For whatever reason I never paid attention to Tom Steyer‘s most recent videos until this afternoon. This is all basic “duhh” stuff, but a sizable percentage of the viewing population doesn’t pay attention as a rule. Who had to look up the title of this post? It’s from a well-known film, but is not actually spoken.
Trump attorney Michael Cohen was forced to reveal this morning that Fox News host Sean Hannity is a client, aka “the mysterious third client.” U.S. District Court judge Kimba Wood ordered Trump’s longtime personal attorney to disclose the Hannity relationship.
Hannity has always been in the Trump-Pravda tank so it’s not exactly a shocker that he and Cohen are joined at the professional hip, but what little journalistic integrity Hannity had until today seems compromised all the more.
Hannity interviewed Cohen in January 2017 about the Steele dossier [below]. During this interview Cohen reiterated his claim that he’s “never been in Prague…never.” That assertion was disputed last Friday by a McClatchy report.
This isn’t an easy thing to contemplate but in less than five years Jodie Foster, who was barely pubescent when she made Taxi Driver, will turn 60. I’m mentioning this because she seems to be playing that age in Drew Pearce‘s Hotel Artemis (Warner Bros., 6.18), an original-sounding, noir-atmosphere crime drama with a strongish cast — Sterling K. Brown, Brian Tyree Henry, Dave Bautista, Sofia Boutella, Zachary Quinto, Jeff Goldblum, Jenny Slate. Wiki premise: “In riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, The Nurse (Foster) runs a secret, members-only hospital for criminals. Waikiki and Honolulu (Brown, Henry) become patients after an armed robbery goes wrong,” blah blah.
Roughly speaking Dwayne Johnson is doing the same kind of top-dollar, macho-action-star thing that Kirk Douglas consolidated in the ’50s, Steve McQueen delivered in the ’60s and early ’70s, Sylvester Stallone dealt in the late ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, Arnold Schwarzenegger monetized in the ’80s and ’90s, Vin Diesel tried and failed to do as a stand-alone (until the Fast & Furious franchise took off), Robert Downey, Jr. began to do with Iron Man in ’08 and which Bruce Willis did in the early ’90s and is still half-doing today.
Except Johnson is no Douglas or McQueen (please!), and he represents an evolutionary step down by the standards of Stallone, Willis, Downey and Schwarzenegger, who actually made good films in their prime years. Johnson makes big, dopey, adolescent wank-offs, and then raises his fist and goes “yeaahhh!”
On top of which he seems less than hardcore when it comes to political principles and launching (don’t laugh) a possible Presidential run.
Last December Johnson told Variety‘s Elizabeth Wagmeister that he cares “deeply about our country, and about our people…decency matters and being a decent human being matters, and character matters, and leadership matters.”
And yet Johnson said that a 2024 run “would be the realistic consideration” because he has more movies and more millions to make before he tries to restore big-government decency and character. “Realistically, as we go into 2018, when you look at my slate as we’re developing and shooting into 2019 and 2020,” Johnson says, “[and] the slate goes deep into 2021, so it feels like the realistic consideration would be 2024.”
I’m not misinterpreting or misquoting in the slightest way here. Johnson really told Wagmeister that while he has serious arguments with Trump and that he’s giving serious thought to running because he cares about the U.S. and wants to restore a climate of decency and character, he can’t see running in ’20 because of existing commitments to make and produce a few more films.
A debate about blacklisting arose yesterday in a thread about the passing of R. Lee Ermey. Ermey claimed a few years back that he’d been blackballed by Hollywood for expressing some rightwing, anti-Obama beliefs during a Toys for Tots rally in December 2010. He apologized the following month but allegedly endured some professional turn-downs regardless. I posted two or three thoughts about blacklisting and karma and whatnot, which received some pushback. For clarity’s sake here they are again:
1. The Right wrote the book on political blacklisting in the late ’40s and especially the ’50s. So much so that they kinda “own” blacklisting in perpetuity, as they put many good people of conscience and principle through considerable misery, and thereby earned a good amount of poison karma for themselves, and so any blacklisting that comes back at their descendants is just too effing bad. Blacklisting is a bad thing, but they can’t deny the discriminatory karma that’s in their blood. If you hatch ugly eggs, you can’t complain when the chickens come home to roost, even if it’s a half-century or more later.
2. Speaking for myself I’d never be in favor of denying anyone work if they’re good at their job or craft or even if they’re less than talented — no blacklisting under any circumstances! Jon Voight‘s views may be reprehensible, but he’s a first-rate actor and should never be shit-canned because he said some appalling things about Barack Obama. Good creative ferment is all that matters.
3. But given the UNDENIABLE FACT that the Right created and implemented the toxic blacklisting of certain Hollywood persons on the Left during the late ’40s and ’50s, and because the evil karma serum has been generationally passed down through blood and genetics, Righties have NO LEG TO STAND ON if they want to cry foul. They can’t. If they run into any anti-Right blacklisting or discrimination they’ll have to TAKE IT and LIKE IT because their souls are stained. Because their grandfathers brought horror and hell into the lives of many good and principled directors, screenwriters and actors back in the day. Somewhere in heaven Dalton Trumbo, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson are listening and noting the irony.
4. Once again, blacklisting is a lousy thing to even consider, much less implement, but Righties have no ethical leg to stand on IF and WHEN political blackballing were to rear its ugly head in their backyards. In a serial or generational sense they own it, their grandfathers wrote the book and they have to take the karma like men.