Movie Industry Courts Congressmen

The Motion Picture Association of America is courting two Congressmen involved with deregulating the movie industry's corporate parents. Up for grabs is MPAA's $1.15 million lobbying job. Top candidates for the post are Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), who oversees the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the House and champions an FCC ruling loosening station ownership limits, and Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), who is on
the record opposing efforts to roll back that FCC ruling in the Senate. "It's obscene for Tauzin and Breaux to be in the running for the MPAA, the
fattest media lobbying job in Washington, while advocating in Congress on
behalf of companies that control the MPAA," said Robert McChesney,
Professor of Communications at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. "It tends to confirm what the vast majority of Americans
have suspected - relaxed media ownership rules are an X-rated exercise in
power and influence." Also of concern is that the top MPAA contenders have taken at least $217,500 in tobacco money. Tobocco control activists say, "Big Tobacco depends on smoking scenes in youth-rated movies to recruit more than half of all new young smokers."