Syria

by Norman Horowitz


I ponder where the truth is told.
At 81, I think back
To time I served our country.
‘Tis easy to lose track.

I never shot at anyone.
I never held a gun.
I did teach electronics;
Chased women and that was fun.

I was then apolitical.
I did not have the time.
Between school and work, my life was full.
Still, women were sublime.

I went to work at a studio.
Many of them were crooks.
I wondered often about their books.
They pretended they were honest, and I wondered, “Why not?”
Their producers stole from them but only if they could.
‘Twas never important if indeed they often should.

I left to work for CBS.
I worked there three years.
The feds scared them all the time
I understood their fears.
If the FCC was angry,
It worried them to tears.

Our President was Nixon,
Who was an angry guy.
He hated Walter Cronkite as well as all the rest.
He mostly wanted them to die.
He had no litmus test.

Seems Obama’s just a decent guy.
A Nixon he is not.
I think he hates mass killings.
That angers the right a lot.

I wonder why they hate him.
He seems like a decent guy.
He’s against killing innocents
With bombs falling from the sky.

In Syria, innocents are worried.
Bombs fall where they may.
I wonder why destroying them
Just seems to make their day.

We are a warlike nation.
We look around us to find someone to attack.
I hope he tries to stop it:
Our President Barack.

Let’s Pretend That We Have Media Diversity in Our Country

by Norman Horowitz

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public…” — Adam Smith, 1776

Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and Warner Brothers are all members of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). As an executive of Columbia Pictures and MGM/UA, I attended meetings of the MPAA.

In my opinion, the MPAA solely serves the interests of their major members. It is an association of gigantic companies who abuse the system as much as possible in order to maintain their market share and profitability without seriously violating the law — and, when possible, attempt to change the laws to their benefit. Were you to attend one of their meetings and mention something like their responsibility of serving in the “public interest, convenience, and necessity,” they would need to send out to have the phrase explained to them.   Continue reading “Let’s Pretend That We Have Media Diversity in Our Country”

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?”

Damn You! I’m Not an Actor, I’m a Movie Star!

I am thrilled to introduce a new contributor to Trading 8s. He used to write for The Huffington Post, which makes his presence on our little blog even more special. Norman Horowitz will write the “Hollywood Insider” series on media, politics, and the business of entertainment, from Beverly Hills, CA. After serving in the US Air Force during the Korean War, Norman spent over 40 years in the telecommunications industry, from the early days of worldwide television through the development of cable, satellite, and internet companies. He served as VP of International Sales for Screen Gems, Director of International Sales for CBS, President of Worldwide Distribution for Columbia Pictures Television, President and Chief Operating Officer of Polygram Television, and President and Chief Executive Officer of MGM/UA Telecommunications Company. He co-founded the Cable Dating Network, Rxinfo.com, citiesLive networks, and citiescommercialLive networks. He has been an adjunct professor at the UCLA Graduate Business and Film Schools, as well as an associate professor at California State University, Northridge. I’m proud and honored to call him my mentor and friend. — AWO

Peter O’Toole spoke these words in the movie My Favorite Year.

In my hardly-ever-humble opinion, Bill O’Reilly is no longer a journalist (if he ever was one), but rather he is “an actor” who has become “a television star.”

In a manner of speaking, O’Reilly is a reincarnation of Howard Beale from the movie Network.   Continue reading “Damn You! I’m Not an Actor, I’m a Movie Star!”