The Other McCain

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Big Trouble at the ‘Tiffany’ Network: Another ‘Get Woke, Go Broke’ Lesson?

Posted on | September 13, 2018 | No Comments

 

The top of the stack this morning at Drudge:

TIMES UP FOR '60 MINS' CHIEF...
CBSNEWS On-Cam Ambush Of Own Exec!
Network Airs Disturbing Fager Text...
Allegations of inappropriate conduct...
Threats and Deception: Why Board Turned On Moonves... 

The takedown of CBS boss Les Moonves was followed immediately by the takedown of 60 Minutes producer Jeff Fager, the latest casualties in the #MeToo crusade against men in the media. Let’s not kid ourselves about what’s happening here. When this began back in October 2017, it was possible to imagine that Harvey Weinstein was an isolated problem, an unusually bad person engaged in unusually bad behavior. As the list of targets lengthened beyond a few bad apples in Hollywood to include the news media, however, #MeToo brought to light a toxic culture in the world of big-time journalism, in which a sort of sexual pay-for-play ethos had long prevailed. If former Today show anchor Matt Lauer — a handsome and popular personality — could turn his NBC office into an upscale rape dungeon, was it possible to enforce standards of decency elsewhere in these organizations? That is to say, if the network’s multimillionaire on-air talent is engaged in predatory behavior, doesn’t that send a signal to all the lower-echelon personnel?

Something has gone terribly wrong in the TV industry, for the #MeToo scandal to have reached as high as the CEO of an organization once known as the “Tiffany Network.” It is perhaps impossible for young people to imagine the enormous prestige enjoyed by CBS during the life of its founder William S. Paley. CBS was the network of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, of Lucille Ball and Ed Sullivan, of Perry Mason, Gunsmoke and The Waltons. Starting with a few Philadelphia radio stations in the 1920s, Paley more or less invented the concept of a nationwide broadcasting network, and insisted on the highest-quality programming. One measure of his success was that, during World War II, President Roosevelt tapped Paley “as director of radio operations of the Psychological Warfare branch in the Office of War Information at Allied Force Headquarters in London” with the rank of an Army colonel. Did I mention that CBS also owned a record company, the one that invented the 33 RPM album? Do you know who sang for Columbia Records? To quote 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt, “Paley was the guy who put Frank Sinatra and Edward R. Murrow on the radio and 60 Minutes on television.” Yep — CBS owned Sinatra back in the day, and stars don’t come any bigger than Sinatra, except maybe The Beatles, who made their U.S. television debut on . . .? Yep, CBS, Ed Sullivan.

Something else about CBS: It was a great network for women, both in terms of audience and performers. My mother was a big fan of the detective programs that CBS did so well, with handsome leading men like Mike Connors on Mannix, and there was perhaps never a cowboy the ladies loved more than James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke (with the possible exception of Michael Landon as Little Joe on NBC’s Bonanza). Paley seemed to have an innate understanding that attracting female viewers was crucial to success in the entertainment business. After all, who attracted women better than Sinatra? And beginning with Lucille Ball’s smash hit with I Love Lucy, CBS was always had the best female-led programming, as the TV home of Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Burnett. What went wrong at CBS?

Part of the answer may be found in a Hollywood Reporter column by Linda Bloodworth Thomason, one of CBS’s most successful producers in the 1990s, when Designing Women was a huge hit. Thomason describes how, after Les Moonves became president of CBS Entertainment in 1995, his personal hostility toward her essentially destroyed her career:

I was immediately concerned when I heard that Mr. Moonves was rumored to be a big fan of topless bars. Then, someone delivered the news that he especially hated Designing Women and their loud-mouthed speeches. . . . I was at the pinnacle of my career. I would not work again for seven years. . . .
Then, I began to hear from female CBS employees about his mercurial, misogynist behavior, with actresses being ushered in and out of his office. His mantra, I was told, was, “Why would I wanna cast ’em if I don’t wanna f–k ’em?” And he was an angry bully who enjoyed telling people, “I will tear off the top of your head and piss on your brain!”

That’s no way to treat a lady, sir.

Of course, I am not a fan of Thomason’s feminist politics, but you can’t succeed in show business by killing off successful shows, and if Moonves put his personal prejudice ahead of his business interests, he was cheating the shareholders out of profit. In short, he lacked integrity.

What went wrong at CBS? Is it possible that the “Tiffany network” fell victim to a “Get Woke, Go Broke” problem? Politically, CBS was always generally liberal (see Bernard Goldberg’s 2001 blockbuster Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News), and both Moonves and his boss, Viacom CEO Summer Redstone, were Democrats. In much the way Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez shoved aside Joe Crowley in the Democrat primaries, powerful liberal men in media are now being destroyed by their feminist allies, who are no longer content to be quiet about the abusive behavior they were forced to endure as part of the bargain in the “progressive” coalition of Democrat Party interests.

What happens next? If men can no longer get rich (or get laid) by parroting whatever the latest liberal mantra may be, isn’t it possible that some men in the media will have a “Red Pill” awakening? Couldn’t the spectacle of careers being destroyed by the #MeToo movement yield a new awareness of the ugly reality hidden behind the hypocritical veneer of “progressive” solidarity? Think back to the Access Hollywood audio, where Trump bluntly described the situation of a network TV star: “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p–y. You can do anything.” Wasn’t this the honest truth about the way some women react to men who are major stars, as Trump was when The Apprentice was a Top 20 hit in 2005? “You can do anything” if you’re a star.

Wasn’t the same thing true of Les Moonves, who as CEO had the power to make or break the careers of women at CBS? Moonves was a liberal Democrat, and if he ever had anything negative to say about the womanizing behavior of Donald Trump (whose show ran on rival NBC), Moonves never said it until Trump ran for president as a Republican.

Women are attracted to men with money and power. This isn’t exactly a revelation to anyone who knows anything about women. What is happening with the #MeToo movement is that women have weaponized sex as a means of taking away men’s money and power — not in the old-fashioned transactional quid pro quo manner, but as a one-sided extortion racket. It’s like Stalin robbing banks to fund the Bolsheviks.

 

Guys like Les Moonves need to take the Red Pill and wake up to the reality of what feminism means in terms of changing social incentives. The fallout from #MeToo will not be limited to the destruction of a handful of personalities in show biz, journalism and politics. Wise men (and women) ought to consider what the consequences might be.



 

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