The saturation of the entertainment industry by homosexual culture over the past two decades has been nothing less than stunning. Every soap opera, talk show, sitcom, and film has to have at least one gay character (or couple) in it, even if it's just a comic character (which it usually is). Comic characters, in fact, were the spearhead of the homosexual culture into the entertainment media, since even those disinclined to favor homosexuality could justify it on the pretext that the character was being mocked. But, as time went on, the 'token homosexual' became a staple in the industry, and now it's hard to imagine a television series without it. And of course, familiarity and frequent exposure tends to dampen emotional reaction. Imagine watching the Showtime drama 'Queer as Folk'
in the 1960s. Or even the 1980s, for that matter. (On a side note, the same tendency is evident in the 'mainstreaming' of abortion - note Planned Parenthood's new gift to us: 'I had an abortion' T-shirts
Whether or not this is an actual 'conspiracy,' in the sense of an organized and premeditated program, I'll leave to the conspiracy theorists. But it's certainly an undeniable trend.
Incidentally, Smithers is too obvious a pick. My money's on either Burns or Nelson.