Posts by Marty Kaplan

Primary Politics as Entertainment Marketing

In Hollywood, it’s called a teaser campaign, and it’s designed to build buzz. Launching a new movie, unless it’s a sequel, is like launching a new brand, and the first step is to make people aware of its existence. In Washington, if you’re running for president, the first step is… More

Horror as Entertainment

If Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ were Mel Gibson’s bachelor’s and master’s in gore-as-good-times, then Apocalypto is his Ph.D. “Scenes of Graphic Violence and Disturbing Images” – the advisory in the R-rating box – doesn’t come close to warning viewers about rivers of blood, severed heads, beating hearts… More

The Poverty of Abundance

An article by a Princeton scholar that I just came across makes an alarming case that the more media choices that viewers have, the more likely that people who already care about news and politics will pay even more attention to news, and will vote more — but at the… More

News As Entertainment

A new study by the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation says that most Americans — 65 percent of them — choose local television news as their top source of news and information. That’s more than twice as many people who said that local newspapers (28 percent) or network news… More

The Play of Ideas

When a city decides what to do with its public spaces, it’s better to entertain lots of ideas — to play with designs, to encourage competition, to let a thousand potential flowers bloom — than to close down the process and outsource imagination to developers and bureaucrats. That’s the idea… More

Your FCC at Work

When the Third Circuit of the US Court of Appeals threw out the FCC’s revision of the rules governing media ownership, it said that the FCC needed way better empirical evidence to base its ownership formulas on. The FCC’s own studies were widely criticized as inadequate, and media watchers have… More