by Paul Bradford
Millions of Americans continue to watch network TV shows—not exactly a favorite pastime of the chattering class. The primary audience for these programs is older Americans living out in flyover country, the kind of people who aren’t aware of the latest trendy show on Amazon Prime or Netflix. The audience generally prefers more conservative programming that doesn’t feature gratuitous violence, nudity, or overbearing political messages. They just want to be entertained as they relax at night.
But the big networks want to change that. They’re partnering up with far-left activists to promote radical causes to their viewers—and the executives don’t care if it offends their audiences. The execs want America to think like they do.
The writing was on the wall last summer when pretty much every TV network and streaming service wholeheartedly endorsed Black Lives Matter, “To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter,” Netflix said in a message shared across its platform. CBS, Fox, Amazon Prime, HBO, and several other titans of the TV industry shared similar messages. Networks canceled popular unscripted police shows such as “Cops” and “Live PD” to appease those moved by the Black Lives Matter moment.
The statements and cancellations indicated networks would take additional steps to infuse their programming with overtly political messages. Sure enough, they are now doing so—and they are reaching out to left-wing groups to help them in this project.
One of these groups is Define American, an open-borders group led by illegal immigrant journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. Define American has worked with 75 film and TV projects across 22 networks to promote a pro-amnesty, pro-mass immigration message. Hit shows such as NBC’s “Superstore,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” OWN’s “Queen Sugar” and CW’s “Roswell, New Mexico” are among its clients. CNN recently highlighted the group’s work on “Superstore.” The sitcom features an illegal immigrant character named Mateo. Showrunners consulted with Define American to ensure the character’s story supported liberal immigration policies.
“Just like the impact that ‘Will & Grace’ had with the LGBT movement, for regular viewers of ‘Superstore,’ Mateo feels like their friend,” says Sarah Lowe, Define American’s head of research. “They feel like they know him, even if they don’t know any other immigrants in their daily life.” Lowe says studies show that television programming can change viewers’ politics.
Define American sees the television consulting as part of a long march through the institutions to make Americans embrace mass immigration.
“This is long-term work,” Vargas told CNN. “This is not like, ‘How do we pass a bill next month?’ This is, ‘How do we create a culture in which we see immigrants as people deserving of dignity?’ These policies don’t make sense if we don’t see immigrants as people.”
“The images we see in media are often immigrants crying, immigrants sad, immigrants tragic, as if we have this veil of tragedy all around us, when in reality, the study showed, when you actually present an immigrant in a three-dimensional way as a person, people are moved to action, to tell another friend, to post something on social media,” he added.
CBS is partnering with multiple left-wing groups to shape its programming. In July, the network announced a multi-year programming deal with the NAACP to produce “premium content that expands the number of diverse voices contributing to an ever-evolving society, and by telling inclusive stories that increase the visibility and impact of Black artists in a growing media landscape.”
The NAACP knows it can determine public opinion through this partnership.
“Programming and content have the power to shape perspectives and drive conversations around critical issues,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said. “This partnership with CBS allows us to bring compelling and important content to a broad audience.”
CBS Studios plans to overhaul its police shows—a network staple—to conform to the spirit of Black Lives Matter. Its television division now partners with 21CP Solutions, a criminal justice reform group that originated with an Obama Administration task force. The partnership promises to make CBS police dramas more infused with “racial justice” and less pro-cop.
21CP sees this as a great way to change the culture. “As a reformer, I see this as a great venue,” 21CP founder Ron Davis told the Washington Post. “Not a panacea. But a great venue. It’s another step on this path to police reform.”
Law enforcement is not happy with this development. “They will be stories engineered to further diminish public opinion of police officers so that the anti-police movement can achieve their ultimate goal: the complete abolition of policing and total impunity for criminals,” New York City’s Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told the Post.
Network executives don’t mind if conservative viewers have a problem with the BLM focus. “I wouldn’t care if there was a Blue Lives Matter backlash,” CBS Studios president David Stapf told the Post. “I just want us to expose ourselves to different points of view.”
Warner Bros. Television Group is working directly with Black Lives Matter. The studio announced last week it had signed a multi-year production deal with BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors. “As a longtime community organizer and social justice activist, I believe that my work behind the camera will be an extension of the work I’ve been doing for the last twenty years,” Cullors said. “I look forward to amplifying the talent and voices of other Black creatives through my work.”
There’s also bad news for those who want to turn off new programming and enjoy old classics. Disney+ now imposes “racist” content warnings, which viewers cannot fast forward through, on classic animated films such as “Dumbo,” “Lady and the Tramp,” and “Aladdin.” The messages read: “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together. Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.”
It then includes links to a website that will tell you why “Dumbo” and other films are racist.
The Left understands politics is downstream from culture. They want to brainwash Americans into accepting their myths and delusions. While it may seem hopeless to Americans to imagine they can do anything about it, ordinary Americans can send a powerful message without much effort. Just turn off the TV and watch the old favorites instead. Execs may say they can blow off a backlash, but they can’t ignore horrible ratings.
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Paul Bradford is a Capitol Hill refugee now earning an honest living.