Health care reform

California to Push Obamacare Propaganda in TV Shows; Can't Wait for Family Guy's Very Special Episode!

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From a recent issue of The New York Times, in an article detailing how California has been leading the way on implementing Obamacare, especially when it comes to setting up the law's health-care exchange through which individuals will be able to shop for coverage:

Hollywood, an industry whose major players have been supportive of President Obama and his agenda, will be tapped. Plans are being discussed to pitch a reality television show about "the trials and tribulations of families living without medical coverage," according to the Ogilvy plan. The exchange will also seek to have prime-time television shows, like "Modern Family," "Grey's Anatomy" and Univision telenovelas, weave the health care law into their plots.

"I'd like to see 10 of the major TV shows, or telenovelas, have people talking about 'thathealth insurance thing,' " said Peter V. Lee, the exchange's executive director. "There are good story lines here."

Screw Modern Family. I want to see what Family Guy does to "weave the health care law" into its plots. Creator Seth McFarlane is as profane as he is a booster of the Dems, so the creative tension should be pretty damn taut.

More here.

Sadly, such propaganda plans come too late for the "Ass Man" episode of Seinfeld, which revolves around mistaken identity, fusilli pasta, and proctology.

If the California Obamacare propaganda plan actually gets going, it won't be the first time the government has turned to TV shows to push preferred messages by slipping them into stories. Back in the late 1990s, Salon exposed the ways in which the drug czar's office influenced plotlines of various shows as part of a complicated scheme to push anti-drug messages.

Hat tip: Hot Air

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  1. oh those free-thinking liberalsprogressives! What zany government fellating will they think of next?

  2. Now we know why liberals were so happy to do lift the ban on government propaganda.

    http://www.motherjones.com/pol…..propaganda

  3. Back in the late 1990s, Salon exposed the ways in which the drug czar’s office influenced plotlines of various shows as part of a complicated scheme to push anti-drug messages.

    Here is the thing though: in the era of antidrug messaging, there were rare few who were pro legalization of anything. Being antidrug was as common as being Pro-Mom and Pro-Apple Pie. It was seen not only as patriotic, but as a public health issue, like breast cancer is today or like AIDS was in the early ’90s.

    Obamacare isn’t even close to that level. I can excuse throwing the machinery into full gear for something that was seen as a threat to public health, even if that turned out to be mistaken. But this is rock bottom.

    1. Very good point. Of course, while there was very little pro-drug animus in the population at the beginning of the Reagan Drug War, there was a lot of apathy toward drug use, which was nearly gone by the end of the administration. In 1981, you couldn’t justify every encroachment on liberty by claiming a connection to drugs.

    2. Fortunately, it is also idiotic and most likely going to be ineffective. Propaganda makes for horrible drama or entertainment usually. Do you really think that a reality show on life without health insurance is going to be a ratings winner?

      And of course once something is fingered as being propaganda, the gig is up. Propaganda, to be effective, has to masquerade as unbiased information.

      1. I would like to believe this, but time and time again I overestimate the intelligence of the US population. It’s hard to have much faith in an electorate which gives BO an approval rating over 40% at this point.

        1. You don’t have to over estimate the intelligence of the American people. You just have to properly estimate the intelligence of the morons running this.

          Look at it this way, millions of Americans watch “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”. You really think they are going to flipping over from that or “Bridezillas” to watch the struggles of a transgendered couple without health insurance? Doubtful.

          1. You really think they are going to flipping over from that or “Bridezillas” to watch the struggles of a transgendered couple without health insurance? Doubtful.

            They will not do that. What they will do is make it that someone “had” to steal or be a bad guy because he did not have health insurance. They will make “noble savages” out of people to try and make their point.

            1. But TV and movies have been making that point for decades anyway. So what will change?

              1. So what will change?

                They will simply add this, not as a stand-alone, but as further proof that people are not responsible for their actions.

                “If only he had health insurance, he wouldn’t have been killed trying to get meds for his family.”

                1. I see that crap all the time now.

                  Which reminds me: Spiderman 3 How it Should Have Ended

                  1. Spiderman 3 How it Should Have Ended

                    That was awesome.

            2. This reminds me of a movie that I ran across in the guide one night. I read the description and was like “wait, that can’t be right, there has to be another twist here or something”.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_That_Kid

              I mean, they just had to rob that bank, she couldn’t climb mountains with her dad anymore!

              1. My god that looks like something rather would have written thinking it was good.

                Even worse, it was part of the chain of events that lead to that girl being put on screen and touted as beautiful.

        2. And think of it this way. No one ran more propaganda than the old Soviet Union. But that still didn’t keep people from knowing the place was a failure.

          1. North Korea runs more propaganda than the USSR did, and it sounds like people there are deluded as fuck.

            1. They also live in the world’s most closed society. NOt the same as here.

      2. John is 100% correct. Propaganda and earnestness (unless it’s Jim Varney) are absolute entertainment killers, like seeing an Adam’s apple on that chick you are picking up at the bar. This kind of forced narrative is horrible.

        Even in the 80s, when everyone was doing the anti-drug thing, the explicitly anti-drug episodes of shows were terrible.

        Let Hollywood play along, and then their ratings will drop, and then they will stop.

        1. I will not have you besmirching the honor of the greatest episode of Saved By the Bell of all time.

          “I’m so excited… I’m so exciteeeed!… I’m so… SCARED!”

          1. What the hell was that?

            1. Ol’ girl from Showgirls had too many cups of coffee.

              1. Showgirls: the Citizen Kane of trash movies. Damn, I love that movie.

                1. That movie was officially the end of my innocence. I just wish it had had Tiffani Amber Thiessen (SP) and the girls from “Hey, Dude.”

                2. That movie was officially the end of my innocence. I just wish it had had Tiffani Amber Thiessen (SP) and the girls from “Hey, Dude.”

                  1. I saw One Who Flew Over The Coo Coos Nest when I was eight. Understood what was going on, including how getting Billy laid was the best therapy he could possibly have. So, never had innocence to be taken.

          2. Awesome

        2. You mean television shows and movies where the good guys kill drug lords aren’t entertaining?

          What could be more anti-drug than killing people who use/sell drugs?

          I wonder how these new shows will work. Will the good guys be killing the evil insurance fat cats? Will they be killing doctors who refuse to accept Medicaid?

          Who will the good guys kill?

          1. Yet despite 70+ years of constant propaganda, people are more cynical about the drug war today than they were then.

            1. Nowadays the good guys kill Muslims. Terrorism and all that.

              Who will they kill to promote Obamacare?

              1. Evil dead beats who refuse to buy health insurance and free load off of the system.

                1. Evil dead beats who refuse to buy health insurance and free load off of the system.

                  No way. They’re the victims.
                  The bad guys are the people who profit off health care. Profiteering insurance companies and drug manufacturers.
                  Remember that health care is a basic right, and anyone who disputes that or profits from it is the enemy.

                  1. Listen to Tony and Shreek on here. They are constantly talking about free loaders who refuse to buy health insurance.

                    1. Listen to Tony and Shreek on here.

                      No thanks.

          2. Seriously. Isn’t it a little twisted when the only way to define “good guy” in some media is by what kind of person a character kills?

            Forget behaving ethically, or respecting the rights of citizens, it’s about killing bad guys.

        3. “Very Special Episode” is generally code for “you don’t need to watch this; it’s not canon and you might as well read the opinion page instead.”

        4. Look, everyone forgets that the 70s were hugely embarrassing–the clothes, the bad porn, disco–and that was all because of drugs. At least, that’s what was believed at the time. So, in essence, the WoD is really a War on the 70s.

          1. When you put it that way it’s hard not to support it.

            1. The Constitution is not a sartorial suicide pact!

    3. It was seen not only as patriotic, but as a public health issue, like breast cancer is today or like AIDS was in the early ’90s.

      It still is seen as a public health issue.

      You think that a government which has every design on what you eat and how you eat it is going to let you shoot smack?

      1. If you remember the zeitgeist, you should know that it’s a bit different now.

        There is a reason Clinton had to say he didn’t inhale.

        1. I’m not sure it’s meaningfully different. It is my opinion that Democrats have distanced themselves from “My body, my choice” even further since the 90s. Serious question, has Obama admitted he inhaled?

          1. Yes, he said something like “that was the point.”

          2. Yes, and snorted. See his authorized biographies.

  4. In a just world, the person badgering Hollywood to embed government propaganda in popular entertainment would be the person with his head wrapped in a towel as he was picked up in the middle of the night by federal agents.

    1. Head wrapped in a towel?

      Raaaacist!

  5. …the drug czar’s office influenced plotlines of various shows as part of a complicated scheme to push anti-drug messages.

    Back in the 80’s (and I imagine before) cop shows had already pretty steadily and mostly effectively vilified the drug dealer and drug user. They were the go-to villains for lazy, coked-up writers throughout Hollywood.

    The Obama Administration has shown itself to be pretty inept at propaganda, surprisingly so with the industry of town criers at their disposal. Add an increasingly savvy information/entertainment consumer and I don’t see this going far.

    1. yea, but you gotta admit there was a lot of romanticization and glorification of same. i mean , miami vice showed them as nice dressers, living a coked up lifestyle with a nice pair of tits on each arm, etc.

      i mean, cmon. “smuggler’s blues”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0_Viz7BA6U

      and i can quote the dude, “man, i fucking hate the eagles”…

      at least if you are going to split them up, you got the awesome that is joe walsh

      oh btw, i LOVE this scene from the limey…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BaXPg_2FJ4

      1. Great movie

        1. KNEEL BEFORE THE LIMEY

          1. one of my faves of all time

            i LITERALLY lol’d. and that is a rarity

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMbiLJ2aZuY

    2. Back in the 80’s (and I imagine before) cop shows had already pretty steadily and mostly effectively vilified the drug dealer and drug user. They were the go-to villains for lazy, coked-up writers throughout Hollywood.

      The real question is were they really that lacking in self awareness, or were they just doing it to be ironic? Oh wait, the drug dealers/ users in their screenplays were almost always minorities, not upper class white people like themselves. That makes it totally different.

  6. I want to see what Family Guy does to “weave the health care law” into its plots. Creator Seth McFarlane is as profane as he is a booster of the Dems, so the creative tension should be pretty damn taut

    I doubt it. McFarlane has the same blind spot for his own politics that most other people have. Any send up of liberal politics is half-assed at best.

    1. The send ups usually consist of making fun of liberals for selling out to evil right wingers and not being true enough to the cause.

      1. We’ll have to hope for South Park then.

        1. *** flashing caption ***

          THIS IS WHAT PROGRESSIVES REALLY BELIEVE!

        2. Always Sunny would probably have a nice sociopathic take on it.

          1. They’d all be trying to figure some half-assed way to take rip the system off.

          2. ‘So, Al’right, let’s go get us some slaves!’

          3. I thought Always Sunny already did the veryspecial healthcare episode.

            1. Wait, what? We have to pay for hospitals? That’s what taxes are for!

    2. The same guy who had his dog-avatar say everything would be perfect in the hypothetical world where Al Gore won?

  7. Plans are being discussed to pitch a reality television show about “the trials and tribulations of families living without medical coverage,”

    Yeah. They can just set up cameras in front of an emergency room, and film all the poor uninsured dead people piled up on the sidewalk because the hospital refused to treat them unless they paid in advance.

    1. Don’t forget the close ups of Tea Partiers pulling out the victms’ gold teeth, fillings, and grilles.

    2. What I don’t get is, how do you set up a reality show about people without medical coverage when now everyone is forced by law to have medical coverage? Shouldn’t they have done this three years ago or so?

      1. And more importantly…. How do the actors on your show not have health insurance?

  8. Wouldn’t a show about people who don’t have medical coverage be a show about the failure of their grand plan to ensure that everyone has medical coverage?

    1. And their solution to that is to force them to buy it. The show kind of cuts against their argument about free loaders who won’t buy health insurance doesn’t it?

      1. The long term goal is a single payer system where everyone is a freeloader, so why demonize freeloaders?

        1. The anti-freeloader argument for Obamacare is such a deep cognitive dissonance I can’t believe people making it with a straight face don’t just stroke out on the spot.

          1. We have to stop people with pre-existing conditions from freeloading so they can have health insurance paid for by the government!

    2. It’s just because Tex Richman and the evil Republicans conspired to block and obstruct Obamaman’s Good Deeds at every turn.

  9. Quick Tip: If you need television shows to try and sell your shitty policy, its probably a shitty policy.

    Kinda reminds me of the opening of the 2012 London Olympics, where they had that creepy giant baby thing and they spelled out NHS in giant letters. I guess the cult of government is now stateside.

  10. NO MARINES FOR LIBYAN AMBASSADOR, FULL SECURITY DETAIL FOR JARRETT VACATION

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-G…..an-embassy

  11. The left pitched obamacare ad nauseam and people still didnt like it. Obama claimed that was because it just wasnt pitched correctly or enough. So this is their solution to that problem? To inundate the american public with propaganda? ” You just thought you didnt like it, but see here, you really do”.

    They want to command me regarding everything else so its no surprise that lefty control freaks want to try and tell me what I like.

    1. Obama claimed that was because it just wasnt pitched correctly or enough

      Yep. Istar was a great film. It just failed because it wasn’t advertised properly.

      1. Holy shit, I forgot about that movie. Easily in the top ten of biggest stinkers.

  12. Propaganda is already pervasive. This is relatively innocuous, especially because it will be obvious.

    More sinister are segments like what I heard on CNN radio while driving over the weekend. It was talking about farm subsidies and why politicians embrace them. CNN’s purported reason, presented without any indication of other possibilities, was that farm subsidies exist so that the US isn’t dependent on other nations for its food. It’s a national security issue!

    Then they launched into sob stories: imagine being a farmer and finding out your crop isn’t worth anything when you take it to market! Of course they didn’t talk about futures markets.

    1. That is just it. The major media, academia and entertainment industry is almost universally leftist. They already own the field.

      1. They’re also super uninformed. How many of them do you think even know what futures markets are, let alone how they work?

        1. Also, OT: I was having brunch yesterday with my bf’s parents, who are both profs, mom being a law/comparative religion combo. She’s teaching a course this semester on the history of Christmas, and it’s the first time in a while she has done something that wasn’t just for law students or other grad students, and she says “I have people with all sorts of weird majors in my class, like finance and marketing.”

          I’m good at getting through absurdities like that at this point, but mad credit to my man, who was like “you mean majors where people will actually graduate and get jobs that pay them money?”

          1. That’s a great facepalm moment.

          2. Hey nicole. I know back in the Spring you were going through some issues with your bf. Did you get a new bf, or did you work through it with the old guy? Just curious.

            1. Oh man, was that the one with the gigantic subthread in an AM links about some dude who can’t commit?

            2. It was/is. We are working things out, slowly. We shall see.

              1. I’m glad to hear that. Good luck. Relationships are work.

              2. Don’t take this the wrong way, but…

                Sigh…. women.

    2. I would differentiate between proper propaganda and the segment you heard on the radio. Propaganda is a calculated lie composed by someone who does not themselves believe the lie but wants to sell the public on it.

      In the case of the CNN segment, they probably do actually believe that bullshit.

      1. Yeah, that’s a good point. They are journalists. It just killed me how they didn’t frame it as “One argument for government subsidy of crops is…” or “Politicians often argue that…”

        Instead, it was just flat out “If we don’t redistribute income to farmers, we’ll starve.” No arguments here, no sir!

        1. Historically there have been a lot of countries that lost wars because they couldn’t feed their own population and their own military when trade was cut off. Look at WW2.

          1. Right, that makes sense, but that seems to be an argument for free international trade, not subsidy. I mean, what good would subsidy do if you don’t have the fertilizer or manpower available to grow anything? If you go into a state of Total War, you’re going to get Total War and all the resource deprivation it entails!

          2. But America has never been one of those countries. We produce vastly more food than we eat, and we export tons of it.

      2. I’m not sure I agree with that definition of propaganda.

      3. I would add that while at university I paid for my rent and food and gas by tutoring journalism majors and theater majors through basic math and science classes. Their ability to understand economics was equally feeble.

        Come to think of it, with one notable exception, they had little grasp of anything other than their very strong opinions about all of the things they knew little about.

        1. Oh, I suspect many of them had a firm grasp of one thing other than their opinions.

          1. ok, i’ll admit.

            whooooooooooooooosh!

            what are you referring to?

            1. Their penises. He meant they are “jerk offs”.

          2. Well, there was that one notable exception, a stunning redhead from Lafayette. She was a smart cookie, and had a good grasp on me. But then I had a firm grasp on her too.

    3. That was the original reason for farm subsidies. But as time goes on these programs create an interest group, and of course now the reason we can never end farm subsidies is that the farm subsidy has been priced-in to a lot of rural properties.

      Sort of like Social Security was originally intended as a means of preventing elderly people from living in squalor during their last few years, but now it’s seen as a retirement investment.

      1. No, the original reason for famr subsidies was to bail out farmers during the Great Depression. It never had anything to do with national security because America is overwhelmingly food-independent and always has been. We export most of the food we produce.

    4. Then they launched into sob stories: imagine being a farmer and finding out your crop isn’t worth anything when you take it to market!

      Imagine being a stock broker, and finding out noone wants to buy AOL! Waaa!

      1. Or manufacturing solar power equipment, and finding out that no one wants to buy it!

        1. Imagine being a GM worker, and finding out nobody wants to buy your cars! Waaaa!

        2. Off the top of my head sound business strategy;

          Identify a market and the magnitude of that market.
          Then design a measured means of meeting the needs of that market profitably.

          Off the top of obama’s head stellar business strategy;

          Make infinite amounts of taxpayer cash available to my blowjob buddies so they can try to create a market out of thin air.

          Stunning.

          1. To be fair, today’s gaggle of government peeps isn’t nearly the first one to have embraced this line of thinking.

            But it’s shocking how many times this same routine has been performed, with the same results, without anyone catching on to the poor reasoning.

            1. today’s gaggle of government peeps isn’t nearly the first one to have embraced this line of thinking.

              That makes it worse, since they should know better by now.

              1. You mean since WE should know better by now. They are con artists extraordinaire, and will continue the raping as long as they are allowed to.

      2. Imagine being an artist and noone wants to buy your crap!

        Oh wait, we have the NEA, dammit, time to find another example.

        1. Imagine being a hippie and finding out nobody wants you to give them dreads! Waaa!

  13. I find it interesting how liberals don’t bat an eyelash at the idea of weaving political propaganda into the plots of major television shows.

    If the Bush White House had attempted to weave messages supportive of (say) the Iraq War into the plots of movies, as part of a deliberate government policy, they would have died of shock.

    1. All that matters is intentions

      1. All that matters is intentions the team.

        1. This, unfortunately. The Obama administration could probably attempt to weave positive messages about “drone process” into movies and TV shows, and they wouldn’t give 2 shits. But if Romney wins and tries it next year they’ll be beside themselves.

          1. Have you noticed the odd, out of place mentioning of Gloria Steinem as some kind of female Martin Luther King in TV shows and movies of the late?

            That’s got to be some kind of intentional subterfuge going on.

    2. I seem to recall many shows and movies during the Bush administration that glorified the killing of anyone terrorist related.

      I dunno if the administration had anything to do with it, but such plots seem to be supportive of Bush’s War on Terror.

      I also do not recall liberals having a tizzy over it.

      1. I seem to recall quite a bit of carping about 24.

        1. I didn’t watch the show so I didn’t notice.

          “I do not recall” means exactly that.

      2. I dunno if the administration had anything to do with it

        Well, they didn’t.

        Nobody’s saying Hollywood writers can’t make up pro-healthcare plots on their own initiative. This policy seems to be to get them to make up plots that specifically highlight specific aspects of a specific bill, at the behest of the US government.

    3. It’s not an “if”:

      Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

      The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child Left Behind (NCLB), required commentator Armstrong Williams “to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts,” and to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired during the show in 2004.

      And the MSM went apeshit, of course.

  14. Shouldn’t we be storming an embassy over this?

    1. I vote for storming the Scandinavian embassies en masse.

      1. i love the smell of lutefisk in the morning. smells like… victory.

  15. CNN’s purported reason, presented without any indication of other possibilities, was that farm subsidies exist so that the US isn’t dependent on other nations for its food. It’s a national security issue!

    I suppose this means Chilean fruit exports to America should be viewed as an act of war.

    1. Perhaps Fruit Ninja is the most successful clandestine propaganda program to date!!!

  16. The depressing take away from all of this is the Full Retard that it would take to come up with this agitprop campaign proved to be very profitable to those with no scruples in having millions of tax payer dollars thrown at their feet.

  17. Broadcast networks still exist? They still show shows?

  18. Maybe the whole point of the new “Elementary” show is brilliant detectives working together to discover what’s actually in the bill!

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