Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Few Lefties I Have Known

by Burt Prelutsky

Whenever I hear people dismissing Fox News as a propaganda machine for conservatives, I know one thing for certain, and that is that they have never watched it. At most, they’ve flipped past while switching from the Cartoon Network to MSNBC, or have I once again repeated myself?

Frankly, there are times I find myself wishing that Fox were a bit more conservative than it is. After all, there’s only so much time in a day and I hate wasting any of it listening to the inanities of Lis Wiehl, Alan Colmes, Ellis Henican, Leslie Marshall, Juan Williams, Geraldo Rivera or Columbia Professor Marc Lamont Hill, whose field of expertise is rap and hip-hop music, although you’d never know it when Bill O’Reilly has him pontificating on major issues. When any of those folks are on camera, I feel that Fox’s motto should be changed to “Unfair and Unbalanced.”

Liberals are so demented and have such an unclear vision of the real world that they turn to the likes of Bill Maher, Anthony Weiner, Rachel Maddow, David Letterman, Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, Al Gore, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Maxine Waters, Lawrence O’Donnell and Nancy Pelosi, for guidance. It’s a sad thing when a blind person’s seeing-eye dog requires a seeing-eye dog.

Over the course of my life, I have occasionally spent time in the company of left-wingers. When I served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild about 20 years ago, I got to know several Board colleagues who had been blacklisted in the early 50s. Even after four decades, they never missed an opportunity to bring it up and boast of their martyrdom. You’d have thought they’d spent time at Dachau or a Soviet gulag, instead of having gone off to be feted by fellow Communists in Mexico, New York and Europe, sometimes making even more money in other places than they had in Hollywood.

Understand, these people weren’t Russian spies and they got precious little Communist propaganda into their scripts, but they did proudly donate money to Stalin’s coffers and contributed funds and countless man-hours to the American Communist Party.

I mean, you would have thought that they would have been satisfied with FDR’s having turned Norman Thomas’s Socialist platform into his New Deal. But even that wasn’t enough to satisfy these blockheads. Instead, they had to pledge their allegiance to the only regime that actually rivaled and often exceeded the brutality of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Other well-known leftists I have encountered and come to dislike were Maya Angelou, Jimmy Breslin and Ed Asner. Ms. Angelou, besides being a lousy poet, is one of those women who seem to confuse arrogance and a supercilious manner of speech with great dignity.

Back in the 1970s, my editor, who, at one time had been Breslin’s editor, arranged for us to meet for lunch one day in New York. This was a man who spent his career passing himself off as a defender of the masses, a Damon Runyonesque character, a mutt who saw himself as one of the underdogs. I don’t know what I expected, but the conversation over lunch was minimal. He spent most of the hour doodling figures on a napkin -- and only when he took a bathroom break was I able to discover he was writing down the amounts he received from his various sources of income. It was an impressive total; particularly for a devout member of the proletariat. It took a number of years before I came across someone who was obnoxious in the same self-serving way. It was Michael Moore.

This brings us to Ed Asner, whom I got to know when I wrote a couple of episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and a TV movie in which he co-starred with Jean Simmons. Even when I was a Democrat, I never agreed with his radical politics, but I always found him bearable in an amiably gruff Lou Grant sort of way.

But, recently, I heard from a friend of mine, an actress who had toured in a stage play with Asner. It seems they had gotten along famously until one day she happened to mention that she was a Republican. Even though they’d never even discussed political issues, the mere fact that she shared that shocking truth about herself made her repugnant in his eyes. From that day on, except when they were on stage, he never said another word to her.

If you insist that is atypical of open-minded, 1st Amendment-loving, liberals, you are either a liberal yourself or you have never actually met one.

Finally, like most people -- especially the sensible folks of Dayton, Ohio -- I was outraged that Attorney General Eric Holder forced the Dayton Police Department to ignore the actual results of a test given to young applicants. It seems that most, if not all, of the blacks and Hispanics had failed the test.

Instead of urging those who failed to smarten up so that they could pass a standardized test and so that Daytonians wouldn’t have to worry about just how stupid their cops are, Holder predictably blamed the exam. He demanded that passing grades be given to those who did worse than average 12-year-olds would be expected to do.

But it was no surprise, for Holder, time and again, has displayed his racist tendencies. By this time, we have to assume, based on his continuing to hold down the job, that his beliefs perfectly reflect our “post-racial” president’s.

I can’t help wondering if either Holder or Obama would have passed the Dayton test.

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