Bozell's Column

Media Yawns at a Stunning Comeback by L. Brent Bozell III November 7, 1996 Football fans have a hard time forgetting what happened when the Buffalo Bills met the Houston Oilers in the playoffs. Down by more than 30 points in the third quarter, the Bills engineered a thrilling comeback on their way to another Super Bowl. No sports reporter could watch that game and then announce: "Well, not much happened. Just a return to the AFC status quo." But in their kinder moments, that's how the networks presented the Republican comeback in the Congress on Election Night. For good... continue reading
There's little doubt that America is growing more conservative on sexual matters. The Christian Coalition is arguably the most powerful grassroots organization in America. Promise Keepers packs arenas and stadiums coast to coast with its message of abstinence and fidelity. Millions flock to hear Pope John Paul II every time he visits the States. There is also another America. In this land, the institution of marriage is mocked, belittled, scorned. Unmarried people routinely sleep together, having premarital, extramarital, homosexual sex - it makes no difference. And when they're not having sex, they're doing what? Analyzing their performance, planning the next... continue reading
Dole's Still Right on Media Bias by L. Brent Bozell III October 31, 1996 As the clock runs out on the 1996 campaign, Bob Dole has reprised his summer attack on the news media's liberal bias. Why would Dole take on a topic that will do little to close the gap with Bill Clinton, evokes images of desperate George Bush in '92, and only threatens to anger the reporters on the bus? Maybe it's because he's dead right, and it simply needs to be said. As usual, it's the media responses that always amuse. With few exceptions - ABC's Sam... continue reading
Until recently, the Time Warner conglomerate was the undisputed champ of corporate irresponsibility in the entertainment industry. A corporation earns that title mostly by routinely marketing what's just plain destructive for the public good, especially if the product is targeted to impressionable youngsters. It is the deliberate attempt to reach for what's certain to offend; to challenge decency; to insult. It is the desire to cater to that nihilistic market that will always be there and will never be satisfied no matter how many barriers are torn down. In the early 1990s, Time Warner was the home of such sociopathic... continue reading
PBS: There You Go Again by L. Brent Bozell III October 24, 1996 There you go again, PBS. In September, you gave us Hedrick Smith's "The People and The Power Game," in which Smith argued the press thrived on "scandal over substance," then produced flimsy example after flimsy example to document an allegedly anti-Clinton bias in the press. In October, you gave us the "Frontline" documentary "Why America Hates the Press," which argued that Washington reporters are wealthy inside players too cozy with the powers that be. But whose thesis is this? Bob Woodward answered the question during the show:... continue reading
It is probably a first, and more than likely a last as well: Tom Hanks and the old-time actor to whom he is often compared, James Stewart, have movies in release at the same time. Ironically, when Alfred Hitchcock directed "Vertigo" in the late '50s, Hollywood's content restrictions were such that he couldn't include nudity and foul language, both of which he did use in later movies when restrictions were eased. Hanks (who not only stars in "That Thing You Do!" but wrote and directed it) was free to go the raunchy route - but didn't. "Thing" is set in... continue reading
Look Who's Flip-Flopping on Character by L. Brent Bozell III October 17, 1996 Something very strange, like an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," happened after the first presidential and vice-presidential debates. After two "ultra-civil" discussions of the issues, the media decided that Bob Dole and Jack Kemp ought to bring up Bill Clinton's character. In the weeks leading up to the debates, media types had warned that Dole would be the hatchet man, that Dole might get "personal." In the first two debates, moderator Jim Lehrer explicitly presented the "character issues" as a "personal" issue. Now, let's try to make... continue reading
Much has been said about the quality - or lack of quality, to be precise - of programming on prime time television. The mad dash toward anything-goes social and sexual liberalism, without a care in the world for its consequences on the public - especially impressionable children - has led to a nightly line-up dominated by... garbage. It's a crazy world in Television Land. It's also going in the opposite direction. Programs crafted with a family audience in mind, which endorse and promote traditional family values, which are designed with a real sense of social responsibility - series that were... continue reading
PBS Puts Its Power (And Your Dollars) Behind Clinton by L. Brent Bozell III October 10, 1996 Call it a microcosm of the media's coverage of Campaign '96. That great investigative series, PBS's "Frontline," kicked off another biased season with "The Choice '96," a two-hour examination of Bob Dole and Bill Clinton. Instead of investigative journalism came two hours of artsy psychobiography, with mostly liberal journalists as talking heads, with predictable results. Dole, almost always shown in black-and-white photographs, was the dark figure from the harsh plains of Kansas whose mentor was...Richard Nixon. And that was kind compared to other... continue reading
This past summer, in his speech at the Humanitas Prize awards ceremony, Norman Lear, television producer and liberal activist extraordinaire, lauded the human quality that "for want of a better term, we can call...the spiritual. Whatever we call it, we have long recognized its presence and accepted that it sets us apart [from lesser animals]. And yet...at no time in my life can I remember our culture being so estranged from this essential part of itself." Are we really less spiritually oriented today than at any time in, say, the past fifty years, a period roughly coinciding with the 74-year-old... continue reading