Monday, December 08, 2003

Jack Valenti's Screening Room

Ultra sleazy Washington lobbyist and MPAA head Jack Valenti took a bit of an ass whipping at the hands of Federal Judge Michael B. Mukasey in New York.

Citing "unlawful restraint of trade," that the MPAA's "screener ban" would significantly harm independent films, Mukasey granted a preliminary injunction, effective immediately, blocking the policy.

Falling back on the old chesnut that screeners are major sources of piracy, we won't entertain the possibility that old Jack is trying to protect the Oscar from deserving independent films, who have cleaned the clocks of the tired, formulaic old studios. No ... our Jack wouldn't do that. He's much too "ethical."

In other news, Louisiana Congressman Billy Tauzin is slated to take over from Valenti soon. Why would a powerful Republican in the majority party want to become head of the embattled MPAA?

A $1.03 million salary might be incentive. How about that sweet screening room at MPAA's Washington headquarters (perhaps third in coolness behind the White House screening room and Steven Spielberg's), then there are the orchestra seats at the Oscars, and first class travel to film festivals.

Ah, the line between K Street and, er, uhm, K Street is blurred.

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