Hollywood director says Web will destroy democracy

Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:02am EDT
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By Carolyn Giardina

LAS VEGAS (Hollywood Reporter) - The Internet has Barry Sonnenfeld freaked out. "I fear the Internet for so many reasons," the director of the "Men in Black" movies said Tuesday during a speech at the National Association of Broadcasters Show here.

"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."

Sonnenfeld fears that children today will grow up with "no concept of the right to privacy and in fact not understand the need for it. Because the Facebook generation is not concerned with what people know about them . . . they will have no problem with additional governmental supervision, spying and intervention. They will be thrilled that the Internet will be able to follow their every move.

"I suspect," he said, "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.

"My only hope is the Bush administration has screwed things up so profoundly -- socially, economically and environmentally -- that perhaps they will be angered by how our generation has selfishly destroyed their future and will put down that computer," he said.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Executive producer and director of the new television series 'Pushing Daisies' Barry Sonnenfeld puffs on a cigar as he arrives for a screening of the program at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California August 16, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>