Sunday’s episode of the popular drama “Mad Men” made headlines at The Hill:
Sunday’s episode of “Mad Men” — the popular drama about an ad agency in the 1960s — gave a nod to the current political scene, with one character taking a not-so-subtle jab at the father of 2012 Republican front-runner Mitt Romney.
Character Henry Francis, a Republican political aide who had worked for New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in previous seasons, is shown fielding a request for his new boss — strongly hinted to be New York City Mayor John Lindsay — to travel to Michigan to appear with then-Gov. George Romney.
“Well, tell Jim his honor’s not going to Michigan. Because Romney’s a clown and I don’t want him standing next to him,” Francis responds.
Reporter Justin Sink also notes that “Mad Men” executive producer Matthew Weiner is outspoken about his liberal politics and recently appeared as a guest panelist on Bill Maher’s “Real Time.”
Does it matter that Weiner and the other makers of “Mad Men” — a show that is set in the 1960s — managed to work in a political jab that indirectly applies to our times? I think so. It’s yet another illustration that Andrew Breitbart was right to focus so much of his empire on Big Hollywood. The entertainment industry affects us in both subtle and overt ways. In spite of ourselves, we imbue views from beloved fictional characters. The less conscious we are of the value system a show employs, the more susceptible we are to assuming it for ourselves. Straightforward stories — narratives with beginning, middle and end — are, perhaps, the most primordial way in which we make sense of ourselves and our world — and they continue to be one of the most powerful.
It’s better than nothing, I suppose, for conservatives to be able to lay bare the liberal value system of a show, but it would be better still if conservatives told their own stories more frequently and more effectively — and with the same meticulous attention to artistry that ravishing shows like “Mad Men” display.
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