Sunday, March 2, 2008

Reflections: The Golden Age of Television


This morning, as I made my regular visit to the site of cyber-friend Anthony, these observations, inspired by the death of William F. Buckley Jr., suggested the topic of this post to me. While Anthony’s main purpose, in the spirit of let us now praise famous men, was to eulogize Mr. Buckley, he made this observation at the end of the post:

The great social critics on both sides [i.e., the political right and left] are either gone (Buckley, Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson) or old (Chomsky, Buchanan). And yes, most of them are annoying (Mailer was a psycho and Thompson probably insane). But they were intelligent and thought provoking. In their place we have mediocrities.

There is some truth in that. When I thought about it, though, the following also occurred to me, and I commented on Anthony’s post thusly:

Let it be noted that despite the supposed "liberal bias" of the MainStreamMedia, figures on the true left are never seen on mainstream television. If not for C-SPAN, figures like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn would never be on TV at all. All of the neocons, and the rest of Wm. F. Buckley's spawn, by contrast, are on constantly. There are still left-wingers alive in the wild, but you have to seek them out for yourself; they are not brought to you free of charge by the MSM, as are the generations of Kristols and Podhoretzes.

Whatever happened to the days when Gore Vidal could serve as a color-man for a major network on the coverage of a major party convention? When will a figure like Fidel Castro again appear on a popular entertainment program? Why, in the words of the immortal Rodney King, can’t we all just get along?

5 comments:

An Interested Party said...

Oh, come now, Rob, you can answer that question yourself...the people you would like to see are all dangerous radicals espousing a failed ideology...the others that you see but don't like are simply part of the "mainstream" in our "center-right" country...if you want to see lefty radicals, don't expect the "liberal" MSM to give them face-time...that wouldn't be prudent at this juncture...

Rodak said...

AIP--
Do you happen to know if "prudence" has the same etymological root as "prune?"

An Interested Party said...

In this case, it probably does...

Anonymous said...

Rodak, there are 5 Billion people on this planet. The "great ones" are still around us. If you're looking for "greatness" in mainstream media, then of course you'll never find it. Of course, most of the folk you reference in your articles weren't considered "great" by that same idiot media, so who cares what some define as "great"?

---MS

Rodak said...

MS--
You put the word "great" in quotes, as though I had used it. I don't think I did. My point was that the true left used to get a shot on mainstream TV, but does not any more; while the true right is amply represented. Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer may or may not have been "great" but at least they represented a side that no longer gets heard from.