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Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV
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Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The inside story of how the most powerful medium of mass communication in human history has become a propaganda tool for the Left

Primetime Propaganda is the story—told in their own words—of how television has been used over the past sixty years by Hollywood writers, producers, actors, and executives to promote their liberal ideals, to push the envelope on social and politi
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ebook, 416 pages
Published May 31st 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published May 12th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Richard
I expected the author of Primetime Propaganda to rail against the obvious left and far-left agenda of network television programming. Instead, Ben Shapiro presents a pretty fair history and analysis of the entertainment side of network TV and many of the key personalities involved. While some of his views are debatable, his key points are confirmed by his many interviews with key industry players.

A few of his main points are:

* The primary originators of network TV (Paley, Sarnoff, Goldenson) and
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Michael Griswold
Primetime Propaganda by Ben Shapiro surprised me because when I heard that it was written by a conservative columnist, I was expecting this venomous, hate filled, ideological rant against the admittedly quite liberal television industry.

What I actually got was a rational and fairly even handed approach towards the television industry that spoke to the creators and consumers of television from the 1950's through today and he discovered that yes many of them are liberal, but that the injection of
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Jerry
This is an excellent and objective look at the liberal Hollywood culture and how it dominates television. As a result of this domination of the television entertainment industry, liberalism presents a one-sided and often heavy handed view of American cultural values. This has, over 50+ years, greatly influenced American values. I recommend this book, not because it indicts the Right or Left, but because everyone needs to be cognizant of the powerful and often subtle messages that bombard viewers ...more
Gary Braham
Apr 16, 2012 Gary Braham rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with an interest in politics or the TV industry
This is the sort of book that wouldn't have been as good if anyone other than Ben Shapiro had written it. First of all, Ben clearly loves the TV industry, and is not writing this book as a right winger trying to rally the nation against liberal hollywood. He is legitimately trying to improve telavision for both liberals and conservatives. He was really able to move the debate to the next level. There have been many books or articles on trying to prove hollywood is liberal. And he does include ma ...more
Angel
Over the years I had realized that like most of media, TV leaned to the left, but I had no idea to what extent since my TV viewing diminished greatly as an adult. This information comes directly from the people who wrote and directed these programs. Even my childhood favorite, "Sesame Street" is not excluded from the left's influences. It espouses diversity as the new self esteem and embraces liberal lifestyles while neglecting to teach kids patriotism or traditional values. Their political bias ...more
Alex Stroshine
The television industry is one that interests me as it is a social tool that constantly permeates our society. Every day we sit in front of the television to catch the evening news or the latest episode of our favourite sitcoms, dramas or reality shows.

Ben Shapiro does an excellent job of gathering an extensive amount of interviews with many of the movers and shakers in Hollywood such as Marcey Carsey, Carlton Cuse, Fred Silverman and others. Through the admissions of these influential Hollywood
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Harry
While this book is well researched, it is less well balanced and more of a diatribe against the liberal influence in television and motion pictures. Given the nature of the creative beast, writers will tend to be young, liberal and often Jewish. Yet as Shapiro points out at the end of the book, television “is still a business, and money talks.”
Having spent 40+ years working in television media, I can report that advertisers are not the rubes that Shapiro paints them to be. The medium is numbers
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Kevin
A Pop Culture Wonk Exegetes Pop Culture's Political Messaging in Television.

In an interview with CSPAN's BookTV, Ben Shapiro, described "Primetime Propaganda" as his most-thoroughly researched book. This was the impetus for buying this book.

This book is indeed highly researched. The most interesting forms of research were the interviews Shapiro conducted with the power players of the entertainment industry. These contained the nuggets that best supported his thesis regarding the lopsided politic
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Jocelin
This was an interesting book. I felt like a lot of this information was déjà vu. I got a chance to see Ben Shapiro on Book TV and he touch on a great deal of the subjects that he mentioned in this book. I think this book could have been a lot shorter by about 100 pages.
Marcia
Anyone who watches tv or goes to the movies knows that Hollywood swings sharply to the left, if they are paying attention, but most people aren't. Ben Shapiro, does actually research (what a concept) showing how this has been so since the beginning, but how it has gotten so much worse, to the propaganda and manipulation that led to 2 terms of Obama in the White House. Those in Hollywood and NewYork, claim that they are mirroring their audience, but the mirror is only reflecting off themselves. W ...more
Steven
This is a very well-written and interesting book that makes cogent arguments. Shapiro documents everything, and personally interviews dozens of TV executives, writers, and producers. Most of these people made statements that entirely back up everything Shapiro is saying, although I doubt most of them realized that's what they were doing. Although I knew this was going on, I never realized how rampant it was, nor did I realize how far back the history of it went. In a way this is somewhat annoyin ...more
Michelle
I'm actually kind of surprised I finished this, given how liberal I am. I guess it's a testament to Ben Shapiro's writing style and his (often) reasonable arguments. I agree with Shapiro that TV is mostly liberal, and conservatives are often treated badly in Hollywood. But the main things Shapiro rails against, I see as great progress. For instance, the presence of gay and Muslim characters on television. Not too long ago, people couldn't even fathom watching black people on their TVs, let alone ...more
John
3 1/2 stars. Shapiro is a strong conversational writer who meticulously researched his subject. He makes good points but overlooks important factors and questions as to why the industry is the way it is. He also panders to a partisan audience - assuming that all liberalism is bad, with unnecessarily snarky asides about left-leaning politicians and entertainers - which really undermines what could have been an excellent expose, instead of just more propaganda for a disillusioned audience.
Foxglove
Interesting theory, but Shapiro doesn't explain his terms well. Why is being pro-gay rights liberal? Sigh, I support a diversity of opinions but I think people just flock together and that's why the media seems biased. People hire those close to them. And honestly, I think it's a lot less liberal than people think.
Eric Keith
Enjoyable book. It gets a bit heavy in industry talk but does a nice job of breaking down certain areas of the TV industry. You can't argue that liberalism is more prevalent than any other viewpoint in television. I do enjoy the author's call to arms to conservatives to take back tv.
Rick
Interesting look at the politics behind our TV shows. Ben Shapiro interviews several of the most successful creators of TV programming in the industry and he recounts how they readily admit how many of them load their shows with far left messages. Pretty good book actually.
Naomi
An excellent depiction of probably the most useless, arrogant, elitist, narcisstic propagandists on the face of the earth! The information in this book is by no means new, but the indepthness of it is. Just another reason to call the television the "BOOB TUBE"!
Charlie Dennis
I knew TV was overwhelmingly liberal. I just did not know the extent. This writer did a great service in bringing this information to the forefront in this book.
We need to turn TV off when it goes against God, family and country.
Destiny
A fascinating look into how the Hollywood elites think. I was shocked and amazed many times. It is surprising how much TV has shaped, and continues to shape, the way our culture thinks. I definitely recommend this to everyone who loves TV.
Vic
Amazing to hear in their own words how producers etc are pushing their largely liberal, often anti family agenda. Lots of info, moved a little slow after a while....
Bob
May 25, 2012 Bob is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book on the history and culture of TV.
Jennifer
Interesting subject, and very well written.
Angie Bates
Confirms my choice not to have a TV.
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“According to Scientific American, people watching TV “reported feeling relaxed and passive. The EEG studies similarly show less mental stimulation, as measured by alpha brain-wave production, during viewing than during reading. . . . Habit-forming drugs work in similar ways.” In short, scientists conclude that “TV does seem to meet the criteria for substance dependence.”1” 0 likes
“As Gelbart told me about four months before he passed away, “William S. Paley said television was the best cigarette vending machine that anybody ever thought of, and that’s still pretty much what it is. I’d just like to see it grow up, and really be the best thing it can be.”7” 0 likes
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