arguments at their very best, without media distortion and manipulation. Here's a problem I have with this. You're talking about "free and open debate", but that doesn't seem to fit the context of the problem here at all. You can't really be asking for Free and Open Debate in That 70s Show, or MASH, or Family Guy. What would that even mean? But that's precisely where most of the bias being discussed in the OP is located: In entertainment. And frankly, the only way to counter such is either to A) get rid of the entertainment or police it furiously, or B) produce your own entertainment, bias and all. That doesn't mean there isn't a place for free and open debate, of course. But there are situations and scenarios where it's not feasible (entertainment, I say again), and in fact where it's counterproductive (say, in a book - where an author is primarily going to be advancing his own ideas and thoughts. He's not obligated to devote 50% of his book to someone taking the opposing view.) nullasalus
"So here’s my question: what should we do about it?"
I have thought about this before. We can simply make the choice not to watch TV. But to counter it more aggressively, I think, is important as well... So, I would be for organising of nonliberals (via some social network or website) to band together and literally buy out just one of the major networks - preferrably the most biased of them (ABC perhaps). Then excercise stock voting rights on any corporate issues such as who are the the directors of the corporation. This might be akin to a shot over the bow of other networks as a warning that they are next.
"Should we attempt to reclaim television, or bypass it altogether?"
I avoid watching television for this very reason. However, if there is a show that I read about and want to watch, I approach it knowing there will be bias, and if the bias comes off as strong, I will not watch the show anymore. It even makes me more adamant towards liberalism. JGuy
William J. Murray (#3) A very interesting suggestion. Are there any lawyers who'd like to offer an opinion on the likelihood that a class action discrimination suit would actually succeed? vjtorley
Nullasalus: Thank you for your helpful suggestions. By "we" I mean anyone who believes in free and open debate on the big issues, where all sides can present their arguments at their very best, without media distortion and manipulation. I liked your point about covert operations, and I would tend to agree that the Internet makes for open debate. Heaven help us, though, if governments - or Web page hosts - every try to regulate Internet content by blocking what they define as "hate speech" or as "socially irresponsible speech". Those terms could be defined to mean anything. vjtorley
VJ Torley, So here’s my question: what should we do about it? Should we attempt to reclaim television, or bypass it altogether? What do readers think? Who's "we" here? Conservatives? ID proponents? Christians? Something else? I ask this seriously, not trying to be obtuse. Anyway, my advice. * Take stock of what media is: It's TV. It's movies. It's radio. It's the internet in all its forms. It's newspapers. It's comic books. It's magazines. It's video games. An investigation may have turned up (to who's surprise?) that TV and movies have a certain bias. But that may not be the extent of it. On the flipside, maybe that bias isn't press in all the media - I always hear that talk radio is conservative dominated, for example. * Recognize that part of the concern here isn't just the bias, but how that bias is presented. Let's say you have knowledge that Hollywood producer/writer/whatever X has a liberal bias, and let's that filter into his work. Well, how is the bias showing up? Is it overt? Is it subtle? Is it in terms of what his characters say and do? What they don't say and do? The point is that if there is bias, simply knowing that fact - 'there's bias' - would not be nearly as helpful as accounting for how the bias shows up, and to what effect. * Recognize one upside: The internet, which more and more competes with traditional media across the board. I don't think it's possible to 'bring down' liberal bias in Hollywood with anything short of a massive undertaking. But said media can be competed with effectively online. I believe Ms. O'Leary makes this same point often. The real problem is that non-liberal undertakings tend to be explicit: "It's a TV show - for conservatives!" "It's a book - by a conservative!" Whereas I think the most effective bias is that which is covert rather than overt. Just some passing thoughts. nullasalus
I wonder if these videotaped statements would serve as sufficient prima facie evidence to start a class action discrimination suit? William J. Murray
I'm sorry. Disregard my prior comment. I clicked the associated Hollywood Reporter link instead of the report link. JGuy
The only Paul Bond article on the page linked above was titled: "Twitter CEO Says Service Generates 1 Bil Tweets Every Six Days" I wasn't shocked. :P You must mean another article. Would you fix the link in your post above? JGuy

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