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Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV Hardcover – May 31, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The inside story of how the most powerful medium of mass communication in human history has become a propaganda tool for the Left

Primetime Propaganda is the story—told in their own words—of how television has been used over the past sixty years by Hollywood writers, producers, actors, and executives to promote their liberal ideals, to push the envelope on social and political issues, and to shape America in their own leftistimage.

In this thoroughly researched and detailed history of the television industry, conservative columnist and author Ben Shapiro argues that left-leaning entertainment kingpins in Los Angeles and New York have leveraged—and continue to use—their positions and power to push liberal messages and promote the Democratic Party while actively discriminating against their opponents on the right. According to Shapiro, television isn't just about entertainment—it's an attempt to convince Americans that the social, economic, and foreign policy shaped by leftism is morally righteous.

But don't take his word for it. Shapiro interviewed more than one hundred of the industry's biggest players, including Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H), Fred Silverman (former president of ABC Entertainment, NBC, and vice president of programming at CBS), Marta Kauffman (Friends), David Shore (House), and Mark Burnett (Survivor). Many of these insiders boast that not only is Hollywood biased against conservatives, but that many of the shows being broadcast have secret political messages. With this groundbreaking exposé, readers will never watch television the same way again.

About the Author

Ben Shapiro is author of the national bestsellers Brainwashed, Porn Generation, and Project President. He hosts The Ben Shapiro Show in Orlando, Florida.


More to Explore
Read an essay from Ben Shapiro's new book, Primetime Propaganda [PDF].

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Broadside Books; y First edition edition (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061934771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061934773
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ben Shapiro's book is exactly what it says it is: a muckraker exposing Hollywood's extreme liberal bias in its entertainment programming. Mr. Shapiro also exposes the intent of this left wing bias is to change American public opinion to its political point of view.

The best proof of the premise of Primetime Propaganda is the numerous biographical sketches of the writers and producers of the hit programs profiled in the book. This is followed up by direct quotes from interviews the author had with these same people. The book does prove that the bias is real and it has had its intended effect of changing America's political landscape.

My only negative comment is Mr. Shapiro pours on the proof to the point of boredom. Bio after bio, quote after quote, and statement after statement is provided by the author to show that there is no doubt that his premise is proven. He even goes into depth on shows that I had, prior to reading this book, thought were non-political programs, such as, Happy Days, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Three's Company, et al.

Primetime Propaganda also displays the viciousness of the liberal elite running Hollywood. The story of Michael Moriarty, the former star of Law and Order is sickening. He lost his job because he openly opposed attempts by Janet Reno to control primetime programming. Such things happen in America, and everywhere else no doubt, but they should not. Liberal viciousness is nonpareil and Mr. Shapiro proves it.

Now for my confession, I agree with everything the book says. Every word. As you may suspect I am a conservative from a rural area of the nation. I am so conservative that I think Dancing With The Stars should be forced to put clothing on its women. Any conservative will enjoy the book, but liberals will probably burn it at one of their midnight meetings.

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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm so tired of the polarized politics in the country. Everyone on the one side thinks everyone else is a nut, and everyone on the other side thinks everyone else is a moonbat. I sit more in the middle, although I do seem to have more of a conservative leaning despite a couple key conservative beliefs I hold the opposite view on...

But I think sitting more towards the middle rather than on either side of the fringe has given me a little better overall view of the battle between left and right, and one of the things I've noticed is that the news does seem to slant quite a bit towards a left bias. And while I also knew there were a lot of popular TV shows out there that seemed written more towards the liberal point of view, I never realized just how pervasive it had been, since I watch so few TV shows.

The book starts with some of the history of the political situation in hollywood, and later goes into some show by show breakdowns and details of some of the biggest shows at various times, from The Honeymooners and Dick Van Dyke clear through Family Guy and Two and a Half Men. Some were clearly obvious, but some were less so, in the messages they communicated in the shows.

He also goes into some good points about the different ways the left dominates and maintains that domination. Through some of the chapters in the middle of the book I was expecting some seriously dry, nodding-off moments when I'd see the chapter title, but it was far more engaging, and at some points, scary, than I had anticipated, since I am one of the first people to laugh at conspiracy theories.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I thought this book would be an interesting one to read since the premise is quite the bold one: for the past 40+ years, the leftist agenda has infiltrated TV - even shows you may not expect. Through the introduction and the first chapter, Mr. Shapiro kept introducing his main thesis - reminding me over and over again what the book was going to show me - and I found myself eager to actually have him get to the point (mark one against the book).

Something else off-putting: he slams his book "Porn Generation" in the introduction for making a 'moralistic argument' that is 'utterly ineffective' and fails 'miserably for one main reason: television is awesome.' Well, I guess I don't want to read that book any more (mark two against his writing). That statement though ('television is awesome') answers the comment of: "If you don't like it, turn it off." TV is an awesome drug! (I must be up front and say that our household watches little TV.)

Mr. Shapiro's explanation of why those in Hollywood criticize capitalism (a la Michael Moore) while at the same time benefitting from capitalism, is pretty plausible: vanguardism. On another level, this book explains for me personally why so much of Hollywood has a hatred of the Catholic Church (and other equally conservative religions), its teachings and its loyal followers: the liberal base of Hollywood does not allow any variation from the leftist message. Hollywood is so insular and cliquey that it simply does not allow for any outside influence or thought.

This is a well-researched, in-depth study of liberal programming and history of TV. It's often hard to see it in early shows because we are looking at those shows from our eyes colored by the past 40+ years of liberal programming.
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