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Politics 2004 Entertainment bias

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#1 Hambil

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 06:29 PM

All opinions are welcome, but I am obviously curious about the non-liberal perspective.

Many TV shows, if not most, seem to hold pretty liberal view points. Andromeda, for example, was a show crammed with liberal ideas. West Wing, is very liberal. Star Trek is infamously liberal to the point of being compared to communism. Shows like Will and Grace, and Oz and Six Feet Under all but flaunt the banner of homosexuality. Lesbian kisses have become common, even in prime time.

Given the fairly hard-line views I've seen expressed by many here, how do you find shows to enjoy? I imagine I'd be angry a lot if the opposite was true. Has TV become something liberals watch while conservatives tune it out?

#2 eechick

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 06:43 PM

I'm liberal in some areas and conservative in others.  Have registered as Dem, Rep and Indy.  My question: why all the lesbian kisses?  I've only seen one kiss between guys (that was not on reality tv and I think it was Picket Fences).  Maybe because lesbian kissing is more acceptable than between guys and it doesn't shock anymore (remember how the kiss on Roseanne was a big thing?).  I usually watch dramas, CourtTV, Discovery Channel, Adult Swim & South Park (because some things are just funny).

#3 G1223

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 06:43 PM

Well I can only answer that I watch at most four TV shows.

Alias.
Law & Order.
Stargate
Stargate:Atlantis.

That is all I am willing to watch. I found that TV was at times more wanting to teach me a liberal message that entertain me. M.A.S.H. was such a show. It was why I stopped watching till the last episode aired. The West Wing appealed to me as much as a root canal operation perfomred by sadistic blind dentist would. I knew Martin Sheen to have his own agenda and was not surprised to see him put it out there.


As to my leisure time with the TV it's spent with DVD's  and I think I have a decent batch.
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#4 Drew

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 06:44 PM

Hambil, on Aug 26 2004, 06:27 PM, said:

Has TV become something liberals watch while conservatives tune it out?
Perhaps. There are few current television shows that we watch at all anymore--none of the ones you mention with the exception of the various Star Treks. (Is DS9 easily labelled "liberal"?) We watch Stargate (though we only just finished Season 5, the penultimate episode of which made my wife cry) and will be watching "Alias" in January. I will also likely be watching "Enterprise," and perhaps recording "24."

I've never watched an episode of "The West Wing," and find Will & Grace to be completely unfunny regardless of the sexual preferences of its main characters. The others you mention are on HBO, a channel I don't get, but I really wouldn't be interested in the premises of these shows anyway.

I'm not sure I really expect television to reflect my worldview. I don't think I've ever found a show that came close.

What do you mean by the statement that you would be "angry" if the opposite was true? Do you mean you would be angry if Hollywood started leaning rightward? Why?
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#5 Drew

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 06:47 PM

G1223, on Aug 26 2004, 06:41 PM, said:

As to my leisure time with the TV it's spent with DVD's  and I think I have a decent batch.
Yep. Pretty much the same here. We watch older shows that we've got on tape or have picked up on DVD, or we get stuff from the library. The TV here is almost always turned to something like a news channel or The Learning Channel, or H&G, or something like that.
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#6 Hambil

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 06:51 PM

Drew, on Aug 26 2004, 04:42 PM, said:

What do you mean by the statement that you would be "angry" if the opposite was true? Do you mean you would be angry if Hollywood started leaning rightward? Why?
I'm obviously passionate about politics, as are you. If all or most of the TV shows started exposing views I didn't believe in, I would find that bothersome. I suspect the 'anger' would be a slow build kind of thing, over a long time. Though, I am sure certain views expressed by the shows might hit me harder and faster - everyone has hot buttons.

#7 Hambil

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 06:52 PM

So (assume the few who posted here to be representative for now), TV being a business, how does this make financial sense?

#8 G1223

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 06:55 PM

I must recommend Yes Minister and it's Sequal Yes Prime Minister.

They are very funny political satfire of England as it may very well still be. Nigel Hawthorn is a wizard and amzing to watch in it.

Back to the topic. I do admit I like the Histroy Channel. It's where I saw a Histroy of Britian for the first time and found it to be very intersting. Otherwsie I am having mroe fun typing away and watching The Assassination Bureau



(Limited)

Jeeze what a comedy
If you encounter any Trolls. You really must not forget them.
And if you want to save these shores. For Pity sake Don't Trust them.
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TANSTAAFL
If you voted for Obama then all the mistakes he makes are your fault and I will point this out to you every time he does mess up.

When the fall is all that remains. It matters a great deal.

All hail the clich's all emcompassing shadow.

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#9 G1223

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 07:00 PM

It makes money from the dozen of couch potatoes who will watch anything put in front of them.

Edited by G1223, 26 August 2004 - 07:03 PM.

If you encounter any Trolls. You really must not forget them.
And if you want to save these shores. For Pity sake Don't Trust them.
paraphrased from H. "Breaker" Morant

TANSTAAFL
If you voted for Obama then all the mistakes he makes are your fault and I will point this out to you every time he does mess up.

When the fall is all that remains. It matters a great deal.

All hail the clich's all emcompassing shadow.

My playing well with other's skill has been vastly overrated

Member of the Order of the Knigths of the Woeful Countance.

#10 Kevin Street

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 07:02 PM

Sorry about the self link, but a previous thread might provide some food for thought here:

George Bush and Karl Rove; Sci-Fi Fans?

:yin-yang:

Edited by Kevin Street, 26 August 2004 - 07:05 PM.


#11 Delvo

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 07:05 PM

I never defined Andromeda as primarily liberal during the 1.5-2 seasons that I watched, so it's a non-issue to me.

Trek's liberalism bugged me without offending me, but the show usually didn't push it, but rather left it in the background, which let me ignore it. It was built in in an omnipresent way but, more importantly, because of that backgroundishness, it didn't need to be shoved in my face.

West Wing's preachy sanctimony and hypocrisy have kept me from being able to like it for more than a few episodes at a time (usually less than one), at its worst. At its best, I remember a few times in the early seasons that they'd  give us a break from the liberal soapboxism, which was good even if always brief. And sometimes they even seemed to be trying to show a Republican or conservative character as somewhat less than evil, but even then the results were ridiculous, obviously sticking to liberals' stereotypes of non-liberals and just trying to soften it a bit, rather than indicating that the writers had any clue about what they were portraying.

I've enjoyed Will & Grace, although I haven't botherd to keep up with it. The characters being homosexual alone doesn't make it liberal, and they don't seem to mention politics much, so I can't put a checkmark in either column.

You didn't mention it, but I have to mention Buffy. I can't think of anything exactly political about it, but the way the characters think, talk, and act is very much like how one might expect liberals to be according to stereotypes... mostly in the bad ways, the ways that make me unable to stand the characters because I hated their real-life analogues that I've met in person.

I can't really think of any heavily political sitcoms right now. Then again, I can't name much of the broadcast networks' lineup anyway.

#12 Hambil

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 07:07 PM

G1223, on Aug 26 2004, 04:58 PM, said:

It makes money from the dozen of couch potatoes who will watch anything put in front of them.
So, it's like: Man, the politics in this suck, pass the potato chips.

?

#13 Drew

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 07:08 PM

Hambil, on Aug 26 2004, 07:05 PM, said:

G1223, on Aug 26 2004, 04:58 PM, said:

It makes money from the dozen of couch potatoes who will watch anything put in front of them.
So, it's like: Man, the politics in this suck, pass the potato chips.

?
I think these hypothetical couch potatoes are apolitical. And the key, I believe, is "will watch anything."

Edited by Drew, 26 August 2004 - 07:08 PM.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#14 Kimmer

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 07:15 PM

Quote

Given the fairly hard-line views I've seen expressed by many here, how do you find shows to enjoy?

My husband and I watch very few TV shows. Not because they lean liberal in politics, but because we find most TV shows to be horribly boring, unimaginative, unimpressive, lacking in originality and a horrendous waste of time. We want to spend time relaxing and enjoying something, not being upset at what is on the screen, or bored to snore stage.

We are fairly faithful viewers of:
NCIS
JAG
Without A Trace
CSI
Monk
4400
Cold Case

My husband adores the History Channel. I'd watch the food channel and HGTV if I could get the remote away from him. :p

We do enjoy sci-fi shows, and watched drom through S2.5. While ST, drom and others might very well have liberal ideas, they never shoved them in our face the way shows like "West Wing" and others do. If they had, we would not have watched them. After all, why watch something that spends its time telling me the viewer what a jerk I am? *shrug*

Most of our evenings are spent watching either a movie or tv DVD from our "library", or ... reading books! Sometimes one of us will play a Nintendo game and the other one backseat directs. :lol:

Quote

Has TV become something liberals watch while conservatives tune it out?

I don't think so. In fact, if you really look at the viewing numbers, the only shows that are big hits are the reality shows. Now explain to me why *anyone* would watch those? (Okay, so some nice folks do watch them, but I don't understand why.) ;)

Quote

I imagine I'd be angry a lot if the opposite was true.

I refuse to allow a tv show to upset me. It's just a small drop in the big ol' ocean and not worth my time or effort to get upset over. ;)

#15 Delvo

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 07:27 PM

Hambil, on Aug 26 2004, 05:49 PM, said:

If all or most of the TV shows started exposing views I didn't believe in
Did you mean "espousing"?

Quote

...I would find that bothersome. I suspect the 'anger' would be a slow build kind of thing, over a long time. Though, I am sure certain views expressed by the shows might hit me harder and faster - everyone has hot buttons.
If it were ubiquitous and had always been that way, you'd probably be used to it, so that it would take a special, unique example rising above the others to get your attention. Of course, when I say it's ubiquitous and has always been that way, I'm mostly talking about stand-up comedians and the off-stage stuff of musicians and movie actors, followed by the content of movies. The dominance of liberalism in the entertainment world seems to be weaker on TV than in those areas.

Also, keep in mind that conservatives have a more important liberal "conspiracy" to be concerned about as a priority over the entertainment world: the "news" world. Entertainment might move up if the top spot were open, but it isn't.

Quote

TV being a business, how does this make financial sense?
Assuming you're talking about the liberal shows, rather than the industry overall which is mostly populated by non-political shows as far as I can tell, I see two possibilities:
1. They believe it is harmful to them, but don't care because pushing their agenda is the higher priority. There are a few known examples of this; one I discovered recently was that Apple has appointed a liberal politician with no business or computer-development experience or training to its board of directors, refuses the help of an enthusiastic and potentially influential customer named Rush, and seems to allow product-placement on TV in only liberal venues like the MTV "reality" shows.
2. They do not believe pushing liberalism is harmful to them, because they either figure non-liberals will watch anyway, don't believe they are being so liberal themselves, or vastly underestimate how much of the country isn't liberal (which fits a common pattern: people of either stripe tend to presume everyone else must be of the same stripe).

Edited by Delvo, 26 August 2004 - 07:29 PM.


#16 Delvo

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 07:35 PM

Kevin Street, on Aug 26 2004, 06:00 PM, said:

Sorry about the self link, but a previous thread might provide some food for thought here:

George Bush and Karl Rove; Sci-Fi Fans?

:yin-yang:
See also Cardie's twin polls on liberals' & conservatives' science fiction favorites:

http://www.exisle.ne...showtopic=17719
http://www.exisle.ne...showtopic=17720

#17 Drew

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 07:46 PM

Delvo, on Aug 26 2004, 07:25 PM, said:

Apple has appointed a liberal politician with no business or computer-development experience or training to its board of directors, . . .
C'mon! Al Gore invented the internet!  :D
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#18 Cardie

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 08:00 PM

I think the vast majority of Americans are not hugely political and are not at either the extreme liberal or conservative ends of the spectrum.  Nor do I think most of them look for the political subtext in what they are watching.  When you look at the sorts of shows that have always been very popular with a majority of tv viewers on the big broadcast networks, they are about cops, private detectives, cowboys, and lawyers or about family dynamics.  These are going to seem pretty apolitical to most viewers.

I've noticed that I share favorite tv programs with folks here on EI whose politics are totally different from mine, more proof that ideology and entertainment may not be completely transferable.

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#19 G1223

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 08:03 PM

Thinking of shows I used to watch on TV. I watched B-5 becasue the stories were well written. I watched for that reason. Same with a number of the DS-9. The war stories were at times very good and very believeable. That is what made me watch. If they had gone to the preachy way with the stories it would have turned me off.
If you encounter any Trolls. You really must not forget them.
And if you want to save these shores. For Pity sake Don't Trust them.
paraphrased from H. "Breaker" Morant

TANSTAAFL
If you voted for Obama then all the mistakes he makes are your fault and I will point this out to you every time he does mess up.

When the fall is all that remains. It matters a great deal.

All hail the clich's all emcompassing shadow.

My playing well with other's skill has been vastly overrated

Member of the Order of the Knigths of the Woeful Countance.

#20 Jazzer

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 09:18 PM

First, to clarify, I see myself as having conservative leanings, although in some political test someone posted a few weeks back, I was placed a lot closer to the center than I expected.  

I watch almost none of primetime basic network TV.  Thank God for cable!  

I would have to say that Babylon 5 is my all time favorite scifi show.  I've been a scifi fan since I was a child.  I wish they could have at least continued doing B5 movies from time to time.  I don't know if they're ever going to do a B5:Rangers series or not.  They just did the one movie about the Rangers.  

By the way, for B5 fans, a few weeks ago, I just discovered that Jerry Doyle (who played Garibaldi) has his own talk radio show.  That took some getting used to, to get past the image in my mind of Garibaldi as a talk radio show host.  I found out Jerry Doyle and Bruce Boxleitner are Republicans.  I've gotten to where I try to catch Jerry's show at night.  You could say he has conservative leanings, but he also talks about how he thinks there are lot more people that extremes of both parties ignore that probably fall closer to the middle.  I enjoy listening to him.  I can only stream his show through the internet where I'm located.  

Anyway, back to my favorite TV shows:  

Currently, I like Stargate: SG1 & Atlantis.  

I'll watch Enterprise & Andromeda more for a scifi fix or out of boredom.  I'll watch the new season of Andromeda coming up, but only out of morbid curiosity. I don't hold out much hope for them being able to fix the mess of a plot the show got tangled in the last couple of seasons.  I enjoy Enterprise better than Andromeda.  

I'm starting to get awfully tired of time travel/alternate universe plot twists.  I think that theme has been overdone now in a lot of shows.  

Although, I do think "The 4400" was well done.  I enjoyed it and would like to see it continue.  I thought the actress Helen Shaver in the show who played a TV journalist had an uncanny resemblance to Susan Estrich.  It kind of gave me a chill how much of a look-alike/sound-alike she was to Susan Estrich in the part she played.  

Monk is another of my favorite shows.  I just wish they had longer seasons.  

I enjoyed Jake 2.0.  At first, it seemed a little silly, but as the characters grew and were developed, I thought the show had some great potential.  Then of course, it was cancelled.  

I also enjoyed the Sci-Fi channel's series "The Invisible Man", but not at first.  Like with Jake 2.0, I thought it was silly at first, but the characters grew on me.  For me it ended up being the characters that I enjoyed most about the show.  I hated to see the series end, but at least for once, they got to end the series in a decently done way, and left it open for a possible movie someday, I hope.  

Another series I enjoyed was "John Doe", but alas, it was another one that got cancelled.  Although, it was more violent than I cared for at times, it was still interesting in the mysteries it portrayed.  It had a bit of an X-Files feel to it.  After it was cancelled, I read where for once the producers of the show revealed where it was heading if it had been allowed to continue.  Eventually they would have revealed that "John Doe" gained all the knowledge he had because he had once died and came back.  In the time he was "dead" or had a "near-death experience", the premise was that people had all knowledge briefly imparted to them by God?  But in John Doe's case, he retained that knowledge although he retained no personal memories of his own.  Anyway, I thought it was an interesting premise.  

I'm also an X-Files fan, but I think they shouldn't have bothered with the last season of the show.  I thought a lot of the episodes in the last season were so dark and senselessly extremely violent.  I still enjoy re-runs of the earlier seasons of the show.  

I also still sometimes enjoy re-runs of "Northern Exposure".  Its quirkiness is funny to me.  When it ran some years ago, I also enjoyed "Due South" about a Canadian Mounty who teams up with a Chicago street-smart cop.  

I think what appeals to me about science fiction and some detective type shows is that I enjoy seeing a mystery unfold, if it's done well.   I like characters in a show to be interesting, to have some depth.  I also like when a show portrays an interesting rapport between the characters.

I also like the Animal Planet channel, the History channel, and the Home & Garden channel.  Also the Discovery & Learning channels.  And "gasp"  :eek4:  (a good-natured tease to the die-hard liberals on the board) I also like Fox News channel.
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