Hollywood Scared By The Internet, Eager To Bitch About It

TV and radio broadcasters are holding their annual confab in Las Vegas, where topic A has been the same for the last decade or so: How to defend their businesses from the digital barbarians trying to storm the gates.

Big-name actors, directors and other Hollywood-types typically show up to ad some star power or sell their shows, or both. And they also talked up the Internet and how it’s going to ruin everything. Some of their comments, in descending order of sanity:

At least partly true: Internet Video Isn’t Very Good

“Bourne Identity”  and “Swingers” director Doug Liman: “The reality is that the quality content isn’t there yet. That doesn’t mean it won’t be there next year. Given the direction the Internet’s going– with more and more people working in that arena–you’re going to see an Internet equivalent of Swingers.”

Possible but wrongheaded: The Internet is killing my TV show.

“CSI” creator Anthony Zuiker: “I lost 8 million viewers on our premiere last season. Where are they? They’re on the Web. People are consuming more and more content on the Web. … The broadcast model in terms of advertising is a little bit broken. But we are going to drive them back to television, not away from television. If you don’t take care of television … the laptop will dominate.”

Insane: The Internet is killing democracy.

“Men In Black” director Barry Sonnenfeld: “I fear the Internet for so many reasons. The medium is the message, and the medium has invaded our home and taken over our minds. . . . The really scary part is how hypnotic it is. The ‘Net is so pervasive that kids are on it all day. I suspect we are probably looking at the last generation of Americans that exist in a democracy. Totalitarianism is not far in our future, and the next generation will go down that road happily.”

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