Sure, 30 Rock is pretty much one of the funniest shows on television and everything. So, we know it's funny-funny. But is it Republican-funny? Like, is it actually a conservative-leaning show in disguise?
According to this not-completely-unconvincing argument from Slate, it just might be…
The show's central tension remains the tug of war between Fey's Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy. Their head butting doubles as an argument about the viability of liberal ideals and the allure of a pragmatic, colder-eyed conservatism — and it's remarkable how often the show sides with the latter…
This message is nowhere more striking than in the episode in which Liz hires an idol of her youth, the '70s comedy writer Rosemary Howard (Carrie Fisher). Rosemary hails from the heyday of feminist television comedy, and she encourages Liz to "push the envelope" in her own writing, to antagonize the powers that be the same way Rosemary once antagonized H.R. Haldeman. An irritated Jack axes them both, at which point Liz discovers that Rosemary chugs wine from a Thermos and lives in a sketchy outer-borough neighborhood ("Little Chechnya," ingeniously). The denouement is brutal. Rosemary has been driven mad, poor, barren, and obsolete by her lifelong commitment to radical ideals, and a horrified Liz flees to Jack's office, begs for her job back, and asks him to help her "do that thing that rich people do, make money into more money."
This structure appears often on 30 Rock: Liz starts from a progressive perspective before coming around to Jack's way of seeing things… [W]e seem meant to accept Liz's Jack-ward drift, if not cheer it on outright, as part of her maturation. Jack is a target of the show's ridicule, but even as his worldview is satirized, it's often presented as inevitable.
I'm not completely won over by Jonah Weiner's argument. But I also don't want to take any chances here and accidentally get brainwashed into considering political views that I don't already hold. I ain't got time for that kind of complex thinking stuff in my busy life. So, I'd better just stop watching the show, right? Just in case.
Maybe I should replace 30 Rock on my DVR with something that's just completely mindless entertainment and has absolutely no bearing on the subtleties of the real world or potential to affect the way I think.
What time does Countdown with Keith Olbermann come on again?
Tags: 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin, Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, NBC, Tina Fey