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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Right-Wing Hysteria Watch: Is 'Glee' part of Hollywood's leftist propaganda machine?

Jane_lynch-glee I'm not the world's biggest "Glee" fan, but from what I'd heard from my 11-year-old's school chums, the musical show is a fun, lighthearted look at a fictional high school glee club in Lima, Ohio. Or, as the San Francisco Chronicle put it, the show is a "quirky, sweet, humorous, non-partisan funfest."

But now the pundits in the conservative blogosphere, always quick to pull the trigger whenever they see Hollywood trying to hypnotize America using its all-powerful left-wing propaganda machine, have raised the alarm about "Glee," citing a disrespectful slam at Sarah Palin in the show's Tuesday night return to the airwaves. As the Newsbusters website described it, Jane Lynch, who plays a conniving high school cheerleading coach, told two of her cheerleaders: "You may be two of the stupidest teens I've ever encountered. And that's saying something. I once taught a cheerleading seminar to a young Sarah Palin."

"Glee" was already in hot water with the right wing, since the show's creator, Ryan Murphy, had in previous episodes made fun of abstinence education and, as Newsbusters puts it, "tried to normalize teen homosexuality." Apparently on the right, treating gay kids as regular folks, instead of as scary deviants, is cause for alarm.

Not to be outdone, over at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood website, John Nolte has also weighed in with his usual light touch, claiming that the Palin gag was part of a concerted liberal effort to mesmerize your children with lefty propaganda. Here's his not-quite-so-entirely levelheaded take:

"Glee" is millions of dollars of sound and fury aimed squarely at your children. And as we can now see, the creators are all about getting between you and your kids with their political and social agendas. They know Palin is a growing political force and nothing's off the table when it comes to marginalizing her -- even at the expense of their own show's entertainment value -- even at the expense of audience share.

Poor Ryan Murphy. I guess it would've been oh-so-much simpler if he'd just had Jane Lynch tell the silly cheerleaders that they were the dumbest teens she'd ever seen. And that was saying something, since she'd once taught cheerleading to ... Megan Fox. It would've gotten a nice knowing laugh without prompting any hysterical shrieks of angst from the right-wing blogosphere, which is so paranoid about Hollywood's oppressive Marxist-Obamaism that it seems bent on getting worked up every time anyone in show business shows any signs of liberal bias.

(As you may recall, the righties were up in arms for weeks when Tom Hanks seemed to imply, while doing interviews promoting HBO's "The Pacific" series, that there was some link between our war against Japan during World War II and the modern-day war on terrorism.)

But guess what? I'm betting that Murphy is a liberal and he liked the idea of a Sarah Palin joke. The same goes, in reverse, if you listen to right-wing-dominated talk radio, where you can hear Rush Limbaugh, pretty much any day of the week, making jokes about his favorite liberal whipping boys. Ditto for Fox News. The conservatives rule talk radio and cable TV, the liberals rule Hollywood and that's the way it goes.

What I did find intriguing is that in all the attacks on "Glee," none of the conservative bloggers got around to mentioning that, despite their constant drumbeat of charges that regular Americans don't like Hollywood leftist entertainment, "Glee" is a huge hit, with its Tuesday night show drawing 13.7 million viewers, a huge leap forward from the average viewership of its first 13 episodes. And even more intriguing, the conservative bloggers somehow forgot to mention that this leftist propaganda show is, ahem, airing on Fox TV, which is owned, ahem, by arch conservative Rupert Murdoch.

Does that make Rupert a traitor to the cause? Or is he one of those conservatives who actually believes in creative freedom, where show-runners can offer their own special slant on the world as long as they attract enough eyeballs to have a hit show? Does that make Rupert a turncoat? Or is he just the kind of guy who, when it comes to entertainment, believes in different strokes for different folks?  



Photo: Jane Lynch directs the Cheerios! squad in "The Power of Madonna" episode of "Glee" on Fox. Credit: Michael Yarish/Fox



Comments () | Archives (54)

The comments to this entry are closed.

In which universe are entertainment programs "decidedly not" forums for political views?

And as far as why not use Megan Fox for that joke... Megan Fox wasn't a candidate for the second-highest office in the nation.

I like glee more now that I know the idiots on the right don't.

Go glee.

I'm sorry, but Sue Sylvester is the same character who pushed an old lady down the stairs for personal gain. Coming from Sue's mouth, then, I have to wonder if an insult isn't more good than bad ...

Man, I loved this piece - but for entirely different reasons than desired by Goldsten & Cie. So, Los Angeles Times has eventually discovered that Breitbart and Nick "light touch"Nolte exist, and that they must be taken care of!
I wonder why? And whether this is a biiiiiit tooooo late... since the train has for long left the station for the hysterized liberals that you are (check the Saigon photo) - proof for this is that the average Internet posts for any LA Times piece is at best TWO DOZENS, while Big That and Big that have hundreds and hundreds -
Die liberal scum -
And you sure won't publish this - but it doesn't matter, since at the last weekend's party I convinced four more people that buying or subscribing for LA Times is a waste of money -
Considering the weddings and other social functions I have on my schedule for this summer, I'll sure have the opportunity to persuade about 100 people more to stop giving you money -
Bye -bye -

Funny, the right-wingers didn't mind Sue Sylvester's joke about being waterboarded in the pilot. As for Commenter Ben's seeming complaint that TV shows aren't supposed to be political; well, talk radio isn't supposed to be theatrical.

Sarah Palin jokes are like low hanging fruit. Not a whole lot of that creativity you mentioned is needed to take cheap shots. The lefties are afraid of her. She should take it as a compliment that left wing writers are incorporating her into their scripts. The real problem, is that it is hack writing. It distracts the viewer from the story. Your going along, enjoying the show, then a Sarah Palin shot comes out of a character's mouth. It jolts you out of the moment whether you are on the right or the left. You either enjoy the joke or not but you definitely notice it and it takes you out of the show for a moment. That is not the job of a writer to break the spell. Overall, I enjoy the show. It's just a shame when the spell is broken by cheap writing.

Talk about revisionism. The uproar about Tom Hanks comments had to do with his inferring that WWII was all about racism, because Imperial Japan "looked different and served other gods." But to you it was due to his comparing WWII to today's war on terror (sorry, I forgot we can't use that term anymore). But on either account the bigger question is why must we accept Tom Hanks as a WWII historian or international sociologist - when he is just another actor?

As for Glee, it will soon pass because it is formulaic, insulting and decidedly left-wing.

Uh, Ben, talk radio stopped being a forum for real political ideas long ago. Now it's a forum for different flavors of crazy.

Yo, Patrick...remember when you used to write about the entertainment business? Before you became West LA's answer to Rush Limbaugh? Thank you for the now-weekly column berating conservatives for mindlessly attacking a popular show or movie named (fill in the blank.)

I'm bored, Patrick. Can you write something about the business again? When you stay on topic, you're fun to read.

Bad remarks about Sarah Palin have been earned....Sarah is one of the most ignorant people in the news.

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