henrymakow.com — April 27, 2018
1950s television was a carefully set trap. To lure a mouse into the trap, you’ve got to insert some cheese.
America society was prevailingly Christian then. To get television into those households required presenting it as a purveyor of Christian morals, however repugnant that may have been to studio heads’ true feelings.
by James Perloff — (abridged by henrymakow.com)
What made 1950s television shows so appealing was their morality. They permitted no cursing or sex scenes; any violence wasn’t graphic. Furthermore, most shows’ plots ended with a positive moral lesson. Honesty, respect for others, “doing the right thing,” self-control, and other virtues were upheld. Superman began every episode reminding children that Superman fought for “truth, justice, and the American way.”
On 50s TV, crime couldn’t pay. (Alfred Hitchcock had a uniquely clever way of circumventing this rule on his show; the criminals would often “get away with it,” but in his epilogue, Hitch would dryly remark that they were later caught and paid their debt to society.)
Although Leave It to Beaver became, in recent years, a favorite target for ridicule by jaded comedians, when I attended elementary school my classmates avidly watched it. Almost every story presented a right-or-wrong choice for Beaver (and/or his brother Wally). Temptation usually came from Wally’s friend Eddie Haskell, and sound advice from the brothers’ father, Ward Cleaver.
In retrospect, Eddie and Ward seemed to loosely symbolize the counsel of Lucifer and God. I find it interesting that, in real life, actor Ken Osmond (Eddie) went on to become a Los Angeles policeman, and actor Hugh Beaumont (Ward) held a Master’s Degree in Theology and was licensed to preach by the Methodist Church.1 The cast clearly included some righteous dudes.
So why did all this change? It certainly wasn’t because Americans demanded that cursing, sex, and gore be added to their TV diet. As a journalist for three decades, and student of “the New World Order” for four, I’ve realized that 1950s television was a carefully set trap. To lure a mouse into the trap, you’ve got to insert some cheese.
In this case, the “cheese” was television’s façade as a positive tool that would teach your children integrity and uplifting life perspectives. And that’s just what it did (even though it occasionally pushed messages a bit to the left of America’s center). I believe the nostalgia Americans generally feel for the 1950s is based largely on the values society held, and that television was, in fact, reinforcing those values by presenting strong role models.
If you watch The Honeymooners, the show was hilarious, but Ralph would almost invariably learn a life lesson along the way, classically hugging his forgiving wife with the closing words, “Baby, you’re the greatest!”
Even with the conniving Sergeant Bilko (1955-59), the earlier episodes usually ended with a heartfelt message–such as Bilko expressing regrets at having cheated someone–whereas by the final season everything was strictly for laughs at the sergeant’s cunning and greed; the ratings dropped and the show was canceled.
America society was prevailingly Christian then. To get television into those households required presenting it as a purveyor of Christian morals, however repugnant that may have been to studio heads’ true feelings…
THE OCCULT SHIFT