Absolutely superb piece by Robert Tracinski
By now, you have probably heard the twittering (literally
) about "Communist Muppets
" after Fox Business guest commentator Dan Gainor complained that the villain in the latest Muppet movie is that stock Hollywood cliché, the evil big businessman. In this case, it's even more of a cliché: an evil oil
tycoon with the none-too-subtle name Tex Richman. Get it? The "rich man" is the villain. Apparently, the Muppets are the 99%.
The left-leaning mainstream media had great sarcastic fun with this story, projecting the possibility of House Un-American Activities-style hearings for the Muppets. The use of sarcasm, as we shall see, is an integral part of this story on a very deep level, but it also serves an immediate, practical purpose: to avoid discussing the real issue behind Gainor's complaint.
The left, incidentally, has no problem with overwrought political analysis of children's shows, when it serves their purposes. Say something about an anti-business message in the new Muppet movie, and they will make fun of you at a prominent left-leaning publication like Slate
. Write a stupid article
about how Thomas the Tank Engine is an agent of capitalist imperialism, which only demonstrates how much student-loan money you wasted on that degree in English literature, and it's considered a thoughtful article worthy of publication in a prominent left-leaning publication like, you guessed it, Slate
. It all depends on whose ox is being gored. ...
To those who dismiss this as reading too much into mere television shows, we now have a little bit of hard data to measure the political impact of this cultural attack on business. A marketing research group prepared a report for Entertainment Weekly
on the television-viewing preferences of political partisans
. These preferences don't just show us what viewers like. They show us something deeper and more profound. They show us what people find to be interesting
, what holds their attention and soothes their fatigue at the end of a long day. ...
Here's how I would sum it up. People on the right tend to like work, success, and catching bad guys, while Democrats like "sarcastic humor," i.e., sitting back and making fun of the people who work and succeed and catch the bad guys.
Read the full piece here.