A Tale of Two Sundays
by L. Brent Bozell III
I know I'm all alone on this one, but I've never been able
to stomach Barbra Streisand's voice. To me it sounds at times like an untuned
banjo. Still, I'll vow to listen to her music for as long as she wants
if in turn she will promise to stop producing her boorishly PC movies.
Three years ago, Streisand produced the heavy-handed
"Serving in Silence," an NBC film which advocated an end to the
military's ban on open homosexuals and portrayed as bigots those supporting
it. Last Sunday [note to editors: May 3], she was back with another NBC movie,
"The Long Island Incident," another blatant propaganda effort, this
time in favor of gun control.
"Incident" traces the transformation of Carolyn
McCarthy, whose husband was killed and her son wounded in Colin Ferguson's
1993 Long Island Rail Road shooting rampage, from a generally apolitical
housewife to a Democratic pro-gun control congresswoman. The story of the
McCarthy family is a compelling and tragic one, and therefore useful as a
framework for the filmmakers' true enthusiasm: bashing the National Rifle
The caricatures are so crude as to be laughable. In easily
the most offensive scene, a slimy NRA lobbyist confronts McCarthy on Capitol
Hill in front of several reporters. "I was wondering how it feels to
become a celebrity at the expense of your husband's life," he jabs,
adding, "You're quite the actress." As McCarthy walks away without
answering, the lobbyist continues his taunt. "No comment, huh?" he
smirks, and for good measure throws in, "I'm here to keep sentimentality
out of the political debate. My job is to protect the Second Amendment from
people like you."
The NRA's Bill Powers says that he asked "every one of
our federal lobbyists" and they insist this conversation never took
place. Simple logic bolsters that claim. After all, if those media reports
telling of the wealth and power (and, therefore, danger) of the NRA are true,
you'd think they could afford classier lobbyists than this James Carville
stereotype. In Hollywood what Streisand and Co. did is called dramatic
license; in the real world it's known as deception. And what makes it
especially reprehensible is that this is essentially the only scene in which
the NRA supposedly is speaking for itself; otherwise, the organization's
positions are filtered through politicians or the media.
This deck-stacking was too much even for some television
critics. Eric Mink of the New York Daily News noted that although he's for gun
control, the film "sacrifice[s] dramatic integrity for the sake of
condescending?propaganda." Diane Eicher of the Denver Post declared
"Incident" guilty of "tedious?moralizing.
"For her penance, Streisand should be made to watch
hours and hours of the Fox animated-cartoon sitcom "King of the
Hill," the most politically incorrect series on prime time television
today. Just one week before her annoying rant, "King" demolished a
liberal sacred cow - the Americans With Disabilities Act - with a splendidly
irreverent use of humor.
In the episode, Hank Hill, the main character and de facto
second-in-command at Strickland Propane, hires Leon, not realizing this bum is
an irresponsible, unreliable, unproductive drug addict. Before long, Hank
fires him, but Leon returns, accompanied by Anthony, a case worker from the
local rehab center. Anthony explains that under the ADA, Leon can't be fired
since it's illegal to dismiss anyone who's in treatment for a disability.
So Leon stays. Protected by the ADA, he now comes in several
hours late each day because he's in withdrawal therapy, needs the office
lights dimmed because his pupils are dilated, and gets to keep a futon in his
work station because... well, he feels like it. His presence saps the morale
of the other employees; they in turn claim "disabilities" of their
own, among them obsessive-compulsive disorder and "yuppie flu."
Productivity at Strickland grinds to a virtual halt.
In response, Hank summons Anthony back to the office and
tells him, "I recently came to realize that I, too, suffer from a
disability. It's called GWS, Good Worker Syndrome. I get sick to my stomach
unless everyone around me is givin' 110 percent. The symptoms include pride,
responsibility, and a feverish enthusiasm. It used to be a common condition
among Americans." Hank ultimately solves the problem in the most
un-PC way. He quits, thereby putting Strickland below the minimum number of
employees necessary for a business to be subject to the obnoxious ADA
regulations. Strickland's owner, thus liberated, fires Leon the louse and then
hires back Hank.
It's a head-turner, this "King of the Hill." It
hits at liberal icons with an unfettered joy. What makes the series the most
fun is that it is sure to offend so many oh-so-very-serious liberals. My guess
is that Barbra Streisand is probably already hard at work on "The
Voice Your Opinion!
Write to Brent Bozell
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