Brent Bozell
In 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America effectively nationalized the movie industry's rating system to guide parents and the wider public about the content of films before purchasing tickets. A year hasn't gone by since that the "beautiful people" don't throw their artistic temper tantrums when they receive a harsher rating than they want.

The latest example is a documentary named "Bully," which investigates the lives of five bullied students during the 2009-2010 school year in five states -- Georgia, Mississippi, Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma. Two of the five committed suicide. The filmmaker is basing his whole publicity campaign on shock and outrage for receiving an R rating for six uses of the F-bomb, as well as other vulgar threats.

Lee Hirsch has been all over television and has aligned a parade of liberal celebrities (with Ellen DeGeneres as grand marshal) to demand this politically correct movie is far too important -- too important! -- to require a parent to accompany a child to the cineplex.

Hirsch has been leading a dishonest campaign suggesting that an R rating means children under 17 are barred from the theater, period. Hirsch complained on "CBS This Morning" that the MPAA is saying "that kids can't see a movie that's about them." He sent one of the bullied kids that starred in the movie (Alex Libby of Sioux City, Iowa) to the MPAA with Weinstein so he could ask the loaded (and inaccurate and dishonest) question: "You mean I can't even see my own life?"

What's so disingenuous about this is that Hirsch is insisting that it's cruel for the MPAA to insist on edits of his bullied victims' lives. Hirsch obviously edited months of their lives down to 98 minutes to prepare his film.

And if during that editing process, Hirsch had extracted just a handful of words, there would be no controversy. But then, there'd be no publicity, either.

Always beware an "artist" who says the way he's assembled the facts is "honest" and removing three F-bombs or whatever else the MPAA objects to is somehow "dishonest." Hirsch told NPR "the issue is that it has to sort of be seen in a way that's honest. And if we whitewash these experiences again, we're sort of back into that landscape of minimizing the experience of bullying, making it more palatable." So the MPAA is somehow showing favoritism to bullying unless it relents?


Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
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