THE BLOG

Choose Your Favorite Allegation!

12/19/2008 04:47 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

While I presently call myself a "media consultant" I am in fact just another unemployed studio and network executive. While working in the industry, I ignored many opportunities to do certain "grants of rights" deals, with the understanding that the transaction would happen as soon as I received confirmation that "my" money had been deposited in my numbered account in Zurich.

It was many years ago that my company was looking into the "improper" behavior of one of our sales executives. He became aware we were looking into things, and was aware as well of the difficulty we would have in proving anything.

He then proceeded to make several new deals where he gave away our product for very little, probably in exchange for "personal consideration." (I think a better word would be a bribe or a kickback.)

He realized that he was going to be leaving so he was rushing these deals along to maximize the little time that he had remaining for his own benefit. When your "time is running out" you tend to accelerate things.

Managements of companies do not like scandal, so this executive was successful in stealing a few paltry million prior to his departure. We could most certainly "allege," yet proving our allegations was something else.

I have broad experience in "transactions and transgressions, and allegations"; ergo I am hard at work developing a brand new television series entitled Choose Your Favorite Allegation, Transaction or Transgression.

Our host for the series will be unusual in that he or she will be a high profile felon, who preferably has served time in prison and had at one time been involved in the Political Process.

Our "Panel of Judges" for the show will be chosen from the on-air cadre of people who star on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and CNBC, among others.

The key to our programs ability to slander whomever we choose is that will rely on our ability to "allege" whatever we choose to allege, and not need to prove anything whatsoever.

Our ongoing series will feature Democratic and Republican alleged sexual transgressions, voter fraud, bribery, kickbacks, and such. Our source material and "contestants" is limitless.

Each program will present four possible transgressors.

During our initial episode we will spend five minutes outlining each alleged transgression with footage from interviews, hidden camera material, plus a variety of television, radio, and press accounts.

The first episode will feature the following alleged transgressors:

Governor Blagojevich of Illinois

Senator Stevens of Alaska

President Clinton

FCC Chairman Martin

Because of my many years in the industry dealing with lawyers, we will of course announce that the "contestants" need not have been convicted of doing anything in order to compete! Allegation's after all are so much more fun then convictions.

Because Blagojevich, Stevens, and Clintons transgressions are widely known, I will devote a few moments now to delve into one particular current activity relating to "Big Business' Buddy" Kevin Martin.

He has served his career well by invariably allowing and encouraging Time/Warner, CBS/Viacom, GE, News Corp and the Walt Disney Company to have their way in controlling the ownership of whatever they wanted. It is inconceivable to think that somewhere or other there was a quid pro in this for him, so this will not be considered as his transgression.

As he exits his post next month, the Federal Communication Commission Chairman is allegedly promoting new rules for a wireless spectrum auction that helps to ensure the licenses go to a company backed by John Doerr.

Mr. Martin allegedly wants to place restrictions on how the spectrum can be used, in order to discourage existent wireless carriers from competing in the auction and increasing the price.

This is his potential transgression, and certainly worthy of an allegation.

A good time will be had by all as we watch our panel discuss the issues, allegations, and transgressions as the show's host attempts to keep the panelists from harming one another. Viewers will be encouraged to vote online for their favorite transgression.

We will of course invite the transgressors to be present during the show so that we can award prizes to the winner and runner up.

As a studio executive, I have noticed many transgressions perpetrated by many, and the "system" as a rule pursues only the "little guys." and leaves the "Enron" type of transgression alone. This is not true all of the time, yet it surely seems to be the way it is.

The issues facing our nation do not concern the Republicans, nor do they concern the Democrats, but rather they speak to the human condition. We continue to allow our elected officials to ignore the problems facing our once great nation while they concentrate on finding ways to serve themselves. This sadly is a time of a great economic crisis, and many of our elected officials are concerned not with society in general, but rather what did Obama know and when did he know it about Governor Blagojevich.

We are in the midst of a deregulatory mess where the transgressors "run amuck" with minimal fear of punishment. Who has been indicted as a result of the "sub prime" disaster?

About a year ago I asked Vice President Gore at an industry luncheon what he thought about Kevin Martins' desire to eliminate the cross ownership rules in broadcasting and he replied that while he did not agree with Martin on this issue, that he was an outstanding FCC Chairman. I wondered then as I wonder now what was in it for Gore in not being critical of a Republican FCC Chairman who supported media consolidation so vigorously.

How sad. I expected more from a man who was only a few stolen votes away from the Presidency of our country.

There is a widely known "joke" concerning a very powerful Hollywood packaging agent who was visited by a stunning young woman who said to him: "You have helped so many in this industry, writers, actors, producers and directors that you deserve something special. I will have sex with you right here, right now in your office if you lock your door."

The agent paused for a thoughtful moment and asked, "OK, but what's in it for me?"

My own favorite "what's in it for me" story involved the Australian owner of the Westside Pavilion Shopping center who had purchased an Australian TV Network for his son to operate. He and I had several meetings concerning his desire to purchase all of the MGM movies and series for his network. We had scheduled formal meetings the following week and when he and I were alone I told him that we needed to discuss what I personally needed in order to make a deal. He said OK, what is it? I said that if we completed a transaction, I wanted a reserved MGM parking space at the Westside Pavilion; he smiled and said, Norman that is not what I thought you were going to ask.


Never Forget, The What's In It For Me!


Norman Horowitz

Who Always Forgot