Monday's premiere episode of NBC's new legal drama "Harry's Law" took a cheap shot at conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
As the show's star Kathy Bates argued for the legalization of drugs while her client was being cross-examined by a totally hapless district attorney, she claimed the idea was first raised by Republicans, "When the party had thinkers, before it was hijacked by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, a drug addict himself" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
KATHY BATES AS HARRIET “HARRY” KORN: It’s a billion dollar trade because it’s illegal.
PAUL MCCRANE AS PROSECUTOR: Objection.
BATES: Maybe we should decriminalize if your goal is…
MCCRANE: Wait, did you actually just say that? Did you actually just say that?
BATES: I believe I did. I believe I did.
MCCRANE: What, do you want to just pass drugs out on the street? Is that...
BATES: That's where they're passed out now, at a thousand times the pharmaceutical cost.
MCCRANE: Move to strike.
BATES: And if we legalize drugs, addicts would need less than two cents on the dollar to support their habits. They'd hardly have to break into homes or cars or...
MCCRANE: We have something called "values" in this country...
BATES: And they should coincide with saving the innocent lives you were carrying on about.
MCCRANE: You're seriously saying we should legalize drugs is the solution?
BATES: Everybody commissioned to study the problem has said it.
MCCRANE: Who? Everybody who?
BATES: If we legalize them, we treat the disease instead of punishing it away.
MCCRANE: Great, then you want to pass out needles, too?
BATES: Perhaps, if you're against the spread of AIDS. Are you?
MCCRANE: If we were to legalize drugs...
BATES: We could neutralize the gangs, take the drug business out of the shadows.
MCCRANE: And do what? Celebrate it?
BATES: How about regulate it? Tax it?
MCCRANE: Yes, and then every liberal in America could just light up and say, "Hallelujah, legalize drugs!"
BATES: The idea was first raised by conservative Republicans.
MCCRANE: Oh please. When?
BATES: When the party had thinkers, before it was hijacked by the likes of Rush Limbaugh…
MCCRANE: Here we go.
BATES: …a drug addict himself.
MCCRANE: Ancient history.
BATES: Who somehow fared much better in our justice system - I wonder why.
MCCRANE: The race card. There it is.
BATES: Oh, if I wanted to play the race card, I'd talk about the disparity in sentencing.
BATES: But I'm not doing that. I’m keeping it about one kid only. He's sitting right there, and he's getting screwed!
For those unfamiliar with the writer/producer of "Harry's Law," he is none other than David Kelley. As NewsBusters has documented, his previous show "Boston Legal" was often a vehicle for anti-Conservative rants and messages.
One of our favorites was in November 2008 when lead characters called McCain/Palin supporters idiots.
So it seems that right from the opening episode of Kelley's new series - which was seen by eleven million viewers - he's making it clear his pattern of injecting liberal positions will continue.
Even TV critic Tim Goodman was unimpressed with the theatrics as he noted in his Tuesday review "Harry's Law is a Crime Against Good Television":
Does this now sound utterly and ridiculously like a Kelley show? Thought so.
Beyond that, "Harry's Law" is littered with bogus courtroom rambling on soap boxes so tall they are an insurance claim waiting to happen. Let's legalize drugs, Harry goes off, and the next thing you know she's talking about stupid Republicans and Rush Limbaugh. It's all cheap, easy, predictable and not very clever.
And, not at all realistic. As WNYMedia.net observed:
Kelley’s absurdist series ask the viewer to wildly suspend disbelief as his defense lawyers bend the legal system and debate current event issues with prosecutors while judges sit by and let the sparks fly. [...]
Harriet will use any tricks she can to defend her clients, including feigning ignorance of how the law operates, getting around judicial instructions to fight fair, and debating the prosecutor (Paul McCrane of “ER”) about legalizing drugs and the unfairness of the law in front of the jury.
Indeed. As Goodman marvelously concluded:
Do you want to know a feel-good story that would help television immensely? If "Harry's Law" failed miserably -- now bring up the piano and strings in this part -- and Kelley went home, reconsidered his strengths, then came back with something completely different next time.
I couldn't agree more.
As a sidebar, this wasn't the first time an NBC drama took a cheap shot at Limbaugh. In 2007, an Asian character in the series "Las Vegas" quipped, "It hotter than Rush Limbaugh's scrotum in polyester pant!"