Did MPAA chairman just go Mafia on politicians?

MPAA Chairman Christopher Dodd appears to offer an open threat to politicians to vote the Hollywood way on SOPA-style legislation, or, um, else.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

In the movie, Christopher Dodd will be played by Robert DeNiro. Or Carrot Top.

I cannot quite decide which because I cannot quite decide just how, well, threatening Dodd truly intended to be when he spoke this week.

Dodd, should you have been too busy illegally downloading "The Godfather" series to have noticed, is the chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America.

This organization has enjoyed a troubling week as the SOPA and PIPA legislation--of which Hollywood is rather fond--was scuppered by millions of anonymous people (some of whom work at Google) who use that Internet thing.

Perhaps a tad frustrated by this peculiar militancy, Dodd appeared on Fox News, where he warned the following: "Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake."

I feel sure that, on hearing these words, a few flip-floppish politicians shivered as they would at the sight of an angry Joe Pesci.

However, Dodd continued: "Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

At this point, there were surely politicians who cowered from supporting SOPA drifting into their nearest restroom, either feeling ill or desperate to pop a pill.

Yet, the more I consider Dodd's direct overtones, the more I am moved to admiration. Somehow, politicians always seem to not say what they mean. Indeed, some might offer that being a politician necessitates the use of a code that some would describe as, well, obfuscating.

Dodd, a former Democratic senator, seems to be creating a new template. This comprises saying exactly what he thinks and what he's going to do if you disagree. It also comprises fully describing how the world works, without any recourse to mollifying words or codified gestures.

It is so refreshing that not even DeNiro--in his finer Mafioso roles such as "The Godfather" and "Analyze That"--would choose to communicate in a manner quite as incisively pure as Dodd.

Which is why Carrot Top, such a fine roaster of Gene Simmons, suddenly came to mind.

I know that Carrot Top hasn't had too many starring roles. However, he is a very simple, direct comedian, one who picks props up, defines them and tosses them away.

Which is what, some might say, Dodd is inching toward in his Fox News declaration.

After the RIAA's vice president of communication, Jonathan Lemy, offered an attemptedly witty tweet about kids being unable to do their homework when Wikipedia went dark to protest SOPA, one wondered why spokespeople who could choose to present a strong case for their side, somehow veer into the thicket.

However, Dodd, who described the shutdown of Wikipedia and other sites as "an abuse of power", seems to believe that presenting one's case is merely half the job.

The other half of the job? Well, do you see that crowbar?