By Carol A. Taber
June 2, 2011
It's rare when you read a nonfiction book to be thrilled -- truly thrilled -- by it. Ben Shapiro's Primetime Propaganda isn't just thrilling, it's deep, phenomenally insightful, and intelligent. Primetime Propaganda documents, in tremendous detail, how and why our culture is so screwed up, nihilistic, and alien to what most Americans want for their children -- and how television helped make it that way, in purposeful fashion.
I had a visceral feeling when I began reading Primetime Propaganda: I was in a racing car, dashing in and out of traffic, passing other cars, careening around corners and jumping curbs and hurtling up the freeway at breakneck speeds, never losing the trail to get to the trip's destination, slicing up the highway with the deftness of a brain surgeon. The pace of the book starts off that way and doesn't let up throughout, building a methodical and logical argument as to why Hollywood is the way it is: how each breakthrough leftist television show paved the way for the next level of open leftism, pushing the envelope farther and farther out, if for no other reason than to shock the sensibilities of most people and to pervert classic American values for our children.
That's one helluva ride for a nonfiction book. Primetime Propaganda meticulously details how a very small, incestuous group of people with limited ideas and limited ideals, almost all literally born in the same pod -- and whose relationship to American values is nothing short of hostile and contemptuous -- got into a position to mold the values of your own children more powerfully than you as a parent ever could. It's about the scariest thought on the planet. And Shapiro explains how it happened.