-By Warner Todd Huston
The CBS drama The Good Wife, a politically charged soap-opera-like series, is coming under fire for naming its Sarah Palin-boosting character after America’s most infamous domestic terrorist, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Matthew Vadum of the Washington-based Capital Research Center says that naming the character “McVeigh” conjures an unmistakable inference. “Calling a character ‘Kurt McVeigh’ conjures up unmistakable images of mass murdering terrorist Timothy McVeigh. Hollywood screenwriters don’t live in a cultural vacuum; they help to create American culture,” Vadum told Fox News. Even as the TV producers claim that they weren’t trying to discredit Sarah Palin by naming a character that supports her in its series after America’s most murderous homegrown terrorist, they also admit that they purposefully chose the name to invoke anti-government sentiment in the show’s other characters.
Using quite a bit of spin, executive producer/co-creator, Robert King said, “The Kurt McVeigh character was introduced mid-season our first year, and at that time, he was given a name that was intended to play into the anti-conservative prejudices of the more liberal [character in the show].”
That is an interesting formulation of motive, isn’t it? On one hand the show’s producers are trying to claim that the name was not used to invoke a murderous, real-life namesake, yet on the other hand they admit that the name was picked to provoke the “liberal” character to refer to that very madman. You can’t have it both ways, Mr. King. Either you meant the name to make viewers think of the murderous Timothy McVeigh, or you didn’t.
While producers are trying to claim that the choice of the McVeigh surname was not meant to invoke its murderous namesake — even as in a round about way they admit it was — the choice of the name is not a subtlety lost on others. Fox quotes entertainment commentator Jenn Hoffman to just that effect. “Timothy McVeigh does happen to have some key beliefs in common with the Tea Party,” she said. Obviously The Good Wife’s producers got their point across.
Of course, it is no surprise when TV producers surreptitiously attempt to push a left wing agenda into their product. A few months ago, for instance, I wrote about the TV show Medium having a character based on the real-life law-and-order Sheriff Joe Arpiao of Arizona. Only Medium’s character turned out to be a bit less upstanding of character than the real Sheriff Joe. Their Arpaio was a child-rapist and murderer. (In my 2010 year in review piece I wrote of several such incidents)
Decades worth of TV programming has been undergirded with a liberal perspective and when any show tries to evince a different ideological base line the show is mercilessly attacked. Remember how 24 was constantly attacked from the left as outrageous “torture-porn” and slammed for its supposedly right-wing, pro-America theme?
There can be little doubt that the producers of The Good Wife had every intention of invoking a mass murderer by naming its leading conservative character after America’s most notorious domestic terrorist.