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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Where's the Outrage?

The front page of today's Houston Chronicle carries a story about the new TV series Commander in Chief with the headline: "Madame President on TV Stirs Political Intrigue".

The picture of Geena Davis accompanying the article is captioned "Some conservatives taking Geena Davis' presidential role seriously". Also, the subheading on the continuation page inside the paper reads, "Some conservatives are outraged." The picture, caption, and subhead are not available on-line.

The fourth paragraph of the story says:

Some conservatives denounce the show as a liberal Trojan horse for a 2008 presidential campaign by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. Others find that laughable.

The story has twenty-nine paragraphs (all quite short, of course), and it isn't until the 25th paragraph that any actual outrage is reported. That would be the outrage of Rush Limbaugh, who was "exercised" when Geena Davis reported that she was "honored" when she first set foot on the show's Oval Office set. Limbaugh says, "It's a TV show!" Presumably he meant that she should get a grip, remembering it's fiction and not reality. I can see how she'd feel it was an honor to be chosen to play a woman president, but only if you thought a woman president was something new and astonishing. See below.

The next paragraph does feature actual, spittle-emitting, red-faced, bellowing outrage:

Neal Boortz, a syndicated radio host based in Atlanta, wrote on his Web site that a lot of listeners have been phoning in wondering whether the show is an overt setup for Clinton.

Can you feel the OUTRAGE?? No? Sorry, that's all there is. Yes, this and the Limbaugh paragraph are all the "outrage" reported. Ah, but maybe there's some actual foaming and writhing on Boortz's site, eh? Um, no.

In that post, Boortz says he's concluded that the show is designed to promote Hillary Clinton's presidential run, based on the fact that her former communications director is one of the writers, and her (former?) social secretary is a special advisor to the program. I think that's jumping to conclusions, myself, but the point is that Boortz's OUTRAGE! is somehow missing.

The article also quotes a couple of local female Republican bigwigs who agree that it's a Clinton promo, but are not noticeably outraged about it. There's a quote from a Democrat who's outraged at Bush, though.

There's also this:

Before stepping down as executive producer, [series creator Rod] Lurie told reporters that if Clinton does get the nomination in 2008, "We are all taking the credit."

It's that kind of talk that has Internet blogs and some elements of conservative talk radio up in arms.

Whatever. Sounds like a joke to me. I wonder what happens if Condi gets the nomination. Will they take credit then, too?

Frankly, if someone's got to be outraged, it should be the public, for the way that the producers have been patting themselves on the back for their progressive courage in presenting us with a woman! President! Boy, howdy! We're really in the 21st century now!

Sure, Gramps. You do realize this isn't 1975, right?

Apparently not, because they're trying to get away with drivel like this:

The intrepid President Allen, or "Mac" to her intimates, routinely juggles mutinous Cabinet members, bratty kids, foreign policy, political foes, terrorism and a slightly traumatized husband called "the first gentleman."

Urp! Oops, sorry.

In the last episode, first son Horace got into a fight with kids at school who mocked his sweater-clad father as "a wuss." Later, in a confrontation with his father in the White House kitchen, Horace yelled, "You're a national joke, Dad!"

Why isn't this a national joke? The shelf life on that sort of thing expired at about the same time the Mary Tyler Moore Show went off the air.

The show does have one big futuristic, paradigm-breaking aspect: the President's an independent. Now that, I don't believe.