Drug companies selling overpriced and dangerous drugs, oil companies destroying the environment, banks ripping us off, and manufacturers exploiting workers, all hiding behind high-priced lawyers have become clichés on modern dramas.
When was the last time TV showed big businesses doing what they normally do: give millions to charity, invent groundbreaking products, and create thousands of new jobs? Hollywood behaves as if we need television characters to protect us from the very businesses that employ us.
Consider TV comedies. How often do you see liberals being made fun of, as opposed to conservatives?
Think about what you have heard recently on Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’ Brien, and Jimmy Kimmel about Sarah Palin. Mainstream comedians attack her incessantly. Notice that their jokes are not usually about her positions, but rather they are personal – meant to make a laughingstock out of her. These comedians are molding a public opinion of Palin that insists she is stupid, ignorant, unsophisticated, and dangerous.
Try to recall a comparable barrage of spiteful jokes at the expense of other vice-presidential candidates like Joe Lieberman or Joe Biden – it’s not as easy.
It wasn’t always this way. Comedians of old, such as Bob Hope, made fun of politicians, but he included both sides. Dick Van Dyke also stayed light-hearted.