“One of the things we’re playing with is having characters with strong religious beliefs included in some of our new shows,” Mr. Reilly added. “This would not be the premise of the show, but we could have a character who simply has this strong point of view.” NY Times, November 20, 2004
One of the most infuriating things about the political and cultural debate of the past few years is precisely this piece of bs elicited from the network executives on the subject of values on television, from an article that largely observes that even in the bible belt, people are watching dirty tv shows. Do as I say, not as I do.
All right. So, since Bush was elected with the support of the Christian Right, and they are getting all the media attention lately, and because they are a bunch of medieval cry-babies whose idea of pluralism is allowing Hindu and Moslem students to leave the classroom while the 10 Commandments are recited, let’s think about having a character on a tv show espouse “strong religious beliefs”. As if.
And if you think I’m picking on the Christians– I am a Christian.
Sounds to me that someone is buying into the preposterous evangelical myth that the media is controlled by radical liberal feminists, homosexuals, atheists, and socialists and, therefore, the Christians are entitled to some space for their views. If only!
If only there was a single character on any tv show that ever actually said anything like:
“Those fundamentalists like James Dobson and Jerry Falwell give me the creeps. How long before they start burning witches?” Or, “Why does the government allow advertising directed at children?” Or, “We’ve looked at all the evidence and questioned all the suspects, and we still have no clue as to who committed this murder. Should I beat someone up until he confesses?” Or, “He was a great soldier. He killed many people for his country.” Or, “Our kids are getting fat from eating at McDonald’s too often.”
The day we hear characters speak like that is the day I’d be delighted to hear a character say, “I think it would be wrong for you to have sex before you are legally married.”
I don’t object to values being discussed on tv. But I do object when narrow-minded right-wing bigots insist that they are the only people with “values”, as if people who voted Bush, and for his tax-cuts for the rich, have values, while those who voted for Kerry because he might actually do something to preserve the environment and protect endangered species, don’t have values.
The word “values” is being used, by conservative Christians, the way “quality” is now used by a lot of people. We want “quality television”. Which is, television with “values”. Right.