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EDITORIAL: The old abnormal
Hollywood’s trashy ‘new normal’ is a ratings bust
Question of the Day
The ABC Family cable channel's slogan is "A different kind of family." The programs it offers are different, sure enough, different from a family almost any other American family would recognize, and certainly different from the channel's programming when it was founded in an earlier century by the Rev. Pat Robertson. Now owned by Disney, the network's newest series, "The Fosters," takes the concept of "different" to an entirely new level.
The prime-time Monday show is about an interracial, married lesbian couple and their brood of adopted, biological and foster children. The program joins an ABC Family lineup that includes "Pretty Little Liars," another drama featuring lesbian characters, which premieres its fourth season next week. "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," which ended a five-year run on Monday, had an abstinent homosexual male character, along with lots of straight teens sleeping around and creating out-of-wedlock pregnancies. The channel's "Make It or Break It," which ended a three-season run in May 2012, showcased a male character who "came out" as bisexual.
The network seeks to reshape society by portraying characters that tick every politically correct box. In "The Fosters," the black and white lesbians' family comprises two adopted Hispanic twins, the biological son of the white half of the "two moms" by her Hispanic ex-husband, and a white juvenile-delinquent teen girl they take in as a foster child. In the premiere episode, we learn that the Hispanic twins — a boy and a girl who don't really look much alike — have a biological mother who abandoned them to engage in promiscuity.
Advertisers obviously like such "family" programming. More than 30 commercials aired during the program, shilling for big-name brands such as Gatorade, Kellogg's, Toyota, Tyson's chicken and Wendy's.
ABC Family was first part of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. The once-squeaky clean Walt Disney Co. acquired the cable network for ABC in 2001, and is required under terms of the sale to continue to telecast Mr. Robertson's "700 Club" program, which airs with a disclaimer: "The following CBN telecast does not reflect the views of ABC Family." CBN should be glad that disclaimer works both ways.
ABC Family's "anything goes" values (or lack of values) are meant by Hollywood to reflect its notion that "the old abnormal" is "the new normal," but it's not working. NBC's drama actually called "The New Normal," about a homosexual couple with a surrogate daughter, was canceled last month owing to the dreaded Hollywood disease called "low ratings," along with at least four other major network programs with similar themes. The public just isn't buying Hollywood's attempt to redefine society in its own sordid image. Parents who want to see wholesome shows on television should let advertisers know how they feel.
The Washington Times
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