Bozell's Column

In Memoriam: The Dumbest Quotes of 1996 by L. Brent Bozell III December 19, 1996 On September 5, the Chicago Tribune issued this remarkable "correction": "In her Wednesday Commentary page column, Linda Bowles stated that President Clinton and his former campaign adviser Dick Morris both were 'guilty of callous unfaithfulness to their wives and children.' Neither man has admitted to being or been proven to have been unfaithful. The Tribune regrets the error." Now, if that strikes you as just about the dumbest quote you've heard all year, than you would be agreeing with the panel of 57 judges who... continue reading
The Washington Monthly, Liberal Media Farm Club by L. Brent Bozell III December 12, 1996 he Washington Monthly, the 28-year-old repository of "neoliberalism" founded by Charles Peters, has discovered conservative student journalism - and its wealthy backers. Moonlighting U.S. News & World Report Senior Editor Thomas Toch notes that past editors of conservative college newspapers are taking jobs at prominent spots in what liberals like to call "the right-wing attack machine." Among the conservative journalistic up-and-comers are Rich Lowry at National Review, Matt Rees at the Weekly Standard, and Dave Mastio with USA Today's editorial page. Toch identifies some of... continue reading
Sixty-two percent of the public, says a poll taken recently by U.S. News & World Report, and 80 percent of PTA members surveyed even more recently believe that a content-specific ratings system for television is a good idea. So do liberals like Sen. Kent Conrad, Rep. Ed Markey, and Norman Lear. And so do many conservatives, among them yours truly. But television executives, who so often defend their shenanigans by stating their business is to give the public what it wants, think that in this case the customer is wrong. After months of discussion the industry has announced the new... continue reading
Before You Pledge to PBS... by L. Brent Bozell III December 5, 1996 "Pledge week" is on again at many local PBS affiliates, which apparently often believe a "week" lasts two or three weeks. But before you or your friends pony up another donation, perhaps you ought to take a share of that money and get Laurence Jarvik's new book, "PBS: Behind the Screen." The book is not an angry investigative jeremiad which pleads for privatization on every page. When Jarvik writes warmly about the aplomb of Alistair Cooke or Julia Child, you recognize the author doesn't hate public TV... continue reading
On Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, when tens of millions were preparing to gather with their loved ones, the U.S. Census Bureau issued its annual "Household and Family Characteristics" report. The study's bottom line: the devastating anti-family downtrends of the past fifty years - especially within the last two decades - continue. In 1970, 87 percent of American families were headed by a married couple, but by 1995, that number had decreased to 78 percent, or roughly three in four households. Ironic, isn't it, that in the world of Hollywood, which purports to be but a reflection of society, the presentation... continue reading
Pigeonholing Ted Turner, the party-hearty America's Cup-winning yacht skipper, cable superstation pioneer, and owner of...well, New Mexico, is risky business. In 1980, he launched, amidst giggles from the broadcast networks, CNN. A year later came the Headline News cable network, and the snickers turned to laughter from the experts who said his vision for cable was doomed to failure. In 1985 came his most audacious gambit to date: he denounced the liberal bias of the networks and, forging an alliance with Jesse Helms, tried to buy CBS. The takeover bid failed, and carrying over a billion dollars in personal debt,... continue reading
Hiss Obituaries Prove Network Laziness by L. Brent Bozell III November 21, 1996 Alger Hiss was a felon, a traitor to his country, and an agent seeking the global spread of slavery and death under communism. That hard reality was proven by Hiss's conviction for perjury more than four decades ago. The radical left refused to accept the verdict and made him their poster child, an innocent bystander, a victim of the Cold War. But his guilt was further proven in the 1978 publication of Allen Weinstein's definitive book "Perjury." The final nail in the coffin came with the National... continue reading
In recent years an awful lot has been said, mainly by posturing politicians, about the need to curb the gratuitous violence on entertainment television. There was only one problem with that. It was no longer there. On some cable stations, yes, but on broadcast television, where the vast majority of the public continues to reside, violence was fast becoming a thing of the past. Last month, the UCLA Center for Communication Policy issued a study confirming that during the 1995-'96 television season, violence on the broadcast networks was a rarity. I bet now they wish they hadn't done it. Within... continue reading
1996's Winners and Losers in the Press by L. Brent Bozell III November 12, 1996 Another long campaign is over. Now that the inside-the-Beltway media sages have pronounced their winners and losers, what say we analyze the job they did, for a change? Winners: Pollster John Zogby and the Reuters News Service, whose polls were regularly ignored, or ridiculed, throughout the campaign. They consistently showed a smaller lead for Bill Clinton than did all the other major media surveys. Zogby's last poll put the gap at 8.1 percent - and it ended up at 8.4. Losers: The other media outlets,... continue reading
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