Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

Summary: So it looks like former Senator and current anti-freedom monger Chris Dodd, and his band of merry MPAAers, are once again showing their completely crass nature.Annoyed by the temporary defeat of those heinous SOPA and PIPA bills, Mr.

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So it looks like former Senator and current anti-freedom monger Chris Dodd, and his band of merry MPAAers, are once again showing their completely crass nature.

Annoyed by the temporary defeat of those heinous SOPA and PIPA bills, Mr. Dodd lashed out at his former colleagues in the House and Senate. If they were going to stand up for the public good, he was going to tell them what's what.

Now, we all know that our Congress-critters didn't stand up for the public good because they're patriotic Americans. Oh, no. It's that they were more scared of the good people of the Internet and our extreme reach than they were dazzled by the charm of the Doddmeister.

This sent the Dodderer back into his lobbyist cave to think and stew. What could he promise, what could he threaten, to get his freedom-killing plans back on track? After some time burrowing and then rolling around in the muck of lawyers and lobbyists, he had a plan.

He'd threaten to withhold money from his cronies. Hah, that's the ticket.

And that's what he did. On January 19, the Doddly one spoke out on FOX News, "Candidly, 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."

That was a veiled warning. But then, what did that darn Dodd do? Here's the money quote: "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."

Seriously. A former Senator of 30 years said that.

What's sad about all this is that it's just so wrongheaded and crass. These bills are horrible. Expert after expert, industry exec after industry exec, pundit after pundit (okay, well, maybe that's not a selling point, but you get the idea) have come out against these bills. It's not that we don't want our IP protected, it's that we don't want to lose our rights just because the MPAA wants to put another $100 million in its war chest.

See also: Dear Congress, guess what? We already have copyright laws.

As you might imagine, there was some backlash against this latest Doddism. A group of Internet do-gooders got together to de-Dodd and put together a petition asking the White House to investigate the Doddinger for bribery.

Sigh. As you might imagine, that went nowhere fast. The White House didn't respond to the petition, having better things to do with its time, like run for re-election using the resources of the Internet.

Oh, wait. We are the Internet. How convenient for us.

Of course, one might ask whether or not the broadside fired across the bows of Congressional cronies by Dodd was indeed a bribe, or whether that's just politics as usual. After all, he didn't call up all his friends and tell them that if they vote his way, he'll write them a check. That would be a bribe.

Oh, no. He just told his former friends not to ask him to write a check. Technically, telling someone not to ask for money isn't a bribe.

It's just politics as usual.

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Topic: Browser

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • The title of your article...

    ...is redundant. :)
    wolf_z
    • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

      @wolf_z Certainly bribery and Dodd is synonymous. Could we expect no less from him, considering his Fannie May and Freddie Mac fiascos? Or his special refinance through CountryWide? He and Barny (bendover) Franks should be tried for high crimes and treason. Of course Barny would be quite happy to have his daily colonscopy in prison.
      pox_on_liberals
  • well said!

    shining example of corruption and bribery!
    The Linux Geek
  • Is that a threat or a promise?

    I don't think Dodd's threats are going to be very effective. Campaign money is only useful where the public either doesn't care about the issue, or is passionately divided in such a way that both sides can deliver votes, e.g. gun laws. On this one, the 'critters discovered that the public does care, and that the passions are all on one side. That makes 'doing nothing' the only safe move.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

      @Robert Hahn - I don't quite agree; campaign money is effective no matter what the circumstances because it can be used in many ways. Take Lamar Smith, he sits in a "safe" district in Texas, without any credible challenger in years. What does he need campaign money for, that Hollywood would give him $2.2 Million dollars?

      1. He uses it for thinly-veiled personal benefits, like upgraded travel accommodations and "fact finding trips".
      2. He gives it to other Republican candidates who need money in contested races.
      3. It pays for extraneous "campaign staff" i.e. people he owes favors to.

      These are just some of the dodges that Congressmen use to divert campaign funds and PAC money (almost wholly uncontrolled) to their personal benefit.
      terry flores
      • The other aspect of it is...

        @terry flores <br>...a huge campaign war chest strongly deters serious challenges come election time (both in the primary and in the general election), especially if one makes a practice of trying to destroy the reputation of anyone stupid enough to run against him.<br><br>I'm quite certain that the reason why Mr. Smith hasn't had a serious reelection fight in decades is because he has such a large reelection fund.
        John L. Ries
      • The coward will take your money now

        OK, I will amend my statement to read, "I don't think Dodd's threats are going to be very effective at getting 'critters to change their votes on SOPA and PIPA." Will they take his money? Sure. Could they find uses for it? Of course. Are they going to risk losing their next election over it? Nope.
        Robert Hahn
  • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

    Exactly why did you use the word "or" in your title? It does not seem to fit. I think you meant to use the word "and".
    grant22
    • Well spotted ...

      @grant@... i knew there was a reason i navigated to this page via the link. This is typical Gewirtz hedging his bets me thinks. And as per usual saying one thing and meaning ... well, many things.

      Like you i don't quite buy his sound of "solidarity with the masses" air. This is too liberal, sensible to be the regular Gewirtz ... h3ck! maybe his wife wrote the piece. ;P
      thx-1138_
  • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

    The implicit threat/promise of "effective" (ie. unscrupulous) lobbyists is that if you do what we want, we'll take care of you and if you don't, you're committing political suicide. I'm therefore sure that the MPAA will try to punish members of Congress who failed to toe the line; most likely by contributing some extra money to challengers and maybe an independent ad campaign accusing specific SOPA/PIPA opponents of being accessories to theft (maybe even buying ads on radio talk shows with cooperative hosts). How successful such tactics would be is anybody's guess, but if the MPAA does nothing, they lose.

    An effective political machine has to both reward friends *and* punish enemies. I'm sure we'll see the MPAA doing both.
    John L. Ries
  • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

    Politics as usual. Did this guy ever show his mortgage papers from the below market rate deal he received before the bailouts?
    Admin71
  • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

    I think we need to boycott movies for 2 weeks or a month. Maybe we consumers should not go see, buy or rent a movie for a few weeks. The MPAA may pay attention then. Money talks.
    computerchipt
    • I was thinking much the same

      @computerchipt <br>Maybe it would be better to see plays or independent films instead. Mind you, only amateurs perform live at prices comparable to movie tickets, but if you're not willing to sacrifice...<br><br>And if you live in a college town, maybe you don't have to sacrifice very much (colleges have drama departments).
      John L. Ries
  • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

    Dodd is the senator who claimed the following when it was found out that bailout we gave wall street would allow bonuses to be paid to AIG execs.

    1) I did not know it was in there (first day)
    2) I Put it in there (second day)
    3) I was told to put it in there by someone in the Treasury (3rd day)

    Yet there were so screams to hang this man out to try by any congressmen.
    So I suggest everyone do not vote for any incumbents for the next couple of years, these crooks need to be sent packing
    mrlinux
    • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

      @mrlinux - I couldn't agree more!
      smashandgrab
    • In other words...

      @mrlinux <br>...its' a good time for a non-incumbent hack to seek election. Clearly you assume that non-incumbents are automatically more virtuous than incumbents.<br><br>Might it be better to judge candidates based on what they do (even on the issues most people don't care about) instead of automatically voting straight ticket, or rewarding senior hacks for "bringing in the bacon", or voting solely on the basis of the three or four hot-button issues one does care about?
      John L. Ries
  • Dodd is an ass*wipe

    What more need be said? Except keep the flame lit DG, before it goes out for good.
    klumper
  • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

    Now if only we could so easily undo Chrustopher Dudd's other Congreasional works of art and repeal Dodd-Franks (H.R. 4173)
    CrowdedCranium
  • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

    Oh, I think you left out a few people that objected to SOPA/PIPA, namely the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.
    tkejlboom
  • RE: Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

    Always thought bribery and politics as usual and bribery went hand in hand
    preferred user