The mainstream media seems content to focus on one aspect of my new book, Primetime Propaganda: its discussion of Sesame Street. The UK Independent led off the publicity campaign for the book with an analysis of the children’s television show, and the left-leaning media quickly followed suit, jumping on the Sesame Street critique to push the notion that I was a Jerry Falwell-esque character seeking to locate gay Teletubbies. This, of course, was absurd – particularly because an entire section of the book explains why the Teletubbies are not gay, why nobody should worry about Spongebob SquarePants and Patrick, and why finding conspiracies in children’s shows is a chimerical exercise. The Left was attempting to paint me as a kook to avoid facing down the devastating tape I released of top Hollywood figures admitting to propagandizing through their shows and acknowledging that conservatives are discriminated against in Hollywood. All the Left wanted to talk about was Elmo.
So when I appeared on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News last Wednesday night, I joked about the media’s attempt at misdirection. “Every kid in America is gonna hate you,” Sean said. “You’re taking on Elmo and Sesame Street and Big Bird in your book.”
“I kind of wanna take ‘em out back and cap ‘em,” I laughed.
Naturally, the Left went nuts – mainly because many on the Left are already nuts. The New Civil Rights Movement, a gay interest group, labeled my comments the latest example of “how flip the right is about violence and murder.” A commenter at one prominent left-wing website even suggested that rhetoric like mine led to the shooting of Gabby Giffords. George Soros-funded Media Matters focused in on Ken Blackwell’s comments on the Hannity panel in which he talked about how gender confusion is problematic – and then stated, “this kind of rhetoric that attacks the very idea of LGBT people being allowed to live as they are is all too common on Fox.” Then, Media Matters actually called for a boycott of the network.
Note to liberals: Elmo and Big Bird are not real people. They are actually puppets, and technically, they cannot be killed. So don’t worry – you can sleep safe. I promise, I will not take violent action against any puppet of any kind. And as for Media Matters – get a life, and learn to speak English.
It’s all too typical of the Left to focus on something completely irrelevant to the topic at hand when faced with inconvenient facts. When James O’Keefe busted ACORN by posing as a pimp and asking for tax help, the Left immediately latched onto the fact that O’Keefe wasn’t actually dressed in a pimp costume, labeling that irrelevant tidbit the “pimp hoax.” Media Matters led the charge on that one, ignoring ACORN’s aid to faux sex slavers in favor of what O’Keefe happened to be wearing that day.
When Andrew Breitbart picked up on Anthony Weiner’s tweet of his bulging jockeys this week, the leftist rearguard ignored the fact that a married Congressman was sending out lewd pics of his genitals, and instead tried to focus its fire on Andrew personally. Some of them suggested that Andrew or his associates had hacked Weiner’s Twitter account to get the photos, or that they had been planted there by third parties related to Andrew.
This stretches all the way back to Clinton. When Matt Drudge broke the news of Clinton’s sexcapades in the Oval Office, Clinton’s allies, led by Sid Vicious Blumenthal began systematically targeting Republicans including Henry Hyde. The idea was that by personally destroying Clinton’s rivals, they would be able to get Clinton off the hook.
In all three cases, the strategy failed.
And it’s failed here, too.
The Hollywood Left can’t hide behind Sesame Street anymore. Sesame Street is, of course, a liberal-leaning show; as I revealed in this video, the creators of Sesame Street saw it as a taxpayer-funded sop to black and Hispanic children who supposedly had “no reading material” in the house. The origin of the show was soft bigotry of low expectation ideology – why can’t black and Hispanic children enjoy mainstream children’s entertainment, rather than specialized television focusing on a dirty street with monsters who live in garbage pails? The show itself has pushed peaceful conflict resolution in the aftermath of 9⁄11, a bizarre and insulting message; ripped Fox News; hosted perverse pop stars like Katy Perry; the list goes on. This isn’t deeply perverse stuff, but it’s inappropriate nonetheless.
But Sesame Street is only the beginning. Creators have now come out and admitted that they discriminate against conservatives in Hollywood; that they message their shows; that they scorn ordinary Americans. We won’t be put off by their focus on Sesame Street or their idiotic misdirection techniques. We have the goods, and we’re not going to let go until we change the nature of Hollywood itself.
Ben Shapiro is an attorney and writer and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, and author of the upcoming book “Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV” from Broadside Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.