Ted Cruz and Allen West made very, very brief cameos on last night's episode of The Blacklist. As in, a character — one of the bad guys — was photoshopped (poorly) into photos with them. The fictional episode implied that the two were connected to an imaginary con artist who was using them for her own means, and this upset many fans of the Tea Party darlings. Cruz staffer Amanda Carpenter tweeted:
Another day, another insult from MSM--NBC sitcom shows a thief "dining" with Ted Cruz, Allen West. http://t.co/w6sSkY1qN2— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) February 25, 2014
MSM is mainstream media. The term usually refers to non-fictional news broadcasts, but in this case it also applies to pretend shows on MSM networks. In the episode, James Spader's character introduces the FBI to Madeline Pratt, a socialite and thief:
This is the Madeline Pratt you all know and love – politically active, influential, a good citizen. What you don’t know is the Madeline Pratt that I love — 6 million in diamonds stolen from a DeBeers outpost in the Congo, security fibers used in printing the Czech Koruna taken from a mint in Prague and used to produce counterfeit bank notes. The Madeline Pratt you know fosters relationships with incredibly powerful people. The one you don’t exploits those relationships in ways that impact national security.
So the implication here is that Pratt is using West and Cruz in ways that "impact national security," meaning NBC is taking another liberal jab at conservatives. At least, that's the way people are taking it. West commented via text message to Post on Politics, with “I guess NBC will do anything for ratings, and I have never seen the show.” Others found the network's left-wing agenda similarly galling:
One ex-fan posted to The Blacklist's Facebook page:
I cannot believe you used Allen West and Ted Cruz in your episode tonight. I will not watch anymore. It's sad you were one of my favorites. The most blatant use of a program to smear a great conservative politician!
And there are more comments like that, including one who wondered why Eric Holder wasn't in one of those photos. We're not sure how a fictional plot line will besmirch the good names of Ted Cruz and Allen West, but it's worth nothing that the people who like Cruz and West are the only ones who noticed them. No one else seems to care that Pratt was in a photo with Cruz or West for about seven seconds. It was such a brief moment that only true political junkies would catch it. Here's how the MSM (as in, sites that aren't noticeably conservative) described the scene above:
- "Red tells them about Pratt, who is a well-known socialite with relationships with powerful people." — The Wall Street Journal
- "Madeline Pratt turns out to be a jewel thief parading as a socialite. She likes to steal pretty things and sometimes things that affect national security." — Entertainment Weekly
- "The title character this week is Madeline Pratt (guest star Jennifer Ehle), a flame of Red's with an eye for art and artifacts." — Den of Geek
You get the idea. Despite being a popular show (about 15 to 18 million people watch each week if you factor in DVR results) it's not the sort of show the media likes to parse out. Now, if it had been House of Cards, that would be a different story.