MARSCHALL: New Year’s Eve Is a Reminder That Viewpoint Diversity Matters

New Year’s Eve is a silly holiday, and apart from the new millennium, quite anticlimactic. But its repetitive rituals – televised celebrations with music and celebrities leading up to the countdown in Times Square – are useful. The televised celebrations help explain why the country’s deep political divide also feels unimprovable.  

Like previous years, this Saturday’s broadcasts will feature entertainment and media personalities celebrating with America. News outlets will feature satellite parties across the country and time zones to complement the main event in New York. The media thinks it will be talking to and representing America.

The media is wrong. For what is supposed to be a nationally televised event, the key people in front of and behind the cameras do not represent all of America. They work in an industry dominated by progressive ideals and woke cancel culture.

But the core problem is that mainstream media does not see this homogeneity as a problem, because the left has a restrictive view of diversity, which excludes differences of opinion and viewpoints.

On its own, an all-progressive television lineup for a silly holiday is not a big deal. Most celebrities are liberal, which skews the talent pool from which the networks recruit celebrities to host the shows.

However, the problem is that the media does not acknowledge – or may be oblivious to – this annual event’s sameness. For all the talk of intentionality in casting, hiring, and engagement, no one on the left wants to look inward at themselves and ask what they could do to better reflect America’s pluralistic population.

There’s a reason for that lack of curiosity, contributing to the ongoing political divide in this country – and it lies at the center of progressive politics to which celebrities and media elite belong.

Progressivism’s core problem is that its followers do not consider their opinions to be opinions. Rather, progressives see their outlook as the ‘natural state of what ought to be.’ That leads them to view their accompanying beliefs as expressions of ‘what should be.’

On the other side of the spectrum, conservatives recognize their opinions as products of principles, traditions, and customs. Conservatives believe they are right but still acknowledge that their preferences are informed by their opinions of social order.

Progressives lack that self-awareness. Like a fish who does not know he is wet, the American progressive looks around his ideological compatriots and cannot fathom that what he thinks ‘should be’ is not ‘all there is.’ 

The left’s domination of entertainment and news creates numerous opportunities for the media elite to broadcast the progressive outlook as ‘all there is.’  

CNN “New Year’s Eve” co-host Andy Cohen exhibits the “all there is” progressive outlook.  This summer for example, Cohen told that he felt “less squirrely and gay” after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

It’s irrelevant that Cohen supports abortion, but it is problematic that he attributes sexual orientation to progressive politics. Since sexual orientation is not a choice, political preferences do not impact how a person feels attracted physically to another individual.

Cohen is expressing a dominant view in gay culture, which ostracizes any homosexual who does perform his sexuality as a testament to liberal politics. For homosexuals like Cohen, to be gay is to feel queer and vote Democrat.

Never mind that 28% of LGBT Americans voted Republican in the 2020 presidential election, more than double in 2016. Squirrely gays clubbing for abortion and other woke social justice issues are ‘all there is’ when it comes to being LGBT, according to progressives.

In entertainment, diversity requires representation in all corners of production. A sitcom with diversity in the cast but none in the crew or creative team is not truly diverse.  

This year’s NBC celebration, Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party, fails according to that rubric.

In addition to liberal singer Miley Cyrus hosting for a second year in a row, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels is producing the show.  Saturday Night Live is a hotbed of progressive intolerance that openly practices cancel culture against non-woke figures.

Earlier this year, several writers boycotted the show in protest of Dave Chappelle hosting an episode. Chappelle had previously made jokes the writers deemed transphobic. The writers’ resulting protest was only the latest example of the NBC show going farther left in recent years.

In August, former Saturday Night Live star Rob Schneider declared the show “over” because it had already gone too woke in 2016.

Searching for non-woke New Year’s Eve presenters, I checked out the CBS lineup for its New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash celebration. The title was promising because Nashville is home to country music, which does count many conservatives in its ranks.

For the most part, the Nashville musicians are either apolitical or do not preach politics to the same extent that other mainstream stars do. That was refreshing. However, the hosts are not exceptions to the overall trend. Jimmie Allen supports Black Lives Matter, and Elle King is public about her liberal leanings.

If I liked pop culture, I would watch these shows undisturbed by the celebrities’ political opinions. We are all subject to political ideologies that inform our outlook, and with that comes a variety of contradicting opinions.

I am okay with that, and conservatives who enjoy pop culture also understand that’s how life works.  But progressives choose not to accept that reality. Instead, they see opposition to their beliefs as an existential attack on the natural state of things.

Televised New Year’s Eve celebrations are not the place to air or settle political differences. However, television outlets should acknowledge what is missing from their lineups.

Mainstream media does not mediate liberal and conservative voices when it chooses to air only one side of the debate. By maintaining that imbalance, the media are shutting down opportunities for civil debate and political tolerance.

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