Monday, September 26, 2011

Ben Shapiro, Hollywood elitism, and America's love of dick jokes

Hey! Look! Ben Shapiro is griping again about how Hollywood is out of touch with mainstream American values, with shows that make light of sex and use the word "vagina." Truth be told, I don't have much use for the new fall season shows he criticizes at National Review, but then he reaches this astounding conclusion.
Some of these shows may be good. Who knows?
I enjoy how the quality of shows is irrelevant to his critique of them. I enjoy how he implicitly admits that he hasn't seen the shows he's criticizing.  But that's not the juicy part.
 Maybe Hollywood will stumble onto something. But note a pattern: the network that continues to appeal to most Americans — and the network that doesn’t appear on this list — remains CBS. That’s because they aim at older audiences, and so have less need to be “edgy.” It’s also why you won’t see them winning too many Emmys in the near future.
Well sure. CBS is the most-popular network—and its most popular sitcom, Two and a Half Men, has more dick jokes per minute than a Milton Berle roast. (Note: I am not 70 years old.) Same for its other hit, The Big Bang Theory.

Now: I suspect that dick jokes actually do reflect mainstream American values—which, as Shapiro notes, is why CBS is so popular. But it really doesn't offer much support for his analysis that real Americans want some good old-fashioned family values served up during primetime. It's almost as though Shapiro's got a theme he intends to keep hammering, no matter what the evidence actually shows.

No comments: