Hit the Road, Jack

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Reason writers around town: At The American Spectator, Brian Doherty gives a final kick in the ass to departing MPAA poobah Jack Valenti.

NEXT: Poor Ayoub

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  1. From the article: such genuine achievements as the current movie rating system, which did a fair job of ending the previous age of film censorship threats from localized boards and church groups, and beating back threats of federal censorship.

    Interesting. In Roger Ebert’s review of “Y Tu Mama Tambien”, he took an opposing view:

    Why did he return to Mexico to make it? Because he has something to say about Mexico, obviously, and also because Jack Valenti and the MPAA have made it impossible for a movie like this to be produced in America. It is a perfect illustration of the need for a workable adult rating: too mature, thoughtful and frank for the R, but not in any sense pornographic. Why do serious film people not rise up in rage and tear down the rating system that infantilizes their work?

  2. Doherty’s article properly chastises Valenti’s infamous argument that the VCR would destroy the studios. Lobbyists in all industries have a tendency to mis-predict the impact of change. I’ve been doing some research for a paper on college sports, and I found a congressional hearing from the mid-1980s where a conference commissioner loudly proclaimed that cable television would be the death of college basketball, because it would discourage live attendance (this was when ESPN was on the rise and the Big East Conference was making its mark.) There were similar

  3. I’ve always found Valenti to be one of the more annoying presences on the general political scene, right up there with Roy Cohn. No special reason, I’m just reacting like a dog does to somebody who puts off bad vibes. Woof.

  4. Valenti has had exactly one moment in his life when he wasn’t a total tool: his guest appearance on the cartoon Freakazoid.

  5. Franklin:

    I remember that one. Pudgey cheeks!

  6. He looks kinda bummed at Lyndon Johnson’s first swearing-in ceremony. Wonder why?

  7. He’s actually had two such moments: At this year’s Independent Spirit Awards, John Waters opened with a hilarious monologue about having just gotten out of Movie Prison after allowing his screener of “Pieces of April” to be stolen and watched by a lot of people, and how he was still under surveillance by the Movie Cops. At the end of his monologue, Valenti walked onto the stage, handcuffed him, and dragged him off stage while Waters shouted, “Free at last! Free at last!”

  8. On the positive side, compared to the RIAA, the MPAA looks positively enlightened.

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