Should Donald Trump supporters support the new “Roseanne”? Ben Shapiro isn’t so sure.
In a Facebook video posted Friday, the controversial conservative commentator issued a warning to Trump fans who helped give “Roseanne” a smashing audience for its debut April 3 and kept its ratings strong for its second week.
Hollywood, Shapiro said, is offering much less than meets the eye.
“‘Roseanne’ is not a conservative show. It’s not even close to a conservative show,” he said. “In fact, I think it’s pretty clever and nefarious in how non-conservative it is.”
The problem, Shapiro said, is that while “Roseanne” features a main character who supports the president, her motives don’t reflect what pushed millions of voters to choose the New York billionaire over Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton.
The show portrays it heroine as supporting Trump because “he talked about jobs.”
But the 2016 election was about much more than the economy, Shapiro said.
“The show is one big lie about Trump. The show is one big lie about conservatives,” Shapiro said.
“The lie that the show tells is that the reason people voted for Trump was because they were dissatisfied with the economy and they were looking to give Donald Trump a chance to fix it, and it wasn’t about cultural issues.
“That’s not what happened. What happened is that cultural war was at the front of everyone’s mind. 2016 was a cultural war, everyone knew it.
“It was a cultural war over race, and over feminism — and the left knows this too. And what they’re trying to suggest is that the only conciliation that can take place in the country can take place on economic issues.”
As usual, the Daily Wire editor is making a valid point.
When liberals lose an election, they have a habit of changing the argument so that the principles they really value aren’t supposed to be what was at stake.
When Democrat Jon Ossoff lost a special election for Congress in Georgia in June 2017, capping a four-election string of losses Democrats endured after Trump’s victory in November 2016, Democrats stopped arguing that every election in the Trump administration was a referendum on the president. Local races don’t reflect the national mood, they argued.
And when they do win, they try to shape the narrative to show the Democrat embodied liberal, progressive values when the actual truth could be exactly the opposite. When Democrat Conor Lamb won a special election in Pennsylvania in March of this year, the insufferably liberal “comic” Samantha Bee hailed it as victory for the party.
The reality was Lamb ran as a conservative candidate explicitly against the kind of gun regulation favored by the Democrat Party. And as even CNN reported prior to that vote, Lamb was clear about rejecting any idea he supported Nancy Pelosi’s progressive vision for the Democrat Party.
Shapiro said the producers of the new “Roseanne” are trying to do the same thing, by portraying Trump’s victory as simply a matter of economics. That way, liberals can throw a sop to half the country, but still claim victory in the culture wars.
“So the way Hollywood works this is, ‘Sure we can be conciliatory. Sure we can reach across the aisle. Sure, we can have American unity again,’” Shapiro said. “’But only if you accept our social agenda.’”
But here’s the thing. From the time Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2015, the media has been escalating a negative campaign against him. Disapproving, mocking coverage grew increasingly pointed, becoming outright attacks voters after he won the GOP nomination. Since his upset victory over Clinton, the coverage has been ferocious, from “news” outlets to prime time programming to late-night comedy.
Trump supporters have been inundated with it, and can be under no illusions about what the powers that control the entertainment industry really think of them.
One reason “Roseanne” has struck such a chord is that the more than half the country’s voters who elected Trump can actually see some part of their reality represented in an entertainment situation that’s actually funny to boot.
No one with any sense thinks it means Trump will finally get a fair shake. But darn few Trump voters look to Hollywood for validation of their political views anyway (that’s for liberal bobbleheads).
“Roseanne” scored a second week of success on Tuesday, according to Entertainment Weekly. And that is no doubt due to many Trump supporters feeling like they can watch television for at least one program without being insulted.
Ben Shapiro might be sure the show isn’t conservative, but for Trump backers at least, it’s something they’re getting precious little of anywhere else.
For now, at least, that’s apparently enough.
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