CBS as an ethics-free zone

by Senator Zell Miller

U.S. Senator Zell Miller has taken the debate over “The Real Beverly Hillbillies” to the floor of the U.S. Senate.

In a speech before the Senate February 25, the senator from Georgia called the proposed show a bad joke at the expense of hardworking rural Americans. He said he doubted CBS Television’s President Leslie Moonves would dare try such a spoof featuring an African American or Latino family.

"What CBS and CEO [Leslie] Moonves propose to do with this cracker comedy is bigotry pure and simple. Bigotry for big bucks,” he said. Senator Miller called CBS President Leslie Moonves "a man who obviously believes that network television is an ethics-free zone and that it's acceptable for big profits to always come ahead of good taste.

"I don't know this man but it seems that he is a person who cares little for human dignity and believes that television has no social responsibility."

According to the Washington Post, a CBS spokesperson called Miller's comments about the network and its president, "unwarranted, unsubstantiated and an attempt to cast a stone at the biggest possible target in order to get some attention."

Senator Miller said the response from CBS was predictable.

"When a dog gets hit it always hollers and runs up under the porch. Mr. Moonves knows very well that he has had his suits from CBS going all over the hills and hollers of the Southern mountains looking for that overdrawn stereotype that they have in mind."

On the House side of Congress, Representative Ted Strickland of Ohio has criticized the proposed reality show as potentially harmful to the economic development of rural areas.