The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Hollywood sparks spirited Tate debate

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Hollywood sparks spirited Tate debate

Hollywood sparks spirited Tate debate

With the release of Mel Gibson’s controversial film,The Passion of the Christ, and the ripple effect stillresounding after this year’s Super Bowl halftime show,Tuesday night’s Tate lecture on the entertainment industryand its impact on society could not have had better timing.

The Dan and Gail Cook Lecture featured Jack Valenti, the currenthead of the Motion Picture Association of America and conservativecommentator William Bennett. FOX News commentator Michelle Malkinmoderated the event.

Spirited debates that could have garnered a PG-13 rating overissues concerning society and entertainment held theaudience’s interest for the entirety of the lecture.

“There’s no such thing as Hollywood. … theHollywood we know was interred by the Justice Department in the1950s,” Valenti said. “It’s a myth, there is noHollywood.”

Valenti believes that cheating businessmen make much more of animpact on society than television, music, or movies.

“I don’t think TV or movies can alter a child if inthe home, church and school he’s taught to build a moralshield,” Valenti said.

Bennett found more fault with the entertainment industry, whichhe said degrades human beings and plays to the lowest denominator.But he agreed that churches and families have a great impact.

“If they were doing their jobs, I wouldn’t worry somuch about the radicals running the industry,” he said.”It’s much more important what happens with families,churches and schools.”

While the two agreed somewhat on the fact that families andother social institutions must do a better job, the disagreement onthe Super Bowl halftime show was apparent.

“My only judgment is that … I’m stillastonished that a five-second shot of a breast … sent ourculture into shock,” Valenti said.

Valenti was in Berlin when the Super Bowl aired and did not seethe actual performance.

“Tasteless? Yes. But we have other issues toresolve,” he said.

Valenti believes that the Federal CommunicationsCommission’s hearing over the matter is going too far whenthere are other issues such as healthcare and the ongoing war inIraq are still unresolved.

Bennett believes that the issue is a priority in today’snational culture.

“You can wage a war in Iraq and worry about healthcare,but you can’t escape the responsibility of raising achild,” Bennet said. “When kids are in the living room,give us a little shield.”

Another issue yet to play out is the effect Mel Gibson’sThe Passion of the Christ will have on society and thepossibility that the movie could heighten anti-Semitism.

Valenti saw the movie in October, and he is still unsure aboutthe impact the movie will have on society.

“I promise you it will cause people to avert theireyes,” Valenti said.

Bennett did not find the movie anti-Semitic and feels thatMartin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ ismore anti-Semitic.

“[The movie] is going to be a great hit and I don’tthink it’s anti-Semitic,” he said. “The best guyin the movie is a Jew, and he dies.”

Asked about a liberal bias in Hollywood, Bennett did not denyhis feelings on the issue.

“It’s a free country. They can have a liberal biasif they want,” he said.

Valenti has been the president of the MPAA for the past 37years. He is also a World War II veteran, a graduate of Harvard andhas his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Valenti’shandling of the Kennedy assassination as a media relations expertpropelled him into the political arena.

Bennett served as the Secretary of Education from 1985-88, andas director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy from1989-90. He has also written The Book of Virtues and TheChildren’s Book of Virtues. Bennett is also a frequentpanelist on FOX News’ “Hannity and Colmes.”

The moderator for the evening, Malkin, is best known as afrequent guest on “The O’Reilly Factor” and”Hannity and Colmes.” Her book, Invasion: HowAmerica still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other ForeignMenaces to Our Shores was a best seller in 2002.

The next Tate Lecture is the William H. Lively Lecture scheduledfor March 16.

The lecture will feature actress Stockard Channing interviewedby playwright John Guare.

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