Fox's cartoon "The Simpsons" just concluded Season 33 on May 22 with a rip-roaring attack on capitalism and how the middle class has been shredded. It starred a singing janitor played by actor Hugh Jackman and a professorial cameo by socialist Robert Reich, who was once Bill Clinton's secretary of labor.
Before we get into details, let's just mock the pose they're striking. Everyone associated with "The Simpsons" all these years is wealthy. Back in 2015, the show's main voice actors were making $300,000 an episode. The show's creator, Matt Groening, is even wealthier.
It's just like Seth MacFarlane, who has made a mint off perverted episodes of "Family Guy," etc. on Fox and backed socialist Bernie Sanders for president. Let's guess MacFarlane would move all his money to the Cayman Islands if his leftist dreams were to ever come true.
Fox Entertainment, now owned by Disney, has never acted like a Murdoch megaphone. Their cartoons have repeatedly ripped Fox News and conservatives. A few years ago, "The Simpsons" compared former President Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway to Joseph Goebbels (which makes Trump Hitler, ha ha ha).
The latest show was titled "Poorhouse Rock." It was touted by the website "Den of Geek" as "the most punk episode 'The Simpsons' has offered in a long time. It's like having Johnny Rotten narratively croon a 'Schoolhouse Rock' with the ultimate lesson: There's no future for you." They correctly explain this series "began as an equal opportunity offender of political sensitivities" but now "has firmly committed itself to progressive parody."
Before they even got to capitalism, they mocked Christianity. At church, the Simpsons and their community sing a hymn: "Lord, you are truly great / We are wretched but devout / Your hair looks really awesome / And have you been working out?" Lisa Simpson suggested God was "thirsty" for praise.
Bart Simpson mocked his dad Homer at church, so Homer took him to work for a day at the nuclear plant. Just as Bart began to imagine himself getting his dad's job when he grew up, Jackman the janitor interrupted him with some musical economics.
He sang: "Your dad and his buddies had it swell / But gradually it all went to hell / Factories closed, unemployment would spike / Here to explain it is Robert B. Reich!"
Reich lectured over jaunty music: "The decline of unions, rampant corporate greed, Wall Street malfeasance and the rise of shortsighted politics all contributed to increased economic inequality, widespread real unemployment, wage stagnation and a lower standard of living for millions of Americans."
Then Jackman and Reich teamed up to claim: "Tax breaks went to CEOs, never trickling down to average Joes." We never had a tax cut? Ever? Then Jackman sang, "And so it came to pass," and Reich rapped, "Greedy rich men kicked our [expletive deleted]."
They did? Google suggests Reich has a net worth of $4 million. Back in 2014, Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute noted Reich was teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, at a salary of $242,000 -- and he only taught one class in the fall semester that met for two hours, once a week. That works out to a wage of about $2,500 per hour of teaching. On top of that, Reich was commanding a $40,000 fee for a one-hour lecture on the public speaking circuit.
So, who is the greedy rich man kicking the middle class?
It's no joke: this cartoon was a terrible (and shamelessly hypocritical) attack on America's economy. No "fact-checkers" will evaluate it, since it's not politically incorrect, like The Babylon Bee.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.COPYRIGHT 2022 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.