Bozell's Column

No question about it, the Monica Lewinsky story has dominated the media like few others in history. But of all the pronouncements coming from the seemingly inexhaustible sully of commentators out there, one statement was the most salient. I was struck by Bill Safire's read on "Meet the Press": "I may be the last person in America who still thinks that the financial relationship that Bill Clinton has with the Riady family in Indonesia than any possible sexual relationship he had with a White House aide." No matter what Monica Lewinsky ultimately has to say, Safire is right. But he's... continue reading
A surprising poll on the front page of The New York Times on January 16 showed a notable shift from general acceptance" of abortion. I say "surprising" because The New York Times/CBS News poll did something that most polls don't do, breaking down support for abortion into trimesters. While 61 percent favor the choice of abortion in the first trimester (28 percent are opposed), that support collapses to only 15 percent during the second trimester; 66 percent oppose it. And in the third trimester, support evaporates: only seven percent are in favor, while 79 percent are against it. The news... continue reading
It seems a week doesn't go by that doesn't find some media scribe breast-beating about the public's lost love for his profession. Why, oh why do they disdain us so? Well, perhaps I can help answer this question. Simply get hold of a copy of the January 8 broadcast of ABC's Nightline. If this doesn't clarify the problem, nothing will. The program topic: To what standards of accountability should society hold those who publish material on the Internet, and should on-line services like AOL be held liable for the irresponsible actions of its users? The case study: Matt Drudge is... continue reading
The Small-Screen Scramble Continues by L. Brent Bozell III January 14, 1998 Reflections on some recent plot developments in the long-running soap opera "As the TV Industry Turns": -Marc Gunther's incisive piece in the January 12 issue of Fortune updates and analyzes the ongoing television story of the decade: the broadcast networks' shrinking viewership. This decline has reached the point where, as Gunther writes, "the networks are no longer reliable profit makers." Therefore, vast corporations like Disney increasingly treat their owned webs "not as loss leaders exactly, but [primarily] as ways to... promote their more lucrative operations" - movies, theme... continue reading
The following words penned in Time magazine a couple of years ago prove that Garrison Keillor's yarn-spinning knows no boundaries: "[Clinton] can get in high dudgeon about mean-spiritedness, and when the Republicans get feverish and clammy and speak in tongues and handle snakes, he can go out to Omaha and Houston and be charming and graceful...The Republicans are going to be the Party That Canceled the Clean Air Act and Took Hot Lunches from Children, the Orphanage Party of Large White Men Who Feel Uneasy Around Gals." Now the host of the public radio staple "A Prairie Home Companion" is... continue reading
Post-Holiday Pop-Culture Blues by L. Brent Bozell III January 6, 1998 It's simply not healthy spending the Christmas season (or any other season, but especially Christmas) fixated on today's popular culture, but there's no escaping it if a holiday movie outing or any amount of leisure time watching the tube is in order. Following are reflections on some of what I observed during the holidays. - I first wondered after seeing "Pulp Fiction," and, now that I've seen "Jackie Brown," am wondering more than ever: Why in the world do so many people think so highly of Quentin Tarantino? He... continue reading
Dancing a familiar side-step on a recent edition of "Fox News Sunday," Time magazine's Managing Editor, Walter Isaacson, denied a liberal bias seeped into the glossy pages of his news weekly: "I don't think there's a bias in the media now the way there used to be....I know that at Time, we're pretty careful to make sure everybody's open-minded, that you're not bringing a political bias to this...I think that our newsroom at Time and the people who write there are open-minded and not Democrats and liberals as the popular perception is." But if the weekly documentation of Time's liberal... continue reading
During the Desert Shield militareporter friend from Texas for drinks one evening. Asked how he way build-up in early '91, I joined a rs holding up under the pressure of round-the-clock coverage, he shook his head and smiled. "Think about it," he said. "Three weeks ago I was covering Dallas City Council races and today I'm covering Iraqi Scuds. What do I know about Iraqi Scuds? But I'm no more ignorant than the other 10,000 reporters covering this beat!" How refreshing it was to hear him acknowledge the obvious. Sometimes reporters simply don't know what they're writing, or talking about... continue reading
A most annoying form of arrogance erupts in the way liberals formulate their positions as representative of the public interest, making those who disagree simply reflect evil. They form groups with names like "The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids." What are we going to do? Start the Campaign for Getting Kids Puffing by First Grade? This moral exhibitionism hits a fever pitch when the subject is environmentalism. Liberals know it's politically risky, if not fatal, to enter the debate declaring their power-grabbing desires: "Everyone will please leave their cars behind and live in houses made of old tires." Instead, they come... continue reading
The old year is slipping away, but there's still time for one more parade. Join me in the reviewing stand as Tinseltown's Winners and Losers of 1997 march by. Winner: "7th Heaven." This wholesome Monday night show from the fledgling Warner Brothers network is now the fastest-growing drama on prime time television. The conventional wisdom in Hollywood is that family-oriented programming is as popular as the 8-track tape; WB chief Jamie Kellner gambled that the conventional wisdom was wrong - and he was right. Loser: NBC entertainment boss Warren Littlefield. The new raunch ("Union Square") isn't drawing like the old... continue reading