On Friday, April 27, Bill Moyers welcomed Marty Kaplan to “Moyers and Company” to talk about the influence of big money in politics and how it has resulted in what Kaplan calls a “Disney World of Democracy.”
Kaplan would know, as the former Dean of the Annenberg School of Communication and current head of the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center, Kaplan has made a life of studying media and entertainment and how they function both as mirrors of society and engines of change.
Kaplan’s résumé extends from work as Vice Presidential candidate Walter Mondale’s speechwriter in 1984 to screenwriter of the film “The Distinguished Gentleman,” which featured Eddie Murphy as a street level conman who ascends to public office and finds the work isn’t so different from his previous street hustle. He has headed think tanks and worked for Disney as a writer and producer.
Kaplan views the influence of big money over big media and the collateral damage that relationship inflicts on our political system as abhorrent. But, he says, Washington is such an insular environment that its denizens see nothing wrong with the cozy quid pro quo relationships that form between elected officials and lobbyists for corporations and big media groups.
“The culture,” he said, “is so hermetically sealed from the rest of the country that it doesn’t even occur to them that there’s something deeply outrageous, offensive and corrosive of democracy to admit that the money side of politics and the elected side of politics belong to each other.”
Watch the full interview, embedded via Moyers and Company, below: