Reinforcing the fact that Chris Dodd really does not get what's happening, and showing just how disgustingly corrupt the MPAA relationship is with politicians, Chris Dodd went on Fox News to explicitly threaten politicians who accept MPAA campaign donations that they'd better pass Hollywood's favorite legislation... or else:
"Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,"
This certainly follows what many people assumed was happening, and fits with the anonymous comments from studio execs that they will stop contributing to Obama, but to be so blatant about this kind of corruption and money-for-laws politics in the face of an extremely angry public is a really, really, really tone deaf response from Dodd.
It shows, yet again, that he just doesn't get it. People were protesting not just because of the content of these bills, but because of the corrupt process of big industries like Dodd's "buying" politicians and "buying" laws. To then come out and make that threat explicit isn't a way to fix things or win back the public. It's just going to get them more upset, and to recognize just how corrupt this process is. If Dodd, as he said in yesterday's NY Times, really wanted to turn things around and come to a more reasonable result, this is exactly how not to do it. It shows, yet again, a DC-insider's mindset. He used Fox News to try to "send a message" to politicians. But the internet already sent a much louder message... and, even worse for Dodd, he bizarrely sent his message in a way that everyone who's already fed up with this kind of corruption can see it too. It really makes you wonder what he's thinking and how someone so incompetent at this could keep his job.
The MPAA doesn't need a DC insider explicitly demanding the right to buy laws and buy politicians. The MPAA needs a reformer, one who helps guide Hollywood into the opportunities of a new market place. The MPAA needs someone who actually understands the internet, and helps lead the studios forward. That's apparently not Chris Dodd.
Public Knowledge issued a fantastic statement that not only highlights the ridiculousness of Dodd's threats, but also the hypocrisy of the Hollywood studios on this issue:
Public Knowledge welcomes constructive dialog with people from all affected sectors about issues surrounding copyright, the state of the movie industry and related concerns. Cybersecurity experts, Internet engineers, venture capitalists, artists, entrepreneurs, human rights advocates, law professors, consumers and public-interest organizations, among others should be included. They were shut out of the process for these bills.
We suggest that in the meantime, if the MPAA is truly concerned about the jobs of truck drivers and others in the industry, then it can bring its overseas filming back to the U.S. and create more jobs. It could stop holding states hostage for millions of dollars in subsidies that strained state budgets can’t afford while pushing special-interest bills through state legislatures. While that happens, discussions could take place.