In 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle castigated the “Murphy Brown” sitcom for having the title character announce her plans to raise a newborn without the child’s father. Quayle assailed this choice as an assault on family values by pretending fathers are not needed in raising children.
The response from the show was swift. Diane English, the uber-liberal creator of “Murphy Brown,” issued the following cold-blooded statement: “If the Vice President thinks it’s disgraceful for an unmarried woman to bear a child, and if he believes that a woman cannot adequately raise a child without a father, then he’d better make sure abortion remains safe and legal.”
At the 1992 Emmys, leftist Hollywood closed ranks around English in their usual elitist groupthink and moral vanity. Conservative actor Tom Selleck accurately characterized the event as a group of rich people at a country club snottily agreeing with each other.
The sitcom strongly reflected this groupthink. English had every character, from the “show’s producer” down to a local bartender, bellow about their liberalism. To make sure the audience got the message, English also had campaign stickers of past Democratic presidents emblazoned on stage.
There was not one dissident in evidence. Republicans were only mentioned when targets were needed for ideological potshots. None of this has changed in the new series. The faces are puffier, the hair greyer and receding, and the waists have expanded.
Otherwise, the elitist groupthink remains. English said she revitalized the series because of the misogyny of the Trump administration, with its head demeaning and sexually abusing women. But hypocritically, the new show has appearances by Hillary Clinton, who for years has enabled her serial philanderer and possible rapist husband Bill.
For a show designed to “speak truth to power,” the only targets are Trumpists, and those English carelessly lumps in with them. The show offers no recognition of the dissident conservative movement against the president.
English is so ideological that the supposed “token” character that is supposed to represent other ideas—Murphy’s grown-up fatherless son—is actually a liberal who works at a Fox News-type network. The character notes his exposure to “other ideas,” but none of them are entertained by the rest of the cast.
The series is simply not funny unless you are a liberal. Its comedy is manipulative. English loads the deck by giving all the best lines to the liberals, while conservatives sputter and flee.
Like so many liberals today, English snottily dismisses Trump supporters as the “deplorables” without actually trying to understand their grievances. When Clinton appears, no one bothers to ask her why she sought to devastate working-class families by promising to “shut down” the coal industry. When Clinton was confronted about this by a miner she, in typical “Slick Willie” fashion, lied about saying it.
English and her nodding cast could do well to emulate Bernie Sanders supporter Sara Silverman. Instead of screaming at them and dismissing Trump supporters as scum, Silverman actually sought to understand their grievances by spending a weekend with a Republican working-class couple. But as with the earlier show, liberal tolerance only goes so far in Murphy’s world.
Nor do they consider why the mainstream media, of which Brown and company proudly represent, is distrusted by so many Americans. The new show doesn’t mention or even consider the old conservative maxim that liberal journalists report what should have happened rather than what actually did.
All the time-honored journalistic rules of fact-checking and seeking the truth, no matter how much it contradicts the journalist’s ideological position, are not observed by Murphy and company. Only moral vanity matters, and even with the passage of 20 years the show is still peddling the same old gruel.