Chris Dodd made $2.4 million as head of the MPAA in 2011. In other words, $2.4 million a year is what it takes for a former US Senator with a pretty decent reputation to flush it all down the toilet.
Dodd has little shoes to fill: Jack Valenti, who famously said “I sleep each night a little better, a little more confidently, because Lyndon Johnson is my president.” when he served as LBJ’s chief toady, and “the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone” when he was MPAA president, is the model for the kind of slippery DC insider who should run an organization like the MPAA. The MPAA’s ability to get Dodd to do the job indicates either that he was desperate for cash or they’re paying more than the usual suspects.
Dodd began his tenure at the MPAA by the bold bipartisan action of having Lamar Smith introduce SOPA, the “Stop Online Piracy Act”, which would have removed much of the safe harbor provisions of current law and made it possible to shut down sites for having one piece of copyright-infringing content. After a huge outcry on the Internet caused that bill to shit the bed, Dodd took to Fox News to threaten everyone who voted against it: “Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.” Dodd has officially declared SOPA dead, but that just means that the MPAA is working on getting the next Lamar Smith lined up to introduce another bill that will get them what they want.