Neocon Newscaster
Right-wing white demagogue to the Malcom Xerox's left-wing black demagogue.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-03-06 06:05:56 sponsor: StarSword (last reply: 2013-03-10 20:09:53)

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OP notes: I honestly had no idea how common this was; had the idea while adding an example to To Be Lawful or Good over breakfast Wednesday morning. Seems it happened more often than I thought. :)

Rolling Updates, Needs a Better Description

You all know the type: the talking head whose views tend toward socially and fiscally conservative, Christian fundamentalist, and fiercely nationalist often to the point of Type II Eagleland (even if he isn't actually American). A gadfly to any form of political compromise with what he sees as socialist causes.

This is one of the newer political tropes, one which seems to have come to prominence in The Eighties and The Nineties with the neoconservative movement within the Republican Party. It's frequently intended as a parody or satire of the fringier elements of said movement.

Sometimes part of a Strawman News Media. Compare and contrast Malcolm Xerox, which is a similar Straw Character type whose cause du jour is black rights and racism. Also compare Blonde Republican Sex Kitten and contrast Fox News Liberal.

Examples:

Film
  • In-universe right-wing talk show host Lewis Prothero in V for Vendetta, who staunchly supported the ruling regime, and called out its opponents with a lot of macho bluster.
  • The film Moon had a talk radio host who sounded a lot like Rush Limbaugh at the very end ( after Sam returns to Earth in an ore hopper, and supposedly tells the world what happened to him up there), who ridicules Sam's story thusly:
    You know what, he's one of two things. He's a whacko or an illegal immigrant. Either way, they need to lock him up. Line two!

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • One episode of Blue Bloods features one of these with a side of anti-immigrant, borderline white supremacist rhetoric. Frank Reagan's plotline for the episode deals with the To Be Lawful or Good dilemma of ensuring the man's constitutionally protected right to be heard in spite of his disdain for his message (not to mention the absolute disgust of his black mayor and a Malcolm Xerox from a previous episode). He ends up foiling the mayor's attempt at Bothering by the Book to shut down the theater where the host is making a live broadcast, then placing the man's police protection inside the theater and staffing it entirely with non-white officers led by a VERY large black sergeant.
  • The Good Wife Episode 1x11 "Infamy": Duke Roscoe was a caricature of Glenn Beck that continued to goad people into believing that a woman had murdered her missing baby until she killed herself out of grief and he said on television that he was glad she had done that. He makes the following trial for wrongful death a very hard process by continuously defending his First Amendment rights and anything related (like how he got his info). At the end of the episode the baby girl was found alive, plus evidence that he was misinformed about the dead mother by a (slightly) Loony Fan comes to light.
  • Suzanne Fulcrum, the host of the Show Within a Show American Crime on the 2006 series Justice constantly called the Accused Person Of The Week guilty. The twist was that 1) sometimes the Accused Of The Week was guilty (but the audience didn't learn that until the episode's end), and 2) some of her continuous badgering about said accused person being guilty was because she had a grudge with lawyer firm TNT&G (and Ron Trott specially) and their continuous use of spin doctoring for the defense's sake.
  • In The Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert plays a parody of this. The show was literally pitched to Comedy Central as "Stephen Colbert parodies Bill O'Reilly".
  • On The West Wing President Barlett gives Dr. Laura Schelssinger carbon-copy Dr. Jenna Jacobs a verbal beat down. After she tells him that homosexuality is "an abomination unto the Lord" he pretends to agree with her, then goes into detail about a bunch of other stuff from the same passage in the Bible that that's from. "How much should I charge when I sell my daughter into slavery?" and such.
  • In the mid-90s MTV had an outspoken conservative VJ named Kennedy. On Murphy Brown a meddling executive decides to shake things up at FYI by hiring the outspoken conservative MTV VJ McGovern.

Video Games
  • Richard Bastion from Grand Theft Auto IV, host of the Richard Bastion Show on WKTT, is written as a No Celebrities Were Harmed parody of Rush Limbaugh.
  • The Xtended Terran Conflict mod for X3: Terran Conflict adds news services for each race. The Terran version, Terran Morning News, is a satire of Fox News as a whole and Glenn Beck's and Alex Jones's shows in particular, what with rampant paranoia, conspiracy theories, and subtle or not-so-subtle discrimination (Muslims in post-9/11 Fox News have been replaced by Aldrinites in Terran Morning News, for example).
  • One mod for Fallout: New Vegas adds an radio station hosted by "Glen Morgan," a racist, pro-gun, right-wing Enclave supporter.

Western Animation
  • Young Justice has a cross between this trope and Marvel Comics' J. Jonah Jameson. in the form of G. Gordon Godfrey. While he isn't overtly right wing, he is the human or Earth equivalent of a Nationalist, and deeply distrust the Justice League for their secrecy (which he isn't completely unfounded on). He uses his talk show as a soapbox and borders on yellow journalism and outright fear-mongering a lot of the time, and when the Reach show up he lavishes them with praise because of their good PR. In an interesting reversal, he actually turns on the Reach once their lies begin to get exposed.
  • On Ultimate Spider-Man J. Jonah has a television show which essentially makes him one of these.
  • The Simpsons:
    • One-shot character and Limbaugh caricature Birch Barlow segued a debate question about budgets into a description about robbers entering houses at night and hog-tying the people within for shock value.
    • The loudmouthed host of the talk show that appears on "Bart Mangled Banner". He continues asking the Simpsons if they hate America (and what specific part of it, as well) by yelling in their faces until Marge snaps.
    • Homer Simpson himself became one after a video of one of his rants went viral and was hired by a news channel. He became so popular he convinced people to wear gravy boats on their heads and almost endorsed Todd Rundgren for president.

Indexes: Characters as Device, Parody Tropes, Politics Tropes, Straw Character, The War on Straw

replies: 28

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