I don't think it needs to be said that there is a lot - and I mean a lot - of complete crap on television these days. With reality shows over-saturating the airwaves, it can be a rare thing to find a good, old fashioned, scripted program, with real characters, and silly things like "plots" and such. In 2006, I thought I'd found that on ABC with "Brothers and Sisters."
The show focuses on the familial interactions between members of the Walker family. The story lines take place in their home state of California, and primarily deal with the myriad of complications, dramatics, and in-fighting that larger families tend to have. On the whole, the show is a heartwarming one, with excellent dialogue, and incredibly relatable moments sprinkled throughout the series.
Let's not forgot, though, that it's still a product of network television. As such, almost the entire family is predictably liberal, with the exception of "Kitty" - played by Calista Flockhart - who is a Republican pundit/political insider. At best, Kitty's character is a RINO, but still a strong character, regardless. Besides, let's not kid ourselves - it's California. I'll take what representation I can get as a conservative female.
On previous episodes, comments regarding any and all Republicans had been largely limited to jokes and friendly banter between Kitty and her liberal family members. It never felt cruel or mean-spirited. However, on November 14th's episode, that friendly banter turned, well, far more than that.
"Nora," portrayed by Sally Field, plays the mother of the five Walker children. Her character has recently tak en a job as a radio show host, hosting a program called, "Ask Mom," where she offers motherly advice to her callers. On this most recent episode, she is venting to her co-worker, "Carl," about a run-in she recently had with another fellow radio host, who is none other than the station's conservative talk show host.
...I'm sure you can see where this is going (emphasis mine).
NORA: Ignorant, small-minded, friggin' neanderthal!
CARL: "...You must have finally met our very own Giddrick Reischel.
NORA: Yeah. I foolishly listened to his stupid, right-wing call-in show last night on the way home from work and it was filled with - I mean filled with lies! Lies about global warming, lies about immigraiton, lies about healthcare...so right now in the hallway, I ran into him, and I thought I would set him straight about a few facts.
CARL: Oh, Nora...
NORA: ...You can't believe the vile things he said to me!
CARL: You can't take it personally. He's like that with everyone.
NORA: How can I not take it personally? He called my show, "Ask Madam Mau!"
CARL: Take a breath. Now, do you know who the two biggest advertisers are on his show? Laser beam home security systems and herbal firm male potency pills. Now as a trained psychotherapit, that tells me two things about him and his audience - paranoid personality type, with accompanying morbid insecurity disorder.
Gee. Where do I even start.
Nora's opening line in this dialogue is a perfect example of how liberals react to a conservative viewpoint : "stupid," 0f-lesser-mind, etc. It can't just be, you know, different from what you believe...it makes you less of a person! And really, ABC? You gave the conservative radio host a Germanic-sounding name? OH, I get it! He's a nazi! That's just hilarious.
In addition, all of the things that conservative radio hosts have been warning about with regards to global warming, immigration, and health care have proven to be anything but lies.
- The Global Warming/Climate Change/Whatever-They'll-Call-It-Tomorrow alarmists are being proven as frauds bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece, with each passing day. Don't forget about the "For me, but not for thee" crowd, who demand that we submit to the Climate Change Gods, while they flutter around in fly private jets and spend over $500/month just to heat an indoor swimming pool
- Conservatives aren't against immigration, but illegal immigration, and for good reasons. Sorry Nora, no artificial "fear-mongering" here. Our concerns are legit.
- ...and Health Care Reform. I saved the best for last! Remember when President Obama assured us time and time again that our insurance costs would go down? Oh, wait, they didn't? And what's this about some folks LOSING coverage as a result of this abomination of a bill? And WHO is the one lying again?
It's okay, Nora. Facts are hard.
The show's portrayal of conservative radio hosts as mean-spirited bomb-throwers when conversing with someone who holds opposing viewpoints is also completely absurd. Conservatives enjoy open, honest debates with anyone who is willing to do so, without relying on tired, vague talking points that lack any statistics, facts or substance (see: everything the Obama administration regarding Health Care Reform).
The final insult was, indeed, the worst of them all. The "paranoid personality type, with accompanying morbid insecurity disorder" assertion may as well have been a simple re-wording of Obama's infamous "bitter and clinging" line. And seriously? Male enhancement pills? Over the last week, some of the sponsors I've heard for Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity's programs have included Carbonite (computer backup system), LegalZoom (a do-it-yourself legal website), and Lear Capital (an investment firm). If anything is to be garnered from these sponsors, it's that listeners of these radio programs are...responsible and successful.
So what do we have at the end of the day - a network television program which portrays conservatives as nasty, overly-paranoid, bitter, clingy, nazi hatemongers, who could possibly function at the level of their more enlightened, liberal counterparts.
Translation: Just another day in liberal media paradise.
***Crossposted at Politicular***