Failure of the Year 2007
America’s Corporate Media (The Bundy Curse).
Written by Filed under History
The sorry state of America’s corporate media can be traced back to a single half-hour time slot on the evening of Sunday April 5, 1987. The tone for the next 20 years was set in the following exchange:
“Let go of my hair you little psychopath,” whines Kelly Bundy, as younger brother Bud yanks her head back, preparing to ‘slit’ his sister’s throat with a rubber knife.
“Die, you Commie bimbo,” howls Bud as he slowly runs the blade across Kelly’s neck, a big grin spreading across his face.
So begins the pilot episode of Married … With Children, the first original prime-time program on the then-fledgling FOX network.
The Bundy Curse
The premiere of Married … With Children was a landmark moment in American television, as Married … unabashedly lowered the bar for socially acceptable prime-time content and ushered in a new era in which violence, crude humor, degradation, humiliation and soft porn would become the norm on American TV.
But April 5, 1987 represents more than just a sex and violence tipping point. The success of Married … (it lasted 10 years and 259 episodes) played a significant role in getting the FOX network off the ground, at a time when many doubted that a fourth major TV network could survive, much less thrive. Once FOX established a toehold, the network pioneered or helped popularize trends that are widely perceived to be a indictment of the state of our corporate media, including reality TV and the blurring of the line between news and entertainment.