Hillary Clinton isn't president, but Hollywood is offering the biggest consolation prize it has: working her into TV plots where she can be toasted as wise and wonderful. Within the first two weeks of the fall season, CBS has done this twice.
On the Oct. 7 episode of drama "Madam Secretary," terrorists send a rocket-propelled grenade into the White House during a signing ceremony for an India-Pakistan peace treaty. It turns out the terrorists are the Aryan Popular Force, white nationalists with a neo-Nazi echo.
In the last 10 minutes of the episode, fictional Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord meets in her office with actual former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell, and they all make noble minispeeches about reassuring the country.
Mrs. Clinton proclaims: "They attacked what has made America great, and still does, and that is our diversity. I mean, look at us." Powell adds: "And the attackers wanted to destroy that, to divide us." Diversity is three former Cabinet officials who all voted for Barack Obama and against Donald Trump.
Clinton continues: "So, you know, Elizabeth, I think what we're all saying is talk about what unites us. Even at this moment of peril, remind Americans of our nation's original motto, something that I think about a lot and which seems more important today than ever: e pluribus unum, 'out of many, one.'" Albright agrees: "Hillary, you're so right. Because we all, unified, depend on each other."
Then CBS's fictional leader speaks to the nation against hate, saying: "Nationalism, the belief system held by those who attacked us, promotes the idea that inclusion and diversity represent weakness, that the only way to succeed is to give blind allegiance to the supremacy of one race over all others. Nothing could be less American." In this heavy-handed civics lesson, patriotism was all about "embracing our diversity."
This is how Hollywood's distraught Clinton voters keep campaigning, screenwriting shows that imply that President Trump is soft on neo-Nazis. They would have never tolerated the argument that President Obama was soft on radical Islamic terrorism — as he studiously avoided the term.
But wait, this transparent propaganda can be even more unwatchable. On the Sept. 27 premiere of "Murphy Brown," Brown, played by Candice Bergen, now has a morning show at a CNN-ish cable network, but there is an ongoing joke that she can't keep a secretary.
Clinton arrives to enthusiastic applause and wide-eyed gawking from Murphy. The bad joke here is that this isn't really Hillary Clinton but a look-alike with just one "l" in her first name. If there's a lamer excuse for a cameo, we can't think of one.
So there's an awkward job interview full of bad jokes. Murphy says the secretary job is demanding. Hilary says: "I'm not afraid of hard work. I'm qualified. And I'm ready on day one." Murphy asks about her previous secretarial experience, and Hilary says, "For four years, I was the secretary ... of a very large organization." Murphy asks about her computer skills ("Emails, hmm. I do have some experience with emails") and her ability to be a part of a team ("It takes a village"). Murphy says she sounds overqualified. As Hilary leaves, she gives Murphy her business card with the email "[email protected]"
After all of the sexual harassment embarrassments at CBS, from Les Moonves at the top to Charlie Rose and Jeff Fager circling the drain, is it some kind of strange feminist penance to promote Hillary Clinton at this late date? Or is the real world just so hard to handle that liberals have to dwell inside a Hollywood fantasy bubble of What Should Have Been?