Book Review: 'How Hollywood Uses TV To Brainwash Our Children'

June 2nd, 2011 1:41 PM

That may sound like an overblown title, but if you read Ben Shapiro's new book, "Primetime Propaganda, The True Hollywood Story Of How The Left Took Over Your  TV," you will see it isn't overblown in the least. Ben doesn't just speculate here. He goes to the source.

He interviews the movers and the shakers of Hollywood who admit their own bias and their own agenda. You may have heard Ben's interview with Glenn Beck this morning. Glenn asked him how he got access to these big wigs. Ben said it was because of his last name (Jewish) and the fact that he went to Harvard. They just assumed he was "one of them." The few that did bother to google Ben, declined to be interviewed. So, this fascinating book takes us into the minds of the people who bring television into our home. They clearly state how they want to influence our kids with their political views.

I sat down to read Ben's book thinking it wouldn't really tell me anything I didn't already know, but I was wrong. This book isn't just about looking at the actual shows that are influencing our kids, it takes us backstage in the industry and gives us a glimpse of the people who create these shows and why. First and foremost, there is a blacklisting in Hollywood regarding conservatives. They as much as admit it in Ben's interviews. Ben himself had Leonard Goldberg, a former head of programming at ABC, ask Ben to write a pilot for a series about Harvard Law, and got Ben an agent. But someone found out about Ben's conservative politics, and that was end of that. 

Ben explores the generational change in TV. I'm sure if you ask your grandparents what they think about TV shows today, you will get a look of disgust. We went from the 'G' rated Leave It To Beaver to Modern Family. This wasn't by accident. Even my childhood was filled with shows that didn't try to change the societal landscape, but were just fun to watch. Shows like The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres

Ben says that in the 1960s, television was for the most part conservative. By late 1960s and 70′s, it had turned liberal. CBS was winning big time in the ratings because they had affiliates in rural areas as well as urban. The rest did not. So the other networks went to their advertisers and made the case that those who live in rural areas don't really matter. They don't buy your products. They said what who you really need to appeal to are the young hip urbanites, who are liberal and like liberal programming. The advertisers bought it. CBS saw the gain in revenue with the other networks with their liberal fare, and so they changed as well.

Ben gives us all the details of the presidents of the networks, the producers, and  the writers, and how they were determined to systematically bring liberal views to television family shows. But most disturbing to me is Ben's account of how they infused liberal messages into children's television. Ben met with the producer of Captain Planet and The Planeteers, a cartoon with a far left environmental message. He asked the producer whether he thought Captain Planet promoted a politicized point of view. The producer responded by asking what other point of view would their be?

This is how those in Hollywood see the world. There is no other point of view. It's as sad as it is scary. Isn't America supposed to be all about points fo view? We are not supposed to all believe exactly the same way. This book will make you want to throw the book at the TV next time you see one of the many prime time shows that promote a leftwing agenda. But instead, give the book to someone and ask them to read it and then pass it on.

We can't fight something we don't understand. Ben's book helps us to understand it.