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?