Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Your Daily '80s: How'd that work out for you?

Dear Church Lady:

Are you less offended by television today than you were 30 years ago?


Well, I guess you wasted all that money you sent to the Moral Majority and the National Federation for Decency, then.

Broadcasting magazine, back in December 1980, was reporting on this big effort by the champions of decency to, no doubt, demonstrate through better polling that the masses were with them in opposing televised smut. And, as we saw over the intervening decades, there was much heated rhetoric.

THERE WERE many "pro-family" Republican politicians elected.

In the White House, we had eight years of Reagan and 12 years from the family Bush.

We've had boycotts.

We've had protests.

We've had crackdowns on the F-word. And the S-word.

We even had a gigantic "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl burlesque halftime show.

AND WHAT we've gotten from the networks and cable, lo, these many years hence, is televised fare that the horrified legions for decency could not have imagined in their worst nightmares in those waning days of the Carter presidency.

Culture precedes politics, and TV fare. It precedes polling and boycotts, too.

The trouble, dear Brutus, was not in the networks, but in the networks giving the people what they wanted. The only thing that could fix that, alas, was the Good News that good, Christian people were forgetting to proclaim while they were all on the picket line bewailing the Bad News.

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