May 20, 2022

REMEMBER MURPHY BROWN? It was three decades ago when then-Vice President Dan Quayle defended the traditional family and was rewarded with a sustained assault led by Candace Bergen nee sitcom star “Murphy Brown.”

Quayle’s sin, Issues & Insights reminds us this morning, was to extoll the intact family unit with a father and mother in the home to raise kids, instill positive values in them and maintain the sort of social cohesion required to preserve a healthy community.

“Quayle lamented that those controlling the commanding heights of the culture often send the wrong message. He specifically faulted the CBS-TV sitcom Murphy Brown for depicting its lead character as ‘mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice.’ Quayle concluded his remarks by inviting a ‘national debate’ over these issues to ‘roar on.’

“The roar went on for months. Quayle was immediately denounced by Diane English, Murphy’s creator and producer. Hillary Clinton called Quayle ‘out of touch.’ The controversy reached a crescendo when the series returned for a fifth season that fall. Its season premiere was devoted to the Quayle speech with its star character lecturing the audience about the merits of nontraditional family structures.”

The intervening years have certainly provided abundant evidence of who was right and who was truly out of touch with human reality.

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