Chris Dodd Suggests Backroom Negotiations On New SOPA Are Well Underway

Ah, Chris Dodd. It seems like every time he opens his mouth, he makes things worse. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, he responds to a series of questions about SOPA by trying to tiptoe around the issue, but basically admits that there are backroom conversations going on between a small number of people, and that “between now and sometime next year,” Hollywood and the tech industry will “come to an understanding.” He’s asked specifically if there are conversations going on now, and if the White House is pressuring folks to come to such “an understanding.”

THR: Are there conversations going on now?

Dodd: I’m confident that’s the case, but I’m not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive.

THR: Did you feel personally blindsided by Obama over SOPA?

Dodd: I’m not going to revisit the events of last winter. I’ll only say to you that I’m confident he’s using his good relationships in both communities to do exactly what you and I have been talking about.

Yes, you know why it would be “counterproductive” to go into more detail? Because he knows damn well that the problem with SOPA was that it was negotiated in the backrooms with private parties and no participation from the actual stakeholders: the public.

So, yes, admitting that you’re doing the same thing all over again would be counterproductive. You know what would be productive? Stopping this political backroom dealing crap, and finally coming out and having a public discussion. But he won’t do it, because Dodd is a coward and a DC-insider who only knows how to cut deals, not how to actually respond to the public’s best interests.

Later in the interview he trots out a nearly identicalline to the one he’s been using recently, about how he only just discovered that the movie industry wasn’t just about red carpets and movie stars.

There’s so much misunderstanding about this business. Before I started this job, I would have said it’s about Oscar night, red carpets, movie stars and glamorous lives. But there are 2.2 million people who get up every morning and work in this business. I think it’s unfortunate there isn’t a deeper understanding of how important this industry is to this country.

Not only does this sound ridiculous (and call into question why someone so clueless about the industry was given the top lobbying job for the industry), but it’s entirely false. 2.2 million people do not “get up every morning and work in this business.” As has been detailed many times, the actual number is less than 400,000 (and that’s from the Congressional Research Service), and the number of jobs for people who actually make movies is growing. The only real decrease has been in those who work at theaters — and that’s due to consolidation.

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