Saturday, December 15, 2007
the majority wasn't for the impeachment of president clinton. so lying under oath about an extramarital affair is enough to investigate and the impeach a president, even if the majority is against impeachment. the house of representatives in 1998 was controlled by republicans and which ever party controls the house of representatives determines what is an impeachable offense. even if the majority of the citizens were against impeachment the gop control house went with impeachment.
this house is controlled by the democratic party and they've determined that no impeachable offensives have occurred and even having a majority of its citizens favor investigations the democratic party isn't able to find impeachable offensives.
which is weird bc if they're too stupid and can't find an impeachable offense all they have to do is look at history and find that in 1974 one of the two articles of impeachment that was written up and voted on against nixon (the house judiciary voted on 2 articles, but nixon resigned before the full house could vote) was for wire tapping. even though the nixon impeachment was under a democratic house, it was bipartisan. (by august 6th and 7th nixon had lost the senate and the rnc chair [bush's dad]).
if the majority believes something in regard to their leaders of their country possibly abusing their power then yeah. this blames the democratic party as well...they are in the position to define what is impeachable and was is not. all the accusations about the clintons cost about $60 to $70 million dollars and it was determined that no wrong doing was found. i'm not saying lets spend that much money on investigating this administration, but if the majority already believes that there is possible wrong doing and to such an extreme then all the house judiciary needs to do is investigate to either deny or confirm. we can't let future historians determine or debate whether or not there was wrong doing. sure we all know what was on monica's blue dress, but we won't know the truth about all the secrets and wrong doing done by this administration. no future president, of either or any party, should ever be impeached if this administration is not investigated. o wait i forgot it's the house of representatives that is in power that determines what is impeachment...i'm sure the gop will be in power again in the house at some point...i wonder what they'll impeach for then.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Michael Mukasey, the new attorney general of the United States, vowed to be an independent advocate. When asked what he meant by independent? President Bush replied independent of the Constitution and the rule of law.
The Dallas Zoo is turning to alternative methods of powering some of their buildings and irrigation systems using animal droppings. This will be the first time the $#!t powers the fan.
States are targeting teacher sexual misconduct with students. Soon every school with have its own Chris Hanson and plate of cookies at the ready.
Stephen Colbert ended his presidential run this week. Now that his fake presidential campaign is over, we wait and see which fake presidential candidate will win.
In a Washington Post-ABC poll, 74% of Americans want a change in the direction of the agenda and priorities of President George W. Bush. The remaining 26% were survivors of Hurricane Katrina and unable to respond to the poll.
Representative Dennis Kucinich said he will force a vote of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney this week. News of the possible impeachment shocked the nation, since most did not know that Cheney had cheated on his wife.
Soccer superstar David Beckham told British style magazine Arena that friend Tom Cruise did not attempt to recruit him or his wife Victoria, saying “There’s been nothing shoved down our throats.” However he went on to say other things attempted to be shoved down his throat.
Bill Richardson appeared in the November issue of Playboy where he said the Democratic Party made a “tactical mistake” in 2000 by becoming the party of the poor instead of the middle class. The tactical mistake Richardson made, appearing nude in Playboy.
In 2004 former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani recommended his former police commissioner Bernard Kerik to President Bush to nominate to head the Department of Homeland Security. Seven days later Kerik withdrew his name as allegations of organized crime connections arose. Now Candidate Giuliani’s judgment of leadership is coming into question. In a related story, Giuliani defends Bush’s leadership in the Iraq War.
John McCain has shifted his position from the U.S. combining its efforts to secure the borders as well as allowing illegal immigrants a temporary worker program and a path to citizenship to emphasizing securing the borders first. The McCain campaign’s explanation for the adjustment of his stance on immigration was to avoid accusations of being a homosexual.
Starting in 1999, teens finally had their own voice in the form of an award show all their own, the Teen Choice Awards. Now teens, and pre-teens, ages 12 to 19 told the industry which entertainers they liked by handing out life-size surfboards, which have an original design each year, instead of statues.
Since 1999, the Teen Choice Awards have aired annually on Fox in the United States and Global TV in Canada. From 1999 to 2005, the life-size surfboards were handed out weeks prior to the broadcast of the award show. Since 2006, the award show has been presented live. The award show, set in a summertime theme, hands out surfboards to entertainers in movies, music, sports, and television.
The Teen Choice Awards came to life from producers Bob Bain and Michael Burg who wanted to give a voice to a younger demographic, younger than the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award but similar in some regards to the MTV Movie Awards. The show has been the same since its inception with traditional award show categories and more non-traditional categories like that of Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award and the MTV Movie Awards.
Taking its cue from other award shows, the Teen Choice Awards usually starts the award show night off with a parody production of the big events in pop culture and film and television of the past year. For 2007, the most resent Teen Choice Award show, the parody production was High School Musical 50th Reunion based on the phenomenon High School Musical.
This award show does not have a traditional red carpet, but has a “green carpet.” Celebrities have walked the carpet to enter the award show, and there are plenty that have walked the carpet over the years coming out a winner year after year. Ashton Kutcher has twelve awards, the most for an individual male. While Justin Timberlake holds the most awards, twenty-one, for an individual male plus ensemble. With seven awards, Britney Spears has the most for an individual female. Jennifer Aniston holds eleven awards, the most for an individual female plus ensemble.
While some have been around year after year receiving the awards, the hosts have changed throughout the year. The hosts over the years have been Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans, David Spade, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, Hilary Duff and Rob Schneider, and Jessica Simpson. The 2007 award show was hosted by Nick Cannon and return host, a first for the award show, Hilary Duff.
The awards are given to performers of all ages, but those that decide who wins and loses range in age from 12 to 19.
Voters and Awards
The voters are pre-teenagers 12 year olds all the way up to the last of the teenage years, 19. There are a couple of ways for them to vote. From 1999 to 2002, the balloting of the awards was handled by Seventeen magazine. Since 2003, Teen People magazine has taken charge of the balloting for the award show. Also voting can be cast online at Fox.com, the online home for the Teen Choice Awards. Some awards can only be voted online.
The Teen Choice Awards have some categories along the lines of those given by other award shows. The categories for feature films are: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror/Thriller, Actor in an Action/Adventure, Actress in an Action/Adventure, Actor in a Comedy, Actress in a Comedy, Actor in a Drama, Actress in a Drama, Actor in a Horror/Thriller, Actress in a Horror/Thriller. Then there are the less traditional categories for the feature films like: Chemistry, Liplock, Slut, Villain, Breakout Male, and Breakout Female.
The Teen Choice Awards’ categories for television are more traditional than those for the feature films. There are the Choice TV Show categories: Drama, Comedy, Animation, and Reality/Variety. The other categories for television are: Actor in a Drama, Actress in a Drama, Actor in a Comedy, Actress in a Comedy, Male Reality/Variety Star, and Female Reality/Variety Star. The remaining categories for television are: Personality, Villain, Movie, Breakout Show, and Breakout Star.
The music categories at the Teen Choice Awards are also more traditional categories. The music categories cover rock, rap, hip-hop, and R & B. The choice music categories are: Rap Artist, R & B Artist, Rock Group, Male Artist, Female Artist, Rap/Hip-Hop Track, R & B Track, Rock Track, Love Song, Single, Breakout Artist – Male, Breakout Artist – Female, and Breakout Group.
Unlike some other award shows, the Teen Choice Awards also covers sports. There are four categories: Male Athlete, Female Athlete, Action Sports Female, and Action Sports Male.
Other categories: Choice Comedian, Choice Male Hottie, and Choice Female Hottie. There is also the “Summer’s Categories:” Choice Summer Movie – Drama/Action-Adventure, Choice Summer Movie – Comedy/Musical, Choice Summer TV Show, Choice Summer Artist, and Choice Summer Song.
The award show may have its share of traditional categories, as listed above, but like the MTV Movie Awards a variety of non-traditional categories come and go over the years. From 2007 these are the variety of non-traditional categories that were given out; Choice Movie: Hissy Fit, Choice Movie: Dance, Choice Movie: Scream, Choice Movie: Chick Flick, Choice TV: Sidekick, Choice Music: Love Song, Choice Music: Payback Track, and Choice V Cast Video.
The following is a list of those that won the Teen Choice Awards from 2007, for feature films: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Choice Movie: Action-Adventure), The Pursuit of Happyness (Choice Movie: Drama), The Holiday (Choice Movie: Chick Flick), Knocked Up (Choice Movie: Comedy), Disturbia (Choice Movie: Horror/Thriller), Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness (Choice Movie Actor: Drama), Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (Choice Movie Actress: Drama), Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Choice Movie Actor: Action-Adventure), Keira Knightley for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Choice Movie Actress: Action-Adventure), Will Ferrell for Talladega Nights The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Blades of Glory (Choice Movie Actor: Comedy), Sophia Bush for John Tucker Must Die (Choice Movie Actress: Comedy), Shia LaBeouf for Disturbia (Choice Movie Actor: Horror/Thriller), Sophia Bush for The Hitcher (Choice Movie Actress: Horror/Thriller), Bill Nighy for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Choice Movie: Villain), Ryan Seacrest for Knocked Up (Choice Movie: Hissy Fit), Keira Knightley & Orlando Bloom for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Choice Movie: Liplock), Sophia Bush for John Tucker Must Die and The Hitcher (Choice Movie: Breakout Female), Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan for Step Up (Choice Movie: Dance), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – Will Turner vs. Crew of the Flying Dutchman (Choice Movie: Rumble), Shia LaBeouf for Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Disturbia, and Transformers (Choice Movie: Breakout Male), Will Smith and Jaden Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness (Choice Movie: Chemistry), and Steve Carell for Evan Almighty (Choice Movie: Scream).
The next list is the Teen Choice Awards given out in 2007 for television: High School Musical 2 (Choice TV: Movie), Grey’s Anatomy (Choice TV Show: Drama), Hannah Montana (Choice TV Show: Comedy), The Simpsons (Choice TV: Animated Show), American Idol (Choice TV: Reality/Variety Show), Hugh Laurie for House (Choice TV Actor: Drama), Hayden Panettiere for Heroes (Choice TV Actress: Drama), Steve Carell for The Office (Choice TV Actor: Comedy), Miley Cyrus for Hannah Montana (Choice TV Actress: Comedy), Allison Mack for Smallville (Choice TV: Sidekick), Tyra Banks for America’s Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show (Choice TV: Personality), Heroes (Choice TV: Breakout Show), America Ferrera for Ugly Betty (Choice TV: Breakout), Sanjaya for American Idol (Choice TV: Male Reality/Variety Star), Lauren Conrad for The Hills (Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star), and Vanessa Williams for Ugly Betty (Choice TV: Villain).
Then there are the awards given out for music: “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne (Choice Music: Single), Justin Timberlake (Choice Music: Male Artist), Fergie (Choice Music: Female Artist), Timbaland (Choice Music: Rap Artist), Rihanna (Choice Music: R&B Artist), Fall Out Boy (Choice Music: Rock Group), Vanessa Hudgens (Choice Music: Breakout – Female), Akon (Choice Music: Breakout Artist – Male), Gym Class Heroes (Choice Music: Breakout Group), “With Love” by Hilary Duff (Choice Music: Love Song), “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston (Choice Music: R&B Track), “The Way I Are” by Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson and D.O.E. (Choice Music: Rap/Hip-Hop Track), “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” by Fall Out Boy (Choice Music: Rock Track), and “What Goes Around…” by Justin Timberlake (Choice Music: Payback Track).
There are also these Teen Choice Awards winners from 2007: Zac Efron (Choice Male Hottie), Jessica Alba (Choice Female Hottie), and Dane Cook (Choice Comedian).
The sport awards from 2007: Tiger Woods of Golf (Choice Male Athlete), Maria Sharapova for Tennis (Choice Female Athlete), Lisa Andersen of Surfing (Choice Action Sports Female), and Shaun White for Snowboarding, Skateboarding, and Surfing (Choice Action Sports Male).
For the summer categories, the winners in 2007 were: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Choice Summer Movie – Drama/Action-Adventure), Hairspray (Choice Summer Movie – Comedy/Musical), “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s (Choice Summer Song), Miley Cyrus (Choice Summer Artist), and Degrassi (Choice Summer TV Show).
For the first time at the Teen Choice Awards there was the “Choice V Cast Video” award, which was sponsored by Verizon Wireless, a sponsor of the award show. The award went to The Hills.
By looking over the list of winners from 2007, it can be seen that these winners would only win on an award show voted on by teenagers. The award show is for teens and viewed by teens, and ages upward. However the award show has received criticism from the Parents Television Council, a conservative group wanting to restore responsibility to the entertainment industry. The group has criticized the award show in 2000, 2005, and 2006 for awarding R rated films and entertainers not usually geared for the teenage audience. The council has also awarded the award show the “Worst Family TV Show of the Week” twice. The council did praise the award ceremony for not having any malfunctions in 2004, unlike the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show earlier that year.
As the award show approaches its tenth anniversary, it shows no signs of ending or changing. Teens will continue to have their say of their favorite films, television series, musicians, athletes, and the entertainers that make them happen.
Fox Broadcasting Company: Teen Choice 2007
< http://www.fox.com/teenchoice/ >
The Internet Movie Database
< http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Teen_Choice_Awards/ >
Parents Television Council
< http://www.parentstv.org/ >
Teen Choice Awards
< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teen_Choice_Awards#History >
Matt Groening grew up in Portland, Oregon. He was the middle of five children, along with Lisa and Maggie; there were also Mark and Patty that filled out the Groening family. Matt followed in his father’s footsteps as a writer and cartoonist. Matt started out drawing a cartoon strip for his high school, but was eventually kicked off the staff.
His work on the high school paper prepared him for his work on his college paper. Groening attended the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, from 1972 to 1977. Evergreen State College is a liberal arts school with no grades and no core requirements. There he served as the editor of The Cooper Point Journal, the campus newspaper. He also wrote articles and drew cartoons for the paper.
Groening moved to Los Angeles after college to become a writer. Upon moving there he did not start out as a writer. He had a role as an extra, busing tables, washing dishes at a nursing home, landscaping in a sewage treatment plant, and chauffeuring and ghostwriting for a retired Western director. Eventually he began working regularly at Licorice Pizza.
While at Licorice Pizza, Groening began drawing a comic book about his life in Los Angeles. His self-published, xeroxed comic book was titled “Life in Hell.” “Life in Hell” starred Binky, a lonely, alienated rabbit living a low-income life in Hollywood. Instead of sending letters home to Portland, Groening sent home copies of his “Life in Hell.” By the sixth issue, those that received copies rose from 20 to 500.
Groening showed his comic to the editor of the Los Angeles Reader. The editor quickly hired him, but to deliver newspapers. For six years, he worked for the Reader as a typesetter, editor, paste-up artist, and a rock critic. As a rock critic, he never reviewed music, but instead wrote about what ever was on his mind. In 1980, a surprised Groening was offered, by the Reader, a cartoon strip. He accepted.
By 1986 his “Life in Hell” strip was running in other alternative weeklies. He was fired that same year from the Reader because Groening wrote an angry letter to the editor over the firing of a writer. The L.A. Weekly brought him on after his time at the Reader. There at the Weekly he married his fellow staffer, Deborah Caplan. By this time he and Caplan began publishing anthologies of “Life in Hell.” They also set up their own syndicate, ACME Features, to distribute the cartoon strip. His wife began running Life in Hell Inc. The two had two children, Homer and Abe. Caplan filed for divorce in March 1999.
The founder of Gracie Films, writer-producer James L. Brooks was introduced to the “Life in Hell” strip by a fellow producer. Brooks asked Groening if he could use the characters in animated shorts for a new television series on Fox. Groening feared losing his characters, so he created an entirely new set of characters. The cartoon family, the Simpsons, began as cartoon shorts on the Fox variety series The Tracey Ullman Show. Groening designed the cartoon family in ten minutes, that’s about how long The Tracey Ullman Show lasted.
The Simpsons shorts led to a half-hour spin-off in 1989. The Simpsons was a huge success and the first prime-time animated series in twenty years. The series was developed by Groening, Brooks, and Sam Simon. Simon had worked with Brooks, but did not get along with Groening. Simon left the series in 1993 over creative differences. Although Groening drew the storyboards for the shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, on the series Groening mainly oversees the series. Currently he holds the titles of executive producer and creative consultant. He is credited with writing four of the series episodes since the premiere in 1989, as well as The Simpsons Movie in 2007.
Groening wanted to develop a series on his own, without Brooks or anyone else that helped him achieve the success of The Simpsons. In 1997, after researching science-fiction, Groening and David X. Cohen (formerly known as David S. Cohen) developed a new animated series which they pitched to Fox in 1998 and premiered in 1999. Where The Simpsons focused on the family life, their new series would focus on the work place set 1,000 years in the future. The experience getting Futurama on the air was a horrible experience in Groening’s eyes.
Fox debuted Futurama in between The Simpsons and The X-Files on Sunday night to huge ratings. Fox then moved the series to Tuesdays and the ratings fell. The series was eventually returned to Sundays, but after four years was cancelled. However just as with Family Guy, Futurama’s success in DVD sales and huge ratings on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim led to four DVD movies to be released beginning in 2007 which will then air as 16 separate episodes on Comedy Central beginning in 2008.
Aside from his two animated successes, Groening, along with Steve Vance, Cindy Vance, and Bill Morrison, began a comic book publishing company in 1994. Bongo Comic Group, named after Bongo from “Life in Hell,” publishes comic books based on The Simpsons and Futurama. The goal of Bongo was to bring humor into an industry which was publishing fairly grim comic books in the early and mid-1990s. However, in 1995, Bongo Comics began an imprint for mature readers known as Zongo Comics.
Groening continues to be involved with the productions of The Simpsons and Futurama. He has been nominated for 25 Emmy awards and has won ten; nine for The Simpsons and one for Futurama. Groening received the 2002 National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award, as well as being nominated for the same award in 2000. In 2004, he received the British Comedy Award for “outstanding contribution to comedy.”
Groening’s “Life in Hell” was the beginning of his success. His “Life in Hell” led to an even greater and outstanding, overwhelming twenty year success with one of the longest running and inspirational television series ever with The Simpsons. Groening’s creations will be around for all time entertaining and inspiring writers and cartoonists for the next 1,000 years or more.
Carina Chocano. “Matt Groening.” [Online] Available
http://archive.salon.com/people/bc/2001/01/30/groening, January 30, 2001.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
The letters are the initials for the Columbia Broadcasting System. That is the former legal name, which was dropped in 1974. The Westinghouse Electric Company acquired the network in 1995, and eventually the company became known as CBS Corporation. Viacom took control of CBS in 2000, and by 2005 Viacom split into two entities: Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation; both controlled by National Amusements, parent company of the two companies.
The Radio Years
The United Independent Broadcasters Inc. began in January of 1927, broadcasting over the radio waves. The Columbia Phonographic Manufacturing Company began investing in United Independent Broadcasters, changing its name to Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System. Unable to sell enough air time to advertisers, Columbia sold the network to William S. Paley in September 1927. With a network of 16 independent radio stations, all of which Paley organized under the company’s new name: the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).
Another investor came in 1928 in the form of Paramount Pictures. The studio eventually sold its stock in Paley’s company in 1932, thanks to the 1929 stock market crash.
With the power of programming, CBS established itself as a radio network with many popular musical and comedy stars like Bing Crosby, Al Jolson, and George Burns & Gracie Allen. By 1935, CBS became the nation’s largest radio network. In order to attract the top talents in the movie industry, CBS opened a studio in Hollywood in 1938.
Americans gathered around the radio for entertainment in the 1930s, but they gathered around the radio for their news as well. In 1933, CBS began a news division, becoming the first network news organization, with bureaus in New York, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles. CBS News gained an image of on-the-spot coverage.
CBS was successful at news and entertainment. The two came together in a faux news broadcast by Orson Wells with the adaptation of H.G. Well’s The War of the Worlds. The faux news broadcast of an invasion by Martians panicked listeners, even though there were disclaimers that the broadcast was a work of fiction.
Prior to television, radio was the dominant advertising medium, which meant CBS was the dominant broadcaster. CBS often had the highest rated programs. CBS took talent from NBC in the mid-1940s; talent like Jack Benny and Amos ‘n’ Andy. William Paley was an innovator in creating original programming, so in the mid-1940s CBS began creating its own programs: You Are There, My Favorite Husband, Our Miss Brooks, Gunsmoke, and The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet; all of which eventually made the transition to television. Advertisers once bought air time in half-hour to full hour blocks, but under Raley’s original programming advertisers bought time by the minute.
The 1950s began the transition from radio to television. With the shows listed above moving from radio to television, so did the radio soap opera The Guiding Light, radio was no longer the money maker that television was becoming. Prime-time radio ended in September 1962, when Suspense aired for the final time. CBS Radio continues today, but gone are the days of old-style programming, as newscasts dominate the CBS Radio Network.
The future of CBS was not in radio, but in the new medium of television.
Although the idea of television was around for sometime, the general public was introduced to television at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. That same year, the CBS owned Hytron Laboratories moved into set production and color broadcasting. By 1941, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began licensing commercial stations. CBS offered a color television set in 1941; however the Second World War decreased interest in the infant television industry.
Back from the war in 1945, commercial television increased programming. CBS was the one network that lagged in programming, originally focusing on color programming, which was not compatible with the FCC supported black and white television set standards.
In 1950, when NBC was dominant and black and white transmission was widespread, CBS’ programs from the radio began transitioning to television. Lucille Ball’s My Favorite Husband not only changed its name, but the husband as well. Ball’s real life husband, Desi Arnaz, became the lead actor in I Love Lucy. Not only did Arnaz play the husband, but he took financial control of the production, the making of the Desilu empire. I Love Lucy became one of CBS’ and television’s highest rated and most talked about series ever.
The CBS Eye logo debuted in 1951 and in 1952, Television City opened in Los Angeles, becoming CBS’ landmark production facility. Just as it had with radio, CBS Television dominated the top ten rated series each season until the mid-1970s. Since it was the dominant network, the network felt it could gamble with such series as the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and All in the Family, as well as its numerous spin-offs.
Color television was pioneered by CBS in the late 1930s, but the FCC had committed to RCA’s black and white sets. By 1953, RCA began making color sets and made them available to CBS, whose original color system was incompatible with RCA’s black and white. CBS only aired a few specials in color for the rest of the 1950s. By the mid-1960s, CBS was being pushed to develop more programming in color. By 1969 all of CBS’ programs, as those of NBC and ABC, were all shown in color.
CBS has aired some well known programs ranging from situation comedies, dramas, adventure/crime dramas, reality, westerns, science-fiction, and variety:
Situation Comedies: The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950-1959); I Love Lucy (1951-1957); The Honeymooners (1955-1956); The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968); The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966); The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971); The Lucy Show (1962-1968); Gilligan’s Island (1964-1967); Green Acres (1965-1971); Here’s Lucy (1968-1974); The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977); All in the Family (1971-1979); The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978); M*A*S*H (1972-1983); Maude (1972-1978); Good Times (1974-1979); Kate & Allie (1984-1989); Designing Women (1986-1993); Murphy Brown (1988-1998); Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005); Yes, Dear (2000-2006).
Dramas: Perry Mason (1957-1966); Mission: Impossible (1966-1973); Medical Center (1969-1976); The Waltons (1972-1981); Dallas (1978-1991); The White Shadow (1978-1981); The Dukes of Hazard (1979-1985); Knots Landing (1979-1993); Falcon Crest (1981-1990); Murder, She Wrote (1984-1996); Northern Exposure (1990-1995); Diagnosis Murder (1993-2001); Chicago Hope (1994-2000); Judging Amy (1999-2005).
Adventure/Crime Dramas: Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980); Barnaby Jones (1973-1980); Magnum P.I. (1980-1988); Simon and Simon (1981-1988); Cagney & Lacey (1982-1988); Nash Bridges (1996-2001).
Westerns: Gunsmoke (1955-1975); Have Gun, Will Travel (1957-1963); The Wild Wild West (1965-1969); Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993-1998); Walker Texas Ranger (1993-2001).
Science-Fiction: The Twilight Zone (1959-1964); Lost in Space (1965-1968); The Incredible Hulk (1977-1982).
Variety: The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971); The Red Skelton Show (1953-1970); The Carol Burnett Show (1967-1978); The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1971-1974 and 1976-1977).
CBS has also aired game shows, sports entertainment, and soap operas. Such soap operas that still are in production today: As the World Turns (debuted in 1952); The Guiding Light (1952); The Young and the Restless (1973); and The Bold and the Beautiful (1987). CBS is also a leader in broadcast news with such programs as 60 Minutes (debuted in 1968); The CBS Evening News (1952); The Early Show (1954); and Face the Nation (1954).
CBS has dominated the ratings this past decade with its reality series Survivor (2000-present) and drama series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000-present).
Other current successful and well received programs airing on CBS:
Reality: Big Brother (2000) and The Amazing Race (2001).
Drama: CSI: Miami (2002); Without a Trace (2002); CSI: NY (2004); Jericho (2006); and The Unit (2006)
Situation Comedy: Two and a Half Men (2003); How I Met Your Mother (2005); and The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006).
In 1993, CBS was able to sign David Letterman to host a late night talk show to compete with NBC’s The Tonight Show with new host Jay Leno. So beginning in 1993, The Late Show with David Letterman began production in New York City at the Ed Sullivan Theater. Letterman may have lost the ratings war against Leno, he has however garnered Emmy nominations in both Best Writing and Outstanding Variety/Comedy Special categories, where The Tonight Show lagged. Letterman’s production company began a companion series to follow The Late Show, The Late Late Show began airing in 1995.
CBS is known outside the world of radio and television, having owned CBS Records since 1938. CBS Records was sold in 1988 to Sony. Since CBS Records, a record label group, no longer existed, CBS Corporation revived the label in 2006.
CBS made an attempt at feature films in the late 1960s, but was unsuccessful. Its Cinema Center Films was shut down in 1972 and its library rests with Paramount Pictures for any home video or theatrical release, while its TV distribution remains with CBS Paramount Television. In the early 1980s, CBS joined with HBO and Columbia Pictures to create Tri-Star Pictures, which was eventually purchased by Sony.
Back in the world of television, with the merger with Viacom in 2000, by 2002 Viacom co-owned UPN (the United Paramount Network) joined the Viacom owned CBS Television unit. By the end of 2006, UPN would be no more, as an announced new 5th network would be made of the remains of UPN and Warner Bros’ the WB Television Network. Along with Warner Bros., CBS would create the CW Television Network. In 2006, Paramount Television was re-branded as CBS Paramount Television.
With the Viacom split in 2006, CBS became the owner of a massive television library covering six decades including: I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, The Fugitive, Star Trek, and The Brady Bunch, among others. Some of the shows are from the CBS library, and some from Paramount’s. Some came from the company owned by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball’s Desilu Productions.
With the fusion of their first names, actors and husband and wife, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball jointly owned Desilu Productions. Desilu was also the name of their ranch located in the San Fernando Valley. Desilu Studio was home to I Love Lucy, Star Trek, The Lucy Show, Mannix, I Spy, Mission: Impossible, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Untouchables.
Desilu Productions began in 1950 with the radio program My Favorite Husband, the blue print for the future television series I Love Lucy. Desilu originally rented space at the General Service Studio, but by 1954 soon outgrew that space. Desilu bought their own studio in 1954, the Motion Picture Center in Hollywood. The majority of I Love Lucy was filmed there. In late 1957 and early 1958, Desilu purchased RKO Pictures, including its studio lot in Culver City as well as another lot in Hollywood.
Arnaz had no business training, but was able to produce the series successfully. He even saw the potential of reruns, something CBS did not, so he took the unprecedented step of buying the I Love Lucy episodes from the network. Arnaz also established the three camera format for situation comedies, which is still used today, as well as filming before a live studio audience.
Desilu attempted to make feature films, but only the Lucille Ball-Henry Fonda 1968 Yours, Mine, and Ours succeeded at the box office.
Having divorced in 1960, Arnaz and Ball continued to run Desilu together. This was short lived as the two realized they could not work together and one had to buy out the other. Desilu began producing Ball’s new series The Lucy Show, so in 1962 Arnaz sold his holding to Ball. She became the first woman to head a major studio and one of the most powerful women in Hollywood.
With Lucille Ball in command of the studio she served as President and Chief Executive Officer. Two highlights of Desilu under Ball’s tenure as studio chief were the launching of Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. Stressed out from running a studio and starring in a weekly television series, Ball sold Desilu in 1967 to Gulf+Western. Gulf+Western merged Desilu with its other production company, and Desilu Studio neighbor, Paramount Pictures. Then Gulf+Western renamed its television production to Paramount Television by the end of 1967. In 2006, Paramount Television would be renamed, thanks to the Viacom (owner of Paramount) and CBS merger, CBS Paramount Television. The Desilu/Paramount television library is currently owned by CBS Corporation. Reincorporated in 1967, Desilu Productions Inc., still exists today as a legal entity.
CBS and Desilu both started in radio and then television, one producing shows for the other. Desilu would eventually sell to Gulf+Western, which owned Paramount Pictures. Down the line, Paramount Pictures would be purchased, not from Gulf+Western, by Viacom. Viacom would then buy CBS. Viacom owned CBS and Desilu libraries until Viacom split into two entities. The CBS and Desilu libraries are still together after the split, as well as Paramount Television’s libraries. Even after the split CBS and Desilu, and Viacom are owned by National Amusements. It’s a small world after all…oh wait that’s Disney.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications
Disney Bros. Studio began in 1923, the year that Walter Elias Disney and his younger brother, Roy Olive Disney, began producing short animated/live-action films known as the Alice Comedies. Roy was the guy who dealt with the business aspects of running the studio making sure it was financially stable. At his suggestion the studio changed its name from Disney Bros. Studio to the Walt Disney Studio.
Walt Disney came to California with just his dreams and determination. His studio started as nothing more than storefront buildings in Hollywood before becoming a 51 acre studio lot in Burbank. Before moving to Burbank, Disney built a studio on Hyperion Avenue in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles, which was the birth place to many of the beloved characters part of the Walt Disney Studio’s family. The cartoons that Disney produced were just the starting point for the Walt Disney Studio.
After four years of the Alice Comedies, Disney decided to focus on an all cartoon series. With that, in 1927, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was born. However before Disney could continue producing Oswald cartoons in 1928, he learned the distributor was trying to make the cartoons without Disney, the creator of Oswald. From then on, Disney knew he had to own the rights of the cartoons and characters he created.
With the help of Ub Iwerks, who helped create Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Disney brought to life a character still in our lives today. In 1927, The Jazz Singer premiered as the first “talkie” or motion picture with sound. Iwerks had created two cartoons with their new character, but Disney felt they should make the first sound cartoon. So in 1928, Steamboat Willie premiered at New York’s Colony Theater to rave reviews. The star of Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse, became an instant celebrity.
Mickey Mouse would soon star in a series of cartoons and characters like Pluto, Goofy, and Donald Duck, among others, would make their debut. The gags and quick humor of the Mickey cartoons were great, but Disney wanted to experiment with stories that focused on mood, emotion, and musical themes. The Silly Symphonies became a training ground for animators to practice their skill and prepare them for a larger canvas. In 1932, for the first time, the Academy Award for Best Cartoon went to Disney’s Silly Symphonies. For the remainder of the 1930s, Disney cartoons would win that award.
The practice and awards paid off, for Disney had wanted to do a feature length animated movie. It took three years, but with Disney’s guidance and enthusiasm Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937, going on to becoming the most successful box office draw until 1938’s Gone with the Wind. With the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney was able to put a deposit down on the 51 acres of land in Burbank. Disney began designing a studio specifically for animation. From there the Walt Disney Studio would produce Pinocchio and Fantasia in 1940, Dumbo in 1941, and Bambi in 1942. Pinocchio and Fantasia, although masterpieces, did not do as well as they would decades later. However the other two films, Dumbo and Bambi did turn a profit.
Those four films came out during the Second World War. During the war, the Walt Disney Studio produced propaganda and training films for the military. It would be sometime before Disney would regain the footing it had prior to the war. After the war in the late 1940s, Disney ventured into live-action and packaged animated shorts. The 1950s would see Disney regain more than a footing as it had pre-war.
In 1950 not only did Disney release its newest animated feature length since the early 1940s with Cinderella, but Disney released its first live-action feature length film, Treasure Island. Also in 1950, Disney saw what other studios did not see, the potential of television. Disney produced a Christmas special, which would be the stepping stone for Disney on the small screen.
With the move to live action feature films and television specials, the studio began expanding to include sound stages for interior shots for live-action feature films and television series and specials. In 1954, the Disneyland anthology series debuted. It would remain on the air for 29 years, running on the three big television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) and going through six different names. The first television mini-series would appear on the anthology series with Davy Crockett. In 1955, The Mickey Mouse Club premiered, making stars of some talented Mouseketeers.
The Mouseketeers were not alone on the television landscape for the Walt Disney Studio in the 1950s. Disney produced a popular series about the legendary hero Zorro. With Zorro’s live-action adventures on the small screen, Disney in the 1950s produced live-action films for the big screen such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Shaggy Dog. The studio continued to produce animated features like Lady and the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty.
Filming outdoor scenes for the television series The Mickey Mouse Club and the motion picture The Shaggy Dog, among others, was filmed at the Golden Oak Ranch. Disney began leasing the Ranch in the mid-1950s before purchasing the 700-acre property in 1959. The Ranch gave a variety of natural settings to be used in Disney films from 1957’s Old Yeller to 2001’s Pearl Harbor. The Walt Disney Studio once had a backlot, but once “on-location” shooting increased the studio replaced the backlot with office buildings, two sound stages, and a parking structure. The Ranch became an “on-location” backlot, not just for the studio but the entire industry.
Disney in the 1960s released future classics 101 Dalmatians and Pollyanna. In 1964, Disney reached a new milestone with Mary Poppins, a feature film that combined live-action, animation, and animatronics. The success of the 1960s however was met with sadness with the death of Walt Disney in 1966. Roy Disney took over supervision of the company and the studio continued to prove it was the leader in animated films with The Jungle Book in 1967 and The Aristocats in 1970. In 1969, Disney produced the highest grossing film for the year, The Love Bug.
Roy Disney passed away in 1971, leaving the company in the hands of men trained by the Disney Brothers, including Card Walker, Donn Tatum, and Ron Miller. These men would lead the company for the remainder of the decade.
By the 1980s family films, the mainstay of the Walt Disney Studios, were not drawing audiences. To attract the teenage and adult audiences, Disney established a new label, Touchstone Pictures with its first release with 1984’s Splash. At the same time hostile takeovers of the company were prevented by the new chairman Michael Eisner and new president Frank Wells.
With the new management, Disney began maximizing its assets. Touchstone Television was established to produce shows for network television, beginning with the highly successfully and Emmy winning The Golden Girls. In 1986, Disney returned to Sunday night television with Disney Sunday Movie, later known as The Magical World of Disney and The Wonderful World of Disney. In 1988, Disney led the box office with Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Good Morning, Vietnam; and Three Men and a Baby.
Beginning in 1989, Disney had a resurgence in animated feature films with The Little Mermaid. The next animated feature in 1991, Beauty and the Beast, became the only animated feature to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. 1992’s Aladdin and 1994’s The Lion King both broke box office records for animated feature films. Disney continued the animated features throughout the 1990s with Pocahontas in 1995, The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996, Hercules in 1997, Mulan in 1998, Tarzan in 1999, and Fantasia/2000 at the end of 1999. It was the joint venture in 1995 with Pixar Animation when the company released the first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story. This led to a series of highly successful Disney/Pixar collaborations: A Bug’s Life in 1998; Toy Story 2 in 1999; Monsters, Inc. in 2001; Finding Nemo in 2003; and The Incredibles in 2004.
The studio has been number one or two at the domestic box office for 13 of the past 17 years. In 2003, Disney became the first studio to surpass $3 billion in global box office. In 2003, Disney had success with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the Disney-Pixar computer-animated feature Finding Nemo.
Robert Iger became the new chairman in 2005. With Iger in charge, Disney acquired Pixar Animation, assuring the continued success of Disney animation. Another acquisition, much smaller, but very significant to the history of the studio was that of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney’s first creation. The studio continues to release successful feature films and produce television series and specials, but these are just but one piece of the Walt Disney Company.
The Walt Disney Studio is just one aspect of the Walt Disney Company which began in 1923. The studio’s history is the guiding force, but as time went on the company expanded beyond feature films and television.
In the early 1930s, Walt and Roy Disney allowed someone to put Mickey Mouse on some pencil tablets for school children for just $300, thus beginning Disney’s consumer product business. Eventually there would be dolls, dishes, toothbrushes, and figurines, almost anything imaginable bore the likeness of the Disney characters. 1930 also brought the first publication of a Mickey Mouse book, as well as a comic strip.
By the 1950s with the success in feature films and television, Walt Disney wanted to achieve success in other entertainment venues, namely the amusement park. Originally the park was to be known as Mickey Mouse Park and located in Burbank by the studio. However Disney’s ideas for this new park needed a much bigger space. The new park would be for parents and children. The new park would never be completed, always changing and growing with imagination. The new park would be known as Disneyland and opened in 1955.
In the early 1960s, Disney pioneered Audio-Animatronics at Disneyland. The Audio-Animatronics were first seen at the park’s Enchanted Tiki Room and later in four shows at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. With the success of Disneyland, it was only natural for another theme park, but on the East Coast.
Just before his death in 1966, Disney purchased 28,000 acres in Florida for what was known as the Walt Disney World project. Roy Disney was the one that over saw the project which opened in 1971. Walt Disney World had more land than the California park and was able to achieve the destination resort dream Disney wanted with hotels, campgrounds, golf courses and shopping villages. It quickly became the vacation destination for all people.
In 1982, the Florida park expanded with the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT. The Epcot Center was one of Walt Disney’s last plans. Epcot Center showcased the world of tomorrow and opened to great acclaim.
Walt Disney Imagineering was the name of the designers hard at work in the early 1980s, but not just with the Epcot Center. The Imagineers were hard at work on the first foreign theme park, Tokyo Disneyland which opened in 1983. In the late 1980s, they collaborated with George Lucas and Francis Coppola for attractions at Disneyland, “Captain EO” and “Star Tours.” Also “Splash Mountain” opened in 1989 at Disneyland. On the East Coast at Walt Disney World, the Disney Grand Floridian Beach and Caribbean Beach Resorts opened in 1988. In 1989, three new gated attractions opened: The Disney/MGM Studios Theme Park, Pleasure Island, and Typhoon Lagoon.
Outside the theme park business, Disney ventured into new territories. Disney began releasing films from their library on video cassette for the home entertainment market. Hollywood Records was formed offering a wide selection of music. Disney also went into the world of publishing with Hyperion Books and Disney Press for both Disney and non-Disney related topics. From 1993 to 2005, Disney owned the National Hockey League team from Anaheim, the Mighty Ducks, named after the popular Disney films.
The Imagineers in the 1990s were just as busy as the decade before. Disneyland Resort Paris opened in 1992. It has six uniquely designed resort hotels and a campground. Back in the States, six new resort hotels were opened at the Walt Disney World Resort. There were new attractions added to all the theme parks. Fulfilling the mandate that Disneyland is never to be completed “Mickey’s Toontown” and “The Indiana Jones Adventure” were added. Later in the 1990s, Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened at Walt Disney World becoming Disney’s largest park at 500 acres. In 2001, Disneyland truly became a resort destination with the addition of the theme park California Adventure, as well as three hotels including the Grand Californian Hotel and an upscale shopping area called “Downtown Disney.”
Disney’s resurgence into animated features in the late 1980s and 1990s allowed Disney to take their big screen ideas to the stages of Broadway. The stage production of “Beauty and the Beast” opened in 1994, followed by the Tony Award winning “The Lion King” in 1997. As Disney found success on stage an even greater success took place on the small screen.
In 1996, Disney purchased Capital Cities/ABC. This meant Disney owned the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). It also meant that Disney had 10 TV stations, 21 radio stations, seven daily newspapers, and ownership positions in the cable networks of A&E, Lifetime, the History Channel, and ESPN. Thirteen years prior Disney left network television to begin its own cable channel, the Disney Channel, now it owned a lot more than one cable channel.
What once started as a simple cartoon studio has become an enormous entertainment company and not just in feature films and television, but on Broadway, theme parks, cruise ships, and broadcasting and publishing. The Walt Disney Company owns ABC, ABC Family, ABC Kids, Walt Disney Studios Distribution, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group, Disney Channel, Disney Channel Original, ESPN, ESPN2, Jetix, Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Walt Disney Television, Walt Disney Television Animation, Walt Disney Records, Walt Disney Pictures, Playhouse Disney, Disney Consumer Products, Pixar, Soapnet, Disney Interactive Studios, Disney Store, and Toon Disney, just to name a few.
Now it’s time to say good-bye to all our readers. M-I-C, see Disney is much more than just a feature film and television studio. K-E-Y, why? It’s all explained in these pages. M-O-U-S-E.
Walt Disney Animation Studios
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company – Company History
The Walt Disney Studios – History
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Once the problem in Iraq is figured out and our troops are safely out of harms way, the United States should find a new energy source...cut all ties from the Middle East once on the new energy source. They're not ready for globalization and maybe neither are we. I'm for isolation, one that helps us better ourselves. We're not number one in every thing yet we go around claiming to be the best. Hurricane Katrina showed a lot and this country hasn't shown much back to that region, Katrina wasn't mentioned in the 2007 State of the Union address.
We have a lot to work on here at home...like democracy, as the recent elections have shown both in campaign finances and voting rights. What's wrong with that, when we're good and ready we can reenter the world as a leader again, but without the whole Pax Americana thing. We can remain number one militarily without spending so much. We once did good in the world...with the Berlin airlifts, the Truman Doctrine, and the Marshall Plan. Very interventionist polices, far from the wishes of the founders. But at some point things went wrong...it's as if the dark side took over. The CIA in Iran, the Korean War and Vietnam might be some of our turning points. And when we let a congress let a president get away with the creation of chaos, somethings wrong about that. It's okay to punish a president for lying about a sexual matter, but not lying about a war of choice...a bad choice.
Monday, January 22, 2007
The 1964 and 1968 elections saw the beginning of the transition from liberal dominance to a conservative ideology which took over after the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. The elections of the 1990s were the transitions from the conservative movement to a new Democratic majority. The transition was interrupted by the September 11th terrorist attacks. The interlude of the terrorist attacks interrupted the transition, but the election of 2006 returns to the transition as trends show.
It is interesting to note how our nation arrived at this new transition to another realignment period by looking at the previous realignments throughout our history. Looking back on history we are able to see similarities, and differences, to help us better understand our present situation and look forward to the future.
George Washington was unanimously elected by electors to the presidency in 1789. He was once again unanimously reelected in 1792. In a time when men elected men to govern each other was not common place, Washington on his own chose not to run for a third term in 1796. He created a presidential tradition that lasted until 1940, when Franklin Roosevelt was elected to a third term. The Republicans in power then made the tradition a Constitutional Amendment with the 22nd Amendment. Washington giving up his power was a big thing in the late 18th Century. In his Farewell Address to the nation, President Washington warned against the formation of political parties. Political alliances still occurred no matter the warning. The election and removal of these political parties in power would contribute to the different realignments to come.
The nation saw its first partisan election in 1796. Vice President John Adams, who had views aligned with the Federalists, ran against the anti-Federalist, former Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. The vice president won the election, and Jefferson finished second, becoming vice president. Four years later, for the first and only time, the sitting vice president, Jefferson ran and won against incumbent President Adams. The election of 1800 was the first realignment in government from one political party to another, the Federalists to Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans.
This dominance of the government by the Democratic-Republicans would last until the election of 1824. The Federalists were non-existent after the War of 1812, with the exception of Chief Justice John Marshall appointed by President Adams. The War of 1812, our second battle for Independence, ended with no clear victor until two weeks after the treaty was signed with General Andrew Jackson’s victory at New Orleans. The Federalists opposed the war, but in the end the Democratic-Republicans would exist alone in an “era of good feelings.” President James Monroe ran unopposed in his reelection in 1820. An elector cast one vote for Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, keeping the honor and tradition given to our nation’s founding father, George Washington of having been the only president unanimously elected to the office.
The election of 1824 contained four candidates for president as members of the same political party. Naturally since there was no opposition by another political party, a party with so many members was sure enough to have factions within itself. The four candidates were: then heir to the throne office of secretary of state and presidential son, John Quincy Adams; Tennessean General Andrew Jackson; Speaker of the House of Representatives Henry Clay; and William Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury. This was the first election where the popular vote would be counted, however not all states counted their popular votes in this election. The results of the election of 1824 would have Jackson, the Tennessean, in first; Adams, the son of a president, in second; Crawford in third and Clay in last. That is how the candidates placed in the recorded popular votes and the electoral votes they won.
There was no majority in the Electoral College, so the top three vote winners went to the House of Representatives, with each state having only one vote. John Calhoun was the vice presidential candidate on both the tickets of Adams and Jackson giving him enough electoral votes to be elected vice president, no need for the Senate to elect him. Crawford suffered a stroke just after the election and Clay placed fourth, so they were out. The election came down to the Tennessean with more popular votes (and electoral votes) versus the son of a president in second place and the election being decided by a branch of government and not the people’s choice becoming president. An election like this would not be seen again until November 2000. The Speaker of the House would make a deal with Adams, the stepping stone office of secretary of state for enough votes to make Adams president. Jackson and his supporters would call this a “corrupt bargain.” This would cause Jackson and his supporters to run a four year long campaign against the Adams administration.
The election of 1824 established a new realignment in government, the single-party, the Democratic-Republicans were divided. There were Jackson supporters and anti-Jacksonians, who in the next presidential election would label themselves the National Republicans. The Jacksonian Era would officially begin with Jackson’s election in 1828. The Whig Party would rise up after that election as an opposition to Jackson’s Democratic Party, elected in 1828. The Jacksonian Era would last until the Civil War, as the transition would occur the decade prior to the war.
The Civil War would occur because Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860. The Whig Party was no more, so they joined with some Democrats to form the Republican Party, the party that opposed the extension of slavery. This new dominance in government by Lincoln Republicans would last until 1896. The Radical Republicans of the Reconstruction period would move from social reform to economics making a transition to the realignment coming in 1896.
Coming out of a depression in the early 1870s and the end of Reconstruction in 1877, the Gilded Age began a time of disproportioned wealth and economic power, and containing events like the rise of the industrial nation, the Populist movement, establishment of unions, increase in population numbers, strikes, decline in presidential power and an economic depression in the early 1890s. “The McKinley Republicans put the United States squarely on the side of its industrial future” (Judis and Teixeira 2002, 13). This quote is a good example of the realignment between social reforms of Lincoln Republicans to more conservative McKinley Republicans, with an eye toward business.
The next realignment would not occur until the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. Woodrow Wilson was a brief pause in the McKinley Republican’s dominance, just as Grover Cleveland twice gave pause to the dominance of both Lincoln Republicanism and do-nothing presidents of the late 19th Century. FDR and the New Deal Democrats would take over the government from the McKinley Republicans in 1933. “And that majority [McKinley Republicans] held until 1932, when anger over the Great Depression drove a number of groups – industrial workers, small farmers, blacks, Catholics, and Jews – back into the Democratic Party” (Judis and Teixeria 2002, 14). This shows the dramatic realignment. Blacks loyal to the party that freed their ancestors voted the opposition party.
The New Deal Democrats would dominate the government until liberalism ended with the Reagan Revolution of 1980. Democrats would govern with a liberal ideology from 1933-1969. Democrats would be elected in this period; FDR, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson. Dwight Eisenhower was elected twice between Truman and Kennedy. Eisenhower had not belonged to a political party prior to the election of 1952. Eisenhower ran as a Republican, so an isolationist Republican could not. This meant both candidates, Democratic and Republican, would continue to support the foreign policy of the Truman administration, the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan.
In the 1964 presidential election, the Republicans nominated Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. Goldwater was a conservative. Goldwater conservatives believed in “downsizing the federal government, reducing income tax rates, and allowing citizens more choice in decision making, while portraying Democratic politicians as fundamentally opposed to these objectives” (Black and Black 2002, 225). This way of thinking appealed to the Southern Whites who began abandoning the Democratic Party, just as they had rejected the Republicans after Reconstruction.
Since the election of Lincoln in 1860, white Southerners felt Lincoln was out to destroy their way of life by ending their “peculiar institution.” They also felt that the federal troops stationed in the South during Reconstruction were an occupation force in place because of Republican led policy. Southern Whites vowed never to vote for the party of Lincoln for generations after Reconstruction.
The Solid South would vote Democratic until 1964. Eisenhower’s 1952 and 1956 elections had not “transformed southern partisanship” (Black and Black 2002, 24). The transformation would begin in the 1964 election. The “last straw” for the Solid South was Johnson and the Democrats support of civil rights legislation.
Once again it was a racist mentality which affected partisan politics among Southern Whites. Southern Whites vowed against voting Republican because that party ended their way of life, freed the black man, and occupied their homeland. Democrats in 1964 were making sure the black man’s vote was counted with civil rights legislation. “When the Republicans turned against the newly emerging black electorate, they anchored their future success to winning levels of white support that were frequently unrealistic” (Black and Black 2002, 25). Southern Whites were now voting Republican after the party abandoned the black vote when the Democrats took up their cause.
Goldwater won a good part of the former Solid South in 1964. Goldwater won electoral votes from his home state and five former Confederate States. This was not enough to win presidents for the conservative movement. The Southern Whites found an ally in the Religious Right. The Religious Right voted Democratic the last time with Jimmy Carter in 1976 with much irony since Carter was and is a very pious man, private and public. Reverend Jerry Falwell spoke for the angered Christians. “Angered by the Carter administration’s refusal to grant tax-exempt status to segregated Christian academies and by Democratic support for abortion rights, they turned to the Republicans, who, for their part, began to court them actively” (Judis and Teixeria 2002, 24). The Religious Right found a new home in the Republican Party.
The Republican Party took on the social causes of the Religious Right. This shows the beginning of a social cause movement taking over the fiscal economic ideology of the Republican Party. The Religious Right believed Ronald Reagan was their president they elected to office and he was one of them. George W. Bush most certainly believes God had something to do with him being president.
“Reagan’s appeal to the religious right political movement mobilized many conservatives Christians in evangelical and fundamentalist churches, but in the cities and suburbs the religious right has largely supplemented income-based Republicanism. In the metropolitan South secular conservatives made up 39 percent of core Republicans, moderates and liberals constituted another 35 percent, and religious right conservatives were only 25 percent. Successful Republican candidates in metropolitan areas have to balance an ideologically diverse party and generally must heed the concerns and issues of large numbers of secular conservatives and moderates” (Black and Black 2002, 266).
This is a good passage that showed the Religious Right was a group that Reagan tolerated to maintain and keep their support. The passage also shows that the ideology of the Republican Party in Reagan’s time was diverse compared to the party’s ideology by the time of George W. Bush’s reign and Reagan was not just dealing with Christians Conservatives, but a variety of conservatives and moderates.
The realignment from liberalism to conservatism would begin with the election of 1964. In that election Lyndon Johnson was elected by a landslide to his own term as president. The voters overwhelmingly voted for Johnson, voting for a liberal agenda. This was the beginning of the end of liberal dominance in government. The Reagan Revolution in 1980 was the beginning of the era of conservative dominance. The Southerners that voted Republican in 1964, began the rise of the Republicans in the South. The religious vote became associated with the Republicans after the 1976 election. These two groups became a powerful electoral force for the Republicans. As time approached the Reagan Revolution in the transition period, Congressional representation in the South by conservative Democrats were being exchanged for conservative Republicans.
The Republican Party had the base they needed, Southern White Christians, to elect someone that would fix what was wrong with the country in their eyes. The country had grown tired of the social agenda of the Democratic Party, from the New Deal of the 1930s to the Great Society programs of the 1960s. “Public support for Great Society-style social engineering had disappeared” (Judis and Teixeria 2002, 121). In this quote, the authors are referring to Edward Kennedy’s desire to run in 1980 with a social programs agenda similar to Roosevelt’s New Deal and Johnson’s Great Society. The American people had had it with the social programs and Reagan offered an end to liberalism.
The revolution that began in 1980 with Reagan’s election was confirmed in 1984 with Reagan’s reelection. In 1984, voters overwhelmingly reelected Reagan and affirmed the conservative ideology as the nation’s dominant ideology. Vice President George Bush ran for president in 1988 and won. “This coalition [conservative Republicans] was strong – strong enough, in fact, to carry a much weaker candidate, George Bush, to victory in 1988” (Judis and Teixeria 2002, 26). Bush, a more moderate Republican than Reagan or his son, was able to maintain the support of Southern White Christians. The Republican hold on the presidency would come to an end when Bush sought a second term.
Popular after a successful war in the Persian Gulf, this would not last long enough to give Bush a second term. It would be an economic recession and a third party candidate, Ross Perot, which would contribute to Bush’s removal from office at the end of his first term. A centrist Democrat, Bill Clinton would be elected with a plurality of the popular vote. Clinton and the Democrats would for the first time since before 1968, win the state of California, establishing California as a Democratic state and show a trend that continues to this day of the West changing from Republican to Democratic. The election of Clinton in 1992 was the beginning of the transition from conservatism as the nation’s dominant ideology to a new Democratic majority. The Democratic victory in November 1992 would be short lived when the Republicans win the Congress for the first time in forty years in 1994. This win could be contributed to the forty year dominance of Democratic rule and the abuse of power that came after such a long time in power.
Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” was a conservative platform the Republicans ran on in 1994. Gingrich, the Speaker of the House from 1995-1998, thought he would continue the Reagan Revolution as leader of the lower chamber of Congress. The Republicans in Congress soon realized they needed the help of President Clinton to accomplish anything. The 1990s would see the rise of Southern Republicans in control of the Congress. By 1997, Southerners would be running the government. The Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, was from Georgia. The Senate Majority Leader, Trent Lott, was from Mississippi. The Majority Leader and Majority Whip in the House were both from Texas. The Majority Whip in the Senate was Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The Minority Leader of the House was Democrat Richard Gephardt of Missouri. The Democrats also had two Southerners in the highest offices in the land, the only two elected by the entire nation, President Bill Clinton of Arkansas and Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee.
Clinton’s immoral extramarital affair would be a rallying cry for the conservatives to elect someone who could return moral integrity to the White House. Gore chose to run apart from Clinton because of the affair, as opposed to running on the prosperity and peace the Clinton administration gave the nation in the 1990s. However just as California went from Republican to Democratic in the 1992 election, it was a trend that proved that a transition was occurring from conservatism to a new Democratic majority. Clinton won reelection in 1996, still with a plurality and not a majority. The Democratic candidate in 2000, Vice President Gore, would receive more popular votes than his compassionate conservative opponent, Governor George W. Bush of Texas. One could argue that with the true results of the Ohio election in 2004, the Democratic candidate in 2004 continued what had begun with Clinton’s elections in the 1990s and Gore’s popular vote win in 2000, an increase in votes for the Democratic candidate. A trend was taking place showing a realignment, from the Reagan Revolution to Clinton’s election in 1992.
George W. Bush became president in January 2001, after winning the Electoral College, but losing the popular vote. With Gore winning by 500,000 votes, it was not a majority, but it was a true indicator of what the people wanted and did not get. The thought of Gore returning in four years and winning, as all the previous winners of the popular vote but losers of the presidency have done before (except Samuel Tilden), looked promising as Bush governed with mediocrity. Then September 11th occurred.
After the terrorist attacks on the United States, the realignment was interrupted. “The November 2002 elections represented the temporary revival of the older conservative realignment of the 1980s” (Judis and Teixeria 2002, 179). The Republicans capitalized on the fear of another terrorist attack and took hold of security as their issue. Security had been a Republican issue since the 1980s, as Reagan took down the Soviet Union. Bush used the goodwill he and the nation received after the terrorist attacks to pursue those that attacked the United States. He successfully, or was thought of as successful at the time, accomplished this with the War in Afghanistan. Bush would ruin this goodwill by invading Iraq, a country with no connection to the terrorist attacks on the United States.
The build up to the Iraq War began the end of the goodwill the president and the country received from the rest of the world. Beginning with the State of the Union address in 2002, Bush created the Axis of Evil, which consisted of the rogue nations of North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. He of course chose the one country that posed no threat to us from the Axis of Evil. “By the late summer of 2002, as popular concern with terrorism began to abate, the Democratic advantages that had been growing in the 1990s began to reappear” (Judis and Teixeria 2002, 181). It is as if the September 11th terrorist attacks were a brief interruption in the realignment of the American political landscape. The failure of this president with the Iraq War has contributed to the shift which had begun in the 1990s.
The continuation of the “stay the course” policy in the Iraq War probably brought the realignment back on course to a new Democratic majority. The mid-term elections in 2006 showed the American disapproval of the Republicans who have controlled the government for twelve years, the last six years all three branches were dominated by conservative ideology. In the short period the Republicans have dominated the government, compared to the length of time the Democrats dominated the government the American people have dealt with; corruption and ethics violations, misappropriation of funds, no oversight, mishandling of Reconstruction of the Gulf Coast, and mishandling of the Iraq War. Mid-West states that had been a given for Republicans in presidential elections since 1968, have a majority of governors that are Democratic after the 2006 election. The conservative movement that came into dominance with the Reagan Revolution began its end with the reelection of George W. Bush in 2004.
The trends of the 1990s have resumed after the brief interlude with security dominating the Republicans agenda. If the House of Representatives is a representation of the people it shows a Democratic majority. The Senate however is almost evenly split, almost as divided as the last two presidential elections showed the country to be. If the true results from Ohio 2004 were used giving more votes to the Democratic candidate, then since 1992 more Americans have cast their vote for Chief Executive who is a Democrat. The scare tactics used in the 2002 and 2004 elections served their purpose and maintained the conservative movement that was on its way out in the 1990s. However, the trends have returned to their prior positions giving the Democrats a chance to emerge as the new majority, with lessons learned hopefully from the liberalism of the 1960s and the conservatism of the 1980s.
Black, Earl, and Merle Black. 2002. The Rise of Southern Republicans. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Judis, John B., and Ruy Teixeira. 2002. The Emerging Democratic Majority. New York: Scribner.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Texas Conservatism - How is the presidency of George W. Bush a reflection of American cultural politics?
Reagan’s election in 1980 began a shift in the nation’s ideology. Liberalism was on its way out, and conservatism was on its way in. The two major party candidates for president in 1980 represented the differences in their use of presidential power. Outgoing president, Jimmy Carter, took on a more motherly approach to governing, whether in response to the Soviet Union or the dealing with the Iran hostage situation in 1979. Unlike Carter, Reagan took a father figure approach to governing, a strict father. Reagan would stand up to the Soviets and dismantle the Great Society, things conservatives would expect from their strict father.
Reagan’s strict father figure approach to governing is known as the “Strict Father Model” according to George Lakoff. Lakoff says that “life is difficult and that the world is fundamentally dangerous” (2002, 65). This quote defined the conservative approach to the world and the outlook that leaders like Reagan and Barry Goldwater took in governing under the model of a strict father. Lakoff used the idea or model of a household ran by a strict father and applied that to the political parties, namely the Republican Party, and their style of governing.
The strict father figure was what conservatives were looking for. Southern White Christians favored this style of governing over a more Nurturant approach, as shown by President Carter. The approval of the strict father model was reaffirmed in Reagan’s landslide reelection in 1984. American cultural politics were now on a conservative path and this path would need to be maintained by successors to the Reagan Revolution.
The strict father figure model would be what Christian Conservatives looked for in their leader. George H. W. Bush was more of a moderate Republican than both his son and President Reagan. Bush served for eight years as vice president under Reagan. His election to a term as president is often called by some as Reagan’s third term. Bush was his own man and was not Reagan in numerous ways; in ideology or his communicative abilities. This is not to say that Bush was a Nurturant politician like Carter. Bush, the 41st, led a coalition of thirty nations during the Gulf War in 1991 and achieved heights not seen in presidential polling after a quick win in the Persian Gulf. The popularity shown in the polls would not last, for it would be the economic recession of the early 1990s and the popularity of third party candidate, Ross Perot, which contributed to Bush’s removal from office by the voters in 1992. Conservatives were without a voice, if only for a brief moment.
With the election of a Democrat in 1992, it did not signal the end of conservatism as the dominant ideology. Centrist Bill Clinton had to contend with a Republican led Congress two years into his first term. The “Contract with America” offered a conservative agenda as an alternative to the Clintons. Newt Gingrich, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, saw it his duty, as leader of the people’s house, to offer an agenda, a conservative agenda. This can be seen as an interlude in the Reagan Revolution, as the legislative branch was the only power of conservatives for the remainder of the 20th Century before George W. Bush.
Eventually the overreaching Republicans in the House realized they needed President Clinton’s help if they were to accomplish anything. Divided government, between a conservative dominated legislative branch and a centrist Democrat in the White House, would prove to be successful. For conservatives however, Gingrich was not working and Senator Bob Dole of Kansas was no match for the popular president in the election of 1996. However, conservative dominance over the branches of government was approaching.
Christian Conservatives needed another voice to lead their conservative agenda. They needed another strict father which they did not have in George H. W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, or Bob Dole. George W. Bush modeled himself after Ronald Reagan. Bush was no Reagan as much as he tried to portray himself that way.
Bush wanted it to be “morning in America” during his presidency. Bush emulated Reagan in numerous ways. Reagan faced the threat of the Cold War. By the time of Reagan’s Administration, the Cold War had been going on for thirty-five years. Reagan dubbed the Soviet Union; the Evil Empire. Bush came into office during a time of peace and prosperity. The terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania altered our time of peace and into a time of terror, according to the Bush Administration. After a successful war in Afghanistan, thought to be victorious at the time, a follow-up to the September 11th attacks, Bush created the Axis of Evil in his 2002 State of the Union Address. In the address he labeled Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as members of an Axis of Evil; a term sounding as if it was plucked from a high school term-list for World War II. Now he, just like Reagan, had an evil opposition that the good United States would face.
Lakoff’s model of a strict father also used the approach of labeling things good vs. evil. This came from the idea of the strict father having “moral strength.” According to Lakoff, “Moral Strength is what the strict father must have if he is to support, protect, and guide his family” (2002, 74). Just as a father needs moral strength to guide his family, a president needs it to guide his country as well. The Religious Right certainly saw things in the light of good vs. evil. They expected their leader, George W. Bush, to explain things in this manner to them. They expected him to have Moral Strength. He never once wavered from the perception of having Moral Strength.
Bush faced the new War on Terrorism, much like Reagan faced the end of the Cold War. Good and evil labels were handed out establishing the United States as good and all opposition as evil. Lakoff explains the Moral Strength metaphor’s use of good and evil:
“The metaphor of Moral Strength sees the world in terms of a war of good against the forces of evil, which must be fought ruthlessly. Ruthless behavior in the name of the good fight is thus seen as justified. Moreover, the metaphor entails that one cannot respect the views of one’s adversary: evil does not deserve respect, it deserves to be attacked!”
Bush followed the Moral Strength metaphor. An example of his use of it occurred recently when the President of Iran wanted to debate President Bush, the Administration did not feel that the evil Iran deserved the respect of a response to such a call.
As mentioned above, the Religious Right saw the world in terms of good vs. evil. The Religious Right was the other element to the success of the conservative movement which came from the Reagan Revolution. With the help of the Religious Right, the politics of American culture were being defined. A strict father with moral strength would set the country back on the right path after its deviation down the path of liberalism. The Religious Right and Southern White Conservatives would merge and become Southern White Christians.
The Southern Whites and Religious Right united in force in 1980 to help create the Reagan Revolution. The revolution was their voice being heard and liberalism of the past was to end. The two groups would form a powerful electorate that would shape the politics of culture for the next three decades.
Southern Whites were constituents of the region of the United States known as the South. The South is the former Confederate States of America, the states that rebelled from the Union in the 1860s. The Confederates fought and lost the Civil War, from 1861-1865.
After the Civil War, the Southern Whites never voted Republican, the party of Abraham Lincoln. This pledge to not vote Republican would last almost one hundred years. Lincoln put an end to slavery, a way of life in the South, creating the staunch opposition to the Republican Party by Southern Whites. It would be the Democratic Party’s embracement of the Civil Rights movement which would end the relationship between Southern Whites and the Democratic Party.
The party name had changed, but the Southern White ideology of conservatism remained. In 1964, five of the former Confederate States voted with Arizona to give Republican Barry Goldwater his only electoral votes in the landslide election.
In American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips talked about the importance of the Civil War to Southern culture. He cited the editor of The Encyclopedia of Religion in the South, where Samuel Hill explained the South’s response to their “polarized sectional memories” of antebellum, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Hill said that the South’s response “is singular in American history, religious and otherwise, and is seen quite clearly in its religious life. A region became a culture, constructively and defensively, and creatively and reactively” (Phillips 2006, 138). This culture of the South fell into Lakoff’s strict father model. They want a leader that follows the strict father model.
Reagan governed the country exuding a strict father presence, but with superb communication skills, especially through humor, which could deflate the notion that a conservative was too radical to lead the country. George W. Bush would take the strict father approach to governing just as Reagan had. Once again though, there is a difference between Reagan and Bush in their use of the strict father approach. Reagan had the threat of the Soviet Union and showed the United States stood up to evil in the world. Bush did not stop at standing up to the evil that faced the United States, he would unilaterally invade a country he thought posed a threat. The Southern Whites could not elect either Bush or Reagan without help from others in the electorate.
The help would come from the Religious Right. The Religious Right was made up of evangelicals. One of the evangelic leaders, Jerry Falwell, felt that the country was on a “downward spiral” (Micklethwait and Wooldridge 2004, 84). This downward spiral was coming from the liberalism that had dominated the country prior to 1980. The evangelicals had voted for their last Democrat in 1976. That Democrat, Jimmy Carter, was a true Christian without any followers.
Reagan would become the voice that Christians sought in politics. “For the Right, the Reagan era was the first time that one of their own was in the White House, a sensation that they did not have again until George W. Bush’s administration” (Micklethwait and Wooldridge 2004, 92). Reagan’s strict father approach to governing to turning back the liberalism of the 1960s was approved of by the Religious Right. The difference between Reagan and Bush, in regards to the Religious Right, was that Reagan tolerated the Religious Right where as Bush embraced them.
Evangelical leaders formed the Moral Majority. The Moral Majority became the political arm for Christians. “The Moral Majority rapidly emerged as a hard-line Christian voice on domestic issues like abortion, school prayer, women’s rights and gay rights” (Micklethwait and Wooldridge 2004, 85). Their issues would become those of the Southern Whites. The Religious Right and Southern Whites would combine electoral forces to become the Southern White Christians. The Christian conservative ideology would remain the nation’s dominant ideology over the next three decades.
The dominance would begin with the Reagan Revolution. “Christian nationalism, like most militant ideologies, can exist only in opposition to something” (Goldberg 2006, 69). This Christian nationalism, the ideology of the country, was an opposition of the liberal programs like the New Deal of the 1930s and the Great Society of the 1960s.
Bush’s “mandate” came from the political capital in the form of votes from the Southern White Christians. Bush emulated his conservative mentor, but took things too far. Bush’s embrace of the Southern White Christians and taking the strict father approach almost literally has contributed to the cultural divide of the nation. Phillips quotes political commentator Bill Schneider “the great civil rights war of the 1960s, a cultural civil war” (Phillips 2006, 140). The cultural civil war is played out in elections. The Reagan Revolution was the first and big blow to liberalism from the Southern White Christians. The compassionate conservatism of George W. Bush would continue Reagan’s strict father approach as well as defend traditional values cherished by Southern White Christians. However the dominance of conservatism as the nation’s ideology would continue to divide the nation.
The Texas conservatism brought to Washington by Bush would not help a nation divided on cultural values. Bush’s Texan conservatism would combine the elements of Reagan’s Western conservatism like the strict father approach, but would contain a strong Southern White Christian base with an agenda to return traditional values to American life. The neo-conservatives would be another aspect of the Texas conservatism brought to Washington in 2001 by Bush. Another aspect of the Bush Administration’s Texas conservatism would be the “go-it-alone” mentality when it came to war, like the invasion of another country.
The “go-it-alone” mentality went along with Lakoff’s notion of Moral Strength which is part of the strict father model. The Moral Strength and strict father model are examples of conservative thought, which goes with the Southern White Christian ideology.
The ideology that came in with the Reagan Revolution to turn back liberalism could be in its last throes beginning with the reelection of Bush in 2004. Bush hoped to emulate his conservative predecessor, he was however futile in his attempt. Bush was not Reagan. Reagan was supported by the Christian Conservatives. Reagan tolerated the Religious Right. Bush embraced the Religious Right. Reagan stood up to the Soviet Unions and prevented the remaining years of the Cold War from turning into a Hot War. Bush invaded a country with support from Great Britain, Spain, and Poland; the Coalition of the Willing. Bush was not a Western conservative. He was a Texan with a “go-it-alone” mentality of the Lone Star State and coupled with the Southern White Christians whose ideology was dominant in American culture, he sought to make the country right with his form of conservatism. His embrace of the Southern White Christian created the image of god anointed politician which contributed to the division of culture in the country. The 2004 election could be seen as the beginning of the epilogue in the Reagan Revolution, the story of conservatism as the nation’s dominant ideology.
Goldberg, Michelle. 2006. Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. W.W. Norton & Company: New York.
Lakoff, George. 2002. Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago.
Micklethwait, John, and Adrian Wooldridge. 2004. The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America. The Penguin Press: New York.
Phillips, Kevin. 2006. American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed money in the 21st Century. Viking.