Entertainment Industry Mourns The End Of 'Hollywood' Howard Berman Being Their Personal Voice In Congress

from the time-to-get-with-the-times dept

We noted after the election that Hollywood's absolute favorite elected official -- "Hollywood" Howard Berman -- lost his seat. He was often referred to as "the Representative from Disney" for his unwavering support of passing legislation that helped the big Hollywood studios and record labels over the public interest. For many of us interested in the public benefit, his loss seemed like a good deal -- but, of course, for folks at the big movie studios and record labels, it was a disaster. Just witness this unintentionally hilarious Politico piece by former MPAA exec and current Universal Music 'Executive VP of Public Policy,' Matt Gerson, which read like a love letter to Berman, where he reveals what everyone knew already: that Berman and the MPAA were apparently in constant communication, with Berman regularly being called into MPAA meetings to help.
I first met Howard Berman when I was with the Motion Picture Association of America. I remember Jack Valenti uttering a phrase that I would hear repeatedly over 20 years: “What does Howard think?” When we have an idea for a compromise, someone runs it by Howard. When we develop a strategy, someone is tasked to get Howard’s reaction. When we speak with his congressional colleagues, the usual response from Democrats and Republicans alike is, “Let me grab Howard on the floor and see what he is thinking.”
The article is also a little wacky, in that it both highlights Berman's supposed "attention to detail," as well as his apparently frequent failures to know the names of the people he was talking about.

Either way, you can understand why the legacy entertainment industry companies are sad to be losing such a close "friend," but aren't we all a little better off with Representatives who actually pay attention to what's best for the public, rather than just what's best for a few companies?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Because the song is damn appropriate right now.

    Na na na na...

    Na na na na...

    Hey, hey, yeah...

    Goodbye!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Atkray (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 3:22pm

    I hate to complain...

    "We noted after the election that Hollywood's absolute favorite elected official -- "Hollywood" Howard Berman."

    Sorry but that doesn't look correct to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    wallow-T, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    I am reminded of the idea that we should dress Congress members as if they were NASCAR drivers. The Representatives and Senators should wear patches with the corporate logos of their sponsors.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 3:39pm

    I guess they will just need to buy a new elected official now.
    But I am not worried about Howard. I am sure he is signing on with Hollywood and Disney as a lobbyist to continue in the finest congressional traditions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    S. T. Stone, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    Too bad, so sad, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out -- you wouldn't want to ruin it for all the Hollywood people who need to attach their lips to it, after all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 3:45pm

    Re: I hate to complain...

    Likewise, it almost looks like half a sentence that's been cut off right after the name.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Watchit (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: I hate to complain...

    Yep yep, it's incomplete :[ confused the hell out of me for a minute there. I assume it was something along the lines of: "We noted after the election that Hollywood's absolute favorite elected official, 'Hollywood' Howard Berman," lost his seat. Or something like that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Watchit (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

    Re:

    I'm putting all my money on the congressman with the biggest Lucky Charms logo... I love Lucky Charms.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    Some people are starting to question whether you have one. C'mon, just give us a peek at how you recover a $100M of "sunk (or fixed) costs" on a movie ten cents at a time.






    And now a personal note for Modest Mike "Streisand Effect" Masnick:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
    To properly honor Mike, I propose "Masnick Defect" as term for out-of-bounds self-aggrandizement such as years of trying to turn a single quip into fame.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

    Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    You really need to report back to the facility now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Watchit (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    Hi Out_of_the_blue! :D

    How's your day been?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:08pm

    Re:

    Don't blame me, I voted for Huggies. Hollywood needs its undergarments too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    TK, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

    Brad Sherman

    The man who beat Berman in this year's election, Brad Sherman, co-sponsored SOPA.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brad_Sherman#Tenure

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    gorehound (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

    Good Riddance to him and hope to see the rest of you out of Washington too !
    Boycott The MAFIAA !
    Buy and Support Local and Indie Art please.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    I only pass through here on occasion, but I think the magic formula you're looking for is "cwf+rtb".

    If that doesn't pump your 'nads, how about the laws of supply and demand? You remember those?

    If your studio isn't confident that it can earn $100M from a film, maybe it shouldn't make it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

    I wonder if Howard the Duck was not inspired by Howard Berman

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Because the song is damn appropriate right now.

    This post is in violation of the Beatles' Copyright, Lawyers are now attempting to contact the respective hosting providers to get your IP Address.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:34pm

    Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    What? Uploading it to The Pirate Bay and systematically suing everyone who downloads into poverty it isn't working for you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:36pm

    Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    "To properly honor Mike, I propose "Masnick Defect" as term for out-of-bounds self-aggrandizement such as years of trying to turn a single quip into fame."

    How many weeks did it take you to come up with that one. Your parents and professors would be proud. How many times did you point to the post and said look what i came up with and posted all by myself!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    AdamR (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 4:41pm

    "The article is also a little wacky, in that it both highlights Berman's supposed "attention to detail," as well as his apparently frequent failures to know the names of the people he was talking abut. "

    Well it's very difficult to track of people names when you are try to keep track of all the dead president names they keep sending you..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re: Because the song is damn appropriate right now.

    IP holders are attempting to contact their congressional contacts ... oh wait

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

    Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    So in other words you're blaming Masnick for something Hollywood can't figure out on their own?

    Did you complain to the teacher about the smart kids in class who refused to let you copy off their homework? And to think, you call PIRATES entitled!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

    He spins the fact that Berman didn't know Jewel from ZZ-Top as a positive thing. The more ignorant our representatives are, the better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Because the song is damn appropriate right now.

    Did the Beatles buy the copyright? They certainly didn't write or perform that song...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Brad Sherman

    Don't tell me that gerrymandering is not a problem!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

    I'm surprised they didn't relate Howard to The Boston Strangler:
    "I say to you that Howard Berman is to the MPAA and the American public as the smile of the Boston strangler is to the woman he finds home alone."

    More fitting, I believe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

    I read this article thinking Berman had died... It seemed a bit harsh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 6:20pm

    Damn, I thought he died. Oh well, next best thing I guess.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 7:56pm

    I wonder if Berman will run for president four years from now? He'd obviously have Hollywood's support.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Because the song is damn appropriate right now.

    Like not possessing the copy'right' on something has ever stopped IP holders from sending bogus takedowns

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Because the song is damn appropriate right now.

    (or, IP extremists, since they wouldn't be the IP holder of such works).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Huggies, politicians, they're both full of shit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 10:10pm

    Re: I hate to complain...

    Oops. Fixed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 12:44am

    Re: Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    He's obviously desperate and completely deluded, but it's worth addressing this:

    "If your studio isn't confident that it can earn $100M from a film, maybe it shouldn't make it."

    Exactly. Few movies need to have such inflated budgets (which have far outpaced inflation for bigger blockbusters), and many films are highly profitable without any such stupid figure attached. Those that do need to be attractive to audiences that will pay the higher profit theatrical and purchase fee, or reduce the fixed cost so that you can make the costs back more easily with streaming and lower margin distribution. That's what the market should be doing - better products that people are willing to pay a premium for, or more control over initial costs so that they're profitable at cheaper prices to consumers.

    Instead we have morons like ootb whining that they need government enforcement to support inflated costs and wasteful spending, and that it's the people pointing out the mistakes that need to come up with the solutions on their behalf. Pathetic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 2:25am

    and it's this constant 'called into meetings to help' attitude that politicians have been only too quick to respond to that has led the world into the copyright fuck up that we have now. had governments and law enforcement agencies concentrated on representing the people they are supposed to instead of taking the payments for favours route, perhaps we would have progressed a damn site further than we have, in more ways than one!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    FuzzyDuck, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 3:37am

    Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    "how you recover a $100M of "sunk (or fixed) costs" on a movie ten cents at a time."

    This a math question right?

    How many times do you have to sell something for 10 cents in order to earn 100.000.000 $

    Lemme see, 1 billion times?

    Do I win anything Blue for being the first to come up with the right answer?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 3:47am

    You had me at "...The End Of 'Hollywood'".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 3:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Because the song is damn appropriate right now.

    True, it was Steam...although Bananarama did it better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    quawonk, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 4:48am

    Well, they'll just have to purchase someone else.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: Brad Sherman

    It isn't: it's merely a symptom of the cancer that is killing America.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 5:31am

    Re: Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    Yes, you get silence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
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    Nick Dynice (profile), Dec 11th, 2012 @ 7:46am

    Re:

    Hopefully he is too old. Let's hope he retires and does not try to get any other jobs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    Not to nitpick, but you can't upload anything to TPB. They host nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    The concept is the same even if the mechanics are different.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Brad Sherman

    Gerrymandering a part of the cancer killing America?

    Are you trying to be intentionally ironic there?

    That's like saying that intensely uncivilized rhetoric in presidential elections is killing America starting with Adams vs Jefferson.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    RD, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:44am

    OOTB, your raging Mike-hard-on is showing

    Might want to have that checked, it seems to be out of control.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    Re: It's YOUR fault, Mike! You won't give us the solution!

    Troll again for all your worth - which isn't much. You, sir, are a total pest. Why not give your fingers a rest? Nobody's listening.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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