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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

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  209 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
“Vitally important, devastatingly thorough, and shockingly revealing…. After reading Primetime Propaganda, you’ll never watch TV the same way again.”
—Mark Levin

Movie critic Michael Medved calls Ben Shapiro, “One of our most refreshing and insightful voices on the popular culture, as well as a conscience for his much-maligned generation.” With Primetime Propaganda, the synd
ebook, 416 pages
Published May 31st 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published May 12th 2011)
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Michael Griswold
Dec 28, 2012 Michael Griswold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 12, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 24, 2011 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Alex Stroshine
Apr 10, 2015 Alex Stroshine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociocultural
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
Gary Braham
Apr 16, 2012 Gary Braham rated it really liked it  ·  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 ...more
Feb 05, 2013 Angel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jul 05, 2015 Harry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 26, 2015 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 28, 2014 Marcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Steven rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
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 ...more
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.
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.
Charlie Dennis
Jan 10, 2012 Charlie Dennis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
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.
Reza Amiri Praramadhan
It really opens up my eyes. this book is filled with many shocking revelations of how the leftists have television industry firmly in their hands. I guess I'll stick with books instead, rather than watching tv, which is riddled by leftists' and liberals' leanings.
Jonathas Torres
Such a well researched book, it covers so much on the subject of politics oriented television. There are a lot of high points on the book, one in particular for me was the link in pages 238-239 the left oriented TV had with the Frankfurt school, it was like an aha i knew it moment.
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.
Jul 10, 2011 Destiny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Sep 10, 2011 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 04, 2011 Naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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"!
Doug Caldwell
Aug 15, 2016 Doug Caldwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author proves his case with interviews of the liberals who manage, create and perform on TV and quoting them by name.
Oct 09, 2014 Vic rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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....
Ryan Hastings
Ryan Hastings rated it liked it
Mar 31, 2016
Harmony rated it really liked it
Oct 03, 2014
Joanna Weissen
Joanna Weissen rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2012
Dale Leschnitzer
Dale Leschnitzer rated it liked it
Feb 09, 2013
Jack A. Hill
Jack A. Hill rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2014
Mike Hill
Mike Hill rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2016
Kay rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2012
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Benjamin Shapiro was born in 1984. He entered UCLA at the age of 16 and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in June 2004 with a BA in Political Science. He graduated Harvard Law School cum laude in June 2007. Shapiro was hired by Creators Syndicate at age 17 to become the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the U.S.

His columns are printed in major newspapers and websites including
More about Ben Shapiro...

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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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