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Boston Legal Calls McCain/Palin Supporters Idiots

Many McCain/Palin voters are idiots.  So said the writers of the Nov. 17 episode of ABC's Boston Legal, who went out of their way to trash Sarah Palin and elevate the election of Barack Obama to mythical status.


The Obama-supporting characters “Alan Shore” and “Shirley Schmidt,” played by James Spader and Candace Bergen, dropped the I-word in an exchange about McCain supporters:


SCHMIDT: Martha's a little bit of an idiot.

SHORE: Shirley, almost 47 percent of this country didn't vote for Obama, perhaps because they disagreed with him on the issues, which is fine. But some, no doubt, because they thought he was Muslim with terrorists on his speed dial, and others because th-they were convinced he was not only socialist, but even worse, a bad bowler, and others still because they simply loved those cream-colored jackets Sarah may have to give back. (Laughs) But there's one thing all those idiots have in common.

SCHMIDT: What?

SHORE: They still get to vote. (Laughs)


The episode centered on a lawsuit brought by the character “Martha,” who claimed she was fired from her job because she voted for McCain.  In fact, her Republican boss fired her because he thought she was stupid, on the grounds that Martha was an ardent Hillary supporter who voted for McCain because of Sarah Palin.  A double slam from the left-loving writers of Boston Legal.


Shore and Schmidt decide to represent Marthaeven though they did think she was stupid -- for supporting the McCain ticket.  Schmidt tells her as much in a conference.


SCHMIDT: Honey, the sexist in all this is you. … You claim to be a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter. You -- you walked into that booth and voted against everything Hillary stands for, and why? Because the Republicans added to their ticket someone they referred to at the convention as "the hot chick."


But Shore was the character who really delivered the Hollywood slapdown of half the country, while he and Schmidt gauzily reflect on what it means to be “American” and the election of Barack Obama.


SHORE: I think that's what this election just proved, that real Americans aren't just rural and white. The portrait of real Americans has been redrawn in this election. Real Americans are of all ages, races, ethnicities. They live in cities and apartments as well as... farms. I... we have a president-elect who fits into no category or demographic whatsoever other than he's an American.

SCHMIDT: God, I wept that night. (Chuckles) did you?

SHORE: No, I just... watched and watched and... didn't want the night to end. I already miss Sarah Palin, though. (Laughs) she was fun while she lasted. I hope they let her keep the wardrobe.

SCHMIDT: I still have to say, though, as heartened as I am by the election and by America...

SHORE: What? (Laughs)

SCHMIDT: Martha's a little bit of an idiot.

SHORE: Shirley, almost 47 percent of this country didn't vote for Obama, perhaps because they disagreed with him on the issues, which is fine. But some, no doubt, because they thought he was Muslim with terrorists on his speed dial, and others because th-they were convinced he was not only socialist, but even worse, a bad bowler, and others still because they simply loved those cream-colored jackets Sarah may have to give back. (Laughs) But there's one thing all those idiots have in common.

SCHMIDT: What?

SHORE: They still get to vote. (Laughs)


In addition to offending 55 million Americans with this storyline (click here for viewer feedback on Boston Legal's Web site), the show's writers also took aim at the blogosphere, Dick Cheney and the American electorate in a monologue delivered by Shore arguing on behalf of his “stupid” client.


SHORE: …we as a nation are horribly uninformed when it comes to politics. Approximately one-third of the people in this country, people of voting age, couldn't tell you the name of our current vice president. Now admittedly, some of us like to block it out, but even so, only two in five adult Americans know we have three branches of government. … People forgo newspapers for the Internet, where instead of relying on credentialed journalists, they turn to these bloggers--sort of entry-level life-forms that intellectually have yet to emerge from the primordial ooze. …This is a democracy. We can be as stupid as we choose. We're Americans. We're as simple as that.


Not content to offend political sensibilities alone, the show's writers also closed the show on a sleazy note with Shore and William Shatner's character, “Denny Crane,” fantasizing about having sex with Sarah Palin and Shirley Schmidt at the same time.


No wonder most people, according to a poll released this week, find Hollywood morals the antithesis of the morals of most Americans (see CMI story here).  And no wonder, with writing like this that Boston Legal is headed for extinction at the end of this season.


Kristen Fyfe is senior writer at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.