Politics & Policy

Networks Throw a TV Party for Hillary

Just in time for her 2016 campaign, Clinton just happens to get a new wave of small-screen avatars.

This fall, beware of a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy designed to infiltrate your TV screen with heroic Hillary Clinton–inspired characters. You may want to program your viewing devices to thwart these insidious efforts.

In a story last week ostensibly explaining why so many fictional Hillary stand-ins are sweeping the nation’s small screens as Clinton sets the stage for her 2016 presidential run, the New York Times’s Alessandra Stanley was coy about the motives behind Hillary puff television:

For some reason, Mrs. Clinton is embedded in several new fall dramas, most obviously, “Madam Secretary,” a new CBS drama with Téa Leoni playing a take-charge secretary of state. There are also imprints of Mrs. Clinton on an NBC show, “State of Affairs” in which the president is a woman (Alfre Woodard) and her most trusted adviser (Katherine Heigl) is a bold C.I.A. analyst who daily assesses — and almost single-handedly averts — national security threats.

For some reason? Really? Throughout her fall television season preview, headlined “Characters Inspired by You-Know-Who,” Stanley manages to avoid saying what that reason might be. Maybe that headline should have read “You Know Why” instead of “You Know Who.”

On November 17, 2014, NBC, the unofficial propaganda arm of both the White House and the Democratic party, is scheduled to premiere its new weekly drama, State of Affairs. One of the show’s main characters is the president of the United States, who, “for some reason” (a reason that ignores the first-season cancellation of the last woman-president series, ABC’s Geena Davis vehicle Commander in Chief), just happens to be a woman.

Here is the all-important calendar math.

Usually network shows run for a 13-episode season. That means State of Affairs has an excellent chance of airing through mid February 2015. Last week Hillary Clinton stated that she will announce her presidential intentions “after the first of the year.” That timing may or may not be good for the show’s ratings, but what is one television program compared to the future of American progress? Who can calculate, really, how much a show about a decisive woman president and her CIA sidekick who “averts national security threats” will raise our nation’s consciousness? Undoubtedly, this president will answer many 3 a.m. phone calls.

The mid-November launch of State of Affairs is especially odd considering that new fall network shows normally premiere in September or October. The show won’t even get the benefit of a pre-midterm spike of interest in politics.

Another new Hillary imprint, titled Madam Secretary and portraying a “take-charge” secretary of state, premiers on CBS September 21. It could also be running when a former embattled secretary of state declares her presidential intentions in January.

State of Affairs features show-business stalwart Alfre Woodard as the president (and serial box-office bomber Katherine Heigl as the CIA heroine), but it still feels like a consolation prize. Last year, NBC announced plans to produce a miniseries about the real Hillary Clinton, but the project was shelved after the Republican National Committee complained.

According to Stanley,

The complaint then was that networks would favor Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy under the guise of providing entertainment; the committee (RNC) threatened to boycott the debates held by networks that went ahead with the Hilliographies. (CNN also gave up on a planned documentary.)

So what does the Grey Lady have to say about this? Stanley writes, “Now the joke is on those conservative scolds: These fictionalized versions are not as easily swatted down.”

Actually, fictionalized versions can be “easily swatted down.” Viewers (who have been rejecting message-driven entertainment almost as long as there has been entertainment) can just turn them off after sensing too much Hillary glorification or recognizing that the networks are trying to shove another Clinton presidency down their throats.

If one or both of these shows flop, will that reflect poorly upon Hillary presidential campaign? Not a chance, because the networks can always pin the blame on bad scripts or acting.

Conversely, if these two shows are hits, the media will find subtle ways to link Clinton’s candidacy to a putative cultural trend.The vast left-wing conspiracy composed of the media and entertainment industry will be closely watching how Americans react to this new fictionalized Clinton pandering. The far larger conspiracy, and the reason posed at the beginning, is to ensure the election of the first female Democratic president. Her victory helps the media assuage its guilt after abandoning Clinton for a newer, younger, cooler, black candidate in 2008.

So will the Republican National Committee soon be lobbying for a network show about the first Cuban-American president? Perhaps he could be the son of immigrants who fled Communism, like Florida senator Marco Rubio?

What are the odds that NBC has such a show in development? Absolutely none, because with the broadcast networks, there is no such thing as equal time.

— Myra Adams is a media producer and political writer. She was on the 2004 Bush campaign’s creative team and the 2008 McCain campaign’s ad council. Her writing credits include PJ Media, the Daily Beast, RedState, and the Daily Caller.

Myra AdamsMyra Adams is a media producer and writer who served on the McCain Ad Council during the 2008 McCain campaign and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team. Her writing ...

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