Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 04/01/22

 Yes, they really talk like this.

The tipping point has arrived. Here’s Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing talking about his company’s plan to invest $100 million in children’s content to provide parents with an alternative to the increasingly arrogant and aggressive “Woke” messaging aimed directly at  young children by the likes of  Disney and too much of the rest of the Borg-like globalist corporate media.

Where’s Fox? Meanwhile, as Fox News continues to score phenomenal ratings, dominating cable and recently beating most broadcast networks, you have to wonder why Fox Corporation isn’t leveraging that conservative audience brand to lift up its struggling fourth-place broadcast network. It’s great to have traditional values respected and represented in news and opinion programming –  but it’s probably at least as important to have those values respected and represented in the sort of comedic and dramatic storytelling broadcast networks offer. In this case, it also seems to me like it would be a good business decision.

At the same time, Fox News’ streaming cousin Fox Nation continues to expand its offerings. In fact, it has been dipping its toe into entertainment programming, including (beginning today) reruns of Michael Landon‘s hit 1984-1989 NBC drama Highway to Heaven which debuted as the struggling last-place regained its footing and soared to first place on the strength of hits like The A-Team, Cheers, Family Ties, Remington Steele and,  yes, The Cosby Show. A former programming executive who worked for NBC at the time once told me that the network really took off when it realized the broad visceral appeal of stories about family values and family-like relationships (which he said we’re even represented in shows like The A-Team and Cheers).

I agree with Jeremy Boreing. The goal isn’t to simply go back and redo the past. Television’s evolution toward increased diversity in front of and behind the camera is certainly a good development. It just doesn’t need to be accompanied by demoralizing Woke nonsense. Building on the past – especially the positive values the bring us together and instill confidence in ourselves and the future – is not only a good thing, it’s the true gift of storytelling. As I suggested last time, Corporate Hollywood has simply lost the plot. Let Disney and the like continue to appeal to whoever it is they want to appeal to. Unless there’s some serious regime change at the Magic Kingdom (and other executive suites), it’s time for the rest of us to move on. Even then, some robust new competition is long overdue.

BTW, you might find this history of how Highway to Heaven found its way to the air interesting. As Mark Twain famously said, “History doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes.”

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
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