Bozell's Column

Some who sell products generally considered offensive acquire widespread fame and vast wealth in the process. Among the examples: Hugh Hefner and, several rungs down the evolutionary ladder, Larry Flynt. Each had a seedy idea, founded a small business, and wound up with an empire. Mel Karmazin's case is different. Karmazin will soon become the head man at CBS, a storied enterprise that was around long before he was born. The so-called Tiffany Network, Newsday television critic Marvin Kitman reminds us, "brought you 'M*A*S*H,' 'All in the Family,' 'I Love Lucy,' George Burns and Gracie Allen, Danny Thomas, Dick Van... continue reading
In their rose-colored crystal balls, our friends in the news media are seeing glorious days ahead. They're gloating over the will of the people leading to the death of impeachment proceedings, soon to go the way of Newt Gingrich and his poisonous pipe dreams of "revolution." The media glitterati are whistling while they work, burying any vestiges of conservatism left. Moderation (read: big-spending, no-tax-cuts, run-from-social-issues business as usual) has captured the flag in Washington, they have said in mind-numbing lockstep. Governors can teach those congressional radicals because they "ran from the scandal," and focused on "the issues." Take your lesson,... continue reading
Something you almost always have to take with at least one grain of salt is entertainers commenting on politics. For the cover story of the November 12 Rolling Stone, you need a whole shakerful. In this nine-page symposium, more than forty celebrities, most of them musicians, offer their "thoughts" on Lewinskygate. The participants (with a handful of exceptions, such as Tom Wolfe) are below even the level of overwhelming factual ignorance. They inhabit a nether region where the intellect virtually shuts down, leaving only emotional spew. Since so much rock-era popular music has endorsed or condoned sexual license, it's completely... continue reading
It's rather funny, all this news about this campaign having been "the nastiest ever," to quote Dan Rather. Up until about 10 days before the vote there was barely any attention whatsoever paid to the elections by the press that suddenly is alarmed by an avalanche of negativity. How negative, you ask? Well, for starters Al D'Amato called his opponent a "putzhead." Mercy! I suspect also that the famous media ad watch patrols - the closest we'll ever get to a modern-day Holy Inquisition - probably nailed some Republican calling a liberal a liberal, too. Forsooth! But what's really amazing... continue reading
Years from now, will anyone remember Bill Clinton's presidency as a marvelous epoch of foreign policy triumphs? No. So why then are so many in the press publicly swooning over his "accomplishments"? Nobody remembers that in the last days of the 1994 campaign, Clinton was traveling around the Middle East trying to push Israel, Jordan, and Syria into agreements. Do you remember what he accomplished? (Hint: How many games have the Redskins won this year?) But ABC and CBS both touted the "latest in a string" of foreign policy successes. NPR's Nina Totenberg gushed: "He was there in the middle... continue reading
The Left's favorite decade of the twentieth century is, of course, the '60s, which socioculturally ran from JFK's assassination in 1963 to Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974. In those years, politics ( We stopped a war, man! ), music ( Woodstock !), and sex (no italics necessary) were better than they ever were before, and better than they will ever be again. And the Left's least favorite decade of the century? Worse even than the greedy, Reaganite '80s has to be the blandly conformist, McCarthyite '50s. This period is the setting for the current movie - and last weekend's top... continue reading
It's a left-winger's dream: evil media corporation spikes critical investigative TV report on its own U.S. operations. In left-wing circles, every media outlet's independence is automatically compromised by the capitalist interests of its owners, and the highest journalistic calling is to destroy your own employer's bottom line. So where were the lefties when ABC News spiked its investigative report on Disney's business practices, specifically the charge of laxity in hiring employees with records as Peeping Toms, exhibitionists, and child molesters? Brian Ross, one of TV's finest and fairest investigative reporters, was on the case for weeks, doing interviews and having... continue reading
Norman Lear, the megasuccessful television producer in the 1970s and a sugar daddy for liberal causes in the '80s and '90s, has a hit series again. Actually, it's his breakthrough, "All in the Family," which Nickelodeon and its sister cable channel, TV Land, splashily revived earlier this month. Lear is making the promotional rounds to gin up interest in his old show, and that means he's out there also giving his leftist views on the issues of the day. Nickelodeon's "All in the Family" minimarathons (eight episodes each night) during the week of October 12 were preceded by a spoken... continue reading
Liberal media critics used to complain that "ethnocentric" American reporters always measured the importance of people's deaths by their distance from our shores. The death of one American was said to be worth ten Canadians, 40 Spaniards, or 500 Africans to be worthy of making the newspapers. This same argument becomes all the more poignant when it's a matter of political correctness. The violent dragging death of James Byrd, a black man in Jasper, Texas became a national story. So now has become the burning and beating of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student in Laramie, Wyoming. These deaths are... continue reading
Summer is the broadcast television networks' equivalent of baseball's spring training. In each case, it's a hopeful time, when new shows have the potential to make a splash in the upcoming season, just as rookies do; and broadcast networks dream of finishing atop the final standings, just as teams do. The major difference is that in baseball, there's a winner for every loser, whereas in today's broadcast network game, almost everyone is losing. The statistics tell much of the story. During the week of September 21, the networks rolled out not only the bulk of their debuting series, but also... continue reading