FIRM Discussions

May 15, 1998 - May 15, 1998
Part B

John Cones
4:42 pm Friday May 15, 1998

One would think that a film community that honors heroes like French captain Alfred
Dreyfus, who was wrongfully accused and convicted in the 1890s would be a bit more
careful about wrongfully accusing others and convicting them in the court of public
opinion without ever providing a stitch of evidence to support the false charges. Some
people just do not learn the lessons of history. People who are over zealous in guarding
their own rights and privileges, to the ultimate severe disadvantage of others who should
have equal rights and privileges, may be planting the seeds of discontent that will
eventually rise up against the oppressors.

McCarthyism in Reverse
John Cones
4:44 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Blacklisting is alive and well in Hollywood. This current debate about the
Hollywood-based U.S. film industry reminds me of McCarthyism in reverse. Instead of
falsely accusing me of being a communist (although one person actually did that too), I'm
being repeatedly and falsely accused in public forums of anti-Semitism, to the point
where my former professional associates are being forced to avoid further association
with me. Again, for a film community that is so fond of producing movies that teach us
about the dangers of the McCarthy form of intolerance, not many of those lessons seem
to have rubbed off on today's Hollywood.

Moviegoers Have Rights Too
John Cones
4:46 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Any observer of the Hollywood scene may be able to come up with even more relevant
factors in the backgrounds of the studio executives relating directly or indirectly to why
they produce and release the movies they do, but as a parent and moviegoer, you cannot
convince me that it is inappropriate to examine any and all aspects of the backgrounds of
these studio executives who are disseminating information through a powerful
communications medium to millions of people throughout the world including to our
children, and all the while asking us to pay for it. That is a nonsensical joke being
paraded as a preposterous absurdity.

Lowest Form of Human Life
John Cones
4:47 pm Friday May 15, 1998

I saw a movie a few years back, a major studio release (Columbia--1993), starring one
of my favorite actors, Robert Duvall. The movie was "Geronimo--An American
Legend". Duvall played a Western character who had a run-in with a group of Texans.
After the Texans had departed, Duvall announced to his associates that "Texans are the
lowest form of human life". Now, I ask you, was that funny or offensive? What if the
movie was a different movie about a character who said "African-Americans are the
lowest form of human life? Would that be funny or offensive? What about another
movie in which the character said "Latinos are the lowest form of human life, funny or
offensive? And, what if the movie character said "Jews are the lowest form of human life?
Funny or offensive? Do you feelings differ depending on which group is being defamed?
Should they? Would your feelings differ if you knew that White folks from Texas and
the American South are among at least five distinct populations in our diverse society that
have been consistently portrayed in Hollywood movies in a negative or stereotypical
manner for the last several decades? Would your feelings differ if you realized that the
motion picture is a significant medium for the communication of ideas and that ideas have
always and will always be important factors in influencing human thinking and behavior?
Would your feelings differ if you realized that millions of the people who go into these
darkened theatres and view these powerful movie images are young, not very
sophisticated and in some cases not well educated or even mentally balanced individuals
(i.e., no one stands at the theatre door trying to determine who can effectively separate
reality from fantasy in movies)? If someone like those individuals I've just described,
repeatedly saw a particular group of people consistently portrayed in a negative or
stereotypical manner over the years in a significant number of Hollywood movies, what
are the chances that such portrayals would influence the attitudes of those moviegoers

with respect to those negatively or stereotypically portrayed populations? Probably,
pretty good, wouldn't you say. Our national movie industry has an affirmative obligation
to offer us a more balanced view of the real world and to make the control positions at
the dominant film companies available to a more diverse group of executive
decision-makers, so that movies can mirror the values, interests, cultural perspectives
and prejudices of a more representative group of Americans.

Cornerstone of Democracy
John Cones
4:49 pm Friday May 15, 1998

An informed citizenry is the cornerstone of democracy. However, if our citizens are
regularly subjected to slanted versions of the truth and reality through a powerful
communications medium like feature film, then it is impossible to have an informed
citizenry, and thus our democracy is weakened.

The Appearance of Dishonesty
John Cones
4:51 pm Friday May 15, 1998

It is impossible for people who consistently misstate the views of others, in the face of
available facts, to avoid the appearance of dishonesty.

IFP/West Lecture Cancelled
John Cones
4:54 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Just as suggested by LA Weekly reporter Charles Fleming a week earlier, my scheduled
appearance at an IFP/West sponsored Resource Roundtable, where I was to visit with
independent feature film producers about investor financing of independent film has been
cancelled. Reporter Fleming had indicated to me in my interview with him that he had
been told that there would be an attempt to have my lecture cancelled by people who
were opposed to my film industry reform-related views. I called IFP/West Member
Resource Administrator Tamara Krinsky who had made all of the arrangements for the
appearance and re-confirmed the event. A few days later, I had a message on my
machine from someone else at IFP/West saying the event had been cancelled, because
no one had registered to attend. I have no way of knowing whether this is true or not. It
does not seem consistent with my past experience with IFP/West (i.e., my other
appearances sponsored by this organization have been well attended). And, it does
seem rather coincidental in light of Reporter Charles Fleming's information, and the other
abrupt cancellations that have occurred this week (Carlos de Abreau's cancellation of my
long-time and well-regarded Investor Financing Q&A site on the Hollywood Network
Internet site, attorney Mark Litwak's communication to me that he could no longer
associate with me, a threat by a FIRM site Discussion Forum participant that he would
not purchase any of my books, the name calling on the Web Cinema Digest and the
FIRM site Discussion Forum, the Film Threat Weekly defamation, the hate mail, the
crank calls, the hangups, Charles Fleming's own error-ladened article in the LA Weekly
and so on). Would it be fair to call this a smear campaign? We'll see. IFP/West said
they would try to book me again later.

electronic exhibition and distribution
The Screening Room
6:16 pm Friday May 15, 1998

We have been running an electronic cinema for over 5 years and have just recently
opened an additional branch...
The Screening Room
Electronic Cinema Deveopment & Booking
(716) 837-0376

The basic concept is to open the movie industry up to individuals who normally could not become involved due to
operational and financial barriers.
Electronic cinema provides a great method for distribution,
exhibition and film production.
We are attempting to have electronic cinemas in the top 50
markets (and others) by creating a central network of resources for development
If you are interested please contact us by phone or EMail.

Yeah, the Jews is Gonna Try an' Git Ya Sucka
Joe Goldenberg
6:53 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Yeah, it looks like, as you call it, the Jews is unsheathing their
ol' Anti-Semitic Sword right about now. And, one thing that can

be said, is that Sword ain't very rusty.

Too bad a handfull of headonistic/secular Hollywood Jews are
insulting the rest of us 14 million world wide.

Joe Goldenberg

The Jews and the Japs
Joe Goldenberg
7:28 pm Friday May 15, 1998

:An informed citizenry is the cornerstone of democracy. However,
if our citizens are regularly subjected to slanted versions of the
truth and reality through a powerful communications medium like
feature film, then it is impossible to have an informed citizenry,
and thus our democracy is weakened.
Them Jews is pissed for being screwed by ol' Hitler and them Japs
is pissed for being nuked by ol' Uncle Sam, and it's just a matter
of time to see who tried to take over our DE-mocracy da most.

The Jews now have the US by the communication-balls and the Japs
have US by the tech-balls and they is pulling left and right and
chewing on the 275,000,000 Americans in the middle who are driving
their quality-built Jap cars and are too star-struck (or actually
Jew-struck) with SEINFELD-on-the-brain to do, or say anything.

But they ultimately will. Americans are smart (they invented the

Joe Goldenberg

re: Your Hyper-anti-Semitic-sensitive PO
7:41 pm Friday May 15, 1998


You like picking fights, dont' you. Every posting I've read from
you attacks or challanges someone. Are you an angry, failed man?
You say you were associated with Jack Warner and others. And
nobody knows who you are. Does this bother you?

Of course Cones threatened JM with a legal action, can't you read?
You obviously can't spell.

Corporations Don't Control Hollywood
John Cones
7:48 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Sara writes: "If the film industry is controlled by an inner
circle in the studio/distributors, why don't the stockholders of
these entities, which I believe are all public corporations, just
change the management team?"

Corporations, including publicly held corporations, have three
levels of governance. The shareholder/owners generally only meet
once a year and typically only vote on who gets to be on the
corporate board of directors. This board of directors, in turns
makes the important decisions for the corporation relating to
policy and direction, including the hiring of officers. The
officers, in turn, run the corporation on a day to day basis under
the supervision of the board of directors. Most of the
Hollywood-based major film studios have evolved from closely-held,
family-owned companies to the vertically-integrated, international
corporate conglomerates of today. In earlier times, the
roles of owners and managers were merged. Today, those roles are
much more separate. In order to maintain control of the important
decisions relating to which movies are produced and released, who
gets to work in the key positions on those movies and who gets to
approve of the actual content of the scripts that serve as the
basis for those movies, several strategies have evolved. First,
and obviously, if a particular interest group owns a majority of
the corporate shares, it has the power to install a majority of
the board of directors, who in turn can determine who the officers
will be. On the other hand, even without a majority of shares, if
traditional Hollywood management can convince the shareholders
that only certain people (friendly to traditional Hollywood
management or recruited directly from those ranks) are suitable to
serve as members of the corporate board of directors, then a board
of directors inclined to support this traditional Hollywood
management will be in place. Even when Hollywood outsiders
have controlled both a majority of shareholders and a majority of
seats on the board of these major studio/distributors, traditional
Hollywood management has often been able to threaten a mass exodus
of studio management, along with some creative talent, whenever
the corporate owners and boards did not allow management a
relative free hand in running the company. The most recent
example of that occurred when Matsushista was threatened with the

mass exodus of top management and producers if the Japanese did
not relinquish certain authority and control back to management.
This struggle resulted in the sale of MCA/Universal to Seagrams.
Finally, any comprehensive study of the history of Hollywood
reveals that even when Hollywood outsiders control all three
levels of corporate governance of an established major
studio/distributor, the rest of Hollywood circles the wagons and
bombards such persons and entities with consistent, wholesale,
public criticism, discourages talent from taking their services to
such a studio, engages in smear campaigns, and so forth (see "The
Hollywood Outsiders" an excerpt from "How the Movie Wars Were

So, Sara, it's not quite as easy as you might think. Hollywood is
a very sophisticated place in this area of corporate governance.
Traditional Hollywood management has had 90 years to refine its
techniques for maintaining control of the important decisions, and
the corporate structure has principally evolved into a mere
vehicle for attracting and using other people's money to produce
and release the films chosen by Hollywood management and to
subsequently keep most of the money earned by such films within
that Hollywood inner circle.

Selling Out in Hollywood
John Cones
7:52 pm Friday May 15, 1998

My experience in Hollywood suggests to me that everyone who works
in Hollywood for any period of time without speaking out about
Hollywood's inequities has, in fact, sold out to the Hollywood
establishment to some extent. Everyone who stands idly by while
someone who has the courage to speak the truth is being wrongfully
labeled and accused by the Hollywood apologists to the detriment
of their career is contributing to the continued growth of the
illegitimate power that spawns that abuse.

Typical Spelling Ninny
Joe Goldenberg
8:14 pm Friday May 15, 1998


You're one of those people that, when they don't have anything
intelligent to say, point out a person's spelling mistakes.

Boy are you detail-oriented. I bet you are some studio exec's Guy
Friday and a half!!

Joe Goldenberg

re: Why Most Don't Complain
Joe Goldenberg
8:17 pm Friday May 15, 1998

I have seen it close up and personal for years.

Joe Goldenberg

Litwak Tries to Go Hollywood
Joe Goldenberg
8:34 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Shame on you Mark.

Stop kissing up to Hollywood. You're a good attorney and your
very fine consumer-protection mentor (and you know who I mean), is
probably ahhorred.

Don't waste a good long-term friendship with John Cones over this
hypocritical little, over-saturated flick-dom with its pants down
all the time.

Joe Goldenberg

P.S. Don't you agree Robert

re: Reading Between the Lines
9:37 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Hey Cones,

You are such a double-speaking pig fuck. You've seized upon 3
words in my posting and have written a whole new essay in
response. THIS is twisting words, jerkoff. No wonder people do it
to you. Because you do it to others. Here is my complete prior
posting (for the benefit of those just tuning in):

"It's very clever of you to deflect the charge of anti-Semitism by
asking your accusers to prove it. You say, look at your writings
and prove the anti-Semitism.

One does not have to specifically say or write something anti-
Semitic to BE anti-Semitic. And a person who has some intelligence
certainly knows how NOT to speak or write something anti-Semitic,
so as to avoid ANY APPEARANCE of anti-Semitism.

You, sir, do just that. Aren't you clever! You dance around this
issue so nimbly.

All one has to do is read between the lines: You consistently make
reference to "Jewish males of European heritage...." etc, etc, in
ANYTHING? If you weren't anti-Semitic, these references would
never be part of your writings.

The only correlation you make between the religious backgrounds
of the "Jewish males of European heritage" and the movies is that

Christian ministers (and other religions' priests) are not
portrayed fairly or honestly in the movies. Give me a break. There
are many movies with positive portrayals; you just do not
acknowledge them as they don't serve your agenda here.

You say that you're not a particulary religious man, although I
suspect this is a lie. It's always a good strategy to say "I'm not
one of those...HOWEVER...". People use this to give their
arguments more credibility, don't you know. You also conveniently
leave out WHAT your religious background is. How interesting. Are
you a...Christian Fundamentalist by any chance?? That WOULD
explain some of your agenda here.

So, John, if I were to say that "black people are not as good at
swimming as white people because they're not as buoyant," would
this make me a bigot? (A famous quote.) Well, if I use your
argument that you use with others in this discussion, then by my
saying that or speaking that, I am not. BUT THIS IS NOT THE TRUTH,
JOHN. Someone who would say that, is prejudiced, even though they
may not be "hostile" words or words filled with hatred. And this
is precisely what you do in your writings. You do not specifically
say you hate Jews, or that you think they ought to die or
whatever. You identify what you believe to be the religious
background of a group of people and then explain what is wrong
with the movies they make/authorize. And you conveniently leave
out the wonderful films "this group" has made, and conveniently
leave out all the terrible movies that people of other religious
backgrounds have made.

John, deny what you will. Deny all you want. I see through you.
Others do too, obviously. You are appearantly a very frustrated
man who I assume has not achieved what you wanted to achieve in
this industry, and therefore on some psychological level need to
find emotional comfort by having a scapegoat.

And you have even gone far enough to develop an anti-Semitic
agenda that you couch in idealistic, "lets change the world for
the better" language."

This was my original posting. I do say read "between the lines"
within the context of this whole posting here. But Jerkoff Cones
likes to pull words and phrases out of peoples' comments/postings
and pick them apart, OUT OF CONTEXT.

Cones, you are not a "wordsmith." You think you are; you think you
know how to write coherently and logically. Perhaps you're good at
writing legal briefs and legalese, but you're terrible here. Your
arguments and rants are quite hollow.

And how arrogant of you to constantly back up your definition of
anti-Semitism with a bunch of dictionarys. You truly don't
understand how arrogant (or ignorant) this is.

Frankly, I don't think you care. You just won't acknowledge your
bigotry and are hiding behind a very academic definition because
this is your ONLY defense.


re: Typical Spelling Ninny
9:40 pm Friday May 15, 1998



re: Christian Fundamentalist, He Speculates
10:12 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Well, so I was wrong about suspecting you were a Christian
Fundamentalist. I thought this because you were complaining about
how people of religious faiths other than Judiasm were portrayed
in the movies.

But I had a sneaking suspicion you were also a southerner, so I
guess I was right about that. One for two ain't bad. Southerners
have been known for disliking Jews. And Blacks. And Asians. And

I am a Jew, Mr. Cones. Isn't that special? I'm sure you're not

Which is why when you spout off about what is WRONG with
Hollywood, then identify who you believe runs Hollywood (and
therefore the PROBLEM) as "Jewish white men", it pisses me off.
How can you not see this as bigotry? You are not just stating
facts, as you like to say. You are taking positions ABOUT
Hollywood, and then making not-so-subtle insinuations about THE


re: Litwak Tries to Go Hollywood
10:20 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Of course I don't agree with you JoeBlow.

I'm glad Litwak did what he did. It may have taken ten years for
him to see Cones' "spots" (you know...the leopard...spots...), but

at least he finally saw Cones for what he really is.

I think Ralph Nader would be proud, JoeBlow.

re: Why Most Don't Complain
10:30 pm Friday May 15, 1998

I'll bet you've slept with the best, havent' you?

re: Moviegoers Have Rights Too
10:43 pm Friday May 15, 1998

This argument that you use right here is your whole fucking
problem, Jerkoff. It's actually a good thing that you can't see
this, because now we get to see who you truly are. A RACIST AND A

Also, if you don't like the movies, DON'T GO TO THEM!! NO ONE IS

There plenty of alternatives to watching movies or TV. Why don't
you encourage your kids to READ BOOKS!! I know people who don't
let their children watch TV. What a great idea! Go ahead, use
this in your platform, I won't sue you for stealin'.

re: Lowest Form of Human Life
10:55 pm Friday May 15, 1998

To all you Southerners reading this posting, no disrespect
intended. Coney, you conveniently forget that the KKK to this day
still has a very large presence in the South. There is still huge
numbers of very prejudiced people there. There are prejudiced
people everywhere, but it's still worse in the South. THAT may be
why the South still gets made fun of. Not to mention that the
South contains some states that rank lowest in educational test

And uneducation...ignorance, breeds bigotry.

Perhaps when the South catches up with other parts of the country
in tolerance, we'll have less jokes in the public consciousness
about Southerners.

So, what are YOU doing to help the South catch up and be more

re: The Jews and the Japs
11:07 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Hey JoeBlow,

You really are a stupid, racist, fucked-up moron. I knew with
enough postings, we'd get to see the real you. (Unless you are
really John Cones masquerading as Joe Goldenberg so that you can
pretend to have a dialogue.)

Why don't you put yourself out of your misery, JoeBlow? I'll buy
you the razor blade.

re: IFP/West Lecture Cancelled
11:14 pm Friday May 15, 1998

Hey Coney,

I did not "threaten" that I would not purchase any of your books.

I stated a FACT that I would not buy any of your books.

There is a difference, Mr. Wordsmith.

re: Yeah, the Jews is Gonna Try an' Git Ya
11:18 pm Friday May 15, 1998


I don't believe for one second you're Jewish. So quit fucking
LYING, asshole.

re: IFP/West Lecture Cancelled
11:23 pm Friday May 15, 1998


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