Letter: Hollywood vs. NRA a tough spot for Obama
President Barack Obama has a foreseeable problem among the many already on his plate. In response to the hue and cry for his administration to insure that another massacre of children will not ever happen again (mission impossible), he has properly vowed to energize the government to take swift action. So far, so good. A sticky wicket exists, however, in at least two arenas.
Obama enjoyed a tremendous pre-election gift in the apotheosis and monetary support he received from the Hollywood elite. However, no fiscal support is ever given free from some expected quid pro quo.
In this case, Obama faces a fortissimo public cry for regulation of violence in the nation's movie theaters as part of the demand for gun controls. The movie industry lobbies Washington at a rate more generous than that of the NRA (about $80 million vs. $60 million annually). None of the possible actions against Hollywood (e.g., changing the rating system to R for any film with a murder scene or banning violence in movies altogether) will be welcomed by his West Coast acolytes.
Another problem, even more unassailable, is the Internet. When Al Gore invented this miracle of communication which almost all of us enjoy on a quotidian basis, who knew what potential powers (both positive and negative) were to be unleashed? It has brought into almost every American home an exceptionally facile method of purveying and receiving ideas and goods ranging from communicating with Aunt Mabel to explicit instructions on building a bomb capable of destroying a huge federal building.
So Obama finds himself caught between a swell of public opinion and the constitutional/legal constrictions of censorship as well as the placation of lobbyists from whom he has received so much. Tough way to start a second term.