For Hollywood, to push America's morality buttons is a win-win proposition. When they challenge those moribund traditional values, they not only strike a blow for the sexual revolution, they create the cherished publicity "buzz" that brings attention -- and viewers -- to their shows.
It explains why ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" named to their cast America's most famous transgender activist. Once the cute little blond daughter, Chastity, that everyone of a certain age remembers from the old "Sonny and Cher Show" on CBS is now the female-denying Chaz Bono.
ABC didn't name Bono because "he's" known as a dancer. They named "him" because he's well-known as an LGBT activist, with an emphasis on the "T." Bono has been a spokes-something for the gay-left Human Rights Campaign's, HRC, National Coming-Out Day and served as entertainment media director for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, GLAAD.
For its part, GLAAD is extra delighted because the cast now includes Bono and Carson Kressley, the most lecherous member of the old show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," who went on to host the Lifetime makeover show "How to Look Good Naked."
The Bono choice outraged many fans of the show, who've considered the ballroom-dancing showcase to be a sort of old-fashioned safe harbor families could enjoy -- although certainly the outfits as well as some of the dances are designed to maximize sexiness.
In a way, the Bono choice is counter-programming to last fall's casting of Bristol Palin -- who was chosen as a "star" because of her mother's fame, not her own.
Palin haters rooted against Bristol throughout the show, and when she made it all the way to the finals (more buzz, buzz, buzz), ABC and The Washington Post paid for a poll question to ask if her dancing was good enough. Can anyone imagine that they'll do a poll on whether Bono can do the cha-cha?
Bristol Palin didn't do teen-abstinence dances last fall, and there would have been hell to pay if she had, in any way, promoted her issue. Not so with the "T" issue. The cultural politics last year were really saved for bisexual activist and comedian Margaret Cho, who danced for "gay pride" in a rainbow dress on the show. Cho proclaimed to viewers, "We wanted to celebrate pride. It's a tough time for the gay community. A lot of gay teenagers have committed suicide, so we want this to end now!"