Laughing at Democracy at the Mall

Marty Kaplan is one smart guy. He is now the director of the Norman Lear Center for the study of entertainment and society at the Annenberg School of the University of Southern California. The rest of his resume is embarrassing to the rest of us: He graduated summa cum laude in molecular biology from Harvard, received a first in English at Cambridge, earned a Ph.D. in modern thought from Stanford and, as a vice president of Disney, wrote a movie for Eddie Murphy. He has this theory about entertainment taking over the news, even the world. At the blackboard, he…