Bozell's Column

Where's PBS's Gavel-to-Gavel Coverage? by L. Brent Bozell III July 24, 1997 "If PBS won't do it, who will?" The words from a $2 million advertising campaign echoed endlessly across 300 PBS affiliates in the wake of Newt Gingrich's unfulfilled pledge to privatize public broadcasting in 1995. (This probably doesn't mean anything in this corrupt city, but it was illegal for PBS to use taxpayer funds for that.) Two years later, the slogan has been exposed as a cruel hoax. Where on earth is PBS gavel-to-gavel coverage as the Senate investigates definite illegal fundraising, probable espionage, and possible treason in... continue reading
Surveying some entertainment celebrities' recent Important Statements on Major Issues, you have to conclude that these folks have been hopelessly discombobulated by the heat and humidity of summer. At least I hope that's the case. God save us all if they really meant the things they said. First, there's Harrison Ford - Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan, and the President of the United States in the new "Air Force One"- the most likable of fellows on the talk-show circuit. By nature, he's reserved about politics. His manager, who's known him for twenty-seven years, says she doesn't know which party,... continue reading
Two of last week's major news stories dealt with young people and attempts to protect them from putative dangers in their environment. On July 9, most of the television industry agreed to add content-based parental-guidance ratings to the age-based system in place since January. The next day, R.J. Reynolds announced it would stop using the cool-guy cartoon figure Joe Camel in cigarette advertisements. Are these developments good for youngsters.... For parents... For anybody... Let's examine them. Ratings . When the age-based system was unveiled late last year, many predicted it wouldn't work because it couldn't work. And it didn't work:... continue reading
Flat Earth Environmental Reporting by L. Brent Bozell III July 10, 1997 Here we go again. The network news is taking another complex environmental issue and molding it, for public consumption, into the only formula it seems to understand - noble activists concerned about health vs. greedy capitalists and economists worried about money. Rather than examine the policy, the focus is only on the politics, a formula that always works to the Clinton administration's advantage. The issue this time around is the Clinton administration's attempt to impose radically stringent new air-pollution standards. After ignoring the entire issue for months -... continue reading
One Lawyer Does The Media's Job by L. Brent Bozell III July 2, 1997 Throughout the Clinton years, the national media have often turned up their noses at amassing evidence in the multitudinous Clinton scandals. Usually the only way reporters get dragged kicking and screaming into scandal stories is by someone taking Clintonites to court. One lawyer has made it his job to do the work untouched by a battalion of supposed reporters. He is Larry Klayman, and he runs a group called Judicial Watch. The media run hot and cold on Klayman, and neither temperature is comfortable. When the... continue reading
Submitted for your perusal: Snippets from the entertainment scene, suitable for reading while sunning at the beach, shading on the porch, waiting for the burgers to cook, or watching boxers eat one another. -Those favoring a truly informative television ratings system have scored a victory - of sorts. Broadcasters (except, at this point, NBC) have agreed to rate programming for content. The letters S (sex), L (foul language), V (violence), and D (suggestive dialogue) will be applied to prime time shows when the networks, which rate their own fare, deem it necessary. But it's a partial victory at best. Those... continue reading
Why Ignore Nolanda Hill? by L. Brent Bozell III June 26, 1997 At a time when so many DNC-Donorgate targets are refusing to cooperate or have fled the country, why are the media ignoring the key player standing right in their midst - Nolanda Hill? Despite being under investigation by the Justice Department, the former business partner and close friend/lover of late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown is singing like a canary - and the media are pretending to be deaf. rs. Hill recently surfaced in a Peter Boyer story in the June 9 New Yorker. Boyer underlined Hill's importance by... continue reading
A year ago, the 1996 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), some 16 million members strong, voted to condemn the Walt Disney Co. for its "anti-Christian and anti-family" practices, including its "promotion of homosexuality." The Baptists further threatened a boycott of the entertainment conglomerate if it didn't change its ways. The Mouse answered with a spit in the face. The Disney-owned production company Touchstone, along with Disney-owned ABC television, brought America the most hyped, high-profile homosexual happening in entertainment history: "Ellen." To no one's surprise, on June 18 the 1997 SBC overwhelmingly voted to undertake an all-out boycott of Disney and its... continue reading
David Brock Burns Himself at the Stake by L. Brent Bozell III June 19, 1997 Pity poor David Brock. From the looks of the absurd photo in Esquire magazine - showing him tied to a tree and surrounded by kindling - this guy thinks he's Joan of Arc. Brock is very angry at the less-than-impressed conservative reviews of his book "The Seduction of Hillary Rodham," which might have been one reason the book was a sales disaster. (A more accurate Esquire picture might have been Brock sitting on a mountain of unsold books.) The most offensive sentence of Brock's self-destructive... continue reading
Television network executives are "vulgarians" selling "dirt" and "filth," thereby sending America "down a moral sewer" and "distort[ing] the ethical perceptions of our children." The words of a fundamentalist preacher... A right-wing media critic? No, this denunciation of the television industry came from former "Tonight Show" host Steve Allen, in a June 9 speech at the Banff TV Festival in Canada. Coincidentally, also on June 9 the Parents Television Council released its list of the most offensive programs on prime time network television. It proves Mr. Allen's point. Two series on the list - ABC's "High Incident" at #6 and... continue reading