It feels like morning in America again.
The Culture and Media Institute doesn’t usually go in for labor strikes, but in Hollywood’s case we’re happy to make an exception. It isn’t every day the industry spearheading the destruction of the culture shuts itself down.
Yes, destroying the culture. According to CMI’s National Cultural Values Survey, 73 percent of Americans believe Hollywood is harming America’s moral values. A Hollywood strike is good news, like finding out the neighborhood mugger just got thrown in the clink.
This strike provides a wonderful opportunity for Americans to reflect on what they’ve been dumping into their minds in the name of entertainment. Just look at this season’s CMI headlines about the fruits of Hollywood’s creative genius:
* Blasphemy as 'Satire': Sarah Silverman portrays God as an arrogant, pot-smoking, foul-mouthed boyfriend she can’t wait to dump.
* Boston Legal Writers Attack ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy: ABC delivers leftwing propaganda in the guise of entertainment.
* Tila Tequila: the Latest in MTV Sexploitation: Like all reality shows, this one suffers from noticeable scripting, which must have been done by drooling old men in raincoats.
* ABC Takes ‘Big Shots’ at Traditional Values: New “dramedy” normalizes irresponsible sexual behavior, depicts grown men as eternal adolescents.
* A Modern-Day Stoning!?! Cold Case Smears Christian Kids: CBS’s entertainment division portrays devout teens as murderers and hypocrites and their youth pastor as a pervert, while taking cheap shots at abstinence education.
* CBS’s Cold Case Adds Insult to Injury: One Sunday they savage evangelical Christians. The next week, one year after the Lancaster County schoolhouse massacre, they poke fingers in the eyes of the Amish.
* ‘Dr. 90210’ – or Dr. Crotch? What compels anyone at the E! network, from the CEO to the lowliest of interns, to associate himself with this product?
* The World According to the TV Critics: Showtime’s new series, Californication, blatantly and obscenely blasphemes Christianity and insults the Catholic Church – and not a single major media critic even notices.
A steady diet of this poison is bound to affect the way people think. CMI’s special report, The Media Assault on American Values, found a striking contrast between people who watch less than one hour of television per evening and people who watch four hours or more. Heavy TV watchers are less likely to volunteer or make charitable contributions, less likely to attend church regularly, less committed to virtues like honesty and personal responsibility, more permissive about sex and more likely to turn to government to meet their needs rather than relying on themselves.
We’re optimistic about the Hollywood writers walking off the job, because we expect that people will watch less TV as a result. In January, the networks reportedly will run out of fresh scripts for their sitcoms and dramas. When the heart of entertainment programming is forced into reruns, people will watch even less TV. Maybe they’ll realize how much time they’ve been wasting, and they’ll discover how much more rewarding it is to spend that time with friends and loved ones, or volunteering for charity.
Here’s another piece of good news: A new Census Bureau report says more American parents are limiting TV and reading to their kids. Perhaps this is a response to the violence, sex and profanity those Hollywood writers have been pouring into the family hour. According to the Parents Television Council, violent content is up nearly 53 percent in the 8:00 hour since 2001, sexual content is up 22 percent, and foul language now shows up in more than 75 percent of the programs.
According to a Bloomberg report, a Los Angeles economist warns “The big thing for the networks is the erosion of their audience. This is a real concern for them.” We can only hope.