Law Text Culture


Y. Christianse


It was the McCarthy hearings which really boosted politics into the arena of electronic media entertainment - 'arena' in the sense that, in keeping with the majority of tele-movies and series, this entertaimnent is grounded in a combative system in which one adversary must triumph over another in a display of strength and wit (in that order, for most) which provides the entertainment. With the addition of discourses of myth and institutional power, the entertaining spectacle ofgood vs bad took on urgency in the 1950s hearings. They did again in 1991 in what was variously called the Hill vs Thomas spectacle, travesty, and cultural event, with its narratives of success over impoverished beginnings, female hysteria, male vulnerability, and, foremost and most obscuring, race, race, race.