In an appearance on Fox News this morning, Newt Gingrich returned to his roots; he called out the double standard of the mainstream media — and to good effect. The subject of his judgment this time? ABC’s new TV show, “GCB,” based on the novel “Good Christian Bitches.” From Politico:
“Here’s to show you the biases of the elite media, look at the new show that’s on that has the word ‘Christian’ in it and I want you to take the exact name, drop out Christian and put in Muslim,” Gingrich said. “And ask yourself, is there any network that would have dared to run a show like that and you know the answer is not a one because anti-Christian bigotry is just fine in the entertainment industry but they have to be very protective of Islam.”
Brent Bozell agrees with Newt Gingrich:
The entire show crosses the line. It tries to cross the line. It begins with a California man driving frantically for the Mexican border with his mistress and a mountain of stolen cash. But the mistress decides to perform a sex act on him while he drives, leading to a fatal car crash. That’s what spurs the lead character, Amanda – now a widow — to return to Dallas to live with her wealthy mother, played by Annie Potts.
Potts is second only to Chenoweth in spitting out cynical conservative “Christian” one-liners. She tells her daughter California is inferior to Texas because “we’ve got the same weather without the liberals.” She tells her daughter if she needs rehab to avoid the Baptists (“folding chairs”) and try the Episcopalians (“upholstered, with canapes.”) She says “cut the commie crap” when Amanda tries to keep her children from going to church. At episode’s end, she declares, “I feel confident the Good Lord would like me to have a new fur coat. God often speaks to me through Christian Dior.”
Anyone wasting a whole hour waiting for one good character would place their hopes on widowed Amanda, played by the actress Leslie Bibb. For most of the show, she’s renouncing how badly she behaved in high school and wants a job to pay for her own house. But when she can’t find a job, we get a ridiculous 180-degree turn. She starts working at a Hooters-aping restaurant called “Boobylicious,” which she discovers is owned by Chenoweth’s husband.
This badly contrived plot sets up the final battle of the GCBs. When Chenoweth protests “we live in a righteous community,” Bibb’s character rips up Dallas. “Fun fact. Dallas has more churches per capita than anywhere on earth. Also, Dallas has more strip clubs per capita than anywhere on earth. Two plus two equals a double standard.”
And Newt Gingrich plus a TV news appearance equals a double standard exposed!
Actually, because I haven’t seen the show, I can’t say definitively that I think it unfairly bashes Christians. I’m inclined to give it a chance if for no other reason than that it stars Kristen Chenoweth, one of my all-time favorite singers and actresses. (The highlight of the Oklahoma City Thunder season, as far as I’m concerned, was Chenoweth’s rendition of the national anthem at the first Thunder-Mavericks matchup!) Chenoweth is open about her own Christianity. This is her defense of the show: “I’m a Christian, I think that’s pretty well known, and I would never do anything that I think crossed the line.” She lovingly calls it “Good Christian Belles.”
Still, Bozell’s examples are pretty compelling — and Newt’s point resonates, too. While, in a way, Christians can’t help but be hypocrites at one time or another (none of us lives up to Christ’s standards perfectly!), it’s discouraging that ABC would air a show that cynically emphasizes that. In any treatment of Christianity, acknowledgment of and respect for the truth that Christians aren’t relying on themselves for sanctification would be nice.