Thursday, November 26, 2009

Good sense from a (retired) actor

There is a portion of Alicia Colon's interview with Michael Moriarty posted on Big Hollywood. Here is how Ms. Colon sets it up:

Recently I was sent an email complaining about the season premier of the TV Show, “Law & Order.” My correspondent asked what I thought about the plot in which the local Manhattan district attorney Jack McCoy prosecuted a former Justice Department lawyer for “depraved indifference murder” following the lawyer’s memo on the techniques which could be used on terrorists. An astonished “Executive Assistant DA Michael Cutter says, “Jack, you want to prosecute a member of the Bush administration for assaulting suspected terrorists?” To which, a cocksure “McCoy” declares: “The word is torturing. And, yes, it’s about time somebody did.”

The increasingly leftwing comments injected into the plots of this once fine show had turned me off many seasons ago and I answered my reader, “I haven’t watched that show much since they replaced Michael Moriarty as the lead in 1994.

Mr. Moriarty has always been one of my favorite actors and given that he is an Irish American, I thought he’d be the perfect lead off to a series of interviews with notable Americans of Irish ancestry. I was thrilled to be able to connect with Mr. Moriarty, who now lives in Canada, and he graciously agreed to this Q&A interview.

I've been a fan of Moriatry's ever since he portrayed the character of SS officer Erik Dorff in the TV miniseries Holocaust back in 1978. I originally watched Law & Order mostly because he was on it. However I stopped watching L&O after a couple of seasons because the show seemed to follow the following formula: Someone does something odious, but not actually illegal. DA Stone is offended by this and decides to charge them with a crime and talk the jury into convicting them even though they didn't actually commit a crime.

That tendency to portray as noble and heroic district attorneys locking people up for things that weren't actually crimes left a very bad taste in my mouth but the thing that finally turned me off of L&O forever was the episode where a woman used an illegally possessed handgun to defend herself against a man who she claimed had attempted to rape her.

Stone did not believe that she had been in any real danger and prosecuted her for murder. While the trial was ongoing the police turned up conclusive evidence that the man the woman had shot was a serial rapist.

Stone immediately called a meeting in the judges office with the judge and the woman's lawyer where he laid out the facts and said that he could not go ahead with prosecuting a woman who obviously was defending herself. The woman's lawyer said that she was moving for dismissal of the charges against her client but Stone objected on the grounds that if it became known that the woman had used a handgun to defend herself that would encourage others to do so as well. He proposed that the murder charge be dropped and the woman plead guilty to illegal possession of a firearm and receive a one year sentence which could be suspended on time served. The woman's lawyer agreed to this (committing an ethics violation which could and should have seen her disbarred).

That was what put me off the show forever.

However when I heard that Moriarty was leaving L&O out of disgust at NBC's caving to government demands that the network censor itself I tuned in to watch his final episode. After all it isn't all that often you get to see someone in Hollywood being truly brave.

But enough of my reminiscence. Let's take a look at what Michael Moriarty had to say to Ms. Colon.

Alicia Colon (AC): If you were still with L&O would you have objected to the season opener trashing the Bush administration over torture? What is your opinion on Gitmo?

Michael Moriarty (MM): From your description of the L & O program which I DIDN’T see, it sounds typically classic NBC. A Variety magazine article years ago described NBC as the most obedient network to governmental demands. It is now embarrassingly sycophantic. I’m not a fan of either of the Bush Presidents … but this judicial assault upon Guantanamo in a time of war that is still going on is approaching treason. Leave the suspects in Gitmo until the Islamic extremists cease and desist. Welcoming them into our country is suicidal … but then so is the entire Progressive Program for a New World Order. …

AC: Do you think that your pro-life position on abortion makes it more difficult to find work in Hollywood?

MM: Obviously yes … so I’m completely retired.

AC: What made you want to run for president last year? What made you drop out?

MM: The same passionately common sense that drives Glenn Beck is what drove me to run for President. To inject a little OBVIOUS common sense into a profoundly corrupted, two-party system. If you knew how hard that is you would admire Beck’s strength even more than you might now. The title of his new book, ARGUING WITH IDIOTS, is immensely exhausting, particularly for an old man like me. I dropped out of the 2008 election in order to recommend another candidate, Mr. Fred Thompson, also an alumnus of Law and Order. Sarah Palin was then barely a political reality. However, when she hooked up with McCain I supported the Republican ticket entirely because of her.

AC: What is your assessment of the Obama administration?

MM: Beyond a disaster!! In light of what Obama swore to at the inauguration – “to uphold the Constitution of the United States” – it’s a grotesque charade, a lie, a black comedy of immensely ominous implications for individual freedom in the world. Obviously Obama will be obliged to claim that at the inauguration the Chief Justice was putting words in his mouth! He never had any real obligation to uphold the silly principles contained in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights! All the President’s so-called plans and achievements are as forbidding as Chamberlain’s concessions at Munich. But, as we “Drunks” say, “Let go, let God!”

AC: What do you think of Glenn Beck? Have you seen RedEye? What do you think of the grassroots tea parties?

MM: Glenn Beck? A Godsend to America!! The Tea Parties? Long overdue! Red Eye? Very New York! Very Manhattan “Chic”! Very welcome because of its point of view: looking down on those East Coast Progressives who look down on us!!

Damn, there's nothing in there that I couldn't have said.

Makes me wonder why he went along with that whole gun control thing.