(Editor’s note: This item – thoughts on the political climate we’re in these days and how it relates to subjects I write about in this blog – was originally in Tuesday’s T Dog’s Media Notepad. But this essay is so important, I decided to give its own post. – T.H.)
As everyone knows, the last few weeks have not exactly been “sunshine and rainbows”, especially since President Trump has taken office. I’ve never seen anyone squander his/her “honeymoon period” so fast (in Trump’s case, his “honeymoon” lasted all of a half-second.) My social media feeds – especially Twitter – has been dominated by all things Trump as he takes a weed wacker to issues such as education, civil rights, abortion, and immigration. In fact, many people on Twitter have complained about too much Trump in their timelines. Many people I follow in the TV and film business hardly tweet about those subjects anymore as my feed has gone from talking about the latest TV shows, movies, and the NFL to Muslim bans, hate crimes, and immigration.
So…should I continue to write or tweet about TV? About geek and science fiction stuff? About radio and sports? I thought about this as writing about HYDRA, Fisk (from Daredevil), Roe Conn, Kenya Moore, and Wil Wheaton seems ridiculous these days given there’s a real villain in the White House: the antics of the Lyon family on Empire just doesn’t measure up. And complaining about The Bachelor clogging up the airwaves seems like a waste of time.
But politics is relative. It affects our lives, whether we like it or not. Politics drives everything in media from TV/radio station ownership to storylines on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Scandal, and The Good Wife. And yes, part of the business I cover is also political, given yours truly writes about journalism and FCC-related issues. As I learned long ago when I read Three Blind Mice by Ken Auletta, the only “liberal” part about the business is Hollywood and the music industry. In other words, the creative talent.
And my turn to vent will be coming soon when new FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai eliminates net neutrality and deregulates the media industry even further. A looming casualty as a result locally could be a sale of Tribune Media, owner of WGN-TV, WGN-AM, and CLTV – not to mention a merger between the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times.
So, to put things in perspective, writing about how Mancow got his job at the Loop or the 32nd reboot of Steve Dahl’s career or the latest WGN Radio travesty (putting John Williams back in middays isn’t one of them) seems trivial compared to the injustices here at home and in the rest of the world. The game has changed, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a matter of adjusting.
In the words of That ’70’s Show’s Red Foreman, “Funtime is over.”