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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Whiny-Ass Titty-Babies Are Winning

Last week -- as in eight whole days ago -- NBC wheeled out its midseason entry in the late Friday night sweepstakes, a soapy little number called Book of Daniel. I have not sat through either of its two whole episodes as of yet, but the wife watches it, and I have caught several pivotal scenes. Suffice to say that it strikes me as an ambitious, if flawed, entry that borrows from both Desperate Housewives and Rescue Me. The basic logline is that Aidan Quinn is an Episcopalian priest (so, you know, he's married and has kids) who deals with his own Vicodin jones as he ministers to his loopy parishioners and his own family, who like all families are insane. So far, no problem. Either you like this sort of thing, or you don't.

Well, the God Squad don't, and they have made their displeasure rabidly known, by gang-faxing and template-emailing to their wittle walnut brains' content. As a result, advertisers are already getting cold feet, and stations in the Sacred Heartland are already pulling the show altogether.

After two fucking episodes.

Controversial new television show The Book of Daniel has been removed from the lineup of Nashville's NBC affiliate after the show drew thousands of complaints from irate viewers, incuding letters faxed in on church letterhead. The show has now been pulled from seven network affiliates, mostly in the South. The Book of Daniel, which features Aidan Quinn as a pill-popping Episcopalian priest with a gay son, has drawn the fire of conservative Christian groups, most notably the American Family Association, which is encouraging members through its website to protest the show and threaten boycotts of advertisers.


Maybe they should have made a series about a self-righteous hectoring thorn-in-our-fucking-side wingnut with her own gay son, and called it Phyllis Schlafly's Fire 'n' Brimstone Happy Funtime Goin' Ta Hell Hour. And I'm sure there's not a single solitary person in all of the American Family Association who has a gay relative, or an alcoholic in the family, or some sort of dysfunction themselves. Nope. They're all perfect, so why would they expect anything less from the fictional characters on their Holy Boob Tube?

Exactly what do these people want to watch? Endless retreads of Leave It To Beaver and 7th Heaven? Well, buy the DVDs or tune in to TVLand or Nick at Nite. I don't get why these weirdos are so upset about something that airs well after the vaunted family hour, yet I don't hear about them gang-faxing CBS over the goo and gore and lurid content of the various CSI franchises. And if I did hear about such a thing -- even though I have no patience for those series myself -- I'd still be pissed.

Look, you idiots. Here's a simple rule -- if you don't like it, don't fucking watch it. Change the channel. Set the V-chip that you fought so valiantly for ten years ago. Set your satellite TV guide to the channels you approve. Climb out of everyone else's fucking asses already.

Get a goddamned life.

I'm not a Christian, and neither are a lot of other people living in this country. I don't watch televangelism programs. In fact, I consider some televangelists, like Pat Robertson, to be downright dangerous. But Pat Robertson has a First Amendment right to say whatever idiotic things he likes, and people who like him have a right to tune in and listen and nod their heads fervently in agreement, if that's their choice.


And you know what? Maybe that's the problem right there. We're talking about theopolitical activist groups, who are a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the 300 million people in this country. And look at the leverage they hold. Is it because they're right? Is it because they really are the majority? I don't think so. It's because they are organized and they are disciplined. They have people who will sit there, literally with a clipboard and a checklist, and review programs for "objectionable" content, tallying every reference to drug use, promiscuous sex, and so on. Then they have other minions who analyze and collate this data, and prepare talking points.

I wonder what would happen if we were able to organize enough to do this sort of thing to "Pat" Robertson. He's not untouchable, you know. ABC owns his network. What if everyone who was sick of Robertson's incessant lunacy gang-faxed ABC, telling them that not only will they boycott all advertisers, but they'll also boycott Grey's Anatomy, According to Jim, Desperate Housewives, and all the other fine family entertainment product ABC runs?

All these motherfuckers do is shove, and shove, and shove. What if the rest of us actually fucking shoved back?

2 comments:

phinky said...

The push back comes with the high ratings these shows get when these groups inadvertantly publicize them. Everytime one of these shows is under pressure, talk to your friends, blog and point out that you will watch these shows. Let it be known everytime Brent Bozell shows his WATB face on Faux News or Conservative News Network or MSGOP you will make a donation to the ACLU or the People for the American Way. Once they realize these actions are counterproductive, they will stop.

I wasn't going to watch the Book of Daniel, I thought, "Oh great a show about a priest who talks to God, I'm not going to watch NBC pander to the fundagelicals." But when the AFA started its wingnut whining about it, I knew I had to watch it. Advertizers don't care about these WATB, they care about ratings. They talked about Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City (they still are WATB about S&TC) being the biggest corrupter of morals, but you know what? Even more people watched them.

Do you know why the AFA and the Dobsons are such WATB? Because they are out of touch with America and they know it. So the get all WATB about these shows so Millie in Kansas will donate money. That's why there needs to a sponsor the wingnut contest. For every appearance Kate O'Beirne makes publicizing her book, a donation needs to go NOW.

Craig Heath said...

Why won't we sit there with a clipboard watching the 700 Club, then spend countless hours distilling the raw data into talking points and energizing thousands of people to mass-fax-and-email the networks and do some pushing back?

You said it yourself - we have lives. They don't.