Lew Rockwell takes issue with America’s most-watched television network:
I just caught one of the famous CSI tv shows (anything to avoid the incarnation of Obama), this one CSI: Miami. The cops are hardworking, implacable, brilliant, and good looking. They operate out of offices and labs that are spotless, and equipped with the latest tech. They always get their man. The people they target are stupid, cowardly, and ugly or weird. Did the USSR broadcast any more cartoonish government “thrillers”? Thanks, CBS, for the Commie Statist Idiot propaganda.
It’s worse then even Lew may realize. Approximately 60% of the CBS prime-time schedule is occupied by shows glorifying federal, state and local police agencies. (And I’m not even counting pro-government “news” programs like 60 Minutes or the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.) The current lineup includes 12 such shows, including four programs devoted to the FBI alone:Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, Eleventh Hour and Numbers. Four more programs are based around city police departments (three CSI programs and Cold Case), two are dedicated to the military (NCIS and The Unit), one to a state investigation bureau (The Mentalist) and even one program about a Canadian police department (Flashpoint). Talk about diversity in programming!
For comparison’s sake, I looked at the CBS schedules from ten, 20 and 30 years ago. In 1978, CBS had a single program dedicated to government police – Hawaii Five-O. By 1988, there were two programs, and in 1998 there were four. To go from four to 12 police shows in a decade is pretty remarkable. Also, there were more private detective dramas in earlier decades, because apparently in those days, the government did not have a monopoly on truth and justice.
There’s a straightforward explanation for CBS’ actions: The network discovered its niche and replicated its programming accordingly. Some of this programming can be attributed to the government’s indirect control of television via the FCC, and to some extent, more libertarian-minded folks are simply turning away from television towards the Internet and other media. Still, it’s more then a little unnerving to think that in the 21st century, there’s such a high demand for what amounts to pro-government propaganda.