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David Sirota

David Sirota

Posted: May 21, 2009 12:14 PM

"V" - The Right's New Favorite TV Show, Or Inadvertent Proof of The Ubiquity of The Right's Fables?

Read More: Abc, Politics News

I've heard that Battlestar Galactica is a favorite of neoconservatives for its supposedly metaphorical allusions to Bush foreign policy. I've never seen that show, but I am planning to watch ABC's remake of "V" - and by the looks of the preview, it's possible that show may become conservatives' new favorite TV show:

Am I crazy or does this preview make the show seem like a not-so-subtle fringe-right-wing criticism of Obama and Obama followers?

In questioning Obama's citizenship and heritage, conservatives have always portrayed Obama as an alien visitor. They've also constantly implied that behind Obama's friendly veneer are sinister motives - and they seem to believe that while most of the public are gullible fools believing in Obama as a savior, they and their tea-party protestors see the "real truth" of those motives.

Now, didn't I basically just describe that preview? I think I did - in fact, I took notes on the preview. Check this out:

1:00 "The world's in bad shape - who wouldn't welcome a savior?"

1:10 - "Thousands are flocking to see the mothership in person"

1:20 - "We're all so quick to jump on the bandwagon, but before we get on let's at least examine..."

1:40 - "Gratitude can morph into worship"..."You two are obsessed with the V's"..."You know what the V's - they call it spreading hope"

2:15 - "If you could speak to the protestors, what would you say? That embracing change is never easy, but the reward for doing so can be far greater than anything you can imagine"..."They gain trust when all they are really doing is positioning themselves as the saviors of mankind"

2:40 - "They are arming themselves with the most powerful weapon out there: devotion."

It's all there, right? The idea of V/Obama as a "savior" with "thousands flocking to see" them. The religious right, represented by a priest, warning everyone not to "jump on the bandwagon" for V/Obama. Warnings that support for V/Obama can "morph into worship," and the V/Obama followers defending themselves by saying it's not worship, "they call it spreading hope." Then a highly scripted media event in which V/Obama soothingly says "embracing change is never easy, but the reward for doing so can be far greater than anything you can imagine" - and another warning from a self-styled truth-telling protestor insisting that it's all a sinister farce, that Obama/V deceptively "gains trust when all they are really doing is positioning themselves as the saviors of mankind" (recall this McCain ad against Obama making almost exactly the same charge). And finally, the harrowing warning that Obama/V "are arming themselves with the most powerful weapon out there: devotion."

Now, it's certainly possible I'm just seeing it this way, and that the directors of this show have absolutely no desire for this to be any kind of echo of the right's anti-Obama narratives. But I'm not actually making any accusation at all. I'm just noticing the storyline of the slick, unknown false prophet using charisma and charm to foist a sinister alien plot on an all-too-gullible world of sycophants, and the courageous tea-party-ish protestors heroically braving Establishment scorn to get the "truth" out against the odds. That's how the fringe right views reality and itself these days, and that's exactly the frame of this new show (which is kinda weird for an alien invasion plot, which typically portrays the aliens as overtly and brazenly evil, rather than as tricky hucksters who seem good at first).

Is it life imitating art imitating life? Or has the silly right-wing narrative become so ingrained in our culture that it is everywhere, whether deliberately or inadvertently? Or, as I wondered already, am I just crazy?

Certainly possible it's the latter...but it is eerie (oh, and yes, I will definitely be watching the show, as I was a big fan of the original "V").

UPDATE: Time's James Poniewozik picked up on this theme, too:

Remake of the classic alien-invasion miniseries plays in the trailer, weirdly, like an allegory of the Obama election: aliens come to Earth, promise "hope" and "change" (words actually used), inspire cult-like devotion, but have creepy intent and are secretly lizards. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. But it has potential to be Glenn Beck's new favorite show.

Again, it's creepy...