L. Brent Bozell III

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L. Brent Bozell III
Brent Bozell by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Bozell in February 2011.
Born
Leo Brent Bozell III

(1955-07-14) July 14, 1955 (age 66)
Alma materUniversity of Dallas (BA)
Occupation
  • Writer
  • activist
EmployerMedia Research Center, Parents Television Council, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
Spouse(s)Norma Petruccione
Children5
Parent(s)L. Brent Bozell Jr.
Patricia Buckley
RelativesWilliam F. Buckley Jr. (uncle)
James L. Buckley (uncle)
Reid Buckley (uncle)
Leo B. Bozell (grandfather)
Christopher Buckley (cousin)

Leo Brent Bozell III (/bˈzɛl/; born July 14, 1955) is an American conservative writer and activist who founded the Media Research Center, Parents Television Council, and CNSNews.com. Bozell served as president of the Parents Television Council from 1995 to 2006. In addition, Bozell serves on the board for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and has served on the board of directors in the American Conservative Union. Bozell's column is also nationally syndicated by Creator's Syndicate where his work appears in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Post, Los Angeles Times, and National Review.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Dallas in 1977,[1] Bozell joined the National Conservative Political Action Committee, at which he worked with the group's founder, Terry Dolan, to help elect conservative politicians.[2] Bozell headed NCPAC for a brief period after Dolan's death in 1986. He resigned in 1987 to start the Media Research Center.[3][4]

Media Research Center[edit]

Before founding the MRC in 1987, Bozell ran the National Conservative Foundation project at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in which he moderated debates between Sam Donaldson and Bob Novak over media bias.[5]

In 1998 Bozell founded the Conservative Communications Center.[6][7] The MRC also established CNSNews.com, the site of the Conservative News Service later becoming known as Cybercast News Service, as well as numerous other MRC-affiliated web sites.[3] On its website, MRC publishes Bozell's syndicated columns, the CyberAlert daily newsletter documenting perceived media bias, and research reports on the news media.

On his MSNBC news program Countdown With Keith Olbermann, Olbermann named Bozell the "Worst Person in the World" several times in 2006 and 2007.[8][9] In response, Bozell posted a press release on the MRC site claiming that Countdown "Preaches Hate Speech."[10] In October 2006, Bozell founded the Culture and Media Institute, an MRC branch whose mission is to reduce what he claims to be a negative liberal influence on American morality, culture, and religious liberty.[3]

Parents Television Council[edit]

Bozell founded the Parents Television Council in 1995, initially as a branch of the Media Research Center focusing on entertainment television, after he felt that decency was declining on prime-time television programming.[11] The PTC's stated mission is "to promote and restore responsibility and decency to the entertainment industry."[12]

In 2001, the PTC also organized a mass advertiser boycott of the professional wrestling television program WWF SmackDown! on UPN over claims that the program caused the deaths of young children whom the PTC felt were influenced by watching the program; in particular, the PTC cited the case of Lionel Tate, a 12-year-old Ft. Lauderdale boy who was arrested after murdering a 6-year-old girl. Tate's attorney claimed that he had accidentally killed her when he botched a professional wrestling move. It was ultimately determined that the girl had been stomped to death and had not been the victim of any professional wrestling move, and that the children were watching cartoons at the time the murder occurred. The World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE) would ultimately sue Bozell and the PTC for libel. PTC's insurance carrier eventually chose to settle the case and pay $3.5 million to the WWE and PTC issued a public apology.[13] The same year, Bozell and the PTC appeared as the subject of criticism in the book Foley Is Good: And The Real World Is Faker Than Wrestling, a memoir published by former WWF wrestler Mick Foley, who questioned the reasoning and research that the PTC used to associate SmackDown with violent acts performed by children watching the program.[14][15]

During his tenure as PTC president, Bozell led many campaigns derived from the PTC's stated mission to restore its view of decency to the entertainment industry. Among the numerous campaigns Bozell has led with the PTC have included campaigning to bring back the "Family Viewing Hour,"[16] filing complaints with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over what he sees as indecent programs, and boycotting corporations that advertise on television programs that the organization believes to be offensive. Among the PTC's largest campaigns for FCC complaints was over the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show in which co-performer Justin Timberlake caused the brief exposure of lead performer Janet Jackson's right breast, leading the CBS network that carried the halftime show to be fined $550,000 by the FCC.[17] PTC filed about 65,000 complaints,[18] and Bozell was concerned that many children were likely to have been watching the halftime show, as he told the Associated Press a few days after the show.[19] Excluding Super Bowl-related complaints, the vast majority of FCC complaints from 2003 to 2006 were found to have come from PTC.[20]

Responding to two columns that Bozell wrote in early 2005,[21][22] San Francisco Chronicle columnist Neva Chonin claimed that Bozell wanted to forbid offensive television programs not only from his views, but "from all our living rooms, choice and taste be damned."[23] Television Watch, an organization promoting parental responsibility for children's television viewing over increased government regulation of television, used a short clip of Bozell saying that the V-Chip is ineffective at blocking inappropriate television programs in a promotional video[24] released in July 2005 intended to claim that special-interest groups like Bozell's own Parents Television Council are using such propaganda to justify increased government control of the public airwaves.[25]

Board membership[edit]

Bozell is currently on the board of advisers of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a group against the defamation of Catholics in America.[26] He has also served on the board of directors for the American Conservative Union.[7][16] After resigning as president of the Parents Television Council, he remains an adviser to that organization.[27]

CNSNews.com[edit]

CNSNews.com was founded by Bozell on June 16, 1998, under the name Conservative News Service and the domain conservativenews.org. According to Bozell, the website would "report news ... not touched by traditional television news outlets" and "fill the growing news void left by the establishment media in their chase for the sensational." On its first day of operation, the website had 61,000 hits.[28]

As of 2007, CNSNews.com described its role as serving an audience which puts a "higher premium on balance than spin."[29] CNSNews.com's editor from 1998 to 2005 was Scott Hogenson, who took a leave of absence in November 2003 to serve as the director of radio and online operations for the Republican National Committee in the 2004 election cycle. Hogenson's leave of absence expired on November 15, 2004 when he returned to CNSNews.com in his original capacity. CNSNews.com has staff in Washington, D.C., London, Jerusalem and the Pacific Rim.[citation needed] David Thibault became top editor in April 2005 when Hogenson accepted an appointment as a deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Public Affairs. Thibault died on July 20, 2007 from leukemia.[30]

Views and controversies[edit]

Bozell has been accused of making racially insensitive statements. On December 22, 2011, he appeared on Fox News Channel and asked how the media would react if someone said that President Barack Obama looks like a "skinny ghetto crackhead", after being showed a clip in which a MSNBC journalist said a Republican candidate looks like a "car bomber".[31][32]

In February 2013, Bozell accused Karl Rove's American Crossroads group of waging "gang warfare" on the Tea Party movement. Rove's organization had launched a new SuperPAC called the Conservative Victory Fund, which aimed to help moderate Republicans survive primary challenges from candidates who Rove believed had narrower appeal in a general election. After Jonathan Collegio of American Crossroads responded to the charge by calling Bozell a "hater," some Tea Party leaders called for Collegio to be fired.[33]

Bozell was an outspoken critic of Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries, describing him as "the greatest charlatan of them all," a "huckster," and a "shameless self-promoter".[34] He said, "God help this country if this man were president."[34] After Trump clinched the Republican nomination, Bozell attacked the media for their "hatred" of Trump.[34] Politico noted, "The paradox here is that Bozell was once more antagonistic toward the president than any journalist."[34] Bozell singled out Jake Tapper of CNN for being "one of the worst offenders" in coverage of Trump.[34]

In August 2020, Bozell told a meeting of conservatives and donors that leftists planned to "steal this election." On January 6, after a mob of Trump supporters (including Bozell's son, L. Brent Bozell IV) stormed the Capitol, Bozell appeared on Fox Business Network and denounced the riot, stating that "[y]ou can never countenance police being attacked. You cannot countenance our national Capitol being breached like this. I think it is absolutely wrong.” Bozell also said that "Look, they are furious that they believe this election was stolen. I agree with them."[35]

Written works[edit]

His articles have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal,[36] Washington Post,[37][38] Washington Times, New York Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today,[39] and National Review. He is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Creators Syndicate, and he is a regular on television, including the Fox News Channel program Hannity.[7] He writes two weekly columns, one covering the news media published Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and one covering entertainment published Thursdays or Fridays on the sites for the Media Research Center[40][41] and Cybercast News Service.[42] Other web sites such as Townhall.com, Catholic Exchange, Yahoo! News, and others have published these columns. For some time, the Parents Television Council web site carried Bozell's entertainment column, but as of late January 2008, the PTC no longer hosts the columns, instead linking to the columns hosted on the MRC web site.[43] In his columns, Bozell has written about such topics as media consolidation, indecency, media violence, and anti-Christian sentiment.

Ghostwriting[edit]

In February 2014, former employees of the Media Research Center alleged that Bozell does not write his own columns or books and instead has used a ghostwriter, Tim Graham, for years.[44] One newspaper, the Quad-City Times (Iowa) dropped Bozell's column as a result, saying, "Bozell may have been comfortable representing others' work as his own. We're not. The latest disclosure convinces us Bozell has no place on our print or web pages."[45]

Bibliography[edit]

To date, Bozell or Graham have written five books published under Bozell's name covering the news media:

  • And That's the Way it Isn't: A Reference Guide to Media Bias (with Brent Baker) (1990)
  • Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming Meltdown of the Liberal Media (2004)
  • Whitewash: How The News Media Are Paving Hillary Clinton's Path to the Presidency (with Tim Graham) (2007)
  • Collusion: How The Media Stole The 2012 Election And How To Stop Them From Doing It In 2016 (with Tim Graham) (2013)
  • Unmasked: Big Media's War on Trump (with Tim Graham) (2019)

Personal life[edit]

Bozell was among ten children of L. Brent Bozell Jr. and Patricia Buckley Bozell.[46] He is a nephew of conservative writer and National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. and former United States Senator James L. Buckley, through Buckley's sister, Patricia, and is a grandson of William Frank Buckley Sr. He is of Irish, German, and English descent. Bozell's father was William Buckley Jr.'s debating partner at Yale University and a conservative activist; his grandfather Leo B. Bozell was a co-founder of Bozell Worldwide.[47] Bozell III is married with five children and ten grandchildren. Previously a resident of Alexandria, Virginia, he moved to nearby Great Falls in 2012.[48][49] Bozell has stated that contrary to speculation by some in the media, he is not officially a Republican.[50][51]

Bozell was named the 1998 Alumnus of the Year at the University of Dallas.[7] That same year, Grove City College named Bozell a Pew Memorial Lecturer.[3]

Bozell's son David is director of ForAmerica, a prominent conservative group active on social media.[52] Another son, Leo Brent Bozell IV, was a participant in the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, for which he was charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building, and disorderly conduct.[53]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History Department | Alumni Profiles". University of Dallas. Archived from the original on October 20, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  2. ^ Parents Television Council sees new era, by Michael Learmouth, Variety, March 17, 2007
  3. ^ a b c d Media Research Center biography of Bozell Archived July 14, 2009, at the Portuguese Web Archive. Accessed July 16, 2007.
  4. ^ Conservative Official Resigns, New York Times, September 1, 1987
  5. ^ Bozell, Weapons of Mass Distortion, p. 18.
  6. ^ The ConWebWatch Primer. ConWebWatch: September 4, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c d About L. Brent Bozell Archived February 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Creators.com
  8. ^ Olbermann, Keith (December 1, 2006). "'Worst Person in the World': Brent Bozell". NBC News. Retrieved August 17, 2007.
  9. ^ Olbermann, Keith (October 16, 2006). "World's Worst first: A five-way tie". NBC News. Retrieved August 15, 2007.
  10. ^ MSNBC's Keith Olbermann preaches hate speech and liberal media are silent Archived April 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Poniewozik, James (March 20, 2005). "The Decency Police". Time. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2008.
  12. ^ What is the PTC's mission? Parents Television Council Frequently Asked Questions
  13. ^ Higgins, John M. (July 15, 2002). "Bozell's $3.5M apology". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 19, 2007.
  14. ^ Foley, Mick (2001). Foley is Good: And The Real World is Faker Than Wrestling. New York, NY: HarperCollins. pp. 451–60. ISBN 0-06-039300-9.
  15. ^ Smith, Dinitia (May 22, 2001). "A Wrestler Who Prefers the Pen to the Pin". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2008.
  16. ^ a b "Group calls for voluntary return to TV 'family hour'". CNN. August 1, 2001. Archived from the original on September 30, 2004.
  17. ^ "FCC Proposes Statutory Maximum Fine of $550,000 Against Viacom-Owned CBS Affiliates for Apparent Violation of Indecency Rules During Broadcast of Super Bowl Halftime Show" (Press release). Federal Communications Commission. September 22, 2004.
  18. ^ "Broadcast Indecency Campaign". Parents Television Council. August 17, 2007. Archived from the original on May 3, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  19. ^ "The Jackson stunt: What now?". CNN.com. Associated Press. February 6, 2004. Archived from the original on May 23, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  20. ^ Shields, Todd (December 6, 2004). "Activists Dominate Content Complaints". Mediaweek. Parents Television Council. Archived from the original on February 13, 2005.
  21. ^ Bozell, L. Brent III (February 17, 2005). "Is Sweeps Month Lesbian Month?". MRC.org. Creators Syndicate. Archived from the original on June 8, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2007.
  22. ^ Bozell, L. Brent III (April 1, 2005). "Moses vs. 'Desperate Housewives'". MRC.org. Creators Syndicate. Archived from the original on December 3, 2006. Retrieved July 11, 2007.
  23. ^ Chonin, Neva (April 24, 2005). "Warning: Graphic Content". San Francisco Chronicle. p. PK-22. Retrieved July 11, 2007.
  24. ^ EXPOSED! Why Special Interests Don't Want You to Use the V-Chip (Windows Media Video). Television Watch. July 14, 2005. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  25. ^ "EXPOSED! Why Special Interests Don't Want You to Use the V-Chip" (Press release). Television Watch. July 14, 2005. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2007.
  26. ^ "About Us". Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  27. ^ PTC Advisory Board listing as of September 14, 2007. Bozell's photo is displayed at the very bottom right corner.
  28. ^ Hafner, Katie (June 18, 1998). "New Conservative News Site Will Fill a Void, Founder Says". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2008.
  29. ^ "History of Cybercast News Service". Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved September 26, 2007.
  30. ^ "David Thibault, RIP: Farewell to a Friend". Archived from the original on September 4, 2007. Retrieved September 26, 2007.
  31. ^ Shaw, Lucas (December 23, 2011). "Barack Obama: Now He's a Skinny, Ghetto Crackhead?". Reuters. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  32. ^ Lowry, Brian (December 23, 2011). "Brent Bozell's Word Game: No, I Didn't Say That…". Variety. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  33. ^ Jillian Rayfield (February 7, 2013), Tea Party's feud with American Crossroads gets nastier Salon
  34. ^ a b c d e "The Deep Roots of Trump's War on the Press". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  35. ^ Hsu, Spencer S. (February 17, 2021). "L. Brent Bozell IV, descendant of prominent conservative family, charged in Capitol breach". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  36. ^ Bozell, L. Brent III (September 10, 2003). "Anchors? Captains Whose Ships List Leftward". The Wall Street Journal.
  37. ^ Benen, Steve (March 9, 2008). "Far-right offers hints to McCain on how to win their support". The Carpetbagger Report. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
  38. ^ Bozell, L. Brent III (March 9, 2008). "From the Right, He Looks Too Blue". The Washington Post. p. B1. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
  39. ^ Bozell, L. Brent III (April 28, 2005). "Viewers want end to 'slime'". USA Today. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
  40. ^ Bozell's Entertainment Column – 2008 Archive – Media Research Center Archived January 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ Bozell's News Column – 2008 Archive – Media Research Center
  42. ^ "CNSNews.com – Brent Bozell Column Archive". Archived from the original on April 3, 2008.
  43. ^ "Brent Bozell's Weekly Entertainment Column".
  44. ^ Jacobs, Ben (February 13, 2014). "Ex-Employees of Conservative Figure L. Brent Bozell Say He Didn't Write His Books or Columns". The Daily Beast. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  45. ^ "WANTED: A replacement for Brent Bozell". Quad-City Times. February 15, 2014.
  46. ^ Bernstein, Adam (July 15, 2008). "Patricia Buckley Bozell, 81; Activist Founded a Catholic Opinion Journal". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
  47. ^ Staff report (March 25, 1946). Leo B. Bozell; President of Bozell & Jacobs Advertising Firm Dies in Omaha. The New York Times
  48. ^ Bernstein, Adam (July 14, 2008). "Patricia Buckley Bozell, 81; Activist Founded a Catholic Opinion Journal". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  49. ^ "Luxury Home Sales: A Bargain—at $5.7 Million". Washingtonian. November 9, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  50. ^ Bozell, Weapons of Mass Distortion, p. 5.
  51. ^ "CNN Crossfire, Music and Politics transcripts". CNN. August 5, 2004.
  52. ^ Goldmacher, Shane; Alberta, Tim; National Journal (December 8, 2014). "ForAmerica: The Right Wing's Facebook Army". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 27, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  53. ^ Reilly, Ryan J.; Blumenthal, Paul (February 16, 2021). "Brent Bozell IV, Son Of Prominent Conservative Activist, Charged In Capitol Riot". HuffPost.

External links[edit]