I have to say when I learned that Mary Tyler Moore was possibly a conservative I was devastated. I’ll explain. Watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show was always a great experience for me because I loved watching Mary Richards navigating her way through the 1970s, representing second wave feminism. To generations of women (and a few gay men) she was this awesome role model. Mary was funny, smart, ambitious, vulnerable and nice.
I was on a TMTMS kick for a little bit watching the fifth and sixth seasons (the latter has the classic “Chuckles Bites the Dust” ep). I did some random Internet searches for Mary Tyler Moore – curious about her. I ran across an relatively recent Parade interview she did. Aside from doing a crappy magazine interview like Parade, I was stunned when she professed that despite TV being boring, Moore was a fan of Fox News and (gasp) Bill O’Reilly. When asked if she was a right-winger, Moore demured and called herself a “libertarian” but then went on to say that she would’ve campaigned for John McCain if asked.
That’s when I had to reach down and pick up my jaw from the floor. To say I was disappointed is a pretty massive understatement. Before this, Moore was a personal heroine of mine – a cultural trailblazer. But now, I see her as just another Baby Boomer who snuggles up to the Republican party.
The disappointment I felt when learning about Moore’s political proclivities was similar to when I learned that Dixie Carter was a conservative, or finding out that Kesley Grammer was a Republican. For Moore to profess that she’d campaign for an anti-woman, homophobic, war-mongering candidate like McCain is a huge head-scratcher for me.
Well, I guess that’s one more TV show I’ll have to boycott…I’m starting to run out…