Al Gore and Joe Lieberman have put out a shape-up warning to Hollywood: they’re saying: do something about the violence and vulgarity of movies and music, or the government will. They’re running now on a government study, after the Columbine massacre, that finds that the movie companies have been marketing violence to kids much the way the cigarette companies sold nicotine addiction. But who really believes that Hollywood is scared?
Senator Joe Lieberman has been a zealous Hollywood basher who with Republican Bill Bennett conferred “Silver Sewer” awards on big shots at CBS and Fox TV. Tough stuff, by Democratic standards. Yet Hollywood has been sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom all through the Clinton presidency. The show-biz alliance with Washington and especially with presidential Democrats was sealed long ago by power lust and millions of campaign dollars. Is the decency campaign a phony war?
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Peter Bart, Editor-in-Chief Variety
Martin Kaplan, Director, Norman Lear Center at USC
Steven Brill, Brill’s Content
Bernard Weinraub, writer for the New York Times
Ken Auletta, New Yorker Media Columnist