Bozell's Column

As the 1900s headed for the history books, I suppose it's only logical that the liberal media would ruin the moment with bone-headed reminders that their first draft of history remains unchanged despite the reality that the facts keep marching on past them. On the liberal PBS echo chamber "Washington Week in Review," host Gwen Ifill suggested, "we went through decades of Red-hunting, Red-baiting, fear of communists and then all of a sudden the Berlin Wall, that symbol of everything that happened...fell." Last year, French author Stephane Courtois offered Americans "The Black Book of Communism," with 1120 pages detailing the... continue reading
Our hallowed TV anchors often present the latest public-policy research with some very partisan guidelines. Receive a liberal study. Promote the liberal study. Project the liberals as nonpartisan and extremely knowledgeable. Keep that impression going by allowing no conservative experts to question their conclusions or their agendas. The liberal Kaiser Family Foundation and the Alan Guttmacher Institute, which is affiliated with the nation's largest abortion provider (Planned Parenthood), recently released studies that worried that abstinence-only sex education is now used in a third of public schools and the trend is growing, thanks to abstinence education funds from Congress. On ABC's... continue reading
As of January 1, 1951, the entertainment media dealt with sex obliquely on the rare occasions when they dealt with it at all. Real-life premarital and extramarital relations were frowned on. Abortion and homosexuality were beyond the pale. Then came the most significant sociocultural development of the second half of the twentieth century: the sexual revolution, which no one has done more to advance than Hugh Hefner, the mastermind of Playboy magazine. By my reckoning, that makes Hefner the most influential person of that period. And even if you believe the century has another year to go, it's highly unlikely... continue reading
As this Decade of Spin crawls to a close, the "objective" media's dominant internal criticism is barely internal. Why, they ask themselves, have we been forced to acknowledge that there are other media outlets that drag us into stories we think aren't constructive? Looking down their collective nose, they disdain other media outlets - for tawdry methods or repugnant ideology, they make no distinctions - which fail to kneel before their demand for "gatekeeping" power. Whether the troublesome alternative reporting comes in newspapers, periodicals, or books, the clubby national press's first instinct is to close and lock the gate, stay... continue reading
Now that 1999 is almost over, it's time for our annual look at the winners and losers on the cultural scene for the past twelve months. Winner: The Pax TV network. Launched in 1998 to provide family programming exclusively, it was ridiculed by the Hollywood elite. Dull, boring, un-hip, out-of-step - you know the thinking here. A reported $400 million investment by NBC this summer proves someone out there is waking up to the potential. Loser: CBS, for scheduling the upcoming Steven Bochco show, "City of Angels," at 8 p.m. Bochco, who's pushed more envelopes than the U.S. Postal Service,... continue reading
Many conservatives can't stand to watch a minute of the liberal evening news on TV. But somebody has to do it. Every day, down the hall from my office, six brave young men and women strap on headphones and subject themselves to hours and hours of network news. The mindless happy talk. The plane crashes. The school shootings and what-does-this-mean. The death of John- John. The endless JonBenet Ramsey case. What fad diet will help you or harm you. Dan Rather strapping himself to a pole for a hurricane. It's enough to drive you to drink. So hoist a glass... continue reading
You expect entertainers to sound silly when they speak on sociopolitical matters. But put them on the spot, on the cusp of the millennium, and you'll get something extraordinary even by their standards. Here comes the new "Millennium Special" issue of Rolling Stone, in which more than 150 celebrities, the overwhelming majority of them from show business, share their deepest thoughts about Where We've Been and Where We're Going. And just how deep are these thoughts? Well, if each were a body of water, you wouldn't get your shoelaces wet stepping in any of it. Most of the symposium's wackiest... continue reading
Coverage of the World Trade Organization fiasco in Seattle has proven that there's nothing that softens up baby-boomer media types like a good riot for a leftist cause. Los Angeles Times reporter Kim Murphy rhapsodized: "Not since the days of the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement has the entire downtown core of a major American city been seized by popular political uprising....Seattle on Tuesday evoked the days of massive civil disobedience of the 1960s, when demands for social justice sent citizens from a wide range of races, religions, and economic backgrounds into the streets." The national media have... continue reading
For more than three seasons, "Moesha" has been one of the very few success stories for the struggling UPN television network. The comedy series, which centers on Moesha Mitchell, a black, middle-class girl who's currently a college freshman, has favorably portrayed parental authority and family life and taught sound lessons about morality, honesty, even religion. No, it's not completely squeaky-clean in the tradition of the classic '50s and '60s sitcoms - Opie Taylor never said of his school principal, "Boy, was he pissed!" - but it has almost always been suitable for all-ages viewing, a rare phenomenon indeed in the... continue reading
As the presidential campaign finally gets under way (even George W. Bush is actually showing up for debates), we should wonder if the most important primary of the season is the Media Primary. According to the media conventional wisdom, the Republican race has had one candidate. While they claim to hate the influence of big money in politics, so wowed are they by Bush's fundraising prowess that they forgot their hostility in favor of trumpeting his "inevitability." Picking a nominee through the smoke-filled room has been replaced. All that matters now is the Media Primary. The media shrink the field... continue reading