LAWMAKERS, April 19, 1984

Capitol Building and Environs, misc.
Year Shot:
1984  (Actual Year)
Tape Master:
Original Film:
LM 141
20.18.49-ROBERTS introduces story on an absurd CONGRESSIONAL debate, over OPERA, an attempt to CENSOR a production of RIGOLETTO. Shot of stage, performers in production, costumes are modernized to '30's period New York GANGSTER style, guns are drawn, etc.. ROBERTS states that VERDI would not recognize the production, but would recognize the controversy. FEDERALLY FUNDED arts are liable to CONGRESSIONAL standards. 20.19.51-Rep. TOM DOWNEY (D-NY) states he is offended as an ITALIAN-AMERICAN at the stereotype of the MAFIA. Rep. MARIO PIAGGI (D-NY) with angrier criticism, says the production is using stereotypes to promote sales, is inappropriate use of federal funds. ROBERTS v.o.-PIAGGI'S effort to get the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS to act failed. Shot of Rep. PIAGGI addressing HOUSE, demands an investigation. Shot of Sen. PAUL SIMON, pledging an investigation that avoids "censorship". 20.21.27-Rep. DOWNEY, states he hopes the production is not censored by CONGRESS, legislation is not justified. Shot of NEA Deputy Director HUGH SOUTHERN, says government has no business regulating content of artistic work. Rep. PIAGGI says TAXPAYERS shouldn't have to pay for offensive works. ROBERTS notes that the ad campaign for the production was cancelled. Shot of close of production, male lead and diva on stage. 20.22.37-ROBERTS in studio. Says Metropolitan Opera has complied with a request and stopped the advertising campaign. DUKE introduces commentary by Mark SHIELDS on the phenomenon of attacking "bigness". SHIELDS seated in front of bookcase. Commentary centers on the way "big" is almost always bad-"big business", "big government", "big labor", "big brother", etc. 20.24.47-DUKE signs off. Closing credits/WETA credit/sponsor credits/PBS ID 20.26.22-OUT