Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A View of the World from Hollywood and Vine: Boston Legal's Iraq War Episode

The New Yorker ran a cover on March 29, 1976 with a cartoon by Saul Steinberg called “A View of the World from Ninth Avenue.” The Cartoon depicted a view from Manhattan to the west where midtown was large and detailed, but not because of realism or perspective. Rather, the depiction of New York was a statement of the typical New Yorker’s bias, where the rest of the world was flat, small, and non-descript. Last evening’s Boston Legal gave us “A View of the World from Hollywood and Vine.”

Boston Legal screen writers betrayed either their bias or their complete ignorance of conservatism and conservatives based on the lines they had Denny Crane utter last night. Denny Crane, played by William Shatner, is the show’s only conservative character on the show although Mark Valley’s undeveloped character—Brad Chase—might eventually develop into a conservative. The writers’ made a pathetic attempt to explain conservatives’ position on the war in Iraq when Alan Shore, an eloquent liberal (of course, is there any other kind?) played by James Spader, sued the military for a client who lost a brother in Iraq.

Denny Crane angrily tells Shore that the difference between Democrats and Republicans is that “Republicans stick with their convictions (over the war) even when we know we are dead wrong.” Later, Denny Crane tells Shore that he is either “for us or against us.” Even Brad, who says he was in the military—and Mark Valley did graduate from West Point—offers little more than anger over what Shore was doing because “he was in the military.” Huh?

And that’s it. That's the sum of the writers’ understanding of conservatives and their position in the war against terror. There was no nuance; no discussion of any intelligent reason for prosecuting a war, especially a war against Islamo-fascists who attack innocent civilians; no eloquence. This is the view from Hollywood and Vine. This is the best the writers—Lawrence Broch, Andrew Kreisberg, and Michael Reisz—could do, while Alan Shore and several other characters waxed poetically without challenge using every trite line that lefties have voiced since Baghdad fell.

So, a question that I’d like addressed is: Do the writers script these lines because they are biased and want to influence the outcome of the debate, or do they write this way because they do not understand the argument. I am slowly coming to the belief that it’s the latter—they are ignorant. And, the saddest thing is that these writers are today’s intellectuals who are shaping the debate for a large swath of people who get their news from comedies (and I don’t mean CBS News).

Hollywood desperately needs some new talent.


At November 04, 2005 1:19 PM, Blogger Charlottesvillain said...

CT, to this crowd there is no argument. They do not see these things as matters of opinion or differences in philosophy. Their view is the truth, and everything else is stupidity and ignorance. The news media is very much the same way, which is why they can look you in the eye and say with sincerity that there is no liberal bias. In their view there is no such thing as liberal bias. There is only their truth, and everyone else's lies.


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