by Steve Young
Steve Young columns
years one of the myths perpetrated by the Lords of Loud of the Right
is that if you have conservative values or skew right, you have no chance
This past week in a forum sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, perhaps
the Rightest of the Right think tanks, with Clarence Thomas and Rush
Limbaugh in attendance, executive producers of the hit show "24"' were asked by
Limbaugh if they were snubbed by Hollywood liberals for producing a
"pro-America" show. Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran said the answer was "no," and Surnow, who has shown up at
his share of conservative events, acknowledged the show's audience
includes those of all political persuasions, including Barbara Streisand
and Donald Rumsfeld.
Limbaugh immediately called for all talk show hosts and conservative
pundits to discontinue throwing around fraudulent suggestions that
anyone who doesn't lean left is dead wood in Hollywood.
(Quickie Test: Guess which previous sentence was untrue.)
I have never bought into the Right's "Republican equals Hollywood
shut-out" claims any more than I believe seventeen-year-old mustard gas is
why we went into Iraq. Now, if Rush, Sean and Bill O would have slammed
Hollywood for bias against over-40 writers or any film script that
had my name on it, then I might be tuned into Fox News more often for my
The main speaker at the Heritage Foundation forum was Homeland Security
Secretary, Michael Chertoff. He spoke of the differences between Fox's
"24" and the actual counter-terrorism work.
In "24," President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin), approved the supplying a
Russian madman with poisonous WMD. In real life, it was President Reagan
who authorized Rumsfeld to shake hands with and supply an Iraqi madman
In "24," Logan had his predecessor killed. In real politics, you don't
want to make a martyr out of someone your supporters can continue to
pummel with much more venom if alive. It's very tacky to demean the
In "24," the President was not really in charge as much as some dark,
maniacal figure who fed him diabolical instructions from some hidden
bunker. That's the only similarity.
Chertoff made sure not to mention that extra-super-duper agent Jack Bauer
might have handled Katrina better than he or Michael Brown did.
Especially when there's a good chance Kiefer Sutherland himself could
have done a better job. But it would seem that Chertoff, President Bush
or, for that matter, anyone who may want to create something special,
might want to take a tip from some of the show's writers.
When I interviewed the "24" producers for the WGA's "Written By"
magazine, I was told that when stuck, their creative tactic was to ask
"what could never happen," and that's exactly what would happen. (I'm usually wrong when I try to predict the plot twists, and
keep stopping TIVO to describe my latest inept calculation to my wife. She just
But give them credit: It's hard coming up with unlogical thinking. "24" is a hit because Surnow and Cochran have mastered the art of opposite. It entertains us. But even they are overshadowed by the grand champ opposita -- Ann Coulter.
War heroes are cowards and traitors. Widows of terror victims are greedy witches. All critics are enemies of the state. Who isn't mesmerized by her upside-down view of the world? We eagerly await what crazy thing she will spew next.
Coulter is the horrific fifteen-car pileup we sit impatiently in a ten-mile
long line of traffic, damning whatever caused the thirty-some minute
delay, then when reaching the crash site, slow down to see every gory
detail -- adding to our own delay -- all the time shaking our heads in
despair at the blood and twisted metal strewn over the highway.
So, in effect, if you are reading this, but still find it an unnecessary
tumor on the body America, you may be suffering from the media affliction
that Ann discovered long ago and is smart or devious enough to
exploit...Coulter Rubbernecking Disorder (CRD)
Face it. If Ann were not as disgusting as she is, we would be
disappointed. And publishers, radio and TV execs are well aware of CRD.
It's not their desire to give her a platform. It's our desire to see
her, albeit like we want to see the evil WWF wrestler beaten. But
despite getting pummeled by our hero, somehow the bad guy will cheat and
come out at the end with the championship belt and a fatter wallet.
So, while you might want to write and say how pieces like this only gives
a small benign spot on the lung more opportunity to become a malignancy,
forget it. Just by reading this, you already supplied humanity with the
It's not your fault. You've got CRD.
Steve Young, author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" and the forthcoming "15 Minutes" (Harper Collins). Steve's column can be read every Sunday in the LA Daily News Op-Ed page (right next to Bill O'Reilly)
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June 23, 2006 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
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