In the midst of college students and Democratic politicians behaving badly, might there be signs of second thoughts by more responsible, more moderate leaders? Cop shows have been used to make progressive political points for years. Episodes on two CBS shows this January featured messages that seemed quite out of synch with the dominant narrative. Are these green shoots in the cultural wasteland?
A recent Blue Bloods (CBS) episode, “Disrupted,” had Tom Selleck, as Frank Reagan, delivering a speech from the head of the family dinner table against the transmission of campus behavior into general society; he called it destructive. I was astonished to hear this full-throated defense of civil society on a major broadcast network.
At about the same time, another CBS property, FBI, “A New Dawn,” had an aging radical professor as the villain, comparing him to Osama Bin Laden manipulating his young college students to behave like jihadis. The hero FBI characters used those terms. On CBS. Further, when an agent expressed her progressive disgust with the “alt-right provocateur” victim, the female FBI supervisor corrected the agent, saying the agency does not do politics and must defend free expression, even when speech is disagreeable.
Is there a classic left-liberal resurgence in this venerable network? Are adults realizing things have gone too far? Is this an internecine fight on the left? Time will tell, but we should praise commendable programming decisions.