Via Andy Towle, Fox News’ Sean Hannity hosted a panel discussion about “Primetime Propaganda,” Ben Shapiro’s book about “how television has been used over the past sixty years by Hollywood writers, producers, actors, and executives to promote their liberal ideals, to push the envelope on social and political issues, and to shape America in their own leftist image.” During the segment, Shapiro and former Ohio Attorney General Ken Blackwell specifically attacked Sesame Street and children’s television, suggesting that producers somehow indoctrinated children with liberal values — like tolerance for gay people — that are causing them to become gay or support gay causes:
SHAPIRO: By the way, if you go on the Sesame Street web site, it talks about when bringing up child, make sure that you use gender neutral language. Make sure that you give your boys dolls and make sure that you give your girls fire trucks.
BLACKWELL: That is setting up a problem. Just this year, a high school in Virginia named a guy who was openly gay as prom queen and so sometimes fiction does inform reality. And as we layout in our book, there’s a direct assault on this country’s moral foundation. That’s a problem…What really concerns me is that if you look at any big government regime, any totalitarian regime, they attack two basic intermediary institutions, the family and the church. That’s what is happening in our culture right now and it sets up an appetite for governmental largesse, government becomes the family.
Gay people are more prevalent in Hollywood, and schools are now increasingly focusing on policies that protect gay students from taunting and bullying. All of this is part of a larger evolution towards a more tolerant society — one that is increasingly accepting of differences whether they be sexual, religious, or cultural. People like Shapiro and Blackwell, meanwhile, are trying to preserve an America that, due to the civil rights movements of the past decades, no longer exists and seem surprised when those changes are reflected on television.