WDTCF – Ronald Reagan and the RR Re-Education Center

It is pretty amazing how little things a President does while in office, can have huge, and perhaps unintended consequences that rattle for decades afterward. What is even more amazing to me, is the “Frog in the pot” scenario that happens as things change so slowly, it is almost imperceptive, until it is prevalent. What does this have to do with Ronald Reagan and the Re-Education Center?  I’ll get to that…

As it pertains to TSTO and the Simpsons, Ronny appears in several scenes over several episodes. But, usually as a quick flash, a pic on the wall, or in one case, a head.  But, he does have a speaking role in one of my favorite non-political episodes of all time.  I’ll get to that as well.

When I was researching this post, I was reminded how little I actually watched the Simpsons in what we are now calling the “aughts” (the first decade of the 2000s). When I started re-watching some of them, I was surprised by how overtly political they were.  Yes…a lot of these episodes were in the post 9/11 era, and during election years. But, it now seems like we are ALWAYS in an election year…and the current episodes aren’t as overt. So maybe the writers just got tired of trying to use a cartoon show as a bully pulpit, and have switched over to less-than-subtle references in a mobile game.

The Re-Education Center is really at the heart of ONE episode…while Ronny is kinda smattered all over the place.  Let’s take a look…
For as many episodes is which he is listed, Ronald Reagan only has one brief speaking part, in one of my favorite episodes, “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet” (S5E1).  This episode was in the “Golden Years” where every episode had a great story, with a lot of heart.  The reason I love this episode so much, is both how the group came together (along with Barney’s undiscovered talent as a singer), and how they parody the Beatles, including the introduction of Yoko, and the infamous roof-top performance from “Let It Be.” It also features a funny guest appearance by George Harrison, where he sees the rooftop performance, and mutters, “It’s been done before!”
Reference to Lennon’s mis-statement in 1966

Yoko in the final recording session of the Be Sharps…

The B Sharps being underwhelming for George Harrison, “it’s been done before!”

In a seemingly random scene from this episode. the “B Sharps” perform at a “Freedom Festival” in front of the Statue of Liberty, with Ronald and Nancy in attendance. Ronny is heard to say, “DAMN CEREMONIES. THIS IS TIME I COULD BE WORKING, MOMMY!”

Funny line. 

Ronny appears in a handful of other vignettes, including one as a dismembered head (it was from a wax museum, and no, Kathy Griffin had nothing to do with it). He also appears quickly at Burn’s birthday party, as well as a couple of shots in the background at various Republican insider meetings.
 Relax…it’s in a wax museum… and the is Dr. Ruth and Mr. T beside him.

Being admitted Burn’s Birthday Party

Ronald Reagan was not my favorite President…but, I’ll get to that later.

WHERE DOES THE Ronald Reagan ReEduction Center Come From?

Next, we have a REALLY Heavy-Handed episode, that has weirdly current implications, and once again seems to prove the Simpsons writers have some weird precognition talent. Introduced at the height of the first true “splitting of America” and hardening of party affiliations through faux-freedom acts, and government over-reaching for our “safety,” “Bart Mangled Banner” (S15E21) is pretty much a wall-to-wall rebuke of the “America, Love It or Leave It” movement of the 200os.  This is one of those “History Repeats Itself” moments, that has been around for decades…including the “McArthy Commie Trials,”  loads of “counter-revolution conspiracy” actions by the Federal Government in the 60s and 70s, and now with a deepened divisiveness over the definition of the word “Patriotic.” (take a knee anyone?).

So…yes..an episode in 2004, that seems far too current, isn’t a huge surprise.

The Brief Synopsis of Bart Mangled Banner

Bart, and the kids are tricked into “shot day,” by Homer and Marge. Bart escapes, and only later is finally inoculated (yes…this was the first blush of the “Anti-Immunization Movement that has brought back several previously irradiated diseases).  However, Bart has a “side-effect” of losing his hearing due to “swollen ear holes.”  The inconceivable turn of events that follows goes something like this:

1. During the “Donkey Basketball Game” (yes…they really had these. I played in a couple in High School) a donkey accidentally eats Bart’s shorts, and he ends up accidentally mooning the American Flag during the National Anthem. (and you thought taking a knee was bad?).

2. When trying to defend Bart, Homer and Marge are “ambushed” by a talk show host into saying they hate America. On “Head Butt with Nash Castor” Nash asks, “What part of America do you hate most?” Marge says that, if leading questions such as that are the only forms of discussion in America, then she does hate America. She also said that she is well-liked in Springfield, prompting the host to say that Springfield hates America. Homer is ridiculed at “Moe’s” where he declares his dislike of this version of America. The entire United States then turns their back on Springfield, so Mayor Quimby frantically decides to change the name of Springfield to “Libertyville.” (Ironically…my Mom was born in the REAL Libertyville, in Illinois)

Everything in town is quickly patriotized; the traffic light colors are changed to red, white, and blue, and everything costs $17.76. While at church, Lisa speaks her opinion about patriotism, and the Simpsons are taken into custody, in violation of the “Government Knows Best Act“.

3. The Simpsons are taken to the “Ronald Reagan Reeducation Center”, which houses Michael Moore, The Dixie Chicks, Elmo (who accidentally went to the wrong fundraiser), and Bill Clinton.

With some help from the last-registered Democrat, the Simpsons escape the prison, but realize that the re-education center is actually Alcatraz Prison. While they are swimming to land, they are picked up by a French freighter and are brought to France. They adjust to French life well, but still miss America, mainly because it is where all their belongings still are.

The final scene shows them arriving by boat, into New York harbor past the statue of Liberty,  back to the US dressed as 19th century immigrants from Europe where Homer speaks of plans of integration into America.

OK then. Bring us your tired, poor, and overtly politicized cartoon characters…

So…the amazing thing about this combination Character/Building, is that they had to have planned this months ago. And now…once again, the headlines are loaded with the immigration debate, and divisiveness over who is “more American.”  We don’t really seem to evolve much…apparently.

I bought this combination. But not for the reason that some may have. I bought it for the same reason I bought Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover. I want the chance to keep a constant eye on characters who left an indelible mark (some would call it a stain) on American history.

And when it comes to Reagan, it has very little to do with the fact that his was the most indicted administration in history (look it up…). Or because I knew of his affiliations with the Mob during his time as head of the Screen Actor’s Guild, or his “turning in Commies” during the McArthy era witch hunt (which ironically also had a tie to RFK, whose death paved the way for Ronny’s rise).  No…it is a little remembered action that has had a direct result in creating the horrible divisive and destructive reality that we now find ourselves in, as it pertains to “News Outlets.”

In 1987, Reagan abolished the FCC Fairness Doctrine. Most people had never heard of it, or cared.  But, in short, the FCC established a rule in 1947, that mandated that “honest, equitable, and balanced” viewpoints be presented on all political topics. In short, you couldn’t proffer a single viewpoint or political position, and had to grant balanced programming, giving both sides of a debate. This limited the amount of political viewpoints, and for the most part, left news agencies reporting facts, rather than opinion. Opinions and commentary had to be clearly labeled as such.

On the surface, this action seemed inconsequential. However…the result was anything but.  It allowed for the creation of countless permutations of “Cable News Channels” that offer completely biased, and often untrue views, that are often nothing more than the propoganda arms of politicians and political parties.  So disparate are the opinions on these “News Programs” that it is easy to “cherry pick” facts, and leave the viewers (and potential voters) uninformed, politically and historically illiterate, and virtually weaponized by special interests.

What started with the original Radio Talk hosts like Limbaugh and others of that ilk, has now morphed into a Wild West of unregulated, and insanely dangerous (to the truth), Internet-based “news outlets” that have now reached into the very fabric of our elections, and closed minds to reason, compromise, and real action on Capital Hill. In short…without the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, there ability for foreign entities to create fake news channels and damaging “leak outlets” simply doesn’t exist.  People couldn’t just dial up their “FaceBook News Feed” or Google News Outlet, to get the “top stories,” which may, and most likely may not, have anything but biased, cherry-picked commentary in the place of facts being proffered.

“News” as we know it is dead. As someone who has worked in and around the media for more than 40 years…it breaks my heart to say it. Even the best of the best outlets are colored with partisan slants under the guise of “News Commentary.”  The facts are tossed about and parsed to suit the flavor and branding. And in the end, our REAL FREEDOM suffers…because we end up handing our ability to know the truth, to those who have the most money.

And, it all started with Ronny (and came full circle with Clinton’s deregulation of Broadcast ownership in 1996).

So…there you have it. The perfect TSTO Combo for our Independence Day celebration.  A less-than-subtle reminder at what can happen when government over-reaching takes over common sense…and protesting, even when its unpopular, results in attempts to “Re-Educate” the masses.

I want Ronny in my town. Where I can keep a close eye on him.

HOWEVER…To Give EQUAL disdain for “the other side,” (I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t) Here are my favorite “besmirchments” of Bill Clinton.

Clinton actually appeared in tons of episodes…and in every single one…he was ridiculed and besmirched by the writers. Here are a couple of my favorites..

His most notable encounter with the Simpsons was when he answered Lisa Simpson’s complaint about a band contest, in which Lisa’s band was beaten by the band of another school which used an illegal tactic but still won.

Clinton: “Thank you, Lisa, for teaching kids everywhere a valuable lesson: If things don’t go your way, just keep complaining until your dreams come true.”
Marge: “That’s a pretty lousy lesson”
Clinton: Hey, I’m a pretty lousy president!

Ironically, in one Episode, one of the media’s best known “Alternative News Talking Heads” Jon Stewart makes an appearance, when Ralph is running for President… it has nothing to do with Clinton, but is a reference to the kind of media that has replaced hard news.

And we all know how the “rest of the story” turns out for Bill.  In the same episode (E Pluribis Wiggum – S19E10) which aired during the 2008 election cycle, we see Bill, talking to Hillary…

Bill Clinton: Honey, how many of this signs do I have to put up? What did I ever do to you to deserve this?……………………You’re never gonna let that go, are you?

No Bill. We aren’t going to let a LOT of things go. Sorry.

And if they ever bring us Bill as a character, I’ll get him…just to keep an eye on him and keep him out of the public eye. Yes. I know they seem to only give us “Dead Ex-Presidents.” But, one can hope. Right?

Life in the world of the Simpsons and TSTO. Never a dull moment…even when we are grinding.

73 responses to “WDTCF – Ronald Reagan and the RR Re-Education Center

  1. If anything, today’s column and comments have proven that this country is not too far gone…lively discourse on opposing sides…with intelligent and respectful (maybe just barely) conversation. Just the fact that these posts are able to appear on our pads or phones is proof that, for now, free speech is alive and kicking and the ability to express our opinions is unimpeded. Not so everywhere…we need to remember that in China, Russia, North Korea and many other countries, this discussion would never had made it past the “censors”. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate America’s birthday this week👍😁.

    • I agree wholeheartedly… Compromise, which is the basis of real solutions, is needed more than ever today. It starts by seeing both sides of a position.

      And for the record…I refrained from making note of the game’s very incendiary dialogue. It is clearly one-sided. If you have all of the Presidents, the “who was worst” was more than a little over the top. And Regan’s final panel…just plain ugly. The writers and programmers are far less balanced than the comments in this thread.

      • Didn’t purchase him…or Ike…or Nixon…all still too current for me to enjoy seeing them in my town. My Springfield is a “happy place” and I’ll do my darndest to keep it that way😁🤪😁.

  2. I still enjoy watching The Simpsons, but I will admit the writing was consistently better during Seasons 1 through 6 (I agree, things were more subliminal verses being upfront).

    Mr. Reagan may not be my favorite President, but at least he accomplished his main goal and that was to end Communism

    The Simpsons has consistently done a good job of lampooning pop culture (they paved the way for the Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, etc). One could say the first 4 years of this Game App were better than the last 2 (consistently lampooning of political figures every year in this Game App has been the biggest LOL). 👍

    • Ended Communism???????????? Uhm. Nope. I’m hoping you are joking.

    • Oppression, whether you call it “communism” or anything else, is unfortunately alive and well all over this planet. A pile of garbage, by any other name, still smells as foul.

  3. A lot of what Patric said in his post really hit home, because I spent 25 years in the network news business. I can tell you that over those two and a half decades, the business has really changed and declined. In college, I was taught to remain neutral and to only present the facts. I used to take pride that nobody knew if I was a Democrat or Republican, a Liberal, Moderate, or Conservative. Now, unless you work for FOX, it’s assumed you’re a liberal Democrat. Why? Because most writers and producers rely on a hand full of wire services that tend to lean left. News personnel ofteb rewrite the wire stories as they’re presented rather than doing the leg work to check a story out for themselves. And why do these news services tend to lean left? Follow the money and look who owns them. Why do reporters and producers mostly use these services without doing their own leg work? Because the media companies are doing more with less people. Reporters and producers simply do not have the time they once did. While there was once a team of editors, researchers, and others assisting them, they’re often expected to rough cut edit their own pieces on their computers, track their pieces without an editor, and research their stories without a professional researcher. There are also fewer anchors, reporters and producers on staff. You can imagine how this is a recipe for burnout and mistakes. And in the quest for ratings, (again, follow the money) many news directors encourage their anchors to editorialize.. which was unheard of when I first began my career. The anchors are urged to incite live arguments with guests in the quest for ratings. We shouldn’t know that FOX news leans right and CNN leans left. They should both be neutral. Now don’t even get me started on the sexualization of female anchors and how they’re required to wear sleeveless dresses in the middle of winter to show more skin, with lower necklines and higher hemlines.. as Patric says, “but I digress…”

    • I think the 24hr news cycle contributed the most to not enough people or time…

      • Yes, good point, Alissa. I was in college when CNN was being established. One of our journalism instructors led a discussion as to whether any entity could keep up that sort of grind. 24 hour news was unheard of then, and most of the class thought the all day/all night news model would fail. But it didn’t, and as you point out, it changed the face of news forever.

        • The issue of 24 hour news (as you well know and experienced) is they need to fill 24 hours of network time (as in advertising ops) to stay on the air. “Breaking News” has become a hilarious joke for anyone who has been around news for any length of time. It was rare the network news broke into regular programming with “Special Updates.” It was usually something that posed a real threat, or was a tragedy of epic proportion. Now, “Breaking News” has become the first seed of some leak, gossip, tweet, or innuendo. I would like to see a headline that reads, “BREAKING NEWS- Nothing of import to report…but, we need to keep your attention.” Now THAT would be honest news reporting.

          • You said, it Patric! That drives me nuts. I also love the other push for immediacy. The LIVE truck. Grrrr…. it;s so overused. “I’m standing in front of an empty stadium where just an hour ago, pandemonium broke out when a gunshot was fired into the crowd. There were no injuries, and a lone shooter is currently in police custody. But nothing is going on right now. We missed the action, so I’m standing here looking like a total fool in front of a dark building with no people in sight and no hint of what this story is about in hopes you think we’re on top of it.”

            • LOL!!! That is soooooooooooooooo true! And sadly accurate!

              Wait…I think I feel another “Breaking News” intro happening…

    • I was hoping that you would give u an “insider’s view” of the decline, and you didn’t let us down. Thanks for your honesty and integrity. Unfortunately, the “good ones” are leaving the business….and the conglomerate, lazy propagandists, are filling the gaps.

      Gossip should never be news…no matter who “leaked” it.

      We are two “cranky old media vets” who revert to tapping to keep our heads clear of the clutter.

      • Seems as though gossip is this country’s main “news” source today …and it’s largest export. We don’t produce much of anything else. 😔

        • That is an accurate…and sad statement of truth.

          • Historyguy303

            While we are on the subject;since when did copying and pasting a tweet become an acceptable form of journalism. It is so lazy. All these so called reporters do is post a picture of a tweet and then tell you what that tweet said.

            The worst mistake in recent decades occurred when someone asked a reporter what THEIR opinion was. You are a reporter. Report the news. But as the saying goes. Reporters report the news. Journalists change history.

  4. This was very thorough where did that come from post. I wasn’t gonna get ronnie, but now i may have to reconsider. He does seem,
    afterall, to be the perfect character combo to come out right now.

  5. As America celebrates Independence Day, it’s interesting to note how the US and the UK were in lockstep through the ’80s with Maggie here being the one replacing a democratic discourse based on the power of principles with one based on the power of money. And Clinton’s continuation would have been seen as conservative had the landscape not been shifted so far by Reagan. Our analog to Clinton was Blair, who despite being leader of the notional “Labour Party” was Thatcherite through and through. Although they each have separate supreme legislative chambers, the sense in which the US and the UK are independent in terms of core values is now much less clear.

    I didn’t buy Reagan simply because he cost too much, so I decided instead to gamble with the 4th July mystery box. I ended up with George Washington, and I enjoyed the way his dialog cautioned against seeing America’s founders as infallible (and by analogy any heroes of the past — here in Europe we certainly don’t view Cromwell or Robespierre so fondly, but the UK for example still has a massive crush on Churchill).

    Anyway, happy Independence Day, America! Make sure you each as individuals retain your independence in thought and deed from any person with power — especially the ones who promise to be great on your behalf, but take away the basis of opportunity for you to flourish. Europe’s been there enough times.

  6. You should go look at the Yellow Press some time. News is dead, not because of the end of the fairness doctrine, but because too many journalist are puked out by a select few colleges who practice group think.

    We the people at times are too busy being distracted by all sorts of fun things to bother educating ourselves nor ask critical, object questions. We just emote ourselves.

    As you complain about Ronald Reagan, he did end the cold war.

    • Well that and the Soviet Union went broke trying to keep up with our military budget.

    • Not. Remotely. Close. To the truth. Reagan was an actor in a play written and orchestrated by Gorbechav. One speech by a wall that was on the verge of collapsing under the wright of social change, does not end anything. Sorry.

  7. If I remember correctly the news and opinions were never balance. They were just better hidden by the leftist media. Hidden by stories never aired, where the “conservative” opinion was either some religious person or extreme person that made the “liberal” opinion look rational. Where camera angles made small leftist crowds look large and anti-abortion crowds if covered at all looked small.

    I have watched lots of news programs over a long time. I was a regular viewer of 60 minutes since it started. I watched Nightline, Politically Incorrect, the Sunday Morning shows, the McLaughlin Group, Cross-fire, Chris Matthews. Before the internet it was harder to find alternative angles. Most of the stories on the nightly news were from the New York Times or the Washington post in the morning. The only conservative opinion you could find was in the financial section of the paper.

    If you want to actually see balanced news today you have to watch Fox News. True, they have conservative prime-time lineup, but you will see the other sides represented well. Unfortunately, NBC and MSNBC have turned themselves into unabashed arms of the Democrats. You cut with a knife their outright bias against Trump. Before you could work around the bias of Meet the Press, now it is just constant attacks Trump.

    Anyway, without the ‘Fairness Doctrine” we can truly see how biased the so called MSM was.

    • Uhm. Welll. We will absolutely have to choose to disagree on this point. Fox barely HAS a news deparrrnent. Hannity? Fox and friends? Come on. Completely biased commentary that doesn’t resemble the truth.

      What was the last actual news story that Fox broke that was based on a thing that wssn’t A press release from the RNC or the White House.

      CNN is no better. And both the NYTimes and WAPo have lost any Spence if perspective.

      The reason that Fox fights the fairness doctine should be obvious.

      • Fox News was the station the broke Bush’s DUI right before the election. Fox New has libertarians, religious conservatives, atheists, liberals, Democrats, fiscal conservatives, never-Trump-ers, gays, blacks, whites, Hispanics, people from the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations. If you want a single program that express multiple view I suggest looking at The Five or Outnumbered or the last half of Special Report. For a more liberal view of the general news and anti-Trump there is Shepard Smith. Actually watch the shows instead of taking snippets made to make FN look bad.

        • Shepard Smith is the only talking head at Fox that remotely resembles a true news person. The rest of your examples are commentary shows by design and execution.

          What you are displaying is the exact problem we face as Americans. Over the years, we clearly have lost site of what represents “news” (facts…just the facts) and commentary (opinion about the facts, cherry picked to present an agenda). The American people now believe that if it is presented with “an expert,” it must be true.

          And for the record…if you had to go clear back to the Bush era for a “real breaking story” by Fox…you made my point.

          • I went to the Bush story to show that from the start Fox News would break news even if it was against Republicans. And if you consider Trump a Republican, then you can look at the coverage of EPA Pruitt spending “scandals” or yesterday’s coverage of Jim Jordan (R – Ohio).
            The shows I mentioned are opinion shows, which is where in news you should see differences of opinions (the fair and balanced). The “regular” news you shouldn’t know the bias. I fault Shepard Smith because you can definitely tell his leftist (and anti-Trump) bias. Fox and Friends and Hannity, et. al. have news but are not pure news shows (like GMA, Today, etc). I find Bret Baier (Special Report) more neutral than Shepard Smith when presenting the news.

            • You continue to make my point. Being “anti-Trump” does not make one a Lefty, a Republican, or anti-American. At all. And again…for about the 50th time…”presenting the news” should have nothing to do with commentary. At all. The point I am making, and will continue to support, is that almost NO “news” is unbiased at this point…and it all started with the elimination of Fairness Doctrine and the Broadcast ownership regs. One by a Republican (Reagan) and the other by a Democrat (Clinton). You can spin all you want…FOX/CNN are the same kind of “journalism by corporate mandate for profit” that have decimated any semblance of real news reporting.

              • You assume that before the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine that the news was unbiased, in fact it wasn’t. What the Fairness Doctrine did was eliminate “opinion” shows, which left just the left (NYT, WP, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS) as the only source of “news” and opinion. At best the Fairness Doctrine gave equal time to a Democrat and a Republican, both which was chosen by the producer. There was not equal time for Greens, Conservatives, Libertarians, etc. For example, if they question was abortion you had the anchor or panel (all pro-abortion) a guest or two who were pro-abortion/ or “pro-choice” and a religious fundamentalist who was “anti-choice” or anti-abortion. It was as if someone couldn’t be found for an argument of being against abortion that wasn’t based on religion.

                BTW, all news was done for profit. That is why there were ads.

              • Charles………… You seem to think that news is a forum for positions. A place where every issue gets “talking time.” To the contrary, to use your example…if there was a Supreme Court ruling…they reported the ruling, not hours of diatribe about the ruling. Public opinion shows were rare…and highly regulated by the Fairness Doctrine.

                And as one who has actually BEEN IN THE BUSINESS (as opposed to someone like you who just has an opinion), News divisions famously ran at extreme deficits (as network news does today) and was propped up by regular programming. News “in the day” was not only highly regulated…but mandated by the FCC. You could not have a network…or even a local affiliate channel, without a full, staffed, LOCAL news department. That went away in Clinton’s era…when large networks were allowed to consolidate and use a single news staff for multiple outlets. Today…”Local News” is mostly skeleton staffs…with robot cameras and switchers.

                Again…one of us was in the business, and watched countless news outlets/staffs get gutted by the conglomerates. If you did some research, you would see the rise of companies like Sinclair, which in a market like ours, runs TWO of the three network facilities (supposedly separate…but using the same facility, and staff).

                What you writing is conjecture, and not remotely accurate to the facts of the time. Not sure how old you are, but…the ownership change happened in 1996.

                Before the Fairness Doctrine was blown up…there were no political talk radio shows…and certainly no politically driven “news” networks.

                News is the driving force, along with the need for “serving the public interest” that has driven most local station owners out of business. Trust me… Local News is not a “for profit” endeavor.

              • I wasn’t speaking of local news. My guess is that if local news didn’t make a profit it was because of the cost of talent. In my area the local news besides being on at 6 and 10 is on at 4-5:30 pm, noon, 4-6 am, so I am guessing the new divisions are making a profit. Otherwise they would sell the airtime to infomercials or syndicated shows.
                As for the national news, yes in the early fifties and sixties there was a time the news department was being supported by the rest of the network. Of course in the days without a remote a good news program would lead to better audience numbers into prime time. The explosion of news programs (Dateline, 60 minutes 2, 20/20, …) meant the national news were making more profit than from scripted shows (which again were replaced by reality shows and games shows). I would be interested in knowing how much of any lack of profit or net loss was due to the multi-million salaries of top talent. For example CBS continued to pay Dan Rather $6 million a year after being fired.

                When you comment “Before the Fairness Doctrine was blown up…there were no political talk radio shows…and certainly no politically driven “news” networks.” All the networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN) were “politically” driven. 90% were left and Democrat leaning. Abortion, the ERA, gun control, the war were all presented from the leftist view.

              • Oh… and by the way… your understanding of local/regiona/national news is also completely wrong. The FCC MANDATES news…the most expensive staffing of any network…by a long shot. They are NOT making anywhere near a profit on their news divisions….and would gladly shut them down. But it is Federal Law that they have them…as it is part of the FCC Licensing.

                Cable News operations…like your beloved FOX…and CNN…are completely “for profit” news networks. Which is one reason they are to be held suspect. READ Tippie’s post at the top of this thread. She was in the news business for close to 30 years…and retired for all of the reasons that she and I stated.

                Doing more with less…no research…no support…just passing around innuendo…that’s what your cable news will get you. Thanks Ronny and Bill.

          • Lol.

  8. It’s sad to hear you say “the news is dead” the more people who think that and turn away from the news means that they are winning if they could they would get rid of the news.. (they already tried) and we all be watching state t.v it’s up to everyone to dig a little to see where the headline is coming from it’s either Russian Facebook news or it’s not and it’s up to the individual to look in to it if they’re interested and they should be. Its unfortunate that we have to do this but that’s where we are use to take the news at face value which ever channel it was but not anymore and it’s a shame but if we say the news is dead and don’t pay attention that’s how fascism works and that’s history we all can agree we do not want to repeat.. but I love the Simpsons and always will. My two cents thanks.

    • EEEEEEEK! Punctuation, Dude!!! I get your point(s)…but today, because of unbridled media ownership and lax regulations, the “news” is rarely just the facts.

      Up until a few weeks ago, part of the business I got out of was providing news servers to more than 160 radio markets across the country. I would see every story in three versions…The original/local//organic story, a regional/AP version…and then a version when the national networks got hold of it. The final versions were always highly edited and modified to fit the network’s viewers.

      The reason Russia and other bad players have been able to infiltrate our news feeds so easily, is because the primary outlets are profit driven, and don’t care, until they are forced to do so. Thankfully, there are some new Apps available, that show the “tree” of every story…from inception to sharing…and it is easier too figure out if something is from a legitimate news agency or not.

      • do tell about these news apps?

        • One that is becoming popular is Newsvoice. I have it…and it works much like Google News, without the ads. It shows a story, and then 2-5 other versions of the same story in a link, which allows you to decide the “truth thread” so to speak. After doing newsfeeds since 1999…I am pretty much burned out on any single source. My daughter works for CBS News, so I watch it out of loyalty. It is far closer to “reality” than any of the cable news outlets. But, they are not without bias…and have started to fall prey to too many stories with “un-named sources.”

          In this day…most of the “un-named sources” are very carefully placed leakers, serving a political agenda. Whistle blowers are important in a democracy. But, leaks of unsubstantiated claims, are just irresponsible. Case in point…the difference between our current Commander in Tweets barrage of “newsworthy tweets”…and the fact that Watergate took months of investigation, before it was ever actually reported. Same with the Pentagon Papers. It was a different era…for sure.

          “The News…as it happens” is rarely the real news.

      • Ya, sorry about the grammar I was in a rush, and I didn’t look it over. Anyways interesting on the app’s I’ll have to look into that. And I can agree money always screws things up. But still I feel that we can not let this be the “norm” where we just say “fake news” to everything we don’t like or disagree with. If we only listen to news that encourages the beliefs that we already have its dumb, and with the way our country is going.. I mean every week there is something. .

      • Patric, ever lived in Soviet Russia? Regulation of the media really “helped” ppl there, didn’t it. Regulation = propaganda. Just embrace the chaos of freedom

        • Holly…your example makes me chuckle. Then wince. There is only one person who continues to deny, deflect, and push back on the Russian involvement in the last election…and the “chummy” relationship with Putin is head-scratchingly crazy…in light of the facts being presented.

          We are edging closer and closer to the same kind of “benevolent dictatorship through propaganda” every day. ..so we may get a chance to see what a “state run media” feels like, sooner or later.

          It’s going to be a very interesting election cycle…and next couple of years. Hold on to your hat…

  9. So much for keeping the politics out of this blog. I thought that was a rule? Oh well, all good things come to an end. Thanks everybody for all the tips and info over the years.

    • Look, I don’t agree with Pat’s views on Reagan by any measure (heck Riley was almost named Reagan). But he wrote a post that’s 95% wdtcf on a president and a building (straight out of the episode) 2% his opinion on the Fairness Doctrine (which he’s written about before during the Buck Stops Here event) and 3% making fun of Clinton. He spent more time talking about how the show made fun of Clinton than the fairness doctrine.
      This is about as non-political as Pat can get when writing about a President in the game. Just because you dont like someone’s opinion doesnt mean you should shut it off if it’s respectful. That’s what’s wrong with the world today, no one wants to listen or try to respect someone else’s opinion if they dont agree with their own. Open mindedness is important for everyone.
      His post was respectful, he mentioned one aspect of Reagan he didnt like and its not even overtly controversial. I dont agree with it but it’s barely political…

      • Just thought it was the rule. He puts little jabs and hints in all the time about his politics. I enjoyed coming here for many years and part of it was because it was non political. I’m not thin skinned and if I was I would have stopped watching the Simpsons many years ago. Maybe I’ll just stop reading his columns. Either way, thanks again for the great site. Patric , nothing personal I think your a great guy. I just don’t come here for that.

    • Seriously? Oh well…can’t win ‘em all.

  10. Hey I was wondering how I was going to tie this band into a post. However with Reagan’s views on music. Not to mention Harrison and the B Sharps. I stumbled across these guys randomly today. Patric you’ve seen lots of bands what’s your opinion? Imo they entertained me for 6 minutes.

  11. In the post it said the Ronald Reagan reeducation center was really Alcatraz prison. If Alcatraz prison was a skin for the Ronald Reagan reeducation center, I could see a lot more people buying it.

  12. The modern episodes aren’t as overt in their political angles? The political episodes are my favorites two of them being the fracking episode and the most recent when they go to Denmark and fall in love with Democratic Socialism. I’d say way more political than the old days.

  13. Patric, I have a similar plan, but with Tricky Dick, to keep him in my line of fire. Since he can use the airport I have him perpetually flying to whatever city/country is in the greatest state of unrest, simply to give him an unsettling and perhaps horrifying look from beyond the grave, at the mess to which he contributed in significant measure. I might start doing this with Ronnie too,

    I’m not a vindictive person in reality, but I do favour the ‘what goes around comes around’ theory, and I like to hope its effect in the netherworld of Springfield is felt.

  14. To be fair, Jon Stewart never called his show a news show – it’s always been entertainment. Still hard hitting though.

    I still give a silent thanks to Pres. Ronny for my first job out of college in his ramped-up industrial defense complex. Doesn’t make up for the ramped-up deficit or lack of trickle down though…

    • Lol… and ramp up he did. Both overt and covert. Keeping us safe from Panama and Nicaragua.

    • Oh…and I only called the Daily Show “news” because at one point, 42% of all Gen. X and 26% of boomers said that the show was their only source of news. Insane…but true.

  15. Isn’t the first decade of the 2000’s the Noughties?

  16. You forgot to mention Homer’s “Rappin’ Ronnie Reagan” cassette tape….LOL…cassette tapes.

  17. I really liked the post Patric. Though for me, the whole fake news reminds me more of Yellow Journalism from the 1800’s (Hearst and Pulitzer being some of the worst offenders). As Americans we have not learned our lessons from the past about trying to find out the truth. And since it seems that we just want instant gratification when it comes to news and that ignoring the source material is easier then verifying it, I don’t think things will be changing in the near future.

    • Agreed…unfortunately. We seem to be slipping back further and further in history, as it applies to common sense.

      • “common sense”? I vaguely remember such a concept from my younger years….Doesn’t seem to be very ‘common’ anymore.
        RIP Common Sense 😔

  18. Sabrtriviachamp

    I actually like the “Liberty-ville” billboard. I wouldn’t mind seeing that as a prize somewhere… been a while since we’ve seen a good billboard offered up. Which reminds me- does anybody who has the Mayor Quimby “X minutes since he last lied” billboard know what happens when it hits 999,999? Does it just roll over? Do you get donuts or something?(I know, don’t be greedy!) Does Quimby tell a lie? Just wondering; I’m somewhere around 900,000 minutes.

  19. Great post!

    • Thanks! Tough one to write, while remaining “fair and balanced.”

      • The concept of “fair and balanced” seems impossible for anyone. We are all products of so many influences in our lives, and our perception of “fair and balanced” is simply that…a perception, which will be skewed no matter how much we believe otherwise. The most important thing is to remember is how biased we all are, and not take our own opinions (or anyone elses, for that matter) too seriously. Listen, learn, but above all…do your own thinking.

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