I’m always amused at how liberal Hollywood always portrays itself—much like the news media—as having itself firmly on the pulse of the nation. What it’s really doing is firmly humping the nation. I don’t think they have a clue what the nation is about—only what they want it to be about. Brent Bozell writes in the Washington Times Reality of TV: It slams religion.
Network television’s depictions of religion are “overwhelmingly” negative, despite 90 percent of the American public professing a belief in God, according to a study released yesterday by the Parents Television Council.
NBC leads the pack as the most anti-religious network, followed in order by Fox, the WB, ABC, UPN and CBS, says the study of 2,385 hours of prime-time programming during a 12-month period beginning September 2003. Only the Pax network had no negative depictions. Cable shows were not included in the study
“Hollywood is an industry that maintains that it reflects reality,” said Brent Bozell, president of the council, “but people see their most fundamental beliefs being attacked as punch lines in drama series.”
The study logged “treatments” of religion, such as references to church services, denominations or to Scripture, as well as references to clergy and devout laity. Clergy and religious institutions were cast “strikingly” negative; laity only a little less so, it said.
To be counted as negative in the study, religion had to be treated in a derogatory manner or treated without respect in a specific instance.
Several incidents were cited, such as a Dec. 17 episode of Fox’s “That ‘70s Show” that referred to a couple having sex next to a manger scene; an Aug. 5 episode of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” that referred to Catholicism as a religion that awards a “get-out-of-hell-free card” to anyone but pedophile priests; and a dialogue in a Feb. 10 episode of NBC’s “Will and Grace” in which sidekick Karen tells lead character Grace, “Let’s go buy that historic church and turn it into a gay bar.”