In Washington and Hollywood, Things Fall Apart
by L. Brent Bozell III
It has become impossible to read a story about this
administration and not conclude we are witnessing the disintegration of the
integrity of the presidency. Now turn the pages to the news in the world of
entertainment. What you'll find is, well, pretty much the same thing.
Lesbo-a-go-go is, mercifully, lesbo-a-gone-gone. In July,
ABC broadcast the last two previously unaired episodes of "Ellen."
The series went out with guns blazing and with the finale taking the promotion
of homosexual marriage to new lows.
Right before the ceremony in which Ellen's parents are to
renew their vows, Ellen "proposes" to her girlfriend, Laurie, who
turns her down. "To me," Laurie explains, "gay weddings
are just a sad reminder of what we can't really have, that somehow our love is
less legitimate because it doesn't rate a government endorsement... I would
love to marry you... but I'm going to hold out until we can have the real
Then, each woman puts a plastic ring on the other's finger,
they kiss, and each smashes wedding cake into the face of the other, with
Laurie licking some of the frosting off Ellen's face. How precious.
(By the way, the long-running "Family Matters"
also signed off in July as meganerd Steve Urkel became an astronaut and went
on a mission. It's too bad Ellen and Laurie weren't the ones sent into outer
space, in search of a planet more tolerant of homosexuality than narrow-minded
Such is the pathetic state of affairs in television land.
And it's about to get worse, apparently. The New York Times' Bill Carter wrote
in his July 22 column that "several" prime time television
programming executives believe this fall's group of debuting series is
"lackluster." One, who didn't want his name or network mentioned -
and who can blame him? -- commented that "new show development was weak
everywhere this year." An anonymous NBC exec remarked that at his web,
there is a "total absence of enthusiasm" regarding its fall
premieres. Moreover, a July 27 article in the weekly Broadcasting & Cable
reported that television critics taking part in the July press tour didn't
care for the "sometimes rough-edged language" in the upcoming
blue-collar Fox sitcom "Costello."
The well must be drying up. Not even the networks, those
fonts of breathless hype, like their own new shows. And now even the critics,
who when confronted with envelope-pushing content have traditionally salivated
like Pavlov's dog, feel TV has gone too far where foulness is concerned. Could
all this mean that the industry is realizing the error of its dumbed-down,
coarse ways and will attempt a return to high-quality, tasteful prime time
fare... Don't believe it. TV executives could saturate the airwaves with
quality programming at the snap of a finger but won't do it no matter how many
"Touched By an Angel" successes you give them. They will not accept
this reality not because they don't understand it but because they don't want
to accept it.
Some in Hollywood simply deny truth; others shamelessly
promote falsehoods. Last spring in these pages, I decried the
sycophantic media treatment given at the time to the late hard-line Communist
actor/singer/athlete Paul Robeson, treatment inspired by the centenary of his
birth and the awarding of a posthumous Grammy to him.
The reinvention of the Robeson historical record continues.
In the "Family Fare" column of the July 17 New York Times, under the
headline, "American Hero, Onstage and Off," writer Laurel Graeber
declares that "Robeson's life did not lack for courage or vision... his
devotion to civil rights was... passionate" and goes on to tout a play
about Robeson, meant for young audiences, which "conveys [his] integrity
and the high price he paid for it." Graeber concludes, "After
watching the portrayal of Robeson's persecution during the McCarthy era, it
was hard not to note a recent scene outside the theater: earnest youths
soliciting signatures to get a Socialist Workers' Party candidate on the
electoral ballot. No doubt Robeson would be pleased."
The militant left just won't go away. Margarethe Cammermeyer,
the lesbian ex-Army nurse affectionately played by Glenn Close in the
egregiously biased, Barbra Streisand-produced - OK, that's redundant -- 1995
NBC movie "Serving in Silence," is running for Congress in the 2nd
District of Washington state. Should she win the Democratic primary, which she
most likely will, she'll face Republican incumbent Jack Metcalf in the general
Donors to her campaign include talk-show host Rosie
O'Donnell, former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic -- and Close and Streisand.
If their candidate wins, watch for a sequel, "Ms. Cammermeyer Goes to
Washington." At which point, presumably, she'll meet Bill Clinton, and
somehow all this will make sense.
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