Is There Such a Thing as a Good Muckraker?

by Norman Horowitz

GILFORD: How dare you call me a eunuch?
MOSTEL: You know it isn’t true and I know it isn’t true. So what do we care what they think?

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

The term “muckraker” sounds horrid, but it’s generally used to describe a writer who investigates and publishes “truthful reports” and performs a watchdog function.

Andrew Breitbart was a thrower of verbal Molotov cocktails who, like so many of his generation, became famous for being famous. As one of my friends put it, “The world has lost a hater, a racist, and a wiseass.”

Breitbart had few, if any, reservations about messing with the facts.  Among his “triumphs” in this regard occurred a couple of years ago when he released a misleading video clip that led to the firing of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod. She was/is suing him for defamation.

We have evolved into a media nation where the “message” seems to have a diminished value, and many of the “messengers” are deified.

The New York Times compared Breitbart to radio host Rush Limbaugh, who recently caused a stir when he called Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she spoke out on birth control insurance coverage. When his initial comments inspired outrage, Limbaugh offered to buy aspirin for all female students at Georgetown Law to place between their knees.

And yet, I would like to see Limbaugh continue to be carried on the radio as long as there is a large enough audience to support his being there. He is, in my view, a nut case, however he is an American nut case, and if we are to remain a free nation, the Breitbart’s and the Limbaugh’s should be tolerated and not stifled.

If you don’t like what’s on the radio or television, CHANGE THE STATION!

That said, the popularity of the Breitbart’s and the Limbaugh’s is very sad and not a good thing.

Was the Road Runner a Communist?

by Norman Horowitz

My career spans fifty years at Screen Gems, CBS, Columbia Pictures, Polygram, and MGM/UA, as well as time spent as an independent. I have never been involved in selling, financing, or producing anything for television with any intention of doing anything other than making money. That is what I was paid to do by the taskmasters where I worked. I often failed, but that’s what this business is all about.

Examples abound. Screen Gems made a TV movie called The Caryl Chessman Murder Case. Chessman was a convicted robber and rapist who gained fame as a death row inmate in California. Chessman’s case attracted worldwide attention. He became a cause célèbre for the movement to ban capital punishment. Yet my company made this TV movie to make money. Nothing more.

So I was surprised when a producer friend sent me a book titled Primetime Propaganda, claiming to be the “inside story of how the most powerful medium of mass communication in human history has become a propaganda tool for the Left.”   Continue reading “Was the Road Runner a Communist?”