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Behind The Headline Of Fox News' Take On Trek

Fox News pundit shows that he clearly never watches Trek, but is he wrong?

By Silek Tue 24 May, 2022 1:56 PM - Last Updated: Mon 06 Jun, 2022 1:13 PM
Recently Fox News sent giggles through the TrekVerse with a headline that read, "Star Trek Writers Take Starship Enterprise Where It's Never Gone Before—Woke Politics."

This article was written by David Marcus, a writer and author who generally finds himself on the conservative side of politics, and if you read nothing more than the headline of this article, you may have missed the point of a legitimate discussion, and some revealing truths on the nature of the opposition to these Star Trek ideals, and how little they have to do with politics, or political parties.

I believe the author was betrayed by his publisher, or betrayed himself, by ever allowing the headline to exist. Immediately upon publication, several articles were published as a rebuke by as many outlets, but each one seemed to focus on the doomed headline, and not the content of the article. After all, the headline was a joke. Right?Fox%20News%27%20Davis%20Marcus
Fox News' David Marcus

Each one of these subsequent articles extolling disbelief over such a statement, read as if each of us had written it ourselves.

The 'half black-half white guy'? I remember that!

Kirk and Uhura kissing? I remember that too! And I remember that these were political at the time. But so does everybody else. I didn't need my 'Trekcentric' news feed bogged down with one article after another screaming 'Trek Has Always Been Political!'

You knew that, I knew that, and David Marcus knew that.

The first paragraph of the short article undercuts it's own premise while at the same time revealing its intentions and point of view.

It begins, "There is no more quintessential American story universe than Star Trek. Since its creation in 1966 the franchise has had myriad iterations on big screen and small, basically invented the sci-fi convention, and has charmed audiences across every generation."

If he had stopped at the first sentence, I might have voted for this guy. But he didn't, and immediately launched what the article was truly about, and what argument was about to be made.

He continues, "But in two recent episodes, writers crossed a line where no Star Trek has gone before. That is to say, they got directly involved in partisan politics."Stacey%20Abrams
Voting Right Activist
Stacey Abrams

The paradigm shift in what came before in Star Trek and what was happening now is referred to as both 'Woke-Politics', and 'Partisan-Politics' in the article, leaving us to conclude what the difference is, or how large of a difference exists, across different ideologies. As I grapple with this, my continued reading is rewarded with the revelation that what happened in the past was actually something different, and not political.

Marcus states, "To be fair, since the original 1960s series, Star Trek has always delved into cultural and societal issues. It has always been credited with diverse casts, with tackling issues like saving the whales (remember that?) and with reflecting American and global foreign policy. All of that should live long and prosper, but these two recent incidents go a good deal farther. This isn’t issue advocacy, it's pure partisan politics."

Saving the whales? Yes Mr. Marcus, I remember that. I remember that it was a political statement at a time when environmental science was being questioned and vilified even more than it is today. With a mere sentence these ideals and foundational pillars of what Trek has meant to so many people, were reimagined as 'cultural and societal issues'.SNW%20S1E3
Strange New Worlds
Referencing Jan 6, 2020

To be fair, they absolutely were, but they were also more than that. They were a fight between two ideologies. One that thought an interracial kiss would shake society to it's core and allow Communism to spread in Eastern Asia, and one who thought it was well past time to leave these toxic ideals behind.

To the very points that stoked the author's ire, his specific issues lay with the casting of former Georgia State Representative and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams as the President of Earth, in the Discovery season 4 finale.

Marcus writes, "The first blatant example of electioneering, on Star Trek Discovery, was a cameo by current and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams as none other than the President of Federation of Planets." He continued, "The second was a weird plot twist in the pilot of new show, Strange New Worlds in which the 2020 capitol riot is depicted and blamed for starting a Second American Civil War and the destruction of the planet. To put it more succinctly, Orange man bad."

Again, he does himself no service by trying to gaslight it into a simple choice between your like or dislike of a particular politician, and it makes it to easy to miss the fact that there may be a point behind the sophomoric rhetoric

Setting aside the fact that Abrams played the President of Earth, and not the President of the Federation, is this a fair point?

'Electioneering' sounds like a buzz word used to oversimplify something more complicated. Is it the right use of he word? I don't think so. I think casting Abrams was as much a ploy to get ratings by CBS as it was to broaden the exposure of Stacey Abrams' campaign.

Is this wrong, or is it a reflection of how the people who watch Star Trek generally feel and what they believe in? Are the writers catering to a particular group of people? Is it the same group of people they have been writing for since the 60's?

Marcus explains his opposition to those as more than just a knee jerk reaction to his political adversary's exposure by writing, "So, for example, almost everyone supports "voting rights" but that isn’t the same as supporting Stacey Abrams. Almost everyone condemns the Capitol riot and political violence, but that’s not the same and placing unique blame on one single event from one side of the spectrum."Stacey%20Abrams%20In%20Discovery
Stacey Abrams as the
President of Earth

In this statement, he reformulates his own facts into a question, and one it would appear he believes everyone can get behind and support, bathing us in the pull of a collective 'Sullivan Nod'. Conspicuously absent is any way to back up these claims, or assert any authority on the issue. One might expect Mr. Marcus would point to any example from his side of the ideology to reinforce that fact. Pointing to anyone who stood for the ideals of inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity from his side of the political spectrum would appear to have been impossible, or perhaps just an oversight on his part.

For the remainder of the article Mr. Marcus meanders around a bit, dropping little ideological bombs and beefing up his partisan credentials, but in one of the last few lucid thoughts he writes this:

"It feels very much like the writers and creators of the new line of Star Trek shows, which also includes "Picard," don’t think just writing a good TV show is important enough work. Like so much of corporate America they think they have to save the country and the planet while they do it. Leave the planet-saving for the fictional Starship Enterprise."

Is this a fair point? I mean, would it be the same?

I don't believe it would be. Not to me at least.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Wed 25 May, 2022 2:55 PM
"It feels very much like the writers and creators of the new line of Star Trek shows, which also includes "Picard," don’t think just writing a good TV show is important enough work. Like so much of corporate America they think they have to save the country and the planet while they do it. Leave the planet-saving for the fictional Starship Enterprise."

"Stay in your lane" is a staple conservative talking point. As if people are incapable of doing two things at once. Everyone has a duty to confront the issues of the day in whatever way we can, on whatever platform is available to us. If CBS and the Trek writers and actors want to use their shows to speak out, they should. It's fully in keeping with the principles that Star Trek has had since the beginning that they do so.
Unfortunately, the issues we face today are mired in partisan politics. The environmental crisis. Violence on our streets and in our schools. The pandemic. Income inequality and the suffering it causes. These are all real issues that are being downplayed or dismissed by one side. These are also issues Star Trek can and should and in many cases has addressed. Today, when politics are caught up in all those issues and many more, it only makes sense that Trek takes a stab at the root of the problem.
Thu 02 Jun, 2022 3:00 PM
FOX is something I generally do not take seriously regarding anything. Correspondence Dinner. Biden. Trevor Noah. 'nuff said.
Thu 02 Jun, 2022 10:05 PM
Good Trek will always address the issues of the day, it's always been a show about looking forward and imagining something better.

FOX is ... not on that same wavelength. The ambient temperature of the world is hot enough already (in every sense), last thing we need is a network fanning the flames! But there they go, every time.