Skip to comments.CBS dancing to Republican tune
Posted on 11/10/2003 11:11:34 AM PST by holymoly
CBS dancing to Republican tune
I'm thinking of having the above photo retaken in order to show the drywall embedded in my forehead. It's a wonder I stopped bashing my head long enough to eke out this column.
It's been that kind of week. First, there was CBS's dumping of its sweeps period biopic The Reagans after a right wing-organized backlash, and then, at Thursday's Canadian Journalists For Free Expression awards dinner, I got into a surreal argument with a TV network foreign affairs producer who made the outrageous claim that the U.S. never lied about its motives for attacking Iraq.
The two events are related because it has been my experience in the past two years that, every time you raise an issue that makes those on the right uncomfortable, they change the subject and argue about something else.
And so, in making his case about how the Bushies made their case for killing thousands of people in Iraq, my TV foreign affairs colleague kept shifting the debate the way a desert wind shifts the sands. No, the White House never said the U.S. was in imminent danger of attack by nuke-yule-er weapons wielded by terrorists, he said. It merely "sold'' the war wrong. No, President George W. Bush never mentioned that bit about 45 minutes to annihilation. That was Tony Blair. And so on.
As for The Reagans which, like any docudrama, likely boasts as much drama as doc, it was denounced by one writer for the Wall Street Journal as a "cartoon plot" best summarized as "Mommie Dearest Manipulates President Fuddy Duddy." Meanwhile the paper's deputy editorial page editor Daniel Henninger fulminated over how the now Alzheimer's-afflicted president was played by James Brolin, who is guilty of being "partner of America's most invested Republican hater," Barbra Streisand. Almost as bad was hiring an Australian actress Emmy-winning Judy Davis to be former First Lady Nancy Davis Reagan who, it shall be remembered, was indeed called "Mommy" by her husband.
Naturally, the pro-Reagans, anti-Reagans forces dragged out their favourite burning cross: the sins of the so-called liberal media. The script here is that, when the media report news that the right doesn't like, its defenders counterattack by screaming left-wing bias rather than admit that Bush could be a big fat liar. Last week, one of my favourite cartoonists Tom Toles illustrated this brilliantly by showing a CBS announcer saying the network won't be airing The Reagans "because it's full of inaccuracies, hostile in tone and completely misleading" and then, looking off camera, asking, "What do we do about this Bush press conference?''
Oh the horror, the horror, of allowing travesties of truth, justice and good taste on the corporate-controlled supposed public airwaves. Never mind that Viacom, which owns CBS, is awaiting new broadcast rules that will allow it to expand its considerable media dominion. So duh! It's going to do what the Republicans want it to do.
But the Ronald Reagan-loving critics overlook that, claiming victory over the liberal media, which had merely set out to trash their beloved Gipper and, among other things, his appalling record on AIDS. Even though these critics never saw the show, and even though Reagan never mentioned AIDS for the first six years of his administration. Anyway, do they honestly believe that CBS, which owns the older, more conservative demographic, would risk a single eyeball with a smear job?
So now The Reagans has been offloaded to CBS's smaller cable sister network Showtime. My guess is that Showtime, which says it will follow the presentation with a panel discussion, never runs the now heavily edited and re-edited miniseries.
Meanwhile, the late great Edward R. Murrow who, along with his producer Fred Friendly and CBS, helped bring down Commie-hunter Joseph McCarthy, spins in his grave.
If that's not enough irony for you, consider this: President Ronald Reagan was the guy who, in 1987, vetoed legislation, passed by both the U.S. Congress and the Senate, that would have entrenched the "Fairness Doctrine.'' As a president who was big on keeping government out of the business of business, he did not see the value in a law that would have forced broadcasters to present balanced accounts of controversial issues.
This is not to say that the Fairness Doctrine was without problems from a freedom of the press standpoint. But abolishing it led to even more trouble in television land, including the creation of entire "news" networks that spew lots of opinion and little fact.
The Reagans was never meant to be a news program. It was designed as drama, and cheesy drama at that. But its critics seem to be saying that most Americans can't discern between TV fiction and news.
Considering the record lately, they could be right.
Revealing slip. He derides McCarthy only because he was a "Commie-hunter." Oh, then there were Commies, were there? In the State Department?
McCarthy is supposed to be reviled for "ruining innocent lives". He must not have gotten the memo.
It never ceases to amaze me how the LEFT uses the same pithy statements at the same time as if scripted. This seems to be the latest. I've noticed this in several articles today in different variations. It's like they're all listening to the Wizard of Oz.
Salon posted the whole script as a PDF. This dumba$$ can read the venom for himself. I hope that this bed wetting liberal has put fresh rubber sheets on his bed...
We've "had" entire "news" networks that spewed lots of opinion and little fact. Only they all tilted left. Now that some obviously conservative news networks/radio is getting exposure people are waking up to just how socialist left leaning the news editors/anchors at Big Media were.
Beyond the "Fairness Doctrine", we have commercial free 501(c)3 radio stations on the left end of the radio dial; stations that are voluntarily limited in their political speech because of the tax dodge they take. Of course anyone who has listened to US taxpayer supported Pacifica or NPR will tell you that they violate their 501C3 charter everyday.
And to think; this poor man's anguish is likely to continue for the rest of his earthly days.
You forget that Canadian Petah Jennings tells many an American what to think every day.
Peter is still a Canadian because he violated the loyalty oath that he swore when he "became" an American. He still claims his Canadian citizenship and says that he is a dual citizen (something that the US certainly does not recognize for foreign born nationals with foreign resident parents). He lied when he took his loyalty oath and is therefore still a Canadian. Some Canucks love mucking about in antiAmericanism.
The kennel attendents for the yellow dog democrats keep telling them that Algore really won the 2000 election. I'd say that there are a large number of simpleminded idiots living in a surreal dreamworld. Albert Gore Junior was good at spinning this hooey; "Everything that is down should be AUP, and everything that is aup should be DOWN!".
Chapter title: "The Joy of Arguing with Liberals: You're Stupid!"
"If liberals were prevented from ever calling Republicans dumb, they would be robbed of half their arguments. To be sure, they would still have "racist", "fascist", "homophobe", "ugly" and a few other highly nuanced arguments in their quiver. But the loss of "dumb" would nearly cripple them. Like clockwork, every consequential Republican to come down the pike is instantly, invariably, always, without exception called "dumb"."
"This is how six-year-olds argue: They call everything "stupid". The left's primary argument is the angry reaction of a helpless child deprived of the ability to mount logical counterarguments. Someday we will turn to the New York Times editorial page and find the Newspaper of Record denouncing President Bush for being a "penis-head"."
You gotta love Ann. No one puts it as hilariously or succintly as she does.
This is certainly the current spin. It is a lie. What the libs are trying to obscure here is the clear line between fiction and biography. There are two entirely different sets of rules that apply, two entirely different levels of obligation to accuracy. Were the names of the principals artfully altered and the circumstances changed, any amount of "artistic license" (by which we mean deliberate distortion of the truth) is excusable, but where the principals are (1) living, and (2) presented under their real names, it is not only unconscionable, it borders on the downright illegal, to present falsehood masquerading as reality.
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