Fred Foldvary on Government Control Over TV
|January 9, 2007||Posted by Fred Foldvary under Archive, Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Fred Foldvary on Government Control Over TV
When Government Scripts TV
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor
When you watch TV, you might assume that the show was written by authors hired by the show owners. But now the US federal government has stepped in as a co-author and editor in chief of TV shows. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy reviews scripts for shows on major broadcast television networks and often suggests changes.
The White House drug czar’s office spends millions of dollars for anti-drug ads on TV. Shows that include anti-drug propaganda in their programming get credits that lets them avoid providing the ad time. The TV station can sell that time to other advertisers. Alan Levitt runs the program in the drug czar’s office; he stated that his office reviews television scripts to check “to see if they’re on strategy or not.” See:
The strategy of inserting government propaganda in TV shows without telling people is so successful that I imagine other US government departments will soon be copying it. Here are some previews from the year 2010:
From the show Mostly in the Family: Artie is complaining about his income taxes. The IRS has just sent him an audit notice. Artie says its unjust for the government to take the wages that he worked hard for. But his daughter Iris persuades him that he should be glad to pay income taxes. We all benefit from government, so its fair to make everyone share the cost. The benefits are usually proportional to our income, so the income tax is the best and most fair way to pay for needed and wanted services. Wow, says Artie. I never thought of it that way. Thank you Iris! Im a changed man! Ill go to that audit and offer to pay extra for the trouble I caused them!
From the show Star Journeys: The Phalangians are protesting the war that the federation is fighting against the Glkian empire. Shlamenko, one of the Venusian protesters, cries out that this is an unjust war of invasion against an innocent civilization. Frakchula, a Martian, supports the war. He says, where would the USA be if it did not get Texas, California, and Gadsden from Mexico? The Glkians are ignorant savages. We are doing them a favor by conquering Glkia. Chulabamba, the captain, agrees: “We will bring them civilization, religion, and peace and justice!” “Oh!” said Shlamenko, slapping his forehead with his tentacle. I am such a fool! Of course you are right. I will stop listening to that Phalangian propaganda. They are traitors! Death to Phalangians! Go, federation! Beat those savage Glkians!
From the show Cacophony Group: Five distinguished senior journalists are seated and are arguing about farm subsidies. Helen Clifford says the subsidies mainly go to a few wealthy corporate farms, and the gain goes to the owners of farmland. Small family farms and farm workers get little benefit from the trillion-dollar annual subsidy. Ethel Noll counters that American agriculture is productive because of the government aid, and this benefits all Americans. So why change something that is working well? My goodness! cries Helen. You are right, Ethel! Now I feel so bad, because I misled my readers into thinking this was a privilege to a powerful landed elite. Now I see we should not even call these subsidies. They are supplements, just like food supplements that help us eat better.
The US government in 2010 also writes lyrics for popular songs, sends federal poets to poetry readings, and edits novels for best sellers. As they say, the medium is the message. The White House Office of Editorial Assistance has also been very helpful in providing great ideas for my editorials and columns, but of course I do all my own writing. By the way, pay your taxes, register for the military draft, and support your local SWAT teams. The government is only interested in your welfare and respects your privacy. Vote for winners in the major parties, not those minor party losers. Snitch on a friend today! We do love our big sister, don’t we?
Copyright 2000 by Fred E. Foldvary. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system, without giving full credit to Fred Foldvary and The Progress Report.