[My apologies to anyone who read the oddly posted version yesterday. It’s gone now. Some weird WordPress hiccup. Below is the actually completed version I meant to publish.]
Here’s the question that is going to screw Chris Dodd: who do you trust more, the tech industry or Hollywood?
Once upon a time, Americans spent all of our free time in movie theaters and in front of television, reading newspapers and paging through magazines. Once upon a time we believed in the folks who ran those businesses and starred on those screens. When Ed Sullivan said smoke Kent cigarettes and use Wisk laundry detergent, America did. When Walter Cronkite said the Vietnam War was bad, America agreed. We had faith in Cary Grant and James Stewart and John Wayne. We believed that the newspapers and magazines were telling us the news we needed to know, straight up.
But in the 1970s and 1980s, that faith began to falter and by the 1990s and into the new millennium, that faith was gone. When a starlet promoted a brand we asked how much is she getting paid? When the Times wrote a story we asked where’s the bias? We became cynical, we stopped believing what we were told, believing that the person or entity telling us had an agenda.
If time is an indicator, clearly the tech industry is trusted more. Now we don’t read papers, we read Twitter, we watch YouTube, we follow our friends on Facebook, and we search for opinions we care about on Google. Somewhere between 1970 and 2010, we stopped trusting old media and started trusted tech.
So jack-ass Chris Dodd, head of the Motion Picture Association, can say on Fox News that he’s going to take his bribe money and go home if the Congress he bought doesn’t get in line. But Chris Dodd doesn’t understand that the MPAA isn’t trusted enough anymore to make those claims.
What Chris Dodd doesn’t understand is that PIPA and SOPA just woke the lumbering giant, the tech industry he just tried to screw. And if that lumbering giant decided it will take center stage in guiding this country politically in the 21st Century, Chris Dodd and the rest of his old world media politicians better watch out.
Because America doesn’t trust you anymore.