Look back at American television ratings 50 years ago and you'll see The Beverly Hillbillies was one of America's top rated TV shows. Now in 2013, Duck Dynasty is one of America's (in the basic cable/Reality TV world) favorite shows. America loves hillbillies, and America has a substantial amount of hillbillies. Duck Dynasty is a reality show about the Robertson family who made duck calls, and then made a fortune. They're a bearded bunch, and are obviously captivating enough that they made cable TV history. Debuting in their fourth season, their ratings blew everybody away with an audience of almost 12 million! Over half of that number belongs to the coveted 25-54 demographic so alluring to the nation's advertisers. I saw one episode where the Robertson family builds a duck blind from an old trailer home (what else do you expect on their property?). They didn't use it much for hunting, and instead blew it up. Hillbillies love blowing up stuff, and even more hicks love watching other hillbillies blowing up stuff. Public Broadcasting-take heed.
I've been in the cable TV business a long time, so I love seeing cable television networks produce and succeed with hit shows. I'm a little less enthused when those programs consist of content like we see all over television in the form of reality TV shows. The barometer would tell us that America is made up of mindless lemmings who will watch, and listen to anything and anybody. I think Kim Kardashian is a hot looking woman, but would I tune in daily to watch and listen to her and her family? I did once and it was mind-blowing in its vapid content. I can't watch all those insipid "judge" shows. We seem to broadcast or cablecast to the lowest common denominator, just as it was claimed 50 years ago (see Newton Minow's quote on TV being a vast wasteland).
In was hopeful recently when I saw that Sean Hannity may get the boot from Fox News and Cumulus Radio which carries his daily radio show. Should that happen, he may just be replaced with another lying mutant, and ugly human, Michael Savage. Listen to any of his shows and you'll see why America is in such bad shape. "It's an honor to speak with you sir". This is a common refrain when a talk show host from the sewer like Hannity, Savage, Limbaugh..etc...goes to a caller. These listener/callers are so damn ignorant, they actually believe these hosts know what they're talking about. All these guys are smart in the sense that they knew the right-wing radio business is a fast and easy ticket to wealth if you're adept in shoveling the slop that these stupid hicks love to hear. It's always about "freedom", "liberty", "family values", and of course, "the founding fathers". By taking almost any quotes from Jefferson or Madison, these guys can formulate a thought or idea that the "founders" were all conservatives...or in this case, of the extreme right. It's like TV evangelists who take quotes from the bible as though it's the law according to God.
Frankly, it's all one big con, and the most ignorant among us eat garbage via the media all day long. There are some legitimate programs of value like Mad Men and Breaking Bad on cable TV so all is not lost. Besides, when our TV world now consists of over 100 channels, we will naturally have an even greater growth of low brow programming. Even if Hannity was booted off the air, another hack like Savage would be there to fill the endless void of reason. American media will always aim towards the common denominator (what is it now-those of an 8th grade education? (in 1963-I think it was 6th grade-so we're making progress).I admit, I like Southpark, but it is a quick-witted satire on pop culture. The right-wing's problem is that their core audience is older white men. That's why Fox News, and maybe even Cumulus are worried about hanging on to these dreadful dinosaurs, whose audience is heading towards assisted living facilities.
There will always be dumb people to replace the dying dumb. This is because the more ignorant reproduce in greater numbers, and then wonder why they're having so much trouble making ends meet. I listen to right-wing TV and radio occasionally just to hear the moronic level of their lies, deceit and equally bizarre attempt at speaking properly by the buffoonish callers. These people spend hours whining about Obama, the socialist (they are clueless about socialism-even while they collect Social Security), and how he is screwing up our country. This coming after the economic disaster of George W. Bush, even while housing and our economy are taking off despite having a congress bent on defeating the President at every twist and turn. Even though our economic disaster was of such proportions, it was compared to the Great depression, that history making event didn't end until WWII-some 12 years later. Had Romney won in 2012, we would be counting on more tax breaks to make this country move- a tactic which consistently failed under Bush.
While the over-weight masses sit on their couches passing gas, and eating potato chips, watching Judge Judy and Duck Dynasty, America will strive to move forward and heal thyself from our recent economic implosion.Producing new jobs isn't easy and should come from the private sector. It isn't more and greater tax breaks which will produce jobs, it's a more promising environment which doesn't exist when the government is threatened with another shut down every six months. You won't hear that on Hannity, Limbaugh or Michael Savage. They'll keep repeating their call to repeal Obamacare-an attempt which has been tried 40 times now by a Republican held congress devoid of ideas about how to spur growth, other than creating more tax cuts. Their empty attempts at ideas mean nothing because it's always based on flimsy evidence and right-wing talking points. If they hate Obamacare-why not come up with a relevant alternative? If you want to create jobs-is there something else in your grab bag besides tax cuts?!? Have no fear for the right-wing: there's always an audience for fluff and nonsense, and they're tuning into another TV show quite reflective of America's own reality or VLI.... very limited intellect.