Blow Up the Box

TV managed to suck and blow in 2000, but still, we watched...and watched

According to Salon, McCaffrey's office, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, presented the networks with a compromise: "The office," Forbes wrote, "would give up some of that precious ad time it had bought--in return for getting anti-drug motifs incorporated within specific prime-time shows." As a result, viewers were being bombarded with propaganda disguised as content--and often it was barely disguised at that.

Just two weeks ago, ABC broadcast an episode of The Drew Carey Show in which Carey and his fellow homunculi attempted to sell their homemade beer--Buzz, so called because it contains caffeine and alcohol--at a Cleveland beer festival. But their efforts were undermined by the booth set up next to theirs--this one sponsored by an organization touting "ALCOHOL KILLS" placards and posters of diseased, desiccated livers. Watching that episode, it was impossible not to feel a little violated and nauseous: Here's a comedy about grease-guzzling alcoholics with a government-approved script intended to stop the very thing The Drew Carey Show pretends to celebrate. It's like watching porn with celibacy slogans tattooed on someone's ass. Which, come to think of it, would be better than anything else on TV this year.

Danny Hellman

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