Silly piece by Armond White that skewers TCM for an idea that was clearly mismatched to the personnel available to participate in it. There is no constructive criticism here, just potshots that all-too-conveniently cherry-pick from both ideological extremes in a confused, fustian attempt to tar the under-qualified TCM hosts for all of the so-called ills of liberalism.
TCM should be criticized for a lazy presentation of the issues involved in the institutional limitations placed on social issues within “golden age” Hollywood, and the unacceptably diffuse approach to the subject that was literally too frightened to discuss in any serious way the political, social and economic clashes that came into play in America in the final months of WWII and created a firm of polarization in America that has never ceased in the years that followed. They should have relied on those filmmakers who have studied these issues, and shown those documentaries as part of such a presentation. By failing to make coherent presentations, they produced a nebulous message that is all too easily distorted by folks like White and others whose agenda is to justify and promote a retrograde cultural perspective.
Noir was underrepresented in the series, and that may have been to ensure that the focus remained more inchoate and malleable to current media’s narrow fixation on race and sexual identity issues. My guess is that Eddie decided to tread lightly lest the series cut into his own scheduling plans, which were timed to deal with the race issue (to the extent that such can be done). The need within TCM to venture outside its comfort zone as a cocoon of nostalgia suggests that they are worried about what will happen to them after the pandemic and after its core audience (boomers) are gone; hence they are flailing around with such approaches without sufficient consideration about how to build from one series to the next. Given the overall impact of the series, White’s piece is pretty much much ado about nothing...