|December 5, 2020|
Good evening! Today's Evening Edition includes:
- "Dark winter"
- RIP, Warren Berlinger & Abby Dalton, And A Note On Hollywood Rewriting The Past
- Section 230
- Former FBI laywer pleads for mercy
It looks as if Joe Biden might have been right about a “dark winter” ahead, but if so, it’s mostly because people think he’s likely to become President.
Friday, the Department of Labor issued a disappointing November jobs report. It was expected that the economy would add 440,000 new jobs, but the number was only 225,000. This comes after several months of the economy roaring back from the coronavirus shutdowns with record growth and job creation. Why the sudden downturn?
When people started being told in the first week of November that Biden is the “President-elect” (he’s not, at least not yet), it’s likely that business owners braced for a return of the deadly policies of the Obama years, Biden’s promised big tax increases, kowtowing again to China and a wave of intrusive, business-crushing regulations imposed by clueless liberal bureaucrats with zero private sector experience.
Biden called it a “dire jobs report,” complaining that “one in four businesses can’t keep their doors open.” I assume he thinks we'll blame Trump for it. I wonder if it even dawns on him that we know what allegedly happened in November. Businesses are shutting their doors because his fellow Democrats keep ordering their doors to be nailed shut, and the sudden drop in hiring is because business owners are suddenly battening down the hatches in fear that the roaring Trump economy he ran against is about to turn back into the anti-business Obama-Biden economy we suffered through for eight years.
RIP, Warren Berlinger & Abby Dalton, And A Note On Hollywood Rewriting The Past
By “Huckabee” pop culture guru Pat Reeder (http://www.facebook.com/hollywoodhifi.com)
(Check out my Facebook page for our annual postings of hilarious and obscure celebrity Christmas records.)
We are sad to report the passing of two performers who will be very familiar to baby boomers.
Actor Warren Berlinger passed away this week at 83. He was one of those comic character actors whose name you might not know, but you’d recognize his face anywhere. His stage, TV and movie career stretched across eight decades, starting with his Broadway debut at age 9 in the original cast of “Annie Get Your Gun” in 1947. His friendly, chubby face, regular guy personality and knack for comedy made him a mainstay of sketch and anthology shows such as “Love American Style” and “The Love Boat,” and sitcoms stretching from “The Goldbergs” in 1956 through “That Girl,” “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “Too Close For Comfort,” “Friends” and right up to his last role in Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie.”
It’s also been reported that Abby Dalton died on November 23rd in Los Angeles at 88, following a long illness. While she appeared in many roles, Dalton was best known for playing Julia Cumson on “Falcon Crest” in the 1980s, for her four-year stint as the lower center square on “Hollywood Squares,” and for her 1961 Emmy nomination for Jackie Cooper’s military series, “Hennesey.” She actually starred on that show at the same time she was on the sitcom “The Joey Bishop Show” as Bishop’s wife.
She was in such high demand because of her unusual combination of talents, being both a first-rate comic actress and a gorgeous sex symbol who started out as a model. Men who were young and impressionable in 1957 will surely remember her from Roger Corman’s weirdly-titled B-movie, “The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent,” while younger readers might remember that from “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
Both Warren Berlinger and Abby Dalton contributed so much to the entertainment world over the past half century that will be enjoyed for many years to come.
* * *
I would also like to point your attention to a couple of things that I think “Huckabee” newsletter readers will appreciate, if you are as alarmed as I am by the left’s recent push to censor, label and edit movies, TV shows and recordings from bygone eras that don’t adhere to the latest PC standards. I’m a pop culture historian, and like you, I am intelligent enough to watch a movie from many decades ago and see a joke, character or story point that wouldn’t pass muster today without it affecting my personal beliefs.
We can all recognize that these artistic works are a product of their times, just as our ancestors were products of their times but still deserve respect. I assume people will someday look back on the dismal “woke” desecrations of “Star Wars” and “Ghostbusters” and say, “What were they thinking?” But I don’t even want those to be buried; I want them preserved as a warning to future generations never to do that again.
The first thing I want to share is from a YouTuber I enjoy known as “The Critical Drinker” (he does all his videos in the persona of a drunken Scotsman, so a warning about the language). He has many videos that hilariously rip the woke virtue-signaling that’s ruining today’s movies and TV shows, but this is a serious commentary that came out during the BLM boom, when “Gone With The Wind” was taken off of TV. It’s an intelligent and impassioned argument against the “cancel culture” burying, editing and altering older movies to make them “safe” for today’s audiences. It’s called “Why The Past Matters.”
Second, there’s a movie out now called “Mank,” about the great screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz’s work on the script for “Citizen Kane.”
I’m a “Kane” nut, so I enjoyed it, but it’s probably too depressing and inside for most casual moviegoers. Still, there’s a line that resonates widely today and needs to be heard by everyone. MGM head Louis B. Mayer tells this to a new writer:
“This is a business where the buyer gets nothing for his money but a memory. What he bought still belongs to the man who sold it. That’s the real magic of the movies.”
That’s also what’s so dangerous about “cancel culture” as it pertains to altering or censoring older creative works. In an era when so many people rely on streaming for content, and the content owners are so politicized and easily frightened by the Twitter mobs, our cultural past is not safe.
People ask me why my house is filled with books, LPs, CDs, DVDs, film reels, tapes, 45s and hard drives full of files. Because if you don’t own it in a hard copy format, you don’t own it at all. It can be taken away or altered at any time whenever the rights owner decides you shouldn’t see it in its original form. Personally, if I don’t own it, I don’t trust anyone else to preserve it. I don't want my personal memories of these works to be the only thing about them that survives.
And if one of my DVD’s of Disney’s “Song of the South” breaks, no problem. I have two.
The late Dr. Walter E. Williams’ final column, dated December 2nd, the day he died. It’s on one of his favorite subjects: how the public school system is failing black students so badly that white liberals who defend it would never accept this level of schooling for their own children.
President Trump is threatening to veto a crucial military spending bill if it doesn’t include the removal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That’s the law that protects social media companies from lawsuits as long as they act as neutral platforms rather than editors promoting an agenda, a responsibility that most of them treat with as much respect as a puppy shows to your carpeting. But the military bill’s sponsors say Section 230 is not connected to this and shouldn’t be in it, since, as we all know, Congress never inserts unrelated items into large spending bills.
Trump is concerned that if he leaves office, this will be the last chance to force the social media giants to obey the law, since Democrats are benefitting immensely from their illegal politicking. However, the socials could be sailing toward a couple of icebergs they hadn’t anticipated having to dodge.
I told you already about the DOJ lawsuit against Facebook for its alleged illegal hiring practices that discriminate against American applicants in favor of foreign visa holders. Now, the Washington Examiner reports that more than 40 states plan to join an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, seeking that it be broken up to end its monopolistic policies. It’s not yet clear what the focus of the suit will be, but aside from Facebook’s infamous silencing of conservative voices, it also has a history of using its massive cash resources to buy up new start-ups that might become competitors, such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
An interesting side issue is that if more than 40 states plan to join the suit, that means it’s not just Republican states but a lot of blue states, too. Facebook will be facing a bipartisan effort to break it up that is backed by at least 4/5ths of the states. Sounds like a lot of people are ready to unfriend Mark Zuckerberg.
Former FBI lawyer pleads for mercy
Our pop culture guru Pat Reeder says he can quote a line from “Gone With The Wind” to fit any situation in life, and his pick for this story is Rhett Butler’s, “You’re like the thief who isn't the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he's going to jail.”
The story is that attorneys for former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith are pleading with a judge not to give him jail time for lying to secure surveillance warrants against Trump 2016 campaign adviser Carter Page. He didn’t mean to do anything wrong; why, he just “cut a corner” because he was “overworked” and “exhausted.” I'm surprised he didn't use the classic DC excuse: “Mistakes were made!” In Washington, mistakes make themselves, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
If he was so tired and overworked, then why did he go to the additional effort of editing an email to falsify evidence so that he could obtain an unjustified warrant to spy on an innocent American? Take a look at how the inner circle of anti-Trump agents set up Mike Flynn and tried to railroad him into prison, and tell me with a straight face that if they had been able to find anything on Page with those falsely-obtained warrants that they wouldn’t have tried to slap him behind bars, too.
Clinesmith is facing a potential five years in prison because this is not a minor “oopsy” offense. This is falsifying evidence to deceive the FISA court into violating the rights of a US citizen. And it’s done by someone in a position of trust and authority in the top law enforcement agency of the federal government. He’s hardly the only one who should face serious consequences; he’s just the lowest fall guy on the list.
So I hope that after his lawyers hand the judge all those feeble excuses for why he shouldn’t face serious punishment, that the judge will also quote Rhett Butler and say, “Frankly…I don’t give a d**n.”
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY