1) A late
September episode of the CBS drama Touched by an Angel (Sundays at 8pm
ET) featured a story line favorable to the pro-life viewpoint. (See
the October 10 CyberAlert.) This past Sunday the show more than made
up for that drift to the right with a plot directly from the Hollywood
Left's imagination as the angels try to fix the evils resulting from
the blacklisting era. While even many conservatives would agree that
Senator McCarthy's tactics went too far and hurt some innocent people,
communism did exist, represented a genuine threat and was advocated by
many in Hollywood.
November 16 episode of the family-oriented drama, however, there were
only victims of lies. No one was guilty of anything, MRC analyst Adam
Pogash concluded after watching the program.
friendly show revolves around three angels who intervene in people's
lives in order to convince them to do what is correct. In the latest
show, Monica, one of the angels, is assigned to Libby Glaser, a
powerful Los Angeles talent agent who is working to have her
blacklisted father's credit restored to the films he wrote in the
1950s. Libby blames the blacklisting for her father's suicide.
As the show
opens Andrew, another angel, explains the blacklisting to Monica:
"It was a product of the Cold War. It was a time when fear of
communism shattered a lot of lives and families, like Libby's. You
know it all began with naming names, People who were even accused of
being Un-American, they lost their jobs. Friends betrayed friends,
marriages were broken apart and Libby's father, Bud Glaser, he
couldn't work for the last six years of his life, at least under his
Tess and Monica are discussing how it could be that an innocent man's
life was destroyed by the hearings, merely by having his name turned
in by his friend, Clive. Tess insists: "Some movie people were
given the chance to testify in secret, clear their name without a lot
of publicity. So Clive just told them the lie they wanted to
hear." When Monica asks how Clive could have betrayed his friend
like that, Tess responds: "Fear, baby. That committee had him
good and scared. Clive did it to save his career." Monica asks
"If Bud wasn't a communist, why didn't he just clear his name and
tell the truth?" Tess tells her: "Well Bud tried to, but in
those days people weren't looking for the truth, they were looking for
names." In fact, recalling how she worked as Bud's maid in the
1950s, Tess asserts that was a time "when freedom was not reining
through the land."
being concerned about the evil of communism -- a system that is
responsible for the ruthless killing of millions of people -- doesn't
fit into this equation. Replace the word "communist" with
"Nazi" and one doubts if being concerned about identifying
its adherents would be so blithely dismissed in prime time.
concluded with Libby Glaser accepting an award for her father as his
name is restored. She declares: "The blacklist was a terrible
thing. Friendships were destroyed, families were destroyed, lives were
destroyed. And all because people were afraid to tell the truth, to
live the truth. We can't let that happen anymore, because if we do, it
means that Joe McCarthy won, and God lost. Bud Glaser wrote the movie
you are about to see, 'Salvation's Child'. It asks the question 'What
if we weren't free to believe in God?' It was written in a time when
many of our freedoms were in jeopardy. The freedom to think, to love,
even the freedom to forgive. Tonight, you have not just restored
credit to my daddy, you have restored the truth, and now he is finally
free. I thank you for that, and I thank God."
Of course, in
communist countries there is no freedom to believe in God or to
express your thoughts.
creators of Murphy Brown (Wednesdays at 8:30pm ET) took a break last
week from praising the Clinton administration and the wonders of
marijuana, to revert to their Bush-era fondness for making fun of
episode which aired November 12, a conservative socialite named Athena
Killington (a la Arianna Huffington) makes a faux-pas during a TV
interview when she refers to Murphy as "The caviar communist
whose backwards moralizing is nothing more than a tumor on
society." Her comments aired the same day that Murphy, a TV
reporter in the sit-com, went public with her breast cancer. As the
shallow, image-conscious Athena Killington put it, "It seems as
though my ill timed remark has dug me into something of a hole. And as
a result, Athena Killington got a down arrow from Newsweek magazine.
And even though they may be the mouthpiece of the liberal media, it
episode, notes the MRC's Adam Pogach, is dedicated to bashing the
conservative movement. The underlying theme is that conservatives are
heartless, uncaring, hypocrites. Murphy is invited to a party hosted
by Killington because Athena thinks it would be a good PR move for
them to be photographed together after the fateful "tumor"
remark. Athena, who has just written a book about turning 50 when she
is actually 57, pleads with Murphy not to reveal her secret: "You
can't tell anyone, it will ruin me. Don't you understand? My political
credibility is my currency. Please allow me my one affectation, allow
me my little white lie, the way you allow all those immigrant children
to speak their native tongue."
our liberal heroes have many opportunities to make jokes at the
expense of conservatives. For example, Murphy says of going to
Athena's party: "I don't know why anyone would want to eat
shellfish at a party thrown by the geisha girl of the conservative
movement, and her husband, Elmer Fudd." In reference to Athena's
50th birthday party, Murphy says "Yeah, Middle Ages, that's just
what she would have this country referred to if she had her way."
3) ABC's The
Practice (Saturdays, 10pm ET) has departed from the Hollywood Left in
its treatment of some controversial issues this season. The October 25
episode, for example, offered a unique plot to explore the issues of
"life" or "choice," but largely delivered a
startlingly pro-life message. The ABC drama is centered around a
struggling Boston law firm best know for using questionable tactics to
help its usually guilty clients escape penalty.
October 25 show a happily married couple are expecting a baby. The
mother is well into the pregnancy when her doctor informs her that the
child will probably not survive if carried to full term, and the
baby's best chance for survival is if the mother has a cesarian. The
mother (who definitely wants the baby) because of her religious
beliefs refuses to have the intrusive surgery, stating that she has an
understanding with God, and He will help her baby survive. Her doctor
and her husband want to force her to have the cesarian to save the
baby's life, and are certain that she almost wishes the court would
force her to have the cesarian, but know that she will not cave on the
issue unless forced to. The husband retains the law firm, hoping it
can win a court order forcing his wife to have the cesarian.
delivers some brief, almost obligatory pro-choice rants, as in the
following exchange between two of the firm's lawyers:
"Lindsay, I'm trying to save a baby here."
Lindsay: "You're going to court arguing that a woman has no
right to control over her own body."
Eleanore: "Lindsay, I am pro-choice, This case is not about
pro-choice." Lindsay: "Tell it to the mother."
sentiment is more than balanced by many life affirming statements. For
example, Helen, a prosecutor for the District Attorney, and Lindsay
get into a discussion about the issue a short time later. Helen
argues: "Don't you think if a woman agrees to incubate a child,
she's got some kind of duty towards its safety?....I never bought into
that 'My body, my right' stuff, not completely. I mean, if a person
wants total dominion over her body, she perhaps shouldn't decide to
let another person grow inside it."
father of the child takes Eugene, his lawyer, to the maternity ward of
a nearby hospital and shows Eugene the newborn babies. His client
points out a premature baby and tells Eugene "The point is, my
boy is exactly the same age as that one. He's just as viable, just as
healthy. The only difference is that one's on the outside. There's no
other difference. Just he's on the outside." Eugene tells him
"Unfortunately, there's another difference. This child has
rights. Until your boy is actually born, he doesn't. That's the
law." The father replies "Yeah? Look at him. Now you tell me
that law doesn't need to be adjusted."
arguing in court, Eugene begs the court to consider the child "If
she doesn't have this procedure very soon, the baby will die. Does the
child enjoy any civil rights here?" The judge tries to correct
him "There is no baby, there is a fetus." Eugene replies
"A viable fetus. Nine months in term...the law says she has no
right to abort in the third trimester, that means the courts have
recognized that a viable in-utero baby has some rights...A baby's
about to die...can't we all just take the time to give it a
thought?" The opposing council argues "the law is not
exactly muddy here, he has no paternal rights before birth, and she
can not be forced to have a c-section. There's nothing gray to
consider." Eugene then presents a drawing of a third trimester
baby in the uterus, and urges the court to "consider him."
eventually decides that the court cannot force a woman to have a
medical procedure if she refuses it, and on appeal, the superior court
upholds this finding saying that while it is their wish that Cynthia
(the mother) save her child, to force her to do so would be repugnant
to the Constitution. After the court declares its finding, Cynthia's
doctor, who has been present during the hearing, shouts: "You
poor martyrs. How heroic of you to stand up for our Constitution. The
law was supposed to protect the weak, that baby is a human being, and
your defense of our hallowed Constitution amounts to murder. That's a
high price to pay for freedom, you heroes."