My friend John Hawkins of Right Wing News interviewed Ben Shapiro about his new book, “Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV.”
This was a fascinating interview because it covers a subject most conservatives are interested in and provides new information. Did you ever wonder how Hollywood went from being so patriotic and conservative in WW2 to the sad state it’s in today? Well, you will wonder no more after reading this interview. Here are some excerpts from the interview.
Ben Shapiro talks about his own personal experience with the Hollywood blacklist for conservatives.
About three weeks later, he calls me back and he says, “I’m not sure we can represent you.” I said, “Oh really? Why is that?” He said, “Well, we started getting your stuff out to some people and we got a call back from a producer. The producer liked your stuff and he Googled you. When he Googled you, he found your political opinions online and he called us back and said I will never work with anybody of that political persuasion. I think it’s going to be very difficult for us to find you work in this town.” So, even if you get your toe in like I did, it will get chomped off by a liberal alligator. I have tapes to document this. There is no question that there is a vast liberal bias in the industry and that they will exclude you from the industry if you do not agree with their prevailing ideal.
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Ben Shapiro on the demographics scam that helped turn Hollywood liberal.
In Hollywood, the only rating that really matters is the 18-49 demographic. The 18-49 demographic and really, the 18-34 demographic, is considered more valuable than older demographics. So you’ll see shows like Glee that actually make more ad dollars than shows like NCIS because the conservative shows appeal to older audiences.
So if you’re skewing young, you’re inherently skewing liberal. This is why MTV as a network skews liberal. The key to that is that it’s utterly false. The 18-49 crowd is worth more than people who are 50 and up — it’s just not true. In fact…
Right, there’s more money in the over 50 crowd.
Yeah, that’s exactly right. It’s unbelievable that this has worked for 40 years. If you think about it for half a second, you realize wait a second people who are 18 have no money, they’re living in their parent’s basement. They’re not spending a lot because they have no money. They have no savings, they have no job.
Well I found out, this is the really fascinating part — (emphasizing the 18-34 demographic) was a concerted scam on the part of the TV industry. This was not something that happened by accident. It’s no coincidence that the shift to liberal television happened at exactly the same time that the shift in the demographic appeal happened. It used to be that in the 1960s, television was for the most part conservative. By the time you got to the late 1960s and 70′s, it turned massively liberal. That’s because there were three networks at the time; ABC, NBC, CBS. ABC only had affiliates in the big markets. It had no affiliates in any of the rural markets. CBS had affiliates everywhere. It had rural, it had urban — it was kicking the crap out of ABC on a daily basis. The top shows in the country were shows like Beverly Hillbillies,Green Acres, Petticoat Junction…. They were for what people in Hollywood derisively called “rural trash.”
What happened is that ABC saw that it was getting its ass kicked in the ratings so they have to make their case to advertisers somehow. So they hire a guy to do a study for them that says that the young, urban crowd is actually worth more than the older crowd. So even if CBS is drawing bigger numbers by far, our audience is more valuable than their audience to you. …So they go to the advertising agencies with that. The advertising agencies which are generally staffed by people who happen to be young and urban say, Well of course I’m worth more than the schmuck who lives on the farm in Alabama.”
So, what they do is they start buying into the ABC view of advertising. Pretty soon, CBS looks at ABC, which is starting to gain in terms of advertiser revenue, even though they’re getting their ass kicked in content, and they say okay we need to shift our orbit. We need to go totally liberal…so they bought into the whole thing. It was an enormous scam.
Note as many of you know I spent 16 years in the media buying industry, this is not exactly true. First of all the bias comes from the advertiser not from the agency or the network. Ben is right when he says there is a bias against rural America and older demographics and the reason is two-fold.
First when Ben says “Well of course I’m worth more than the schmuck who lives on the farm in Alabama,” unfortunately he is telling the truth, and there is a reason for it. People who live in City and Suburban settings make more on average and spend more than people in rural settings. It is not politics nor is it “looking down on rural America” its a matter of fishing where the fish are. I have worked on products such as Bayer Aspirin and Homelite chainsaws whose usage was more concentrated in rural areas and we targeted those areas with our advertising.
The other reason is simple, older people and people in rural communities watch more TV and are over-represented in most TV audiences. Therefore any advertiser who does not target older and/or rural audiences have to go overboard the other way just to make thing even. In other words, if a big part of your TV buy doesn’t go toward younger urban audiences, your entire ad effort is going to be directed toward people who may not be as likely to buy your product. Thus in many cases where a brand’s target audience is A18-49, they will purchase their TV based on 18-34 with the full knowledge that they will get the 35-49 audience anyway.
Understand also, that Ben comes at it from the creative side and I come at it from the business side.
There is much more to this interview, John has done a great job in getting Ben to talk about his experiences and perspective. I recommend strongly that you click here and go to Right Wing News to read the rest of this interview.