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“Vitally important, devastatingly thorough, and shockingly revealing…. After reading Primetime Propaganda, you’ll never watch TV the same way again.” —Mark Levin Movie critic Michael Medved calls Ben Shapiro, “One of our most refreshing and insightful voices on the popular culture, as well as a conscience for his much-maligned generation.” With Primetime Propaganda, the synd “Vitally important, devastatingly thorough, and shockingly revealing…. After reading Primetime Propaganda, you’ll never watch TV the same way again.” —Mark Levin Movie critic Michael Medved calls Ben Shapiro, “One of our most refreshing and insightful voices on the popular culture, as well as a conscience for his much-maligned generation.” With Primetime Propaganda, the syndicated columnist and bestselling author of Brainwashed, Porn Generation, and Project President tells the shocking true story of how the most powerful medium of mass communication in human history became a vehicle for spreading the radical agenda of the left side of the political spectrum. Similar to what Bernard Goldberg’s Bias and A Slobbering Love Affair did for the liberal news machine, Shapiro’s Primetime Propaganda is an essential exposé of corrupting media bias, pulling back the curtain on widespread and unrepentant abuses of the Hollywood entertainment industry.


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“Vitally important, devastatingly thorough, and shockingly revealing…. After reading Primetime Propaganda, you’ll never watch TV the same way again.” —Mark Levin Movie critic Michael Medved calls Ben Shapiro, “One of our most refreshing and insightful voices on the popular culture, as well as a conscience for his much-maligned generation.” With Primetime Propaganda, the synd “Vitally important, devastatingly thorough, and shockingly revealing…. After reading Primetime Propaganda, you’ll never watch TV the same way again.” —Mark Levin Movie critic Michael Medved calls Ben Shapiro, “One of our most refreshing and insightful voices on the popular culture, as well as a conscience for his much-maligned generation.” With Primetime Propaganda, the syndicated columnist and bestselling author of Brainwashed, Porn Generation, and Project President tells the shocking true story of how the most powerful medium of mass communication in human history became a vehicle for spreading the radical agenda of the left side of the political spectrum. Similar to what Bernard Goldberg’s Bias and A Slobbering Love Affair did for the liberal news machine, Shapiro’s Primetime Propaganda is an essential exposé of corrupting media bias, pulling back the curtain on widespread and unrepentant abuses of the Hollywood entertainment industry.

30 review for Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Griswold

    Primetime Propaganda by Ben Shapiro surprised me because when I heard that it was written by a conservative columnist, I was expecting this venomous, hate filled, ideological rant against the admittedly quite liberal television industry. What I actually got was a rational and fairly even handed approach towards the television industry that spoke to the creators and consumers of television from the 1950's through today and he discovered that yes many of them are liberal, but that the injection of Primetime Propaganda by Ben Shapiro surprised me because when I heard that it was written by a conservative columnist, I was expecting this venomous, hate filled, ideological rant against the admittedly quite liberal television industry. What I actually got was a rational and fairly even handed approach towards the television industry that spoke to the creators and consumers of television from the 1950's through today and he discovered that yes many of them are liberal, but that the injection of liberal politics into television programs was not some liberal minded conspiracy to bring about the ruin of society, but rather just an incidental reaction to the fact that most TV writers are liberal. Shapiro goes to great links to declare that most Hollywood writers are not ultra militant liberals while mentioning that most conservatives are not ultra-right loons, which I found refreshing given the nature for branding in this increasingly politicized society. My favorite chapters in this book are the first one which provides a historical overview of television industry and the next two chapters which deal with how various comedies that America loves like Dick Van Dyke and the Honeymooners gave way to the Family Ties, Cheers, and Friends of the 1990's and spread liberal messages to the masses. In Chapter 3, Shapiro tackles the dramas ranging from the more innocent fare of the 1950's down to the Grey's Anatomy's and ER's of contemporary times. Shapiro praises a number of shows including Southland, House, even Glee is described as well written, before he begins his criticisms. There are a couple of points where Shapiro's conservative views bleed through the pages a bit, but that's to be expected and to a large extent Shapiro's on high ground: I mean would it kill us to have a little more conservatism in Hollywood instead of the teenage sex factories produced by some networks. My criteria for a book is did it make me think, was I entertained and the answer to both these questions is yes. So I implore liberals, moderates, and conservatives alike to put down their biases and pre-conceived notions and read this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    I expected the author of Primetime Propaganda to rail against the obvious left and far-left agenda of network television programming. Instead, Ben Shapiro presents a pretty fair history and analysis of the entertainment side of network TV and many of the key personalities involved. While some of his views are debatable, his key points are confirmed by his many interviews with key industry players. A few of his main points are: * The primary originators of network TV (Paley, Sarnoff, Goldenson) and I expected the author of Primetime Propaganda to rail against the obvious left and far-left agenda of network television programming. Instead, Ben Shapiro presents a pretty fair history and analysis of the entertainment side of network TV and many of the key personalities involved. While some of his views are debatable, his key points are confirmed by his many interviews with key industry players. A few of his main points are: * The primary originators of network TV (Paley, Sarnoff, Goldenson) and the key early creative talents (Berle, Caesar, Brooks, Reiner, Gelbart, etc.) had similar backgrounds as liberal urban Jews (although some were not liberal, e.g., Paley). As Jews, most had been on the receiving end of anti-Semitic discrimination in their personal, educational, and professional lives. These talented people gravitated to Hollywood as their best opportunity to practice their craft. * Artists' work is necessarily heavily influenced by their personal background and experience. Also, most artists want their work to be at least somewhat transformative of those who view it. * The milieu of TV was self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating, as people tend to associate with and hire other like-minded people. * The struggling ABC network decided to embrace more violent and sexual content in order to win audience. ABC also bought into the concept of the higher value of the 18-49 demographic as proposed by researcher Paul Lazarsfeld, a proponent of "cultural Marxism". * Network TV has been an oligopoly protected by government regulation. Network TV, like other industries, has been successful in influencing government through campaign contributions, lobbying, and mutual back-scratching. A couple of chapters are dedicated to brief analyses of popular TV series, beginning with Playhouse 90 and Your Show of Shows, through Hill Street Blues and Family Ties, to Glee and 30 Rock. Shapiro debunks many of the defenses of network TV for their liberalism, e.g., the viewers can always change the channel ("to what?" Shapiro asks) and we give the viewers what they want (Shapiro points out that some popular conservative series are cancelled while less-popular liberal series get renewed). There is a lot more to Shapiro's book than I have covered here. The book was entertaining, enlightening, and thought-provoking.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I'm actually kind of surprised I finished this, given how liberal I am. I guess it's a testament to Ben Shapiro's writing style and his (often) reasonable arguments. I agree with Shapiro that TV is mostly liberal, and conservatives are often treated badly in Hollywood. But the main things Shapiro rails against, I see as great progress. For instance, the presence of gay and Muslim characters on television. Not too long ago, people couldn't even fathom watching black people on their TVs, let alone I'm actually kind of surprised I finished this, given how liberal I am. I guess it's a testament to Ben Shapiro's writing style and his (often) reasonable arguments. I agree with Shapiro that TV is mostly liberal, and conservatives are often treated badly in Hollywood. But the main things Shapiro rails against, I see as great progress. For instance, the presence of gay and Muslim characters on television. Not too long ago, people couldn't even fathom watching black people on their TVs, let alone gays, and now there are black, Muslim and gay characters on some shows that are portrayed with compassion and dignity, and not reduced to stereotypes. In “Primetime Propaganda”, Shapiro fails to hide his blatant homophobia: "...in 2005, the good-hearted We Are Family Foundation (WAFF)... organized a program spanning most children's television shows, including Barney, Arthur, Sesame Street, Bob the Builder... and SpongeBob Squarepants. The goal: the creation of a video 'celebrating...the vision of a global family by creating and supporting programs that inspire and educate people about mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation of cultural diversity.’ This is all well and good, except that appreciation for cultural diversity often means accepting lifestyles that are problematic (the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia would be an excellent example) or at the very least controversial (the Tolerance Pledge posted on the WAFF website included a respect for homosexuality, and the website itself also included lesson topics ripping ‘the concepts of homophobia and compulsory heterosexuality’)…Rodgers defended it, stating, ‘The fact that some people may be upset with other people’s lifestyles, that is O.K. We are just talking about respect.’ That, of course, is the point—many parents don’t want their children exposed to these issues at an early age and taught values that jeopardize their innocence.” (pg 323-324) Hearing about Buster (from Arthur) meeting two gay parents is going to “damage” children?? It often seems like Shapiro wants to deny the existence of gays and lesbians, for instance on page 82-83 Shapiro criticizes Anne Sweeney’s (president of Disney-ABC Television Group) attempts to make ABC Family more authentic: “What’s so authentic about high school girls making out with one another in Pretty Little Liars…? Not much, on a broad scale.” I hate to break this to you Shapiro, but yes, lesbians exist, even in high schools. In addition, contrary to what Shapiro believes, abortion is very seldom chosen for characters on TV or in the media in general. Most pregnant main characters (Glee, Secret Life of an American Teenager, Juno, etc.) decide to have their babies. Shapiro also protests educating kids about Global Warming, which I won’t even get into. I’ll just say—there’s nothing wrong with children’s programs containing rigorously tested science. Besides feeling ill from Shapiro’s homophobia, Shapiro’s book captivated me. I think he’s a very good writer and he makes a couple of good points.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Randee

    This book is meticulously researched by Mr. Shapiro. He spoke to countless TV producers and writers and went back to the beginnings of TV to the present, presenting hard evidence how TV shows have become more liberal over the years. He also covers many specific television shows and how writers consciously establish their liberal views into the shows they write. It's an interesting book and I do not disagree that Hollywood is basically a "small community" of liberals that close ranks on political This book is meticulously researched by Mr. Shapiro. He spoke to countless TV producers and writers and went back to the beginnings of TV to the present, presenting hard evidence how TV shows have become more liberal over the years. He also covers many specific television shows and how writers consciously establish their liberal views into the shows they write. It's an interesting book and I do not disagree that Hollywood is basically a "small community" of liberals that close ranks on political conservatives. My own opinion is that whether a show has conservative or liberals views, it should be entertaining and aspire to be creatively unique and original. Ideally a show should be artistically well written, well acted, etc. because it is 'art' and I use that term loosely. This, of course, in reality, is impossible. There are many hours of television to fill and just like any spectrum, the pool of truly superior writers, actors and ideas is small. Art is subjective. People like and dislike shows for all kinds of reasons. I think there is a bias in Hollywood against political conservatives and the latest example is Tim Allen's show 'Last Man Standing' which was the 2nd most popular comedy on TV. I am sure it was cancelled because of Mr. Allen's conservative ideology was often on display. To cancel a show this popular and an obvious money maker is just another example of the intolerance of liberals. To cut off one's nose to spite their face is both foolish and childish. There does seem to be disdain for the non-urban viewer. My opinion is most TV is uninteresting and too boring to watch with any regularity. Yes, there are some very funny and/or entertaining shows that needn't be anything more than having good characters and stories that make us want to watch. My friends have often been surprised at some of the shows that I genuinely find funny and/or like because they mistakenly think I couldn't possibly like anything that isn't considered highbrow. It cannot be said often enough, I like to be entertained and have been known to enjoy some 'dumb' shows because they make me laugh, interest me or I have become attached to the characters. Do I wish the television had more quality shows to choose from? Of course. Do I think it is good to have a clique of liberals that close ranks on conservatives? No....but I understand it. Hollywood is a clique. To be honest, I don't watch a whole lot of American TV entertainment because I find it lacking in substance and bores me. I would rather turn off the TV and read. Or watch Asian TV shows and movies which I find to be more original and creative. But, I am not a snob. There are supposedly lowbrow shows I find genuinely funny (King of Queens being one example.) You'll learn interesting things in this book that you probably haven't considered, which is reason enough to read the book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alex Gruenenfelder

    I didn't think I would ever sit down and read a Ben Shapiro book. Shapiro, a failed screenwriter, has always been on the fringes of entertainment. Most recently this was showcased in his insightful commentary on "WAP," for the purposes of showing us how little his wife orgasms, and his involvement in the Gina Carano scandal, where the Orthodox Jewish Shapiro gave a job to someone fired for making arguably anti-Semitic posts and comparing conservatives' plight to the Holocaust. Those ideas are in I didn't think I would ever sit down and read a Ben Shapiro book. Shapiro, a failed screenwriter, has always been on the fringes of entertainment. Most recently this was showcased in his insightful commentary on "WAP," for the purposes of showing us how little his wife orgasms, and his involvement in the Gina Carano scandal, where the Orthodox Jewish Shapiro gave a job to someone fired for making arguably anti-Semitic posts and comparing conservatives' plight to the Holocaust. Those ideas are in this book, where Shapiro repeatedly compares a supposed ideological conspiracy against conservatism to historical discrimination. In the introduction, Shapiro even makes the so-laughable assertion that he didn't believe there was discrimination against conservatives in Hollywood until it happened to him, something funny because (a) it exhibits great personal bias and (b) it depicts the conservative issue of not believing discrimination because you don't experience it. Shapiro can't help but talk about his failed experiences in Hollywood, perhaps a sign of the victimhood complex Shapiro claims liberals have He compares conservatives in Hollywood to Blacks in the Jim Crow era, and argues evidence of discrimination against Blacks in Hollywood is "far scantier" than that against conservatives. It is a book filled with regressive views. Shapiro believes that "Murphy Brown" was responsible for a rise in single-motherhood. He compares homosexuality to incest more than once. He claims TV censors no longer "protect the public" and only protect "minority interest groups". He implies rape exists in a grey area. He implies that homosexuality is "infantile" and curable. He objects to a site trying to get rid of "homophobia and compulsive heterosexuality". He believes Sarah Palin was a "mainstream heroine," one only hurt because of media. He disputes the idea of experts helping to develop educational children's television, believing that it led to increased liberals. He sees acceptance as a theme, in shows like "Barney," to be liberal and arguably harmful. To Shapiro, homelessness and HIV are liberal topics to discuss. Maybe I'm being harsh because I can't imagine ever getting along with someone who seemingly hates "Sesame Street". I digress, as any reader will find far more views like these in the book anyway. Without a hint of self-doubt, Shapiro seems to argue that violence is a conservative topic, and opposing more violence on television is therefore liberal. Shapiro believes that sex on TV is a very deep and important issue, while violence is basically not at all. As he describes television violence influencing real world violence as pseudoscience, something that most would agree to, he makes unsubstantiated claims against sexuality on television. This should perhaps be expected from a man who believes abstinence until marriage is the only positive way, and having a "WAP" is a medical problem. Perhaps most stupidly, Shapiro disputes the idea that conservatives would just stop watching if shows are too "progressive," which makes it seem like access to television is a human right — even as he doesn't believe that abortion, same-sex marriage, and healthcare are. He's a hypocrite throughout the book. When progressives react to offensive content, it's a conspiracy by a small fringe group; when the religious right reacts to innuendo, he sides with them and refers to them as the majority. Shapiro openly blames Republicans for disengaging from the entertainment industry. He ridicules Republicans for their paranoia about supposed gay messaging in shows like "The Teletubbies". Still, in case one thinks he might genuinely have a conscience, he goes from this thought directly into lambasting the "gay left" for supposedly stealing celebrities like Judy Garland into being gay icons. It's clear Shapiro just likes hating people: he shames many former Disney child stars, calling Lindsay Lohan a "quasi-pornstar" and saying that children's television intentionally blurred the line between children and sexualized adults. It's gross. At one point Shapiro legitimately writes "There is no subject more controversial that could be tackled on children's television than gay rights." I'll let that speak for itself. The book is filled with dog whistles, so many I couldn't put my finger on all of them at first pass. Like all effective propaganda, the book's length is largely tied to its use of repetition. So why did I keep going with it, and why don't I rate it more terribly than I do? The truth is that Ben Shapiro is an effective historian of television. If one took this book entirely at face value, without recognizing its bias, it could be quite dangerous. But if one is acutely aware of what it is, you get a strong picture of the history of the messages on TV. I'm sure members of the hard-right will love this book. Most who aren't will barely be able to make it a few pages in. Shapiro's views are through a lens that is equal to false balance, and excludes the idea that some views may just be wrong. "Laughter is only possible when it's nonpartisan" is one statement from Shapiro that just doesn't hold up. It's a hard book, since Shapiro is a bigot. Period. He doesn't think diversity is very important, and he's against multiculturalism. This is a bigoted book. It is a book born of privilege. Know that going in. The book ends with optimism for a possibility of a more accepting future, and with some praise for liberal show creators. It ends with what Shapiro sees as a call to action for both conservatives and liberals alike. It seems like a kind message, but it's also not necessarily great for the future of television. But as Shapiro writes, "Blandness isn't always a terrible thing."

  6. 4 out of 5

    John

    I'm a big fan of Shapiro as a political commentator and public speaker, but haven't been particularly impressed by him as an author, especially in terms of analyzing pop culture. PRIMETIME PROPAGANDA, however, made me reevaluate him in this regard. This is a solid book, and one in which he obviously put a lot of time and research. It was published in 2011, and it's striking how much Shapiro matured in the intervening years since 2005's PORN GENERATION, a book I couldn't even finish. In PRIMETIME I'm a big fan of Shapiro as a political commentator and public speaker, but haven't been particularly impressed by him as an author, especially in terms of analyzing pop culture. PRIMETIME PROPAGANDA, however, made me reevaluate him in this regard. This is a solid book, and one in which he obviously put a lot of time and research. It was published in 2011, and it's striking how much Shapiro matured in the intervening years since 2005's PORN GENERATION, a book I couldn't even finish. In PRIMETIME PROPAGANDA, the snark and the finger-wagging have been left by the wayside, replaced by a much more academic and measured tone. It's not an angry screed against Hollywood, nor a call for conservatives to turn off their TVs and initiate boycotts. It's simply an examination of how TV became a place where political issues are discussed in a completely one-sided manner. In fact, today's average TV show is far more likely to feature a pink space monkey in a tutu than a well-meaning conservative with a legitimate argument. For all their love of diversity, Hollywood studios tend to draw the line when it comes to political opinions held by their writing staff. Most people are aware that TV shows have a history of siding with Leftist causes, but PRIMETIME PROPAGANDA may surprise you by the degree to which this is actually the case. I was interested to learn that several old shows I'd always considered apolitical or even conservative were actually first conceived as vehicles for pushing liberal values. These include shows like CHARLIE'S ANGELS, MACGYVER, THE COSBY SHOW, and, of all things, THE WALTONS. Who ever imagined the creator of THE WALTONS would later be such a fervent Obama supporter? Shapiro's point is not that Democrats should be restricted from airing their views on television. His point is that conservatives should be afforded the same professional opportunities and creative freedoms that liberals in Hollywood enjoy. As the creator of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES once confessed: it's easier to come out of the closet than to admit to being Republican in Hollywood. And considering their absolute hatred of Joseph McCarthy and his infamous blacklisting of Hollywood communists during the 1940's and 50's, it's ironic how many of them are more than happy to implement their own unofficial blacklists against people with differing political views. I anticipate that critics of Shapiro will have a few major issues with this book. First of all, his criteria for selecting which TV shows to discuss is unclear. A good argument could be made that, by fixating on liberal shows while ignoring ones that are conservative or apolitical, Shapiro grossly exaggerates liberal television's dominance over the last half-century. I'm not sure why he completely overlooks such shows as THE BRADY BUNCH, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, HOME IMPROVEMENT, and WALKER, TEXAS RANGER (though he does mention WTR in the Appendix), but I'm guessing maybe it's because those shows were less popular among the coveted 18-34 demographic. Either way, I definitely think Shapiro left himself wide open for accusations of cherry-picking. Critics might also argue that some of the TV shows that Shapiro describes as liberal are really nothing of the sort. Shapiro is quick to classify a show as being liberal if it was created and/or overseen by Democrats with obvious political biases. However, an artist's intended message is not necessarily the one the audience receives. Especially in regard to programs like THE COSBY SHOW and THE WALTONS, one can argue that the direction of these shows wound up being different from what the creator intended. In fact, Shapiro would wholeheartedly agree with that assessment, since he listed both of those shows among his "Top 12 Conservative Shows of All Time" despite the fact that he earlier spent time criticizing their liberal roots. Still, the fact remains that liberals completely dominate Hollywood, even when certain shows backfire on them from time to time. Also, it's important to keep in mind the social context of when a show first aired. Shows that seem ridiculously conservative in 2018 might have seemed very liberal in 1955. So, one is forced to use a sliding scale when classifying shows as being either liberal or conservative. It is also worth noting that Shapiro is not so partisan as to suggest that everything liberals fight for is wrong. In fact, he praises liberals like Rod Serling for producing scripts that helped combat racism during TV's early days. Again, Shapiro's beef with Leftists in this book isn't over their views, but with their tendency to stifle genuine debate. Conservative-minded characters on TV and in movies are vilified and derided as a matter of course, and the situation is only growing worse. (I can't even watch new STAR TREK episodes anymore without having to hear the bad guy say things like "Let's make the empire great again!") Hollywood liberals often make the claim that the Leftist nature of their shows is simply a response to market demand. Shapiro pokes holes in this claim by showing how producers' pet interests, a misguided emphasis on younger viewers, and crony capitalism (such as between Hollywood and the government, Hollywood and cable companies, and Hollywood and advertising execs.) have helped skew programming to the left. It's a fascinating argument--one that makes PRIMETIME PROPAGANDA a book that every conservative ought to read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eric Keith

    Enjoyable book. It gets a bit heavy in industry talk but does a nice job of breaking down certain areas of the TV industry. You can't argue that liberalism is more prevalent than any other viewpoint in television. I do enjoy the author's call to arms to conservatives to take back tv. Enjoyable book. It gets a bit heavy in industry talk but does a nice job of breaking down certain areas of the TV industry. You can't argue that liberalism is more prevalent than any other viewpoint in television. I do enjoy the author's call to arms to conservatives to take back tv.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Megan BG

    This is from almost 10 years ago. I would be really interested in his thoughts on today's shows and how much has changed, if at all. This is from almost 10 years ago. I would be really interested in his thoughts on today's shows and how much has changed, if at all.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Catalin Negru

    Target audience: General audience, regardless of political side or age. Not for children because they will not be able to understand the book. About the author: According to his Goodreads page, Ben Shapiro entered UCLA at the age of 16 and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in June 2004 with a BA in Political Science. He graduated Harvard Law School cum laude in June 2007. Shapiro was hired by Creators Syndicate at age 17 to become the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the U.S Target audience: General audience, regardless of political side or age. Not for children because they will not be able to understand the book. About the author: According to his Goodreads page, Ben Shapiro entered UCLA at the age of 16 and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in June 2004 with a BA in Political Science. He graduated Harvard Law School cum laude in June 2007. Shapiro was hired by Creators Syndicate at age 17 to become the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the U.S.His columns are printed in major newspapers and websites including Townhall, ABCNews, WorldNet Daily, Human Events, FrontPage Mag etc. He has been the subject of articles in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Associated Press, and Christian Science Monitor; he has been quoted on "The Rush Limbaugh Show," "The Dr. Laura Show," at CBS News, in the New York Press, in the Washington Times, and in The American Conservative magazine, among many others. More information about the author can be easily found on the Internet because he is a popular figure. Structure of the book: The book has 416 pages, which are divided in a prologue, introduction, nine chapters and other sections. Overview: This book is a good part a history of television in America and a history of Hollywood. In about the first third of the book Ben Shapiro details and explains to his readers how and why television and Hollywood came to hold political views and support a certain political side, that is the Left. From the first the first days of TV up to nowadays, the author presents and political evolution of ideas and trends that are put on the little screen for us to “digest.” If you are not familiar with the American TV industry, then this part might be a little discouraging. If you are not an American at all, then this is where people will most likely abandon the reading. However, I decided to continue and I found a familiar ground when Ben Shapiro starts to analyze shows and movies one by one. Grouped on categories, the author makes an incredible job at showing why and how famous shows and movies – such as Two and a Half Men, Lost or Dallas – do promote liberal (leftist) ideas, more or less subtly. In essence, Ben Shapiro points to the ideas openly that there is a great conspiracy that involves public and private entities– yes, he uses the term “conspiracy” – in order for the TV to provide liberal and leftists ideas and undermine the conservative thinking that keeps the nation stable. While I do think that Hollywood is a leftist propagandist, when I hear about conspiracies I become skeptical, especially in this case where I felt that Shapiro insists on the Jewish ancestry of some of the persons/conspirators involved (I know that Ben Shapiro is a Jew and this should give a certain weight to his argument, but I think it is better to ignore this detail). I think that Ben Shapiro misses one important thing: Hollywood is not liberal because there are liberal persons behind it that want to be liberal, but because entertainment. Hollywood is entertainment. People want to be stimulated and made happy continuously. But if you provide the same type or content of entertainment, they will quickly become immune to that entertainment and consequently bored. This is how humans are built: to gain resistance to stimulus. So, entertainment always experiments and always evolves. This is why the boundaries are constantly pushed and this is why conservatives are having a hard time in the industry. Quote: There is no more subversive social force than culture – and there has been no more powerful voice in our culture than television. Strong points: In his characteristic style, Ben Shapiro made this book is also dense from an informational point of view, which might be a strong point or a week point, depending on the reader. Weak points: For me, the book could have been less detailed, especially at the beginning. Readers have a hard time following the book; this thing gets worse if you are not an American. And last but not least, I found hardly credible the idea of a giant conspiracy or clique that drives the entertainment industry in America.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sone

    There’s a ton of politics on tv.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Harry

    While this book is well researched, it is less well balanced and more of a diatribe against the liberal influence in television and motion pictures. Given the nature of the creative beast, writers will tend to be young, liberal and often Jewish. Yet as Shapiro points out at the end of the book, television “is still a business, and money talks.” Having spent 40+ years working in television media, I can report that advertisers are not the rubes that Shapiro paints them to be. The medium is numbers While this book is well researched, it is less well balanced and more of a diatribe against the liberal influence in television and motion pictures. Given the nature of the creative beast, writers will tend to be young, liberal and often Jewish. Yet as Shapiro points out at the end of the book, television “is still a business, and money talks.” Having spent 40+ years working in television media, I can report that advertisers are not the rubes that Shapiro paints them to be. The medium is numbers driven; if shows do not produce ratings, they are quickly taken off the air. It is not that the networks have told the advertisers and their agencies to buy younger demographics. Advertisers have ample independent research as to who buys their products. Advertisers have also moved away from buying broad audiences (household ratings) to more specific (demographic) ratings against the people who actually purchase their products. Businessmen are essentially conservative in nature, and less willing to risk their marketing dollars on programs that will not produce sales or are controversial in nature. Let’s face it, sex sells. It is not a liberal or conservative agenda. Yet I was often given hit lists of shows that advertisers felt were to risqué for their brand image. I was not allowed to purchase them despite high ratings and low cost. Nor did they want to receive any letters of complaints as why their companies were supporting such “filth.” The claim that a few companies control all the broadcast and cable television that viewers watch is misleading. With hundreds of viewing options, new small cable companies come and go every year, each trying to find an underserved, niche audience. If they achieve a modicum of ratings and financial success, they are then bought out by the large industry leaders who have the capital to make them grow. This is the same as in any industry. Nor do they control our viewing. Each network is vying for a slice of the TV audience and advertiser dollar pie as a competitive business practice. When he can, Shapiro supports his arguments with interviews, facts and footnotes. Yet he often editorializes to support his conservative agenda. Since when is environmental concerns only a liberal issue! And if I read one more time how a program has been “greenlit,” I think I will puke something green as well.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gary Braham

    This is the sort of book that wouldn't have been as good if anyone other than Ben Shapiro had written it. First of all, Ben clearly loves the TV industry, and is not writing this book as a right winger trying to rally the nation against liberal hollywood. He is legitimately trying to improve telavision for both liberals and conservatives. He was really able to move the debate to the next level. There have been many books or articles on trying to prove hollywood is liberal. And he does include ma This is the sort of book that wouldn't have been as good if anyone other than Ben Shapiro had written it. First of all, Ben clearly loves the TV industry, and is not writing this book as a right winger trying to rally the nation against liberal hollywood. He is legitimately trying to improve telavision for both liberals and conservatives. He was really able to move the debate to the next level. There have been many books or articles on trying to prove hollywood is liberal. And he does include many examples of liberalism on tv. But he also was able to talk to many of the industrys major players, and gotten them to go on the record about hollywoods liberalism. Shapiro first gives a history of TV, and the shift from rural, more conservative audiences, to the more urban, more liberal audiences of today. He talks to TV executives about their desire to create content that causes their viewers to question values, and to move in a more liberal direction. And because it's not done in a "gotcha" kind of way, he was able to have some very candid and revealing interviews. There's not a lot of that these days. He goes on to give histories and examples from many of the most liberal shows in history, and gives an extensive timeline showing the progression of liberal ideals being presented on TV. Shapiro finally gives his ideas on how to improve the industry, in such a way that everyone would benifit. He blows holes in the argument that younger viewers are more important than older viewers, which is one of the ways that the networks have justified targeting the younger, and naturally more liberal, viewers. Overall, I was very impressed with the book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alex Stroshine

    The television industry is one that interests me as it is a social tool that constantly permeates our society. Every day we sit in front of the television to catch the evening news or the latest episode of our favourite sitcoms, dramas or reality shows. Ben Shapiro does an excellent job of gathering an extensive amount of interviews with many of the movers and shakers in Hollywood such as Marcey Carsey, Carlton Cuse, Fred Silverman and others. Through the admissions of these influential Hollywood The television industry is one that interests me as it is a social tool that constantly permeates our society. Every day we sit in front of the television to catch the evening news or the latest episode of our favourite sitcoms, dramas or reality shows. Ben Shapiro does an excellent job of gathering an extensive amount of interviews with many of the movers and shakers in Hollywood such as Marcey Carsey, Carlton Cuse, Fred Silverman and others. Through the admissions of these influential Hollywood heavyweights, Shapiro draws out their confessions that, "yes, Hollywood is definitely liberal". Issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion are pushed by many executives and creative artists who do not want to provide a fair or accurate portrayal of the conservative side of the argument. This creates a lopsided political viewpoint on television. Shapiro analyses many influential shows that have advanced liberal sentiment, such as "All In The Family", "The Mod Squad" and "Glee", as well as several more conservatively-slanted shows such as "The Waltons". He provides useful background information and quotes from actors, producers, writers and directors involved with these programs. He offers a history of the medium as well as explains how Hollywood has wedded itself to the liberals in the television industry. This is probably the driest portion of the book. I am not as aware of the political media war in the USA as I would be if I lived in the country. However, I feel that Shapiro is a reasonable conservative voice when compared with Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh and I think everyone, regardless of whether you're red or blue, should read this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Angel

    Over the years I had realized that like most of media, TV leaned to the left, but I had no idea to what extent since my TV viewing diminished greatly as an adult. This information comes directly from the people who wrote and directed these programs. Even my childhood favorite, "Sesame Street" is not excluded from the left's influences. It espouses diversity as the new self esteem and embraces liberal lifestyles while neglecting to teach kids patriotism or traditional values. Their political bias Over the years I had realized that like most of media, TV leaned to the left, but I had no idea to what extent since my TV viewing diminished greatly as an adult. This information comes directly from the people who wrote and directed these programs. Even my childhood favorite, "Sesame Street" is not excluded from the left's influences. It espouses diversity as the new self esteem and embraces liberal lifestyles while neglecting to teach kids patriotism or traditional values. Their political bias became clearly evident when Oscar the Grouch trashed Fox News on his Grouchy News Network. Ben Shapiro shocks us with stories from TV executives' own mouths of how they deliberately went from TV broadcasting to narrowcasting in order to get more viewers and more advertising revenue. At one time, the family used to sit together to watch one program. Now mom, dad, and junior have their own separate TV shows which they watch in different rooms. Nice going. As if the American family really need more forces to tear them apart.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    Anyone who watches tv or goes to the movies knows that Hollywood swings sharply to the left, if they are paying attention, but most people aren't. Ben Shapiro, does actually research (what a concept) showing how this has been so since the beginning, but how it has gotten so much worse, to the propaganda and manipulation that led to 2 terms of Obama in the White House. Those in Hollywood and NewYork, claim that they are mirroring their audience, but the mirror is only reflecting off themselves. W Anyone who watches tv or goes to the movies knows that Hollywood swings sharply to the left, if they are paying attention, but most people aren't. Ben Shapiro, does actually research (what a concept) showing how this has been so since the beginning, but how it has gotten so much worse, to the propaganda and manipulation that led to 2 terms of Obama in the White House. Those in Hollywood and NewYork, claim that they are mirroring their audience, but the mirror is only reflecting off themselves. While the market wants entertaining shows, Hollywood only wants to provide liberal entertaining shows. These limousine liberals as an industry attacked McCarthyism, but they have blackballed Conservatives and in doing so have broken the moral compass of too many of their viewers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jocelin

    This was an interesting book. I felt like a lot of this information was déjà vu. I got a chance to see Ben Shapiro on Book TV and he touch on a great deal of the subjects that he mentioned in this book. I think this book could have been a lot shorter by about 100 pages.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jonathas Torres

    Such a well researched book, it covers so much on the subject of politics oriented television. There are a lot of high points on the book, one in particular for me was the link in pages 238-239 the left oriented TV had with the Frankfurt school, it was like an aha i knew it moment.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Reza Amiri Praramadhan

    It really opens up my eyes. this book is filled with many shocking revelations of how the leftists have television industry firmly in their hands. I guess I'll stick with books instead, rather than watching tv, which is riddled by leftists' and liberals' leanings. It really opens up my eyes. this book is filled with many shocking revelations of how the leftists have television industry firmly in their hands. I guess I'll stick with books instead, rather than watching tv, which is riddled by leftists' and liberals' leanings.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mari

    Really excellent, and well researched. I found this to be extremely believable, and now understand why conservative writers, the number of whom grows, and grows are silenced. It will take a long time before we reverse this problem.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vic

    Amazing to hear in their own words how producers etc are pushing their largely liberal, often anti family agenda. Lots of info, moved a little slow after a while....

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan E. Brickman

    Seventy years of brainwashing, documented most carefully. Thank you, Mr. Shapiro!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    This book suffers from a lack of editing. It's a bloated mess in the middle, it constantly repeats itself as if the reader would forget what they read 20 pages ago, there are some odd word choices frequently repeated such as "nascent" and "kowtow" that stick out, and most strikingly, the contradictions. This book is not solely a history of how New York Jews established a foothold in network television and have never let go. It's an indictment on the industry "brainwashing" and "controlling" our This book suffers from a lack of editing. It's a bloated mess in the middle, it constantly repeats itself as if the reader would forget what they read 20 pages ago, there are some odd word choices frequently repeated such as "nascent" and "kowtow" that stick out, and most strikingly, the contradictions. This book is not solely a history of how New York Jews established a foothold in network television and have never let go. It's an indictment on the industry "brainwashing" and "controlling" our views. Because movies and TV had black presidents, Obama was elected. Because Murphy Brown was an unemployed single mother, there was a rise in single mothers. More gays on TV equals more gay rights in real life. Mr. Shapiro uses numbers to back up these claims, but does not even feign a passing interest in the psychology of why or how TV shapes public thought. He simply claims that over-saturation of liberal themes leads to sweeping social changes. At worst, television is turning children who would normally be conservative into homosexuals, at best it is imploding the nuclear family structure via cultural marxism. I can say that to some extent, this is true. Most conservatives I remember from TV were lambasted as crazy zealots, or boring and/or stupid and that shaded my opinions on them I'll own up to that fact. And to alleviate this, Mr. Shapiro says very basic, common things to conservatives; don't give up the fight get back in there and level the playing field. And here is how Mr. Shapiro would do it. 1. Eliminate sex entirely. Back to separate beds for mom and dad. Oh and it's only mom and dad now, former high school sweethearts who never looked on another person with lust in their hearts and whose children must have been conceived immaculately. Elimination of anything that whiffs of pornography in general, which is labelled as "jiggle tv" in the book. Which clashes rather oddly with Shapiro's own anti Muslim views on women. I think Mr. Shapiro would rather agree that women should be in hijab on the streets and a freak in the sheets, but his nationalistic views disagree, which leads to the next item. 2. No more multiculturalism. Mr. Shapiro advocates that television should no longer appeal to specialist groups within society. Pride in country comes absolutely first at the top of the list. Stop trying to integrate other cultures into public broadcasts. 3. More violence. Violence is not the enemy, it's entertaining, and any good conservative enjoys it. 4. Break up the oligarchies cable providers have. This one actually makes sense and internet streaming companies are actually fighting that war right now. There is a lot of factual information here on the roots of network televisions and many of its founding fathers and visionary show runners, executives, and creatives. Conservatives themselves were too afraid to comment, sadly, making it terribly one sided. Plus Shapiro's snarky attitude is smeared all over this, ruining any objectivity he would have as a historian. The real title to this book should have been "Things I Don't Like About TV", because that's all it is, a one sided, biased presentation of one straw man after the other without any convincing research or insight into any of the issues. I give it three stars because it pissed me off and made me laugh at it's utter incompetency, which is entertaining. It's always good to get the blood up.

  23. 5 out of 5

    DaFDC

    About: In Primetime Propaganda, writer, former lawyer, editor in chief of the Daily Wire, and wildly successful political podcaster Ben Shapiro makes the case that Hollywood is an exclusively-liberal world. He explains how and why this happened, the effect it has had on culture, and how we can fix it. The main points: -Hollywood is full of liberal actors, writers and producers. That’s pretty obvious. -It (Hollywood) subscribes to the theory that one must entertain viewers with "shock factor”; thi About: In Primetime Propaganda, writer, former lawyer, editor in chief of the Daily Wire, and wildly successful political podcaster Ben Shapiro makes the case that Hollywood is an exclusively-liberal world. He explains how and why this happened, the effect it has had on culture, and how we can fix it. The main points: -Hollywood is full of liberal actors, writers and producers. That’s pretty obvious. -It (Hollywood) subscribes to the theory that one must entertain viewers with "shock factor”; this usually means rebelling against bourgeoisie/middle class values. -It has influenced the culture by spreading its own “European” and “Bohemian” values, a claim for which Shapiro systematically cites evidence. -Many Hollywood liberals admit, in Shapiro’s interviews with them, that there is a bias against conservatives in Hollywood. They fear that conservatives can’t make good tv or tell good stories--that they’ll be hopelessly bigoted or crazy and anyway, that no one will watch their stuff. -But Ben Shapiro’s own experience in Hollywood--as well as interviews with certain conservatives in Hollywood--tells him that this isn’t true. He wrote a pilot that drew interest until people found out that he (a notorious conservative icon) was the author. They refused to work with him on principle, not based on the quality of his work. -Liberals justify their choice in content by saying, “Conservatives COULD just change the channel if they don’t like what they see.” But what if there’s nothing on that conservatives like? They want to watch something. -Shows that conservatives like tend to do really well. (Shapiro cites examples.) -Shapiro’s answer to these problems is that we need more conservatives in Hollywood. Conservatives should focus on creative writing, and liberals should stop blacklisting conservatives. -Conservatives must not just turn off the tv as they did in the past because that left us where we are now: with no shows and a very liberal-heavy, conservative-scarce Hollywood. It might behoove conservatives to stay quiet about their politics until they find some success first, lest they be blacklisted. -We can all enjoy films whether we agree with all of their points or not because if the film is well done, we can see in it someone’s understanding of the truth. My Reaction: I was impressed by Shapiro’s knowledge of the statistics and the shows, as well as the wide range of people he interviewed. Even if you don’t agree with his points, it might be worthwhile for readers to check it out just based on his breakdown and interpretation of the data. I got all of this just by listening to the audio, taking a very few notes and writing this review several weeks later. Audio: 5 Stars. Great rendition. Language: 4.5/5 Stars. Perfectly adequate. Clarity: 5 Stars. I was able to write this review weeks after listening to the audiobook and taking a very few oral notes. The points are clear and well-organized. Support: 5 Stars. He supported his facts well. The research impressed me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Moss 慈映夢図

    It's no secret that Hollywood leans Left but some of the information submitted here, which was often obtained by Shapiro first-hand and behind closed doors, is pretty eye-opening. He was certainly the guy for this job, but the problem isn't in the facts he unearths, they're from the conclusions he draws. In two pretty broad categories - religion and broken families - Ben lets his solipsistic view of the Left take hold and he borders on irrational. It's a shame, this is otherwise informative and It's no secret that Hollywood leans Left but some of the information submitted here, which was often obtained by Shapiro first-hand and behind closed doors, is pretty eye-opening. He was certainly the guy for this job, but the problem isn't in the facts he unearths, they're from the conclusions he draws. In two pretty broad categories - religion and broken families - Ben lets his solipsistic view of the Left take hold and he borders on irrational. It's a shame, this is otherwise informative and interesting. One, he disparages Star Trek for promoting atheism. But if the show fairly and sincerely displays a Godless world that prospers and teaches us about ourselves, what exactly is the issue? There's a big difference between intellectual honesty and propaganda, and I think he read way too much into it on this one. Atheism is a perfectly profound proposition whether you agree with it or not, but Ben is adamant that everyone in the Western world owes their values to Judeo-Christianity. Those who disagree merely think they don't. He's entitled to that, but when he talks matter-of-factly about his faith-based belief, it doesn't paint him in a good light. Exactly how could his critics not accuse him of proselytising? It's also the kind of behavior he is trying to discourage from his enemies in this very book. Two, he talks about how much more economically prosperous families are if they make sure to get married before having kids and then stay as a family unit. Obviously true. However, Ben notices that shows like Friends and Sesame Street depicted broken families as a valid way of life, thus normalising it within society. That isn't propaganda Ben, I'm pretty sure that was a neat way of letting young and possibly confused kids know that they won't be ostracised for something out of their control. It wasn't a declaration that people can and should recklessly abandon their families, it was assuring the victims of already broken families that they could surround themselves with loved ones based on, you know, individual love and merit. Hardly a toxic proposition and you don't need to have been in a broken family to see that. In fact, individual merit is the very quality modern Conservatives like Ben stand by to deter identity politics and tribalism. Another thing, the assumption was that broken families are the product of failed marriages - no mention of broken families as the result of tragedy? Or families broken up by issues of mental/physical health? Those kids might have been grateful for the reassurance. I'm not sure what society gains by holding on to the stigma. Remember, only someone this smart could be so dumb. He made one point that was unreasonably biased and another that was just naive. But if you can separate Ben's personal vitriol from his sound points (the guy really is an expert on Politics and History) then go ahead with this book, but I'd say you're better off starting elsewhere. Try Bullies.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Mccoy

    Primetime Propaganda by Ben Shapiro is an informational book about how the liberals have taken over Hollywood and inserted their views into TV shows and movies since the 1950s. The author, Ben Shapiro is a conservative writer and columnist. He has been writing books and hosting The Ben Shapiro Show for years. He is really smart and began college when he was 16. Ben definitely knows a lot about Hollywood because he grew up in that area, and even had cousins star in big Hollywood movies. He does, Primetime Propaganda by Ben Shapiro is an informational book about how the liberals have taken over Hollywood and inserted their views into TV shows and movies since the 1950s. The author, Ben Shapiro is a conservative writer and columnist. He has been writing books and hosting The Ben Shapiro Show for years. He is really smart and began college when he was 16. Ben definitely knows a lot about Hollywood because he grew up in that area, and even had cousins star in big Hollywood movies. He does, however, have very conservative views, so if you don’t agree with conservative ideas, this book is not for you. If you have tried reading Ben Shapiro’s books before and found them too complicated and hard to read, this book is good for you. The format makes it easier to focus, and it has a theme of something that everyone understands: TV. Unlike his previous books, Shapiro has everything put into sections by what type of liberal propaganda they are displaying. This book, however, also had much worse language and a lot of swearing. This is because a lot of the book is quotes from leftists TV executives with no moral compass. In the book, Shapiro brings up many issues concerning the political neutrality of TV. He talks through the most popular dramas and comedies since the 1950s and explains the reasons that they are displaying liberal propaganda. For example, The Simpsons, one of the most popular TV shows of all time, and the longest-running series, always sides with the Democratic side when there is a big election. Because of this, people see the episode, and because they like the characters, they let it influence their political opinions and choices. As a conservative, I agree with Shapiro’s assessment, and I am against this type of propaganda. As I was reading the book, I started to wonder if the Hollywood executives were trying to propagandize, or if they just inserted liberal opinions because it was what they knew. I continued to read, and it became evident that they were purposefully excluding conservatives and their viewpoints. For example, Shapiro included a story from his own life. He was offered by a producer to write an episode of The Good Wife. He went home and watched the show to get an idea of what it was about. After he wrote the teleplay, he contacted the director of the show. The director knew who Ben Shapiro was, and was very confident that he did not want a conservative working on the show. After reading this, I was convinced that they knew what they were doing: being hateful and exclusive. If you are thinking about reading this book, make sure you are able to handle PG-13 level language. Pay close attention to Shapiro’s points, and make sure you understand. Also, remember that if you don’t agree with the author’s views, you are entitled to an opinion. This was a great book for conservatives who are teenagers or older.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ariel Paiement

    I highly, highly recommend this! I love that Shapiro doesn't just tell conservatives to shut off the TV, withdraw from the Hollywood issue, and stick their heads in the sand. The truth is, we all love to be entertained, and withdrawing from the industry is part of what has landed us in such a mess with the media skewing more and more left. Shapiro offers solid insight into the industry's inner workings with numerous quotes from interviews with Hollywood directors, actors, and producers. Since he I highly, highly recommend this! I love that Shapiro doesn't just tell conservatives to shut off the TV, withdraw from the Hollywood issue, and stick their heads in the sand. The truth is, we all love to be entertained, and withdrawing from the industry is part of what has landed us in such a mess with the media skewing more and more left. Shapiro offers solid insight into the industry's inner workings with numerous quotes from interviews with Hollywood directors, actors, and producers. Since he has lived in LA for many years and grew up in California, Shapiro has had an up-close view of the industry in Hollywood than most of us can claim. He has family members who were or still are involved in the industry. While obviously his skew is conservative and he makes no attempts to hide it, the piece is even-handed in its examination of the issue and full of facts, history, and direct quotes from people involved in the industry. He is also extremely systematic, taking a look at the most influential, game-changing shows in the industry's history one at a time to help readers to understand the varying degrees of liberalism and the challenges facing conservatives. At the end of the book, he provides his top twelve shows that are good entertainment with a somewhat more conservative bent and the reasons why he believes they are great choices for those wondering what they can still watch when Hollywood's output is so overtly liberal. This is great since, to some degree or another, the earlier examination of Hollywood's shows and movies may leave the conservative reader feeling disgusted and disillusioned with a sense that everything has been spoiled, even classics they used to love. (I know I was wondering what was left worth watching, but then, I don't watch much TV anyway as I prefer books to movies in general.) He has some great suggestions on the list, including some of the well-known shows like Lost. Whether you're conservative or liberal, the story of how Hollywood has shifted further and further to the radical left is intriguing. If you're liberal, you probably aren't overly bothered by the liberal politics embedded in the shows you watch unless of course it overwhelms the story to the point that it's no longer entertaining (something that everyone, no matter what their political orientation, can agree becomes annoying when you just want to be entertained, not preached at). However, if you are a conservative and you're wondering how we got to the point we're at, Shapiro does an excellent job of breaking that process down while provided solutions for making the industry more diverse with viewpoints from all sides of the political spectrum presented in a fair, unsimplified, non-dumbed down fashion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Casimir Zoutendijk

    Shapiro does an excellent job at showing how Hollywood productions these days are skewed leftist and also gives an explanation as to how this came into being. He gives an exhaustive overview on how through the decades, tv-shows contained political messaging, some shows more obviously and other shows more covertly. It was exaclty this overview that made me take weeks to read this book, I do not even know if anyone reads my reviews but if you are interested: Do not commit yourself to reading this Shapiro does an excellent job at showing how Hollywood productions these days are skewed leftist and also gives an explanation as to how this came into being. He gives an exhaustive overview on how through the decades, tv-shows contained political messaging, some shows more obviously and other shows more covertly. It was exaclty this overview that made me take weeks to read this book, I do not even know if anyone reads my reviews but if you are interested: Do not commit yourself to reading this cover to cover: It will wear you out. The arguments that Shapiro develops are usually sound and heavy on examples. There was however one argument I had trouble with: The market argument. It starts off by stating that Hollywood (creators and producers of tv-shows) justify the leftist agenda in their shows by appealing to the crowd. Since the crowds (urban, 18-49) are drawn by these shows, leftist political messaging is okay. Shapiro attacks this argument because these crowds get no real alternative to watch and primetime shows will allways draw crowds eventually. At the end of the book he tries to flip this around: The young urban crowd is not the most important crowd since creators and producers make a living selling advertising airtime and therefore should appeal to people over 55 since these people have paid off their mortgages and have some years to work left which means this demographic has the most walking around money. This would just make for a shift in the marketplace-argument, though this time conservative programming would -more likely- ensue. However, this goes against Shapiro's stated wish that narrowcasting should be out, and broadcasting in. (The device of storytelling should bring us together again, and tv-shows are the place where this happens most succesfully). I would suggest that the whole idea of 'one key-demographic' should be done away with. Though Shapiro is -as I expect- right when he says people over 55 have more money to spend than twentysomethings with a very unsetteled lifestyle and a ton of student debt, this still is a dividing factor rather that a uniting one. Going back to family (nowadays a more elusive entity) broadcasting, creating a show in which both points of view (liberal vs. conservative) are both seriously discussed and satirized can be a reuniting factor in society appealing to as much demographics as possible, regardless of age or spending power or what have you not. Though I would -at least for the timebeing- leave a more contentious suggestion in this direction in the hands of a skilful creator.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alston

    Shapiro describes why TV shows skew liberal and that this is also secret propaganda for the leftist political agenda. His descriptions of old televisions series are descriptive, which can be dry to the less interested. I see the merit in several of his points on why TV shows skew liberal. Ad dollars chase certain age brackets and in chasing their viewership, the content may focus on their preferences. What relates to that bracket or what would generate buzz and conversation. For newspapers and m Shapiro describes why TV shows skew liberal and that this is also secret propaganda for the leftist political agenda. His descriptions of old televisions series are descriptive, which can be dry to the less interested. I see the merit in several of his points on why TV shows skew liberal. Ad dollars chase certain age brackets and in chasing their viewership, the content may focus on their preferences. What relates to that bracket or what would generate buzz and conversation. For newspapers and magazine, the old joke is that sex sells and people buy the news during a crisis. Shapiro did his research and makes valid points, but I think his 10 year old book may already be irrelevant as the market to consume media is transforming rapidly. My thoughts on why whomever controls the media at the Networks doesn't matter anymore (AKA- no longer reviewing the book): With the emergence of internet based content subscription services, content consumption can be traced, cataloged and analyzed to the second. Big networks selling ad space reference outdated Nielsen metrics whereas Netflix knows exactly what my profile has watched since 2012. I am certain that viewing history on Amaxon, Netflix, Hulu etc. has already contributed to decisions at those respective studios for future content. Netflix doesn't release viewership results whereas Nielsen ratings were published for all the competitors to see. The next set of content that emerges could be solely based on metrics for viewership data rather than 'success' stories that have narratives pushed by politically motivated leadership. Take 'Tiger King' for example. Per article headlines it was the most viewed documentary ever (probably helped by COVID-19). Less than a few weeks later, ESPN's 'The Last Dance" is halfway aired and total viewership had exceeded Tiger King already. More sports fans than people who want to watch a spectacle crime lord masquerading as a zoo keeper? Either way, both of those shows were the talk of the town. I think it is safe to say the data will lead to content the masses truly desire and hopefully eliminate political motivations.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Behind every TV show is a creator or a team of creators. The comedy, dramatic storylines, costumes, sets ... it's all a product of the creative geniuses who've made us laugh, cry and think for decades on end. Not surprisingly, the world view and political views of the creators comes out in the broadcasts. Again, not surprisingly, the creators in Hollywood are overwhelmingly liberal. In this book, the creators themselves boast of the subtle - and not so subtle - times when they pushed a liberal a Behind every TV show is a creator or a team of creators. The comedy, dramatic storylines, costumes, sets ... it's all a product of the creative geniuses who've made us laugh, cry and think for decades on end. Not surprisingly, the world view and political views of the creators comes out in the broadcasts. Again, not surprisingly, the creators in Hollywood are overwhelmingly liberal. In this book, the creators themselves boast of the subtle - and not so subtle - times when they pushed a liberal agenda on a reluctant, conservative America. The history of television is covered here, so it's a long read. From the Mary Tyler Moore Show to Ellen to Happy Days to Star Trek to ER to 30 Rock ... there's are "lessons" the creators are hoping you'll absorb. If the creators are anti-war, pro-gay-marriage, Democratic-leaning individuals, perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that many of their creations have the same viewpoint. And yes, they do promote viewpoints. As for family values, we've come a long way since TV promoted the a wise father on "Father's Knows Best." We have seen the raging of Archie Bunker on All in the Family to a complete substitution of family on Friends and a complete breakdown of family via The Simpsons, the longest running family sitcom in history. In short, the traditional family unit has been systematically destroyed on television. Was that Hollywood reflecting American values or Hollywood leading the trends? Ben Shapiro's book is built around interviews with some of the most famous names in the industry. Their comments, plus Shapiro's constant reminder that we enjoyed the best shows TV has produced, provides a nice, balanced reminder that all of need to be aware of the message behind the entertainment we watch.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I have mixed feelings about this book. I can understand being upset because your side of the story isn't being told, wanting less sex and violence on TV (especially when you have to worry that your kids are watching), and being banned from work in the industry. At the same time though, I believe that we should learn to get along and accept people as they are and that's it's ok to show this on TV. This seemed to be a big issue in this book. You may not agree with a value but that doesn't mean you I have mixed feelings about this book. I can understand being upset because your side of the story isn't being told, wanting less sex and violence on TV (especially when you have to worry that your kids are watching), and being banned from work in the industry. At the same time though, I believe that we should learn to get along and accept people as they are and that's it's ok to show this on TV. This seemed to be a big issue in this book. You may not agree with a value but that doesn't mean you shouldn't accept the person who does. Even Jesus preached that you should love your neighbor. He wasn't just telling you to love the neighbors who agreed with you. I had issues too with the elements that made a show liberal.. having a child out of marriage, having a gay person on the show, sex before marriage, women remaining single and not wanting a man. What is wrong with being a single, independent woman??!! And having kids out of marriage, sex before marriage, and gay people are things that happen all the time. It doesn't mean a show is liberal. It means it's realistic. I think it's important too to have some liberal television (or at least liberal in the author's opinion) or we would be stuck to the ideals of yesterday. Overall though I think it was a decent book. He gave a good argument.

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