PWR BTTM Coverage Brings Out Worst & Best in Trump-Era Music Journalism
As much as the media, music or otherwise, is supposed to be an impartial arbiter of information for the public, inherent biases always slip through in some capacity. Since the election of President Trump, and even during the election—including where bathroom bills emerged in state houses that brought gender conformity and sexual orientation to the forefront—the entertainment media have been looking for any opportunities to get their licks in on political subjects through music coverage.
This means that artists or bands who the entertainment media believe represent a strong antithesis to President Trump and the new push of conservative ideals in society are often shoved to the forefront. All of a sudden, transgender frontperson for the punk rock band Against Me!, Laura Jane Grace, is receiving more media attention than in the entirety of her professional career. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, because Laura Jane Grace happens to be an articulate, forward-thinking, and inspirational member of the transgender community who can speak on such matters with authority from personal experience. Far from being forgotten or even admonished in the media for her stances or transgender status, Laura Jane Grace has been given a spotlight and a podium.
Similarly, over the last few weeks, an obsession grew for the self-proclaimed “queer punk” duo known as PWR BTTM. NPR, including NPR’s vaunted Tiny Desk Concert, Billboard, dozens of other media outlets, including some who don’t regularly cover music, saw the duo in their cross dressing garb and glitter faces as the perfect personification of the anti-Trump ideal, and fawned over them as the right band for our time—a way to stick a finger in the eye of growing conservative authoritarianism.
PWR BTTM, like Laura Jane Grace, became part of an agenda in music journalism to make the music secondary to the political narrative around particular artists. Ironically, artists who in the past may have suffered from discrimination in both the media and the public have been given an unnatural boost of coverage due to their minority status. Credit the growing Millennial quotient within the ranks of entertainment media for the blurring of coverage for musical performance with political action through social journalism.
The problem in the case of PWR BTTM is that the band had not been properly vetted as a viable carrier for a social or political cause before they were pushed to the forefront, which resulted in catastrophe when it was revealed that one of the members, Ben Hopkins, was a “known sexual predator,” and multiple victims and accounts began to be revealed on May 10th, sending all the positive coverage and powerful messages being lumped on the band into a voluminous tailspin.
Sponsors and supporting acts began pulling out of commitments with the band. By May 13th, the band’s record label Polyvinyl Records had pulled their catalog. By May 15th, their music had been removed from all major retailers. The issue was exacerbated by the revelations that management and fellow bandmate Liv Bruce knew of the allegations, but it was all covered up in the recent run up to the release of their second album Pageant.
In the rush to crown a relatively small band as anti-Trump superstars, entertainment media missed the big picture. In hindsight, there was every indication the band was not a just collection of social justice warriors looking to impugn a judgemental society through creative expression, but a haven for messages of aggressive sexual behavior, and specifically, a sexual miscreant who just happened to be gay.
The band’s name, PWR BTTM takes the vowels out of the slang phrase “power bottom,” which is defined by the Urban Dictionary: “While a bottom is usually submissive to his partner, a power bottom enjoys maintaining control over the top and/or the penetration, the normally dominant role in gay male sex.”
If a straight punk band had such a sexually suggestive name, you would probably be seeing media coverage questioning the misogyny of the connotations, and you certainly wouldn’t be seeing repeated coverage for it on NPR, with little to no questioning of the band’s motivations or message. In a rush to instill political narratives in the music space, entertainment media did not properly think through who they were putting on a pedestal with PWR BTTM.
Ultimately, equality is not about giving unfair advantage to artists due to sexual orientation or any other demographic classification, it’s about making sure that race, gender, or sexual orientation do not play into decision making when it comes to media coverage. With the national narrative about transgender rights and other issues at the forefront of the societal mindset, there is a natural opening to feature gay or transgender music artists in a way that gives perspective to readers on certain issues that is understandable, if not warranted or obligatory. But this should never supplant a proper vetting of such artists, or a critical questioning of the morals and message of the music.
There is a theory in the gay and transgender community, and shared with much of entertainment media, that the way to break down barriers of discrimination and homophobia is to push forward the most overt displays of homosexual culture in hopes to desensitize closed-minded individuals to its existence. The rise of PWR BTTM was very much an example of this philosophical exercise. But the efficacy of this approach to spreading inclusiveness is spurious at best. If anything, such actions tend to result in a backlash of which the election of President Trump might be the perfect example.
There is a prevailing sense in media journalism that the industry cannot sit idly on the sidelines during the current Trump unrest since the issues are so critical. Music journalists must find avenues to make inroads into the hearts and minds of listeners. But this should never be at the expense of impartiality, or moral equivalents.
The bright spot in the rise and fall of PWR BTTM is that most, if not all of those same outlets that were leading the charge to push the band to the forefront of the social conscious stream for the last few weeks, were also the very first to turn around and report on the band’s downfall as the revelations came pouring in. Unlike traditional political media, which is often reluctant to recant or give ground on any issue, it was many Millennial journalists and outlets who led the charge to expose PWR BTTM.
With the constant attention being sucked up by the endless political war the United States and many Western countries find themselves in, it has put entertainment media on very precarious footing for being a viable industry for the future. How can people think of music in times like these? But with the prevalence of fake news and bias coverage, it remains an imperative on music media, as it does all media, to not let biases or agendas bleed through coverage, while also fulfilling the journalistic duty of making sure artists and bands are not the victims of discrimination or inequality.
May 16, 2017 @ 6:37 pm
NOTE: Please keep comments ON TOPIC and RESPECTFUL. Otherwise this will be deleted. This comments section will be aggressively vetted due to the political nature of the subject matter.
Please and thank you.
May 16, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
dafuq was dat, Trigger?
Sorry, but in order for comments to stay ON TOPIC they are likely going to necessarily be *dis*RESPECTFUL to a whole lot of people.
Stop it with this crusade you feel you have to wage against “music journalism,” Trigger. Damn.
Toby in AK
May 16, 2017 @ 7:36 pm
what is the topic?
As a (mostly) country fan I have never heard of the group. I don’t have much to say on that topic.
If the topic is the media, I have a lot to say about that… but probably nothing that hasn’t already been said. NPR in particular, I could really jump on the soapbox let me tell you.
If the topic is power bottoms, tran-sexuals, sexual assault allegations… I have opinions but can’t imagine how it would be helpful to share them right now.
I don’t usually ask this, I realize it’s your blog so the question is kind of pointless, but what does this have to do with country music? This coverage seems like a stretch. If you don’t want to defend your logic about what to publish, I understand. I will say that this article’s “out of placeness” for lack of a better word, makes it difficult to decide how to stay on topic.
This sort of pointless post is about the best I can do for staying on topic.
May 16, 2017 @ 8:12 pm
The topic is media. That is why it was put in the media category. The reason I have a media category is because the media is a topic I commonly cover on the website. The reason I commonly cover media on the website is because it is crucial to how the information on music gets disseminated, which very directly results in how the careers of certain artists rise and fall in the popular consciousness. In fact it might be the most important element to an artist’s success, or failure. In this particular case, you had a band that was being pushed to an incredible level, whose talents and/or contributions did not deserve such attention (see Issac’s comments below).
Specifically, it has nothing to do with country music. But generally, it has everything to do with it. I wouldn’t have posted about it if I didn’t think it was important. But that doesn’t mean it is important to you, and that’s totally understandable.
alvin 'n theo
May 17, 2017 @ 9:39 am
“I don’t usually ask this, I realize it’s your blog so the question is kind of pointless, but what does this have to do with country music? “….
Because they’re more country than bro country
Cool Lester Smooth
May 16, 2017 @ 9:30 pm
Eh, feted Punk bands with sexually suggestive names isn’t exactly a new phenomenon (before “Pussy Riot” and Hank3’s own “Assjack” we had “The Slits” and “The Sex Pistols”).
Punk is, above all, consciously transgressive.
That said…fuck these shitheads.
May 31, 2017 @ 5:09 pm
Uh yeah I’m pretty sure that this band has even less to do with country music than any of that bro country mess.
May 16, 2017 @ 6:46 pm
Thanks so much for Gaysplaining. I’ve learned so incredibly much from you on this thesis. Wish I could have had your insight 28 years ago when I came out. Wow
May 16, 2017 @ 6:58 pm
Your comment doesn’t make sense.
May 16, 2017 @ 7:12 pm
Nor does that insane screed above my friend.
May 17, 2017 @ 8:21 am
If he had posted this in a LGBTQ-specific forum you might have a point.
He didn’t; he posted in in a blog that primarily caters to listeners of traditional country music, many of whom are from the rural Midwest and have had little to know exposure to these issues. I think the article is well-written and makes an important point.
In other words, it’s not all about you. Surprise!
May 16, 2017 @ 7:06 pm
I mean, *I* for one didn’t actually know the definition for power bottom until reading this piece, so I appreciate Trigger explaining it to me!
Toby in AK
May 16, 2017 @ 7:44 pm
I liked your post for using the word gaysplaining, which I’ve never heard. I have heard similar before, and it seems like the correct term would be “straightsplaining”. The idea being that Trigger (presumably straight) is not the best person to explain gay issues. Am I wrong? Also, my comment probably qualifies as notgivingafucksplaining, and with my luck is off topic to boot.
May 17, 2017 @ 3:03 am
May 17, 2017 @ 4:58 am
No all of us are gay or on the up-and-up with the LQBT community, so some additional context is needed.
I’m an accountant, but I don’t get upset if an article “CPA-splains” debits and credits as I realize not everyone has the level of understanding that I do.
As far as the article Trig, I guess the only silver lining in terms of equality is that people’s greed doesn’t care if your gay or not!
May 16, 2017 @ 7:05 pm
Good article, Trigger. (Note: I just erased a crapload of words that basically boiled down to: As someone who has been getting emails from the band’s PR agency for many, many months now, I’ll echo your sentiments that it wasn’t musical talent getting them the majority of their cover stories.)
May 16, 2017 @ 7:37 pm
some how i missed hearing anything about this until now.
May 16, 2017 @ 7:39 pm
Well its good to know about a band that hates Trump. Its such a novel thing to hate him in this day and age. Much thanks to such a wonderful band for taking the unbeaten path to enlighten everbody on such a horrible man. Hes been so oppressive of gays and freedom of speech. If you think i’m being sarcastic then idk think what you want don’t want to get my comment deleted.
May 17, 2017 @ 11:31 am
They are, truly, taking the contrarian road on this issue.
What a brave band!
May 16, 2017 @ 7:58 pm
They really thought a band called Power Bottom would be taken seriously? Maybe try focusing on peace, tolerance, and education as the priorities of your mission instead of shock value and defiance. Oh, and do a few minutes’ worth of research on who you are blindly championing
May 16, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
I feel queasy.
May 16, 2017 @ 8:53 pm
What the hell!!
May 16, 2017 @ 9:07 pm
The more the media and the music establishment continues to shove this garbage down people’s throats, and label anyone who disagrees as sexist, racist, and the many other names they heave on those that have differing opinions, the more they will continue to loose elections. Despite the media’s insistence that everyone agrees with their opinions, people are fed up with whiney groups of people who think what ever social drama they are enduring should be everyone else’s problem, and that tax payers should support and pay to fix all their issues.
The media is fueling all this ridiculous hate in order to regain control of the government for their leftist agenda.
May 17, 2017 @ 3:52 am
Sorry that is nonsense. There is no “leftist agenda” or even “rightist agenda”. The agenda being pushed by both liberal and conservative media is a statist one. When the boot of government is at your throat, whether it’s a right or left boot is of no consequence.
May 17, 2017 @ 7:40 am
While I won’t argue your point about both parties failure to put the rights of citizens ahead of state, the main stream media is decidedly far left of the average American voter. While many say the media promotes the stories of every riot or supposed injustice for ratings, I believe their real agenda is to promote their ideas and the politicians who support those ideas.
The proof came out in the media’s collusion with the DNC to thwart the campaign of Bernie Sanders, and then support Trump during the primaries as a candidate they thought would be easy pickings. Unfortunately for them it backfired. They are now doubling and tripling down on their “leftist” agenda to try and right their mistake. It will more than likely backfire again.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 17, 2017 @ 9:57 am
So, to be clear…the media trying to “sabotage” Bernie Sanders in favor of a Clinton is evidence of their being “leftist”?
*Wipes tears from eyes*
May 17, 2017 @ 10:05 am
It makes it clear that the media is a willing and supportive branch of the Democratic National Committee, and while Bernie is definitely more liberal, Clinton was seen as the candidate more likely to win. I’m sure the media and the DNC are laughing right along with you at how easy it is to manipulate an election and the American public’ views.
May 17, 2017 @ 11:24 am
It is amazing how blind some people are. Sanders was a fringe candidate to the media. Clinton was the anointed queen.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 17, 2017 @ 11:37 am
My last bit (because this is neither the time nor the place):
You didn’t say “liberal,” though. You said “Leftist.” Those are two different things.
Any claim that neoliberal technocrats like the Clintons are “Left Wing” betrays a fundamental ignorance of the Western political spectrum.
They hew much closer to HW and Nixon, policy-wise, than they do to Sanders, or Trump does to either HW or Nixon.
People who believe in both capitalism and the need for government programs that help ensure equal opportunity are firmly on the center-right, relative to the rest of the western world.
The American “Left” solely consists of assholes like Sanders and Warren.
May 17, 2017 @ 11:45 am
Ah, government programs. Taking from the successful to help the whiners. Just because the rest of the world decided that it was OK doesn’t mean I will support it or legitimize it as center-right.
Equal opportunity is a pipe dream and cannot be quantified. Everyone has a different definition.
How about we just fund what is allowed by the Constitution. Instead of heavily taxing myself and others to let some moocher collect welfare.
FDR really did a number on this country.
Sanders and Warren are just delusional. The Clintons are just lacking in morals.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 17, 2017 @ 11:47 am
Well, if you won’t legitimize it as center-right, I guess it doesn’t matter where their ideology actually figures on the political spectrum!
Thank God we have that sorted out!
May 17, 2017 @ 11:55 am
My last bit (because this is neither the time nor the place)
I thought you said that you were done here after that last comment.
I guess your word means nothing.
May 17, 2017 @ 12:01 pm
Cool Lester Smooth
May 17, 2017 @ 12:27 pm
Sorry bout that, man.
May 17, 2017 @ 3:23 pm
Bernie Sanders’ views may be much, much more traditionally liberal than Hillary Clinton’s, but according to mainstream radical snowflake liberals, the most liberal thing that could have been done in the 2016 election was to elect a woman, so regardless of how much less liberal Hillary was than Sanders, not to mention how much worse of a candidate she clearly was to anyone with two brain cells to rub together, the media was going to support her, period. I hope I live to see our first female president. I hope I live to see several female presidents. That being said, it’s not a stretch to say that the media got more caught up in electing the first female president than they did in enlightening the public on who their best option was.
On topic, fuck these clowns for using real-life circumstances as a means of self-promotion. Thankfully they were exposed, and hopefully this prevents any further wrongdoing.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 18, 2017 @ 3:19 pm
Totally with you on these guys being trash pandas, BWDW.
One thing, though:
Sanders isn’t more “traditionally liberal” than Clinton. He’s a self-described socialist, which is a very different thing.
Liberals, like the Clintons, believe in capitalism, and think it’s the government’s job to make things run as efficiently as possible (which includes making sure that talented people born into bad situations have every opportunity maximize their potential).
Socialists like Sanders believe in using the power of the government to make everyone equal, regardless of their contribution or talents.
The “mainstream” of American politics (in the post-Teddy era) can essentially be boiled down to how you answer the question of “how much work can and should the government do to make sure that talented people can succeed, and help grow our economy, regardless of their circumstances?”
Populists on each side, like Sanders and Trump (and Warren and Cruz) exist outside of that spectrum.
To tie things into the topic at hand: The populist mentality that people have the right to something they haven’t earned because of their identity is exactly what leads to mediocre pieces of shit like PWR BTTM getting hailed as fucking heroes, without regard to either their talent or their quality as people.
Sorry for the ramble, Trigger. My history major sometimes gets the best of me.
May 19, 2017 @ 6:04 am
My apologies, Trigger.
I should have left it go but hypocrites bring out the fire in me. Especially those who contrast their written promises.
Great article, BTW.
May 16, 2017 @ 9:26 pm
I am really glad conservative authoritarianism was brought up in this country music blog. The way they have corrupted existing, delegated powers on watershed regulation and used it to seize control of land zoning power across the country and forced all those dern nuns to by rubbers is scandalous. Oh wait…
May 17, 2017 @ 3:33 am
This is just one more example of what we are all so much worse off for — putting the politics and the narrative before the music.
May 17, 2017 @ 3:47 am
“not been properly vetted as a viable carrier for a social or political cause before they were pushed to the forefront”
The problem with modern journalism (MSM and fringe media, conservative media and liberal media) summed up in a sentence.
May 17, 2017 @ 5:11 am
Not one bit surprising but still a damned shame. Video and the Internet killed the radio star. Now you have to be attractive or weird.
May 17, 2017 @ 5:36 am
I’m not gay but I believe that I understand and respect why an artist who is gay would make it a defining topic of his work. Being white, male and European I don’t experience everyday discrimination so I can only imagine what it is like. Frustrating and disheartening does not begin to cover it. I mean, I live in Munich, Germany, which is supposedly one of the places with the most easy-going attitude towards the LGBT community. It is said that in the 70s/80s our city boasted the largest gay community outside of San Francisco. But even over here just the other day a gay kid was brutally bashed by three homophobes. If that still happens in one of the traditionally most LGBT-friendly cities, how is it everywhere else?
Now, PWR BTTM. I listened to some of their music before but found them rather derivative and shallow.
Other bands have been around before who have done the dayglo-peacock-glam-thang so much cleverer. Bands like Scissor Sisters, The Ark from Sweden or Rufus Wainwright spring to mind, who were always outspoken about their sexuality and never afraid to ruffle feathers, but who were creating their art with so much more originality and wit than PWR BTTM were. Those aforementioned are artists who make me identify with and champion their causes even though I do not share their sexuality. PWR BTTM did not move me one bit, I found them lame and too obviously angling for controversy.
I wouldn’t agree that it was really Anti-Trumpism that fueled PWR BTTMs rise though. Gay artists have long been around and many other gay artists are doing their thing right now without getting extra attention. What you’ve got to give to PWR BTTM is that they understood how to create a striking image. They were very in-your-face and their songs were undeniably catchy. That is a combination that will just work. It would have worked just the same had their album come out in any other year since the Mid 70s.
Finally, what I also find remarkable now is the speed with which everyone is now washing their hands off the band. PWR BTTM are being killed off after we’ve basically only heard the prosecution. They may very well be crooks, but don’t even they deserve to give their side of the story?
Cool Lester Smooth
May 17, 2017 @ 6:39 am
Scissor Sisters are actually really, really good.
Their Comfortably Numb cover is absolute fire.
May 17, 2017 @ 8:26 am
Good comment. I think this issue dovetails with the implosion of the will of music media to be critical of artists, which is their obligation to the public. I think the media saw the queer punk angle, and didn’t go any farther than that. They didn’t ask, “Is this music any good?” They didn’t ask, “Are these people who are worthy of our attention?” Granted, you may not always know about the skeletons in an artist’s closet when you’re covering them. But that’s why it’s imperative on the media to dig into artists, and unflinchingly so. Not to toot my own horn, but kind of like I did with Midland last week to offer a more fair perspective on a band’s past.
I’m not saying the band didn’t deserve media coverage, not taking into account what we know now. But as a professional member of the media, I can say with confident that no band got more media coverage in the last two weeks than PWR BTTM, BEFORE the controversy broke. Not even Miley Cyrus who is releasing a new song got as much coverage. PWR BTTM was everywhere, yet the music was that of a 3rd tier punk band relying on image for attention.
Young gay men need role models, and deserve media coverage for the music that appeals to them too. So don’t mistake this as an opinion that we don’t need to push gay bands or anything like that. But in this case, the MEDIA let that community down in my opinion. Like you said, there are so many more viable, healthy, inspiring bands in that space. PWR BTTM was junk ever before the revelations came out.
May 17, 2017 @ 1:06 pm
I think you’ve illustrated an interesting point – there is a fine line between promoting a product that is good which can also highlight an issue that needs to be highlighted vs promoting something due to an agenda, effectively making that product an accessory or a pet rather than its own entity.
Does that make sense?
May 17, 2017 @ 6:23 am
One problem with modern American culture in a nutshell: “Credit the growing Millennial quotient within the ranks of entertainment media for the blurring of coverage for musical performance with political action through social journalism.” Many of us simply want to be entertained when we consume music, movies, sports, etc. in order to escape the trials and tribulations of life. We don’t want anyone’s political agendas ramrodded down our throats incessantly, even those we agree with.
May 17, 2017 @ 6:46 am
Well, it becomes a bit of a “chicken or the egg” debate now doesn’t it? Young people are increasingly tuning out the “old guard” of American journalism like newspapers, network news, Time magazine, etc. and are consuming news and entertainment content from sources like Vice which specifically target the millennial audience with their content. This content also just so happens to be quite liberal in its slant. Money follows eyeballs and young people have their eyeballs on media properties like Vice and less on CBS, ABC, etc.
I don’t disagree that their should be a separation of entertainment and sports for the sake of escapism, but I also don’t want to be one of those people who thinks athletes and entertainers should “stay in their lane”. I mean, even if I disagree with some of the political/social statements that Isbell and Simpson make, I fully support and respect them for saying something and having the right to say something. Same goes for Lebron James or Gregg Popovich in the sports world. I think more than anything what we need is more intelligent political/social conversation, rather than the crap spewed by people like Hannity, Maddow, etc.
May 17, 2017 @ 1:00 pm
I’ve been watching the rise of social media from the sidelines (I don’t participate much in it myself), and if there is one trend I’ve noticed, it’s that the downside to the global network and celebrities being more accessible to their fans is that many entertainers and celebrities act as if their words from the high bubble are The Last Word and etched in gold when they put it on the internet. I don’t care if they have opinions, but I do care how they are being presented and how they speak to those who don’t agree with them 100%. Especially now, when many of them are acting like its a personal affront that their chosen idol Hillary didn’t become president and shrieking out the same divisive hatred that they accuse the other side of embodying.
I’m a fan of celebrities who can carry on thoughtful discourse with those they don’t see eye to eye with. Those celebrities are few and far between, and I am at the point now where I wish everyone would just stay in their lane now (which isn’t a comfortable feeling for me to have).
May 17, 2017 @ 10:40 am
I’m not sure where the “best” part of music journalism is here. A bunch of lazy reporters started pushing an band for entirely political/cultural reasons and when the object of their affection turned out to be loathsome cretins, they turned around and ate their own in order to cover their asses.
May 17, 2017 @ 11:29 am
It is the media backlash against President Trump.
Look what happened to Last Man Standing, ABC’s second most watched comedy and third most watched show overall. It was cancelled. There wasn’t even an attempt at negotiation. Sitcoms are famous for being cancelled after 5 episodes if they aren’t pulling in ratings yet Last Man Standing was shown the door.
The mainstream media has completely shredded its “non-bias” stance. But they will still cling to it. They are not brave enough to admit their bias.
Fortunately, they haven’t learned that this behavior is just helping the “enemy” they hate so much.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 17, 2017 @ 11:45 am
Right! It’s that same vast, anti-conservative conspiracy which led to ABC cancelling Boston Legal, when it had identical ratings (BL had much better raw ratings, but we need to adjust them to modern standards)!
It can’t at all be that shows that feature expensive movie stars (along with an emergent one in Kaitlyn Dever), only pull a 1.0 in the 18-49 demo, and don’t make the station any money in syndication don’t fare that well when second contracts come around for the cast!
May 17, 2017 @ 11:54 am
I already trounce you on this subject on another article here and you bugged out of the discussion without a response.
As such, I am going to repost my previous comment that you ignored:
Except 20th Fox was open to a reduction in price, ABC didn’t even try to negotiate and the 18-49 dropoff was a mere 5% compared to 20-30% for other shows. Plus, Last Man Standing was third in ratings for ABC shows. That is not shabby at all. That is top five. They renew other shows with less accomplishments.
We are talking about an industry which cancels sitcoms after just 5 episodes. Yet, they don’t even try to haggle for a show that has been successful? Hmm.
This article explains the situation well: http://deadline.com/2017/05/last-man-standing-canceled-by-abc-after-6-seasons-1202089263/
Tim Allen is hardly a movie star any more. Most of his movies, outside of the Santa Clause series and Toy Story films, have been disappointments at the box office. Yes, he has a major contract but that alone isn’t the reason. ABC didn’t even try to negotiate. At all. That is fishy. Also, consider the context, this is a highly volatile time. Tim Allen speaks out a lot on the plight of conservatives in Hollywood.
Also, how did Boston Legal’s ratings stack up in relation to other shows on ABC? LMS was the second best comedy and third best overall for scripted shows. You neglected that fact.
Remember, if you heard horse hooves, think horse not zebra.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 17, 2017 @ 12:52 pm
I didn’t think it merited a response, because it didn’t reply to any of my points (or make any, for that matter).
Boston Legal’s 9.6 million weekly viewers were more than Private Practice’s (which would see another 3 seasons after BL was cancelled).
But most of those viewers were outside of the demo…and they were paying for Shatner and Spader and Bergen and Laroquette’s salaries…and 20th Century Fox produced the series and therefore owned the syndication rights, so they didn’t have any future revenue to gain by producing more episodes.
There was even an episode in the final season where someone sued the networks for being ageist by discounting total viewers in favor of the demo (it was a very meta show).
Licensing fees are almost entirely irrelevant in the calculation of whether to keep making episodes of a show that you don’t own. Because you won’t get any money from syndication, all that matters is ad revenue, which is why it doesn’t make financial sense to produce an older show that doesn’t have many viewers in the demo.
Harry’s Law (owned by Warner/Kelley, airing on a struggling NBC) ran into the same problem a few years ago. 9 million viewers on average, along with an Emmy win and multiple noms…but starring the very expensive Kathy Bates and pulling just 1.0 in the demo.
When you learn enough about the economics of TV to actually have a conversation about stuff like this, rather than just regurgitating talking points you found on Tumblr or whatever kids are using these days to reinforce their pre-existing opinions, circle back around.
May 17, 2017 @ 6:46 pm
Harry’s Law was frickin awesome. Period.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 18, 2017 @ 12:32 am
Amen, Dane. It’s worth talking about why it’s bullshit that it (and LMS, etc) got cancelled…unfortunately our self-appointed “Knight” doesn’t really understand why it happened, so he’s stuck parroting cable news (as it’s a day that ends in Y).
May 19, 2017 @ 6:00 am
Yet you responded here on this article. Why is that? So, I must have made some point to prompt a lengthy response.
See, providing specific examples isn’t that hard.
Sounds like a fun episode, even if legal shows aren’t my cup of tea.
Ah, here comes the typical CLS arrogance and insults. I have never searched on Tumblr for facts. Why would I? That is the domain of the Left and 69 genders.
Actually, I have just read the Deadline article posted and a few others. I haven’t watched cable news in over a year.
Our self-appointed “Cool” apparently is now a TV expert and a history major expert. What is next? You are the next Eric. Apparently, you know it all.
I just asked why they (ABC) didn’t even try at negotiation when the other side was willing. I merely thought that was interesting.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 19, 2017 @ 8:16 am
I mean…the fact that you don’t seem to realize that my handle is a reference to The Wire doesn’t really do much to counter the idea that I know a hell of a lot more about TV shit than you.
Also…any time Eric drops by, he’s consistently smart, articulate and (most-importantly) well-informed.
Not everyone who knows more than you do is a “know it all.” That’s an important thing to learn, as you grow up.
May 19, 2017 @ 11:25 am
Um, OK. I have never had access to HBO, so I was not going to know what the Wire is. I guess I could say my handle is a reference to Bayard (it is not by the way) and claim that I know more about Renaissance Knights than you do.
Or maybe I should have adopted a handle based off a 60s sitcom.
I mean, not knowing one reference, doesn’t really prove anything about television in general.
And snooty more than anything. It is always entertaining watching RD shut him down. Especially during on that Pittsburgh concert article.
I would wager, overall, that my vast set of knowledge is greater than yours. So you can cut out the patronizing.
May 17, 2017 @ 11:33 am
If President Trump was as much as a tyrant that the Left makes him out to be, these guys would be in jail by now.
Or gone “missing” or dead like Clinton whistleblowers.
May 17, 2017 @ 12:47 pm
we’ve entered an era where we feel a need to find something to be bothered by and comment upon. movements, counter-movements, and counter-counter-movements are all the rage.
dont like someone’s viewpoint, might as well blog about it on tumblr or facebook. why have a rational discourse when you can act authoritative from your blog-based soapbox. especially when you can find a scapegoat like trump to blame for any and everything.
May 17, 2017 @ 2:41 pm
Why does everyone feel the need to shove their views and ideals in everyone else’s faces? It’s like everyone is shouting at the top of their lungs and no one is listening. It’s like I can’t support gay marriage cuz I don’t feel like forcing people to accept it without giving reasons why it should be legalized, which is all it feels like they do to me. And I also wish people would find better comebacks for their arguments than “racist!”, “sexist”,and “nazi!”.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 18, 2017 @ 1:01 pm
Who’s being “forced to accept it,” though?
Why, specifically, should gay people be barred from receiving any and all of the legal and financial benefits and protections that a marriage contract provides?
May 18, 2017 @ 4:24 pm
I’m not saying they shouldn’t, I just feel like I’m being forced into that pattern of thinking with the constant propaganda and the advertisements.I’m not on the gay train or the straight train, I just don’t want to be constantly preached at about something I am not really super-supportive of.
Cool Lester Smooth
May 18, 2017 @ 4:54 pm
The thing is…these dudes were being forced to pay higher taxes, denied legal privileges, and had massive roadblocks in their ability to adopt children.
If there were laws saying that left-handed people couldn’t get married, would you expect them to be quiet about it?
I can understand the “If you have a dick, use a urinal” perspective (although I disagree with it), but access to the tangible financial and legal benefits offered by marriage is absolutely a civil rights issue.
May 17, 2017 @ 4:00 pm
Not picking any fights, but you look at how easily people get off track (e.g. this post’s comments section) and wonder why this is the media product we continue to get?
Journalists do indeed have a duty to produce quality material regardless of the public’s appetites; that said, maybe we need to grow up first before we expect the same out of an industry.
May 17, 2017 @ 5:58 pm
This whole thing is totally disgusting. Just play country music.
May 17, 2017 @ 6:05 pm
If I was ———-, I sure wouldn’t be anti-Trump. He’s the most pro-deviant president to ever take office.
May 17, 2017 @ 6:12 pm
Yes this comment was edited. Bitch all you want. NO slurs that could be offensive to folks. Please and thank you.
May 17, 2017 @ 6:44 pm
One man’s description is another man’s slur. What a crazy world.
May 18, 2017 @ 7:23 am
Wouldn’t the name Honky technically be a slur? But its against the white oppressors so who cares ?
May 18, 2017 @ 7:29 am
I once posted a quote from a PG movie and it was edited. I see lots of obscenities on this website and I often see commenters take the Lord’s name in vain, but don’t use a common description of a deviant… When you gut the language, pervert the language, and agree to the censorship and terms of the revolutionaries, you, yourself, have joined the revolution….
May 18, 2017 @ 8:03 am
One of the main reasons that I hate for Trigger to write political articles, is that he’s obviously a social liberal and a semi-socialist at worst, or a guy who’s completely ignorant of how the world works so he tows the line of what he believes is the least offensive, at best. Yet he tries to convince everybody he’s non-political.
If he’s going to write political articles, he needs to come out and admit what he is politically, and really do some research on the issues, before he writes phrases like, “conservative authoritarianism”.
The article is so full of of BS talking points, that I don’t have the time to break it all down, even if I had the energy.
May 18, 2017 @ 8:24 am
If you, or anyone else, had taken the time to read the context in which the phrase “conservative authoritarianism” was offered in, you would know I was using the phrase to point out a political misnomer, not to assign “authoritarianism” to any one group.
So I’m a social liberal and a semi-socialist, eh? Tell that to the folks who’ve been raking me over the coals for the last two days on Twitter as a homophobic creationist. The point of the article was to point out how important it is to extricate political biases from the music space, and by attempting to assign them to me, you’ve proven just how much the point sailed over your head.
Do not try to define me in a political box. I hate all political parties and affiliations equally. And seeing how I’ve pissed off both sides of the isle with this article, I did exactly what was intended. The most controversial thing you can do in politics is to tell the truth.
May 18, 2017 @ 8:06 am
Not to mention the hypocritical irony of using the phrase, “conservative authoritarianism”, yet feeling the need to edit my comment for possibly being “offensive”.
Who are the authoritarians?
May 18, 2017 @ 8:49 am
“So I’m a social liberal and a semi-socialist, eh? Tell that to the folks who’ve been raking me over the coals for the last two days on Twitter as a homophobic creationist.”
Yes. Yes, you are. And I’d glad to tell it to anybody, but I don’t use Twitter and never will.
Being a social liberal and a semi-socialist doesn’t have to exclude you from being a creationist. There are tons of apostate churches who believe God loves deviancy, and also believe Jesus was a socialist.
The folks on Twitter calling you homophobic, are probably the same morons who believe the most pro-homo president in American history is anti-homo. So their words are as meaningless as their lives.
I’m not pissed off. I’m just frustrated that you won’t admit your biases. We all have them, but you pretend you don’t, and that’s what makes you part of the problem. I don’t have to assign political affiliations to you. You assigned them to yourself a long time ago. It’s just that you lack either the guts or the self-awareness to admit it. Maybe both.
May 18, 2017 @ 9:12 am
Someone should tell the evangelical community who is so enthralled with him about how pro-gay he is (won’t use your slur and it IS a slur). Actually, I think they know he’s not of them, but they also know he’ll pander to them if it suits his purposes. And it does. Also, just because he’s not a raging homophobe doesn’t make him a friend of the gay community.
May 18, 2017 @ 9:29 am
Yes Jack, I know, in your bizarro universe, abbreviated versions of actual scientific descriptions are slurs. Personally, I think you should have a good cry over it. It’ll make you feel better.
And Jack, as long as you continue to use propagandist terminology, like “homophobe”, a word which has no applicable meaning, you’ll never be taken seriously. Trump is the best presidential friend the homos ever had.
The one thing I’ll agree with you on though, is that evangelicals have allowed Trump to make them into the “rubes” that everyone else says they are. It really is pitiful to watch.
May 18, 2017 @ 10:35 am
You just go right on thinking that, Honky. I’m sorry, but no one uses that term that doesn’t have some negative feeling towards gay people. I probably used it in the somewhat distant past myself, but I had more homophobic feelings back then. It was used over and over by former commenter Clint some years back (with the word “dirty” right in front of it) in the most hateful rant I’ve ever read in my almost sven years as a regular reader. Just for your reference, here’s the definition of the word homophobe:
a person with an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.
And yes, those people do exist. Trump’s just not quite one of them. It’s just not an issue he particularly gives a shit about.
Rest easy. I’m not about to have cry over anything written by the likes of you. And words can’t express adequately how much I couldn’t give a fuck about not being taken seriously by you.
The gay community will benefit not one iota from Trump’s presidency, even if he manages to stay in office.
May 18, 2017 @ 11:03 am
You wrote 5 paragraphs without refuting one, single thing I’ve said. That’s a heck of a lot of typing for someone who doesn’t give a fuck about what I think about them. You really failed to express anything, adequately, Jack.
The definition of homophobe you’ve provided (which changes every time someone tries to provide a definition),only reinforced what I said about one of the most overused words in the history of language(right up there with “awesome”).
I’m suggesting that you should cry. It’s the most natural reaction in world for folks like you, and would probably make you feel better.
Dastardly Donnie Trump will do anything Ivanka tells him to, and that includes pandering to arbitrarily created identity groups. If you are pro-homo, you should be celebrating.
Prove you don’t give a fuck, Jack. Don’t reply to me.
May 18, 2017 @ 11:19 am
Thank you for the suggestion, but I’m really not in need of a cry.
That definition is pretty much how I’ve always understood the term.
May 18, 2017 @ 4:22 pm
So, which bands will be playing at the inevitable impeachment party?
May 17, 2017 @ 7:02 pm
and the decline continues..
May 17, 2017 @ 8:47 pm
Why trigger… Why… Just cause you can?
May 18, 2017 @ 7:21 am
Untreated mental illnesses lead to all sorts of horrible consequences. When you normalize, glorify, and even exalt the mental illness, the consequences are magnified.
May 18, 2017 @ 9:06 am
This article had nothing to do with mental illness. We were asked to stay on topic.
May 18, 2017 @ 9:13 am
Let me hold your hand, Karl. If you are a biology denier, or if you are confused about the biologically intended purposes of the digestive and reproductive systems, there’s a good chance you are mentally ill.
This subjects of this article include all the above.
May 18, 2017 @ 9:36 am
Let go of my hand and try not to impress yourself so much.
Nobody is confused about anything except your comment.
May 18, 2017 @ 9:42 am
I’m afraid if I let go of your hand, Karl, you’ll accidentally walk off a cliff.
But seriously, I don’t need words to impress myself. I only have to look in the mirror with my pants down.
May 18, 2017 @ 10:03 am
Honky, I went ahead and hit the like button, because that right there is funny. It’s like that joke on the bathroom wall “don’t look up here, the jokes in your hand”.
But seriously, I really don’t want my hand anywhere near you.
May 18, 2017 @ 10:14 am
Yeah that one’s a truck stop classic.
May 18, 2017 @ 9:55 am
Sure doesn’t take long for bigotry/stupidity to reveal itself…
May 18, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
Trump’s election notwithstanding, I maintain that the bigots are fast becoming the minority. Most people don’t feel the need to belittle others in order to placate their own insecutities. Why people hate things that don’t concern them, I will never understand.
May 18, 2017 @ 11:28 am
Its kind of shame that these two mangled pixies used the name. Power Bottom would have been an awesome name for a German metal band.
May 31, 2017 @ 6:08 pm
Yeah I seriously doubt it. If I’m a bigot for not accepting all the transgender and homosexual crap the media shoves down my throat then I don’t care.
People are quickly getting sick of the media constantly pushing transgenderism at every turn.
People only whine about bigotry when homosexuals and transgender people are offended yet if some special snowflake transgender person says something hateful about women, which I have seen countless times on facebook and twitter, then the very same people don’t give a damn. I can’t take double standards like that seriously.
May 18, 2017 @ 1:02 pm
Honky, with a name like that, there’s no way you can impress yourself with penis size. lol.
May 19, 2017 @ 12:04 am
Welcome to Weimerica, ladies and gentlemen!
May 19, 2017 @ 5:53 am
Yes. The land of bourgeois excess… They are courting a tsunami of a reaction, but they are too arrogant, stupid, and obnoxious to understand it…
May 21, 2017 @ 1:58 pm
Blowing other dudes…I don’t think Hank done it this way!
May 22, 2017 @ 2:17 pm
Thanks, I just spit out my lunch onto my keyboard!
May 22, 2017 @ 2:15 pm
The question this raises for me as far as media goes is just how quickly people take a story based largely on one person’s point of view and hearsay and they the larger internet society and world just hope on like a mod without thinking for themselves first. This is a vastly dangerous road we are traveling down if we cease to examine anything before we draw conclusions.
May 22, 2017 @ 2:29 pm
Also just a personal gripe about the hype machine. These guys are not doing anything new in terms of viability of my GBTQ people etc. So treating them as the second coming is insulting to everyone that came before in the punk scene. And unfortunately style in this case trumps substance.
And as a side note: I am getting tired of the preponderance of self-empowerment anthems music acts like this shell out. They are cliche and everywhere and not helping people come together but instead giving people the clearance to continue with their selfish all about me, “I don’t care what anyone else thinks I will do whatever the fuck I want.” attitude.
I want songwriters to go back to the 60s and early seventies and give me some good everybody get along and love each other messages. That is what we need more of. Or if we can’t go back that far I’ll take the 90s when Garth Brooks released, “We Shall Be Free”.