Monday, February 21, 2005

L. Brent Bozell strikes again

Those of you who read my little peice last week about the toxic influence of pro-censorship advocate L. Brent Bozell and his web-based outfits The Media Research Center and Parents Television Council on the current national FCC policy know I'm not a fan of the guy or his work. Those of you who didn't, well, here's your chance:

But as a refresher: Bozell calls himself a "conservative watchdog" and dedicates his life to stamping out stuff he doesn't like from TV, film and radio. So, yeah, not a fan.

But the thing is, Mr. Bozell and I have a lot in common. For example, both of us share the likelihood of our ears perking up when we hear the word "lesbian" bandied about in relation to a television show. In fact, we're both much more likely to watch any show that promises a "lesbian twist," which these days is just about any show other than "Everybody Loves Raymond" (and thank heaven for that, I wouldn't wish having to lock lips with Patricia Heaton on anyone of any sex.) Where we diverge is, I'm comfortable admitting I'm just a sucker for two girls "getting together." It's sexy. Whereas Bozell is allegedly devoting himself to watching sex-fueled TV shows "so you don't have to." Ahem. In any case, we both taped that last episode of "The O.C."

Anyhow, Bozell is up in a dander about an "outbreak" of lesbian moments on TV during sweeps month. It's understandable that he'd be upset, the notion that TV Networks add girl/girl coupling to their shows during the ratings-sweeps because they know for a fact that it will make many more people than usual watch flies in the face of his zealous insistence that the "Liberal Media" boogeyman is trying to force this content on a public that "doesn't want it."

Last night "The Simpsons" outed perennially single supporting character Patti Bouvier, and predictably Bozell is cheesed off...

Man, if yellow-skinned cartoon characters that every other censorship-pundit gave up on trying to silence about eleven years ago talking sex bother him so much, my Anime collection would give him a seizure...

And to prove himself further, he elaborates on the subject on his MRC column. Here Bozell clicks off every Sapphic instance he's witnessed on the boob tube this month, and honestly his list puts mine to shame. I'm envious that this guy has seen so much more girl-on-girl action on TV this month than I have, and he's (allegedly) not even enjoying it.

But hey, look what I found...

In the screed linked-to above, Bozell goes off on the recent episode of ABC's ghastly "Wife Swap" in which the trading couples were Evangelical Christians and a Lesbian family. He describes the predictable results:

At the end of the "swap," the Christian mom makes the lesbian cry by saying, "I think you are, according to the word of God, depraved, and I don't want anyone depraved near my kids."

At first, I'm thinking the point here is "gee, isn't it typical that what bugs Bozell about "Wife Swap" isn't the inherent cruelty and indignity of the show and most of it's Reality TV ilk, but that the show has trained the TV Eye on the seething, irrational hatred that informs too much of so-called 'Christians' thinking in this country," but then he goes on...

"That leaves everyone in the audience thinking, correctly: then maybe you shouldn’t have volunteered to go on "Wife Swap," dummy."

Okay, so he doesn't like Wife Swap. Fine, at least he's not being a hypocr...

Oh, wait. Look at this from September 30, 2004...

That was Bozell praising the heck out of "Wife Swap" back when it was new. Check this out:

"While the shows center on women from radically different home environments switching places, there is no sleazy expectation of swinging infidelity. Instead, the two families struggle to integrate a total stranger into their lives for a week, and often what emerges by show’s end is a renewed appreciation of the very essence of motherhood."

So back then he ADORED "Wife Swap" for it's family-values influence on the Reality TV culture, but NOW someone who goes on deserves to be verbally abused because they are a "dummy" who ought to have known better?

Now, admittedly, catching a pro-censorship advocate like Bozell in an act of hypocrisy is about as exciting as catching Winnie The Pooh in an act of honey-eating, but I just thought I'd bring it to your attention. And remember, this man and his organization are right now exercising an incredible amount of pressure on the FCC. Do you want these people in charge of what's "decent" and what's not?

Didn't think so.