Separation of Entertainment and Politics

Jimmy Kimmel’s politically charged monologues on healthcare and gun control have garnered many millions of viewers according to YouTube. He presents quite emotional cases for why we need the government to take action. It is not uncommon to hear of late night comedians going viral for their political monologues, proving there is a certain level of demand for this content. However, these comedians are dividing America, and fail to contribute to the political discussion in a meaningful way.

The word ‘kneeling’ itself is now powerful enough to remind everyone of the political explosion of the tattered NFL. It is impossible to watch football without thinking about the topic of racism, singlehandedly decimating the politically neutral entertainment brought to millions across the US. As a result, ratings for the NFL have seen unprecedented drops.

Football was a great water cooler topic for people who disagree politically, and these rating drops prove people want their entertainment to stand far from the political aisle. Politically neutral entertainment is culturally unifying.

By the same logic, late night hosts going on political rants corrode cultural unity in the US. Jimmy Kimmel, in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, said that he used to be liked by Republicans and Democrats equally, but now, Republican viewership has dropped about 30%. Though this is not ideal, he says, he “would do it again in a heartbeat.”

He added that if viewers are turned off by his political views, then he probably would not want to have a conversation with them anyway. While Kimmel is allowed to express his views as much as he wants, he and other comedians fail to understand that people watch their shows primarily to be entertained.

Conservative viewers especially flee from this kind of behavior from comedians, feeling the mainstream media lectures them enough on politics already. Amidst all the scandals coming out of Hollywood right now, many are less likely than before to trust a comedian’s opinion. The sentiment of Hollywood being out of touch with common American culture only expands when comedians cannot bear to keep non-comical political statements out of their shows.

Many have said before that political correctness will be the death of comedy. However, if comedy and other entertainment mediums do not stay out of politics, culture will die. It will be unfortunate when people who disagree politically cannot find any capacity to enjoy anything together. No one should be subject to thinking about government constantly, nor should anyone want to. Thinking about government constantly rejects the concept of freedom to be an individual, and when applied en masse, creates a widespread emotional state of slavery to the government, and no government should have that sort of power.


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'Separation of Entertainment and Politics' have 2 comments

  1. November 15, 2017 @ 6:18 pm dave

    The Entertainment Business (Jimmy Kimmel, NFL, etc) monitizes audiences via advertising and is taught at many universities such as USC, UCLA, NYU and others.
    NSammons studying engineering at Mines whilst presenting himself as an entertainment (and political) expert could perhaps best be portrayed as hapless comedy.
    Jimmy Kimmel has thoughtfully staked out his position:
    http://www.adweek.com/tv-video/jimmy-kimmel-on-speaking-his-mind-his-annual-upfront-roast-and-his-future-in-late-night/
    The extreme polarization in the U.S. is reaction to the drumbeat of the most divisive figure in recent American history:
    http://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/blog-post/16-donald-trumps-most-controversial-statements
    There are many important issues in science and technology that could and should be written about in Opinion pieces in the Oredigger instead of rehashed neocon tripe.

    Reply

    • November 15, 2017 @ 8:43 pm nsammons

      Hi, Dave.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. However, I noticed your argument against me centers around me studying something other than politics. That is a Courtier’s Reply fallacy. Notice that if you extend your logic to the whole country, then only those who have been “taught at many universities such as USC, UCLA, NYU and others” have the appropriate authority to comment on politics and entertainment.
      In reality, there is no such exclusiveness to the commentary business. You can disagree with me all you want, but you cannot take away my voice at the newspaper.
      You make me curious on your views, though. If I may only comment on politics with proper authority (a fairly inconsequential activity, since people can just stop reading my content), then should I only have the ability to vote with proper authority on politics?
      Your link on Kimmel’s position does not address any points of my article, nor does the list of any of Trump’s statements. The controversiality of some of those statements is based on emotion, rather than fact. For example, a Fusion report shows that 80% of illegal immigrant women are raped as a price for crossing. While controversial, some of those are defensible.
      Pointing to President Trump ignores the fact that polarization has undoubtedly been an ongoing process. This may help you to understand: http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/12/political-polarization-in-the-american-public/
      Notice I did not claim that comedians and entertainment are the only things dividing America; rather, I claimed that they contribute to the division.
      To address your final sentence, I am hired by the Oredigger to discuss a variety of issues. Often, these relate to politics. Limiting the Oredigger to topics which relate to STEM ignorantly denies the variety of interests that students at Mines hold. If you only want to read about science and technology, I can refer you to magazines which focus only on such material.
      Your label of my pieces as rehashed neocon tripe is not only inaccurate, but dishonest. I am a conservative, not a neocon, and my pieces reflect this. Demonizing me as a neocon is another good example of divisiveness, and takes away from what could have been a thoughtful discussion.
      Please consider all of this the next time you plan to respond to an article of mine, or of anyone on the Oredigger staff.

      Reply


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