Main | Burn the biggest lice first »

Democrats: alas for the poor movie mogul

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday October 11, 2005 01:32 PM

You know those Democrats, lying awake nights worrying about endangered species. The latest object of their insomnia is wealthy movie studios and record labels. Eight Congressional Democrats have joined forces with twelve Republicans in another move to promote the "Broadcast Flag," a copy prevention scheme for digital media that would make it against the law -- and seek to make it impossible -- for you to tape a TV show.

Of course you expect this sort of thing from Republicans, but there may be a couple of four-year-olds somewhere in the country who are still surprised when Democrats, representing poor districts in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Chicago, Pittsburgh and San Antonio, go to the mats for the swimmin'-pool-'n'-movie-star crowd in Bel Air.

The bare-faced eight joined their Republican colleagues in signing an "open letter" to the chair of the House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, urging that the "broadcast flag" be written into law.

This is Round Two for the studios and the labels; they got knocked flat in Round One, when the FCC tried to mandate "broadcast flag" observance in cable boxes and TVs. That was back in 2003; two years later, last May to be exact, a Federal court issued the FCC a stinging rebuff, bluntly stating that the agency had exceeded its authority. But the intellectual-property totalitarians don't discourage easily. What an agency can't do, Congress can -- and probably will, since the two parties are both thoroughly convinced of the need to protect wealth and power.

So here are the infamous eight, the outriders of the Intellectual Property Inquisition:




Median household income, $ thousands

Edolphus Towns

New York

10 (Brooklyn)


Eliot Engel

New York

17 (Bronx)


Michael Doyle


14 (Pittsburgh)


Charles Gonzalez


20 (San Antonio)


Bart Gordon


6 (Nashville suburbs)


Bobby Rush


1 (Chicago)


Albert Wynn


4 (Washington suburbs)


Frank Pallone

New Jersey

6 (Shore suburbs)


Kind of an interesting mix, very characteristic of the contemporary Democratic party. There are old urban soup hounds like Towns, Engel, Rush, Gonzalez and Doyle, representing fairly poor districts, and thus themselves available on the cheap. Then there are glossier, more upscale, more suburban Democrats, presumably in good standing with the soccer moms or whoever the current reference group is. Even among these, though, Gordon of suburban Nashville is the only one who could colorably claim to be representing his constituency; you could probably meet a fair number of record-label executives at his fund-raisers.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Tuesday October 11, 2005 01:32 PM.

The next post in this blog is Burn the biggest lice first.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31