There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission.
The words that began The Outer Limits to conjure up a science-fiction dystopia now describe the actual attitude of elites to your viewing choices. They believe in the freedom to choose … for you.
A&E cancelled Live PD not because viewers changed the channel. The show ranked as the network’s top-rated program.
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HBO pulled Gone With the Wind from its streaming service not because moviegoers dislike the film. It holds the inflation-adjusted record for box-office receipts.
Disney, T-Mobile, and other advertisers boycott Tucker Carlson Tonight not because the show fails to attract viewers. It regularly beats every other cable news program in the Nielsen ratings.
Pressure groups restrict your viewing choices because they believe the messages of the unapproved programming clash with their political agenda, that their agenda trumps your entertainment, and that they know better than the audience what the audience should watch.
Politics, not popularity, now determines whether or not shows stay on the air. King Numbers bows before King Woke.
The former regime allowed the democracy of the market to primarily determine whether a show continued its run. The latter regime tyrannically imposes the tastes of the enlightened few over that of the benighted many.
An Anthony Comstock, Hays Code, Watch and Ward Society vibe colors this wave of censorship. In its essence, this is a moral crusade, albeit one pushed by immoral crusaders — a dangerous type combining certitude with error. Like the broader movement from which it sprang, it prefers favoritism over merit, fascism to freedom, and politics subsuming entertainment. The cancellation of a small number of shows with good-to-excellent ratings puts the rest of the industry on notice: conform — or else. Like all fanatics, the crusaders demonstrate intolerance, philistinism, and stupidity.
After ending the 32-year run of Cops and canceling the Live PD franchise — shows that follow cops around with cameras, the type of transparency anti-police activists long demanded — the censors seek to erase from the airwaves Paw Patrol, a cartoon appealing to preschoolers that features a lineup of K-9 first responders, including a police dog. The din grew so loud about taking Paw Patrol off the air that the New York Times covered it. “I do honestly want Paw Patrol taken the f— off the air,” one Twitterican noted. “My toddler is always begging to watch it and he thinks I’m a bad daddy because I’m trying to protect him from fascist brainwashing aimed at f—ing toddlers.”
We are all toddlers now.
Paternalism, appropriate in fathers determining rules for their toddlers, cannot work in a nation of 330 million people with diverse interests. Television, broadcasting a reality show starring nearly everyone currently in existence and so many channels that one needs a guide just to find the desired one, seems broad enough to include Live PD, Tucker Carlson Tonight, and occasional showings of Gone With the Wind. Instead, totalitarians narrow choices to fit with their own rigid outlook. Ratings be damned! Everything not MSNBC must become MSNBC.
“To keep Gone With the Wind on prestigious lists and allow its towering place in American cultural history go unchallenged is to give reverence to a racist piece of art ahead of the many, more worthy films made over the last century,” Matt Miller contends at Esquire. “For perspective, Gone With the Wind is ranked 90 spots higher than Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing on the AFI list. To let Cops continue for another 30 years would have been to give it priority on a major TV network that reaches millions of homes over the many other, more worthy shows by black creators.”
Nobody likes a remote-control fascist. When people not even on your couch control what you watch, America has truly reached the outer limits.