Boston Legal Calls McCain/Palin Supporters “Idiots”

by Kristen Fyfe [critic]

Storyline includes fantasy of having sex with the Alaska governor.

Many McCain/Palin voters are idiots. So said the writers of the Nov. 17 episode of ABC’s Boston Legal, who went out of their way to trash Sarah Palin and elevate the election of Barack Obama to mythical status.

The Obama-supporting characters “Alan Shore” and “Shirley Schmidt,” played by James Spader and Candace Bergen, dropped the I-word in an exchange about McCain supporters:

SCHMIDT: Martha’s a little bit of an idiot.

SHORE: Shirley, almost 47 percent of this country didn’t vote for Obama, perhaps because they disagreed with him on the issues, which is fine. But some, no doubt, because they thought he was Muslim with terrorists on his speed dial, and others because th-they were convinced he was not only socialist, but even worse, a bad bowler, and others still because they simply loved those cream-colored jackets Sarah may have to give back. (Laughs) But there’s one thing all those idiots have in common.

SCHMIDT: What?

SHORE: They still get to vote. (Laughs)

The episode centered on a lawsuit brought by the character “Martha,” who claimed she was fired from her job because she voted for McCain. In fact, her Republican boss fired her because he thought she was stupid, on the grounds that Martha was an ardent Hillary supporter who voted for McCain because of Sarah Palin. A double slam from the left-loving writers of Boston Legal.

Shore and Schmidt decide to represent Marthaeven though they did think she was stupid — for supporting the McCain ticket. Schmidt tells her as much in a conference.

SCHMIDT: Honey, the sexist in all this is you. … You claim to be a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter. You — you walked into that booth and voted against everything Hillary stands for, and why? Because the Republicans added to their ticket someone they referred to at the convention as “the hot chick.”

But Shore was the character who really delivered the Hollywood slapdown of half the country, while he and Schmidt gauzily reflect on what it means to be “American” and the election of Barack Obama.

SHORE: I think that’s what this election just proved, that real Americans aren’t just rural and white. The portrait of real Americans has been redrawn in this election. Real Americans are of all ages, races, ethnicities. They live in cities and apartments as well as… farms. I… we have a president-elect who fits into no category or demographic whatsoever other than he’s an American.

SCHMIDT: God, I wept that night. (Chuckles) did you?

SHORE: No, I just… watched and watched and… didn’t want the night to end. I already miss Sarah Palin, though. (Laughs) she was fun while she lasted. I hope they let her keep the wardrobe.

SCHMIDT: I still have to say, though, as heartened as I am by the election and by America…

SHORE: What? (Laughs)

SCHMIDT: Martha’s a little bit of an idiot.

SHORE: Shirley, almost 47 percent of this country didn’t vote for Obama, perhaps because they disagreed with him on the issues, which is fine. But some, no doubt, because they thought he was Muslim with terrorists on his speed dial, and others because th-they were convinced he was not only socialist, but even worse, a bad bowler, and others still because they simply loved those cream-colored jackets Sarah may have to give back. (Laughs) But there’s one thing all those idiots have in common.

SCHMIDT: What?

SHORE: They still get to vote. (Laughs)

In addition to offending 55 million Americans with this storyline (click here for viewer feedback on Boston Legal’s Web site), the show’s writers also took aim at the blogosphere, Dick Cheney and the American electorate in a monologue delivered by Shore arguing on behalf of his “stupid” client.

SHORE: …we as a nation are horribly uninformed when it comes to politics. Approximately one-third of the people in this country, people of voting age, couldn’t tell you the name of our current vice president. Now admittedly, some of us like to block it out, but even so, only two in five adult Americans know we have three branches of government. … People forgo newspapers for the Internet, where instead of relying on credentialed journalists, they turn to these bloggers–sort of entry-level life-forms that intellectually have yet to emerge from the primordial ooze. …This is a democracy. We can be as stupid as we choose. We’re Americans. We’re as simple as that.

Not content to offend political sensibilities alone, the show’s writers also closed the show on a sleazy note with Shore and William Shatner’s character, “Denny Crane,” fantasizing about having sex with Sarah Palin and Shirley Schmidt at the same time.

No wonder most people, according to a poll released last week, find Hollywood morals the antithesis of the morals of most Americans (see CMI story here). And no wonder, with writing like this that Boston Legal is headed for extinction at the end of this season. ExileStreet

Kristen Fyfe is senior writer at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.

copyright 2008 CMI

One Response to “Boston Legal Calls McCain/Palin Supporters “Idiots””

  1. Norman Says:

    I have to give props to you — not only do you manage to misrepresent the facts in your headline, but also do you seem to derive some sort of slam against 55 million Americans from the portions you so liberally quoted.

    No, the show’s writers did not call McCain/Palin voters idiots. They called people who vote based on the perception of Obama being a muslim terrorist, on the perception of him being a bad bowler (and conversely, McCain a good one), etc. idiots, which is a fair comment. They do not even imply that all of McCain’s voters voted for these reasons — heck, they state exactly the opposite. Furthermore, there will be more than a few Obama voters who will have voted not on his platform, not on his issues, but on his appearance and media-coverage alone. Those people, too, are idiots. And they still get to vote. Ain’t democracy grand ….

    The plotline itself deals with this subject matter. I assume you are an intelligent person, so I’ll attribute the slant in your article to malicious bias. The slant of the show is pretty obvious (and yes, it is rather left-wing most of the time — but it makes no secret of it). If this show actually did offend you personally then, I am sorry to say, you are an idiot.

    Just to sprinkle it with some more shock sensationalism, you add an anecdote of the episode’s closing; I found that rather amusing actually, since it does reference a lot of the media coverage of Palin, a lot of the blogs out there (both left- and right-wing), and a lot of the talk you’ll overhear at a pub or bar anywhere in the country. Palin has been portrayed as such long before Boston Legal thought of referencing it in the closing. Maybe you should have told your readers about the phallic cigars these two men were smoking at the time, as well, just to drive the point home.

    Hollywood morals ? Give me a break. It’s a TV show. There are many more. Many unlike this one. This one deals with politics a lot. It does not shove morals down your throat. You’re free to dislike the show, but come on, generalizing the entire town just because they didn’t support your candidate and his bimbo ? (That was sarcasm, by the way.)

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