- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2007

Unfair doctrine

Sen. Dianne Feinstein caused a stir recently when she criticized talk radio for its role in stopping the recent immigration bill. Talk radio, she lectured, “pushes people to … extreme views without a lot of information.”

Feinstein then went on to suggest that it might be time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, repealed in 1987, that mandated private radio stations devote time to all points of view during discussion of controversial topics. …

“Talk radio is as much entertainment as political opinion. It lives or dies by ratings. Those who master the genre — with off-the-wall jokes, mimicry, satire, and bombast — prosper and get their political message across. Those who can’t, don’t.

“Had liberal talk-show hosts of the past, like an Al Franken, Jerry Brown or Mario Cuomo, won far more listeners than Rush Limbaugh, one suspects that Sen. Feinstein would see little need for new laws. And we would probably now be spared the present sour-grapes cries about fairness.”

Victor Davis Hanson, writing on “All’s Fair in Love and Talk Radio,” Thursday at NationalReview.com

‘Sicko’ antidote

“When Michael Moore recently premiered his new documentary ‘Sicko,’ liberal Democrats and like-minded pundits were quick to applaud the big-budget paean to socialized medicine. Not among those clapping was filmmaker Stuart Browning.

“If Moore’s film channels the prevailing left-wing wisdom about the alleged glories of government-run health care, Browning’s work represents a much-needed corrective: a skepticism about government’s ability to provide efficient coverage and a confidence that the free market is a better compass for change than a Hollywood ideologue. …

“A Virginia native and entrepreneur, Browning has presided over several successful enterprises. … Most recently, he has attracted notice through his production company, On the Fence Films, the force behind Evan Coyne Maloney’s critically acclaimed ‘Indoctrinate U.’ …

Browning made his entry into the health care debate in 2005, when he co-directed … a 25-minute short film investigating the perilously long waiting times in the Canadian medical system. … His findings were summarized in the film’s mordant title: ‘Dead Meat.’ ”

Jacob Laksin, writing on “The Anti-Michael Moore,” Wednesday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Hating Hollywood

“Doomsayers have been bellowing through the Hollywood hills for years. Clearly, there’s something about this industry, which has held the planet in its twinkly thrall for almost a century and which has transformed so much, that summons wishful thinking of the deathly variety. Artists would like to see it suffer and die for its philistinism. Small businesses want it dead for its muscular monopolism. Non-American filmmakers would kill it for killing non-American film industries. Minorities loathe its stereotypes. And really: who wouldn’t like to see Tom Cruise counting his change at the 7-Eleven?

“But if there is one reason why the mainstream American movie industry has incurred such biblical wrath over the decades, it has probably got something to do with guilt. If you love movies, you’ve loved Hollywood at some time or another. And if you love movies, you’ve had to hate yourself for that.”

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