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Sunday, August 14, 2011

BUSTED! PC TV Producers Use Fake Crimes to Score Real-World Propaganda Points

By Nicholas Stix
December 16, 2001
A Different Drummer/Toogood Reports

[See also: “NBC’s Law & Order: Anti-White Propaganda in the Culture War”; and

“It’s a White Male Crime Wave!”]

Everyone knows that TV dramas deal in pure fiction, right? Well, as the rent-a-car ads say, “not exactly.” Realistic drama has always been based on the notion of verisimilitude—of being true to the external world. And in a tradition that goes back at least as far as the 1981 premiere of Steven Bochco’s Hill Street Blues, the makers of TV dramas—especially those dealing with politics and crime—pretend to put a premium on hyper-realism. In a more recent tradition, most closely associated with NBC’s Law & Order, scripts are frequently “ripped from the headlines,” and thus based on actual, infamous cases. And so, viewers have gotten used to believing that the “crimes” that high-profile TV dramas depict, actually happened. That is a very dangerous belief.

Recent episodes of ABC’s NYPD Blue, and NBC’s The West Wing and Law & Order, bear out this danger.

In the West Wing episode, which first aired on November 28, a man shoots up a church in Texas. Another parishioner, seeking to stop the shooter, draws his weapon, but misses his intended target, shooting instead a little girl, who later dies of her wounds. In the NYPD Blue story, which first aired on December 4, an Arab business on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is torched by a racist, white neighbor. The man throws a Molotov cocktail through a window, injuring a family member. And on the December 12 Law & Order, a racist, white man murders a black man in Manhattan, when the latter beats the white to a cab.

The problem with the dramatic incidents, is that none of them occurred. I don’t mean that similar incidents occurred, and the TV writers engaged in literary license. I mean that the writers fabricated, out of whole cloth, crimes that never occurred, in order to score debating points for their respective political crusades.

West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, who wants to convince us of the evil of the Second Amendment, has his protagonist, Pres. “Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet” (Martin Sheen), engage in a dialogue with Vice-President “John Hoynes” of Texas (Tim Matheson). Hoynes supports the constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms. Bartlet emphasizes that both men in the church were licensed gun owners.

As anyone who has followed Aaron Sorkin’s career will have observed, when the ideological going gets tough, Sorkin cheats. This case was no exception. When Pres. Bartlet asks Vice-President Hoynes why we should permit the concealed carrying of firearms, as opposed to the open carrying of them, the vice-president is struck, as if hearing this question for the first time, and responds, “I don’t know.”

I can just see Sorkin’s socialist fans shouting at their TVs, “Yes! If only we forced every gun nut to answer the same question!”

I’m going to try and imagine how a real, gun-owning, Texan vice-president would answer Bartlet/Sorkin’s question.

‘Because, as economist John Lott has shown in his work, More Guns, Less Crime, and in countless articles, concealed carry laws and the widespread legal gun ownership they result in, lead to a double deterrent effect. Violent criminals are much more restrained, out of fear that they will be shot by their intended victims, and out of ignorance as to who is or isn’t carrying. And as Lott has frequently pointed out, over 2,000,000 times per year in America, licensed gun owners thwart attempted robberies and rapes by drawing their guns, most of the time without ever having to fire a shot. However, as Lott has also pointed out, the mainstream, national media refuse to report on such cases. Instead, they report on cases where licensed gun owners commit crimes with their guns, or other people use the gun owners’ weapons in the commission of crimes.

‘Oh, and by the way, deterrent effects aside, the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to bear arms.’

Distorted news coverage makes Aaron Sorkin’s work much easier. And the phony case he wrote into his script is every gun-grabber’s favorite fantasy. It portrays a little child as the victim, and white, law-abiding, Christians—people who almost never are involved in shooting murders—as the bad guys. In reality, when little children are murdered by gunmen, the gun is almost always illegal, and the shooter is usually a black or Latino gangbanger.

In the future, however, Sorkin may have to work a bit harder. Even the New York Times’ editors felt compelled to run story, on December 8, laying out the case according to which the most influential recent “scholarly” case against the Second Amendment right to bear arms, Emory University “historian” Michael Bellesiles’ Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, is a hoax, based on fabricated scholarship.

NYPD Blue’s story line was as fantastic as The West Wing’s. No Arab stores or homes in New York City have been firebombed since 9/11. This is amazing, considering the tens of thousands of outraged New Yorkers who personally knew someone who was killed on 9/11. Consider what would have befallen Jewish emigres in Arab cities following Israeli counterattacks on Arab terrorists. But I was just engaging in a little literary license myself. We can’t consider such cases, because Jews may not emigrate (not that they’d want to!) to, and with the exception of Egypt, are not even permitted to visit Arab nations.

But we do have a parallel in the real world. Last week, British journalist Robert Fisk was beaten almost to death by a mob in Pakistan. Apparently, the mob was unimpressed by Fisk’s impeccably anti-American and anti-Israeli credentials.

So, why did NYPD Blue’s writers depict a non-existent “hate crime”? It was to show that America is full of intolerant white people, and to give the show’s “good” characters (e.g., angelic, black detective, “Baldwin Jones”) a chance to engage in soul-searching about the darkness that is in even the best person’s heart. But the real miracle is how tolerant Americans are.

NYPD Blue has always had problems with reality. Several years ago, even a socialist New York TV critic chuckled over the lack of realism in the show’s frequent portrayal of white criminals on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

At least then the show had the saving grace of brilliant producer-writer David Milch. But Milch left the show after the 1999-2000 season, and it has been all downhill since then. Producer Steven Bochco seems to be trying to compensate for his lack of artistry by laying on the political correctness ever thicker, and by heavily casting the show’s detective and prosecutor roles with women, blacks, and Hispanics, thus making the show even more unrealistic. Apparently, Bochco believes that more members of those groups will now watch the show out of loyalty to its casting politics, rather than out of attraction to its dramatic power. Such a strategy may win the show awards from racial “pride” organizations, but will likely hasten its slide in the ratings, and eventual demise. Bochco had already made the same mistake, in his colorless CBS drama, City of Angels (2000), set in a black-run, “inner-city” hospital.

Not to be outdone, Law & Order’s “heavy” could have been written by John Grisham. A high-end, Manhattan real estate agent, upon finding out that an interracial couple seeks buy a co-op in his building, sends a letter to the co-op board, objecting to the sale on explicitly racial grounds. Next, he gets the idea that a black colleague stole a client from him, and shows the colleague that he’s got a gun stuck in his pants. That gets the racist fired; now he’s even angrier. Soon thereafter, while hanging out with a friend during the evening, he hails a taxi, but a middle-aged black man beats him to the car. The white shouts racial epithets at the black rider, who refuses to give up the taxi. The white hails the next cab, whose driver he orders to follow the first cab. The racist ignores his friend’s advice to drop the matter; the friend exits the cab. The racist follows the black rider to the latter’s destination, and guns him down on the street.

Were a successful, young, white Manhattanite to write such a letter, it would have found its way to the front page of every newspaper in town, and the man would have been fired from his job, and prosecuted and sued for civil rights violations. But in Law & Order’s parallel universe, there was no reaction to the letter. The writers have a prosecutor argue that the lack of a reaction led the racist to escalate his behavior.

The killer argues that minorities are “out to get whites.” Producer Dick Wolf and his writers are thereby suggesting that any white with the same complaint, is also a savage monster. But one doesn’t have to spend much time in New York, to know that minorities are out to get whites. It was January, 1991, when a white NYPD detective confirmed for me, that black-on-white racial attacks are an everyday event in New York. The detective added, that for “political reasons ... there are some things you’re not allowed to say.” And so, the rare white-on-black attack is treated as a “hate crime,” but the constant black-on-white attacks almost never are, even when black attackers use racial epithets.

And make no mistake about it: Anti-white racial epithets are perfectly “normal” in New York. But in 16 years in this town, I have yet to hear a white call a black a racial epithet. Hell, in all those years, I’ve only heard whites say the “n” word three times in private.

And although black racist monsters are a dime a dozen in New York, no such white, racist monster has been recorded in at least fifty years. The Law & Order story was “ripped,” alright. It was a rip-off of the ridiculous story line of last year’s Shaft remake, in which a wealthy, white supremacist blithely murders a young black man in Midtown Manhattan.

Dick Wolf has been down this road before. On Law & Order, he once presented prosecutor Kenneth Starr as a deranged Torquemada, who in the pursuit of power, peeped through people’s bedroom key holes. And in another L & O story, Wolf turned a band of young, black thrill murderers (in the real case that he “ripped from the headlines”) into white killers.

Hollywood operatives have long understood that the easiest way to short-circuit political debate, is to present “realistic” dramas with cartoon-like images that support their prejudices. For Aaron Sorkin, Steven Bochco, and Dick Wolf, I have two words: You’re busted!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A few days ago, I saw a news item saying that "Law & Order: SVU" was going to do a show based on the Strauss-Kahn rape case.

The episode's alleged rapist is going to be an Italian politician. I suppose the scriptwiter will provide the evidence and give the accuser credibility lacking in real life.

David In TN