Bozell's Column

Another Blackout Week With the Pro-Clinton Press by L. Brent Bozell III October 3, 1996 Scandal reporting in a campaign season? Not this year. The networks are too busy with substantive stories like JFK Jr.'s wedding, another O.J. Simpson trial, and the perils of fat substitutes to bother. So Bill Clinton continues to surf along on a double-digit lead, knowing he has nothing to fear from the see-no-Democratic-evil television networks, which are showing the same dedication to news reporting as, say, Pravda. Take a look at a typical week of news blackouts: On September 23, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's... 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... continue reading
During its 1995-'96 season, prime time television tried as never before to legitimize the homosexual lifestyle. Gay characters were featured on three debuting series (NBC's "The Pursuit of Happiness," CBS's "High Society," and Fox's "The Crew"). A homosexual man on Fox's "Melrose Place" fought and won a workplace-discrimination lawsuit. Two men tied the knot on ABC's "Roseanne." One week last fall, NBC's entire "Must See TV" lineup - "Frasier," "Friends," "The Single Guy," and "Seinfeld" - featured storylines of straights mistaken for gays. Lesbian storylines were prevalent, too. A February episode of "Friends" featured the wedding of two women raising... continue reading
Talk Radio: Media Hate "Democracy In Action" by L. Brent Bozell III September 19, 1996 It is the conventional wisdom of the elitist national news media that talk radio is one of those unfortunate casualties of the democratic process, wherein freedom of speech allows for demagogic hatemongers to pollute with nonsense the minds of the poor, uneducated, and easy to command. As usual, the enlightened press corps is wrong. The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, headed up by professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson (no conservative, she), has released a year-long study of talk radio that included listening... continue reading
Sitting at a traffic light in Los Angeles one night a couple of years ago, I heard the sound approaching, the booming, heavy bass thum-thum-thum beat of rap music blasting forth from the car pulling alongside me. My window was up, but it made no difference. The air was filled with the rapper's lyrics - the angry, loud, obscenity-laden lyrics boasting of rape, of illegal drug use, and of the desire to murder the police. I'm sure I was exposed to this "music" for less than a minute before the light turned green and the other car pulled away, but... continue reading
OK, so I'm a critic of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Its leftist political bias is persistent and longstanding. In the age of cable, it's superfluous and, therefore, a waste of scarce taxpayer money. And the principle is wrong to begin with: the government ought not to be in the business of broadcast network programming. The Gingrich revolutionaries had the opportunity to privatize PBS through legislative fiat, but in the wake of a blistering lobbying campaign, they blinked. The privatization effort did get someone's attention, though, and the quality of PBS programs has improved. Witness "Adventures from the Book of... continue reading
In 1992, candidate Bill Clinton barnstormed the country surrounded (and bankrolled) by the Beautiful People of Hollywood. Barbra Streisand, Warren Beatty, Michael Douglas, Michael Eisner, Steven Spielberg - this was the A-list to end all A-lists of celebrity star power. By early 1995, one would have thought by the way they were avoiding him that Clinton had the Ebola virus, he looked to be such a loser politically. With Clinton's fortunes once again reversed, and with the perfect setting for public relations megaexposure, it's rather surprising that such a relatively meager contingent of celebrities showed up for the Democratic convention... continue reading
There were no political conventions on television the week of August 19, but that doesn't mean advocacy programming was absent from the prime time schedule. VH1, MTV's adult-oriented sister network, offered a five-part documentary, "VH1 Presents the '70s." And how predictable it was. The series' two ideologically themed installments amounted to a salute to the radical left while depicting conservatives as disreputable, mostly unseen players during the decade. Monday's segment, "Power to the People," celebrated the left's perceived major early-'70s successes: the end of U.S. involvement in Vietnam and the resignation of Richard Nixon. It emphasized the then-young baby boomers'... continue reading
Media Monopoly? Where's the Proof? by L. Brent Bozell III June 13, 1996 Mark Crispin Miller has drawn a scary little picture in The Nation magazine of "The National Entertainment State." The leftist Johns Hopkins professor has uncovered a conspiracy, sketching out the tentacles from the media conglomerates who own the networks: General Electric, Time Warner, Disney, and Westinghouse. Miller proclaims this map "would suggest the true causes of those enormous ills that now dismay so many Americans: the universal sleaze and 'dumbing down,' the flood-tide of corporate propaganda, the terminal inanity of U.S. politics. These have arisen not from... continue reading
The Whitewater Trial: A Media Embarrassment by L. Brent Bozell III May 30, 1996 The verdicts came: guilty, guilty, guilty, on 24 of 30 counts. What a mortifying embarrassment for the national media, who must wipe the egg off their faces - again. Since 1992, we've heard one media excuse after another as to why Whitewater just isn't a story. Never mind Hillary's contradictory statements about her role. Never mind the documents that disappeared and then reappeared in the Clintons' private quarters. Never mind the S&L fraud in Arkansas that cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Even as Bill and Hillary... continue reading