According to Primetime Propaganda, a new book by conservative author Ben Shapiro, there is a huge underground river of liberal propaganda that subtly (and not so subtly) flows into American television. Conservatives lost the TV war, he weeps, rending his cable guide.
Well, sure, All in the Family, Maude and Saturday Night Live certainly presented alternatives to conservative values. But Happy Days?
Happy Days seemed so wholesome, so All-American, set in the idealized and idyllic 1950s, post-Korean War, pre-Viet Nam era when father knew best (which was to leaving it to Beaver).
Happy Days was a pilot for the 1972 television season, but it got shelved. It was then resurrected as an episode of Love American Style. After Ron Howard shot to success in American Graffiti, the nostalgia-laden series was a no-brainer. The 50s were back! Happy Days debuted in the fall of 1974, the Fall of Saigon was six months later. In an interview with staff writer Ben Shapiro gleaned this nugget:
The draft and the specter of military service do appear in Happy Days, but not until late into the series run. In season 10, Fonzie must report for Army Reserve duty. Earlier, in 1981′s season 7 (to accommodate Ron Howard’s directorial career), his character Richie Cunningham and buddy Ralph were written out. The red-haired duo are apparently drafted and sent to “Fort Silverman” where Richie is assigned to scrub latrines (he’d applied to write for the camp newspaper). Later, Richie is sent to Greenland for his tour of duty, where he marries his girlfriend over the phone, impregnating her when she flew to Greenland to visit him. Richie returns in the last season with mustache and attitude, not because he saw any action, but because he is unhappy that he may be trapped in his hometown – he does seem a little edgy, as the clip above shows.
Shapiro also deconstructs Three’s Company, Friends, MacGyver (which was anti-gun, according to Shapiro) and of course Sesame Street. Today in Big Hollywood he writes:
Sesame Street’s liberalism is soft and overarching, not intrusive and annoying. The Sesame Street website lectures Americans about their deep, dark cultural biases ordering parents to examine “your own cultural assumptions and biases” as a “good place to begin your anti-bias work.” The website also tells parents to “try to use gender-neutral language … [use] words such as firefighter, flight attendant, garbage collector, and humankind to replace the use of ‘man’ as a generic noun or ending.” The goal, of course, is to parrot the feminist line about language’s inherent sexism. The website also encourages parents to find toys and books with characters “that break stereotypes about men and women, for example, dolls for boys and building toys and puzzles for girls.” Larry Summers has amply debunked such nonsense – it’s leftist utopian thinking at its finest, fostered with your tax dollars.
Wow, you know Gilligan’s Island is actually a parable for all the continents on Earth getting along, per creator Sherwood Schwartz. Just saying…