A MAN WITH A MEMORY LOOKS AT ARCHIE BUNKER | 2001-06-30
The media were full of the news that Carrol O'Connor, star of the 1970s sitcom, "All In the Family," had died. Everybody talked about how popular his character on that show, Archie Bunker, had been. Not one single person dared mention WHY Archie Bunker was so popular.
Nice people would NEVER mention how Archie Bunker got his huge appeal.
Which is why you've got me.
In fact, my sister made mention of this very connection just a few days back. She said I am the Archie Bunker of the Internet. This was a compliment. The producers of the show certainly didn't mean it to be.
Norman Lear, who adopted "All In the Family" from a British sitcom, certainly did not mean "Archie Bunker" to be a compliment. Like Jane Fonda and other Hollywood leftists, he hated working class white people and he had never met any. That is why it was so easy for him to believe that white working people hated black people and had never met any.
So Archie Bunker was totally bigoted, loud, ignorant, and mentally retarded, the very picture of white working people in Hollywood eyes.
The last thing Lear expected was that Archie Bunker would become an instant hero to America. Bumper stickers blossomed out all over the country, "Archie Bunker for President." One of the most popular books of the time was "The Wit and Wisdom of Archie Bunker."
Everybody instantly discounted the fact that Archie was retarded, loud and ignorant. All non-liberals on television back then were loud, ignorant and retarded. There were only three networks, and all three were hard left. There was Public Television which, like everything the public finances, was far to the left of mere liberalism.
In those days, a "fair and balanced" discussion on television had liberal Republicans on one side and liberal Democrats on the other. Liberals, being totally out of contact, didn't realize that everyone had long since taken that for granted. Anybody who said anything that Americans were dying to say to the Hollywood Left would be characterized as a dolt, a hater, and an ignoramus on television.
But in this standard guise, they actually let Archie speak. He was the only person on television who ever spoke to the liberals on his program the way a lot of us had been aching to speak to people who mouthed the media line.
We loved Archie, and being compared to him is a compliment I hope I can live up to.