The Right Opinion

Murdoch's KGB-Friendly Series

By L. Brent Bozell · Jan. 4, 2013

In August, Rupert Murdoch’s FX picked up a Cold War series set in the 1980s titled “The Americans.” Liberals might have braced themselves for the worst. It sounded like some kind of Chuck Norris-style “jingoistic” homage to freedom-loving intelligence agents. But this is Hollywood, so the show instead focuses on KGB spies who speak perfect English, working to destroy Reagan-era America, which is not altogether a bad thing to people in Hollywood.

Joe Weisberg, who worked for more than three years at the CIA, first wrote a script about two CIA case officers stationed in Bulgaria. Fox bought that script, too, but that project was deep-sixed. Boring. But exploring the daily joys and sorrows of undercover Soviet agents, that just thrills the Hollywood Left. Some things never change.

FX couldn’t create a series based on real history because that would entail real heroes, and real villains, like CIA traitor Aldrich Ames, who was a drunk who took on a feverishly overspending second wife, and for enough pieces of silver, he sold state secrets to our mortal enemy. There’s plenty of drama in that real-life story, but instead FX set out to find nice-looking fictional Marxist-Leninists that Americans could learn to love.

TV Guide previewed the new series, which debuts Jan. 30, like this: “It’s the early 1980s, the Cold War rages and President Ronald Reagan’s sabre-rattling has the Soviet Union really nervous.” The show’s writer, Joe Weisberg, let his radicalism out: “Most of us in the U.S. thought Reagan was just being bombastic, but the Soviets thought he was crazy and feared he would initiate a nuclear strike … This series, to a large extent, is told from the perspective of the KGB and the Soviets. We’re making them the sympathetic characters. I’d go so far as to say they’re the heroes.”

“The Americans” isn’t about Americans. It’s about heroic defenders of expansionist communist tyranny. The “heroes” are those who killed tens of millions. That’s morally sick. But at FX, sickness sells.

The main characters, who are given the names Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, were trained since their teenage years to be communist spies and were placed in an arranged marriage and run a travel agency in northern Virginia as a front. Once placed in America, they have children who have no idea of their treasonous double lives. There’s tension in this arranged marriage, since TV Guide explained “she’s passionately loyal to the motherland, while he’s starting to prefer the American way of life.”

FX president John Landgraf sounded apolitical about it: “We’re proud to welcome ‘The Americans,’ a taut series that crackles with incredible performances rooted in character perspectives never explored on a U.S. television series.” But focus on the phrase “character perspectives never explored” as code for “sympathetic communist spy characters,” words they cannot bring themselves to say.

This is not the first FX series to deal with spies, only the first drama. The animated adult comedy “Archer,” soon to launch its fourth season, is centered on Sterling Archer, a vaguely 1960s-era American spy with the International Secret Intelligence Service. Naturally, this agent is comically inept. Last season, Archer was assigned to guard a prominent KGB defector, but the high-value asset was killed in an explosion while Archer left the building for a sexual encounter with a co-worker.

FX is a network stuffed with antiheroes. It has thrived on dramas that glorified corrupt cops (“The Shield”), unethical, oversexed plastic surgeons (“Nip/Tuck”), firemen who rape their wives and pressure their teenage daughters to have sex (“Rescue Me”), mutilating and murderous motorcycle gangs (“Sons of Anarchy”) and now domineering, perverted nuns (“American Horror Story: Asylum”).

They are not alone. NBC has closed a deal for a pilot about Soviet spies in Israel titled “M.I.C.E.” The title is an acronym for Money, Ideology, Coercion and Ego, factors in understanding the motives of spies who betray their own countries.

The show is copied from an Israeli series called “The Gordin Cell.” In that show, set in the present, a patriotic and decorated Israeli Air Force officer has no idea his parents were Russian spies. Their handler then appears, demanding they recruit their son into betraying Israel. The officer is left to choose between his family and his country.

Producer Peter Berg (who made “Friday Night Lights” for NBC) said the original plot “lends itself very easily to an American reinvention” as a drama set in the United States. “There are still real issues between the U.S. and Russia – they’re spying on us, we’re spying on them.”

Somehow the Left can never acknowledge the horrors that the Soviet Union visited upon its own people and the people in its puppet states. No network would ever consider a drama about sympathetic Nazi spies undermining America during World War II. Nazi genocide is inhuman. Communist genocide is not.



rab in jo,mo said:

Just another piece of the progressive (communist) agenda. Desensitize the public by making communists out as the "good guys". Next we'll see sympathetic biographies of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin on the History Channel or maybe "The KGB Files instead of "The FBI Files" or "Tales of the NKVD".

Not buying it, I'll take shows like "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." or "Mission: Impossible" instead.

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Howard Last in Wyoming said:

For people who are not aware Rupert Murdoch owns FOX. So the best you can say about FOX, it is the best of the worst. It is slightly better than CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, NY Slimes (oops Times). So watching FOX is like being a little bit pregnant.

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Phil in Orlando, FL replied:

Thank you Howard for clarifying that Rupert Murdock owns FOX (which includes Fox News). Funny how Pretty Boy Brent never mentions this in his piece, mostly because he still earns money by appearing on Fox News. Since Pretty Boy Brent will never see any of these posts, the only honest thing to do for all others here is to stop watching all Fox programming (news, entertainment, sports), and boycott all of their sponsors. If you do not do that, you are as phony as Pretty Boy Brent.

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Why didn't you include NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, and CNN in the list of networks to boycott? Their even worse than FOX with some of their programming to include being totally in the tank for Odumbo, who, in their eyes, can do no worng. None of them are true journalists, because reporting only the facts with no opinion died with Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Walter Cronkite, and Howard K Smith.

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

Old Sarge, Cronkite a journalist, I don't think so. He was one of the main reasons for the loss in Nam. Uncle Walter was as bad as Rather Liberal. The news readers today put Joseph Goebbels to shame. For people that went to govmint skools, think WW-II.

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Howard, You are right about Cronkite! I forgot about the Vietnam War and I should kick myself because I am a Vietnam veteran. Guess I'm just getting senile.

Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 9:47 AM

sfj in Alabama replied:

Forget cronkite - he was a damn liar. When I returned from Vietnam my Stepfather watched his newscast and thought everything he said about the war was true. I debunked just about every lie he told. Besides, look who he was mentoring - dan rather.

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM

midfielder in St. Charles, MO replied:

Piss off Phil your drivel just takes up space.

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Lyna in AL replied:

Don't know what-all Murdoch owns, but I believe FX is not FOX. They are separate entities.

Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM

BJ in St. Cloud, MN said:

Phil in Orlando; are you saying Brent Bozell is a lefty and because he goes on Fox we should not watch anything on that channel? What's left then? Rush L goes on Fox as do most of the Patriot Post writers. And, since Mark A and the Patriot Post let Brent post here should we all quit them too?
Are you confused or am I?

Friday, January 4, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

I work with people who immigrated from the Soviet Union. They desired to register to vote, and asked me if they should register Republican or Conservative. The smelly rat party was OUT OF THE QUESTION!

Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 6:43 AM