Bozell's Column

Muckraking or Muckfaking? by L. Brent Bozell III January 28, 1997 What do you call it when an undercover reporter working for a national television network, investigating the sanitation of a grocery store with a hidden camera, films a dirty meat slicer and then mutters obscenities when an employee ruins the fun and cleans it up? Or when, posing as a worker in the store's meat department, puts what she knows to be spoiled chicken on sale and then instructs a cameraman to film it? Or when her network airs footage of an employee talking about cooking out-of-date chicken, but... continue reading
Prejudice Against Pro-Lifers Reigns by L. Brent Bozell III January 23, 1997 Liberals are the first to denounce prejudice ruling the first hours or days of a breaking news story. A black man did not kill Susan Smith's children; Arabs did not blow up the Oklahoma City federal building. But an anti-abortion bombing in Washington? This was just too good to wait for the facts. A hotel worker found a piece of a dummy hand grenade that popped in his hand. So unconcerned was he that after washing his hands, he went home only to turn on the TV and... continue reading
Poor Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, newborn love child of Madonna and the fellow who impregnated her. Lourdes will someday be old enough to read the press clips about her mother and see how Mommy has managed to grab international headlines for the past decade-plus with one outrage after another. Lourdes will learn how Mommy became a famous pop music singer in the early 1980s and rose to the top of the popularity pole after old nudie photos of her were published in Playboy. From that moment on, it was one erotic production after another, from her racy video "Justify My... continue reading
Paula Jones, From Farce to Tragedy by L. Brent Bozell III January 16, 1997 The Paula Jones sexual harassment suit has received another 15 minutes of fame, but what a different 15 minutes. If history appears as tragedy and then as farce, the Jones case appeared first as farce and now as tragedy - if not for Jones, for the office of the presidency. Two men who have reversed the 1994 dynamic of Paula Jones as trailer trash are former New York Times reporter Stuart Taylor and Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas. Taylor, a Clinton voter at odds with... continue reading
The much-ballyhooed television ratings system unveiled by the industry last month is now in effect. Judging from the initial results, it's time to pull the plug on what everyone knew was a concept doomed to failure. You'll recall that the television industry told us their new ratings would accurately measure the suitability of programming for children. There would be four age-based categories for non-kiddie television (TV-G; TV-PG; TV-14; TV-M) and with it, no need for the more comprehensive content-based system proposal. And because of the enormity of the undertaking, each network would rate its own shows. Right off the bat... continue reading
Ten Reasons Ethics News Reeks of Bias by L. Brent Bozell III January 9, 1997 Reporters would have you believe the news media's non-stop coverage of the Gingrich ethics story is standard operating procedure. No agenda, no bias, no sirree. let this writer give you ten reasons why that is bunk, why this is anything but standard coverage of congressional ethics. 1. On September 24, 1987, Washington Post reporter Charles Babcock broke the story of Speaker Jim Wright's book deal. Absolute television silence followed. On February 19, 1988, Newt Gingrich asked for an ethics investigation of Wright. He gained two... continue reading
"The People vs. Larry Flynt" opens with a scene set in rural Kentucky forty-five years ago. The title character, age nine or so at the time, and his slightly younger brother run a moonshining operation. In the shack that serves as their warehouse, the Flynt boys discover a local drunk who's guzzled much of their inventory. Larry smashes the man in the face with some sort of earthen jar. The brother asks, "Why'd you hit him?" to which Larry responds, "He was cuttin' into my profits." Welcome to the world of Larry Flynt, thug, outlaw, and future smut king. But... continue reading
Exit Bryant Gumbel, Unprofessional Journalist by L. Brent Bozell III January 2, 1997 Pop the champagne corks: the 15-year tenure of arrogant liberal Bryant Gumbel as host of NBC's "Today" show is over. While NBC, fighting to keep Gumbel from defecting to another network, geared up its public-relations machine to pile up the media tributes, something important needs to be said: Gumbel is the very model of unprofessional journalism. Some media watchers would suggest - and I would agree - that morning-show interviewers aren't expected to be objective. They're meant to ask tough devil's advocate questions designed to elicit the... continue reading
At this writing, it's December 31, meaning that I have less than a day to look back at 1996 while it's still going on. Herewith a recap of the year's entertainment-industry winners and losers. The distinction between the categories is simple. The winners influenced our culture and society positively; the losers influenced them negatively. Winner: Rosie O'Donnell. People watch because she's nice. Granted, she's a liberal Democrat and occasionally isn't nice to conservatives and Republicans. Still, her frothy, showbiz-heavy daytime hour clearly is preferable to the competing slimefests hosted by Jenny Jones, Ricki Lake, Jerry Springer, and the rest. Loser:... continue reading
White House Adultery? Nobody in the Press Wants to Know by L. Brent Bozell III December 24, 1996 Long-time Friend of Bill David Watkins has told a tale no one wants to hear. No one in the establishment media, that is. As transcribed by Rebecca Borders in the latest issue of The American Spectator, Watkins declares the President and First Lady are having affairs in the White House. Complete media silence is the reaction. What's their excuse this time? Watkins' claims of an affair between Hillary Clinton and the late Vince Foster rest on personal conversations his wife Ileene had... continue reading