Awarding Behavior
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I did not watch the Academy Awards Sunday night...and judging from the numbers, I was hardly alone.

Ratings for the ABC telecast were down 20 percent from the year before, a staggering drop. Fewer people watched this year's telecast than ever.

As for me, I didn't see any of the movies, and the extent of my knowledge about them is that apparently one had to do with Tonya Harding and one with Winston Churchill...and that's likely the only time those two names will be in the same sentence.

Those on the right are saying the decreased interest is because Hollywood activists have turned these into political statement shows, and they are all left wing in their the low viewership means Americans are turned off by the left. That could be, but perhaps it's because we simply want somewhere to turn where expressing your political views is not front and center.

Trust me, I get plenty of it through my job, and while I think discussion of these topics is of vital national and state importance, and I enjoy the process of governing and politics, there are times I want to disconnect from it. So when I turn to an athletic event on radio or television, I don't want to hear about players making a political statement. If it's a performance or an awards show, I don't want to hear about public policy. Regardless of the political view expressed, I'd like to keep things in their places...and the field of play and the concert or awards stage is not really a place for it.

Remember 45 years ago, when Marlon Brando rejected his Best Actor award and instead sent Sacheen Littlefeather to talk about the plight of Native Americans? Hollywood was horrified that the Academy Awards stage would be used for political statements. How quaint that seems today.

And that's the Iowa Politics report for Tuesday, March 6, on Twitter and Instagram @iowapolitics. Listen to today's segment here:

  • @iowapolitics
    Jeff Stein is a national award-winning broadcaster, with 35 years of experience in Iowa radio and television. He has covered every Iowa presidential caucus since 1980, and has been a featured political analyst on the Fox News Channel, PBS News Hour, and various television and radio stations in Iowa. He also produces and hosts the syndicated "Iowa Almanac" daily feature, and the weekly public affairs program, "The IowaWatch Connection".

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