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Ed Asner on Stalin:(27 posts)

Ed Asner on Stalin:ClydeTri
Oct 15, 2003 4:41 AM
"Did you hear this one? Self-proclaimed socialist and all-around Hollywood weirdo Ed Asner was asked which historical figure he admired the most and would like to portray one day on the screen. His answer? Joseph Stalin. I'm sure you already know that Stalin killed millions more than did Hitler. Apparently that doesn't present much of a problem to Asner. Asner says "Joe Stalin was a guy who was hugely misunderstood." " from boortz's website
I'd like to have heard the full question and answer.OldEdScott
Oct 15, 2003 7:29 AM
There are many things I'd like to know, like is this even true or an urban legend like the Robin Williams plan for Iraq, or whatever that thing was.

Regardless, if the question were asked in context of who Asner might wish to portray in a movie, I agree, Stalin would be a tremedously interesting role. What actor wouldn't want the challenge of portraying one of history's greatest monsters?

I'm doubtful Asner is a Stalinist, much as Boortz would like him to be.

What always astonishes me about Asner is why he exposes himself to so much right wing abuse. He goes on all those reactionary radio and YV shows -- Sean Hannity is the worst in this regard -- and gets in these terrible, non-productive 'dialogues' where the 'host' just heaps loud abuse on him and he glowers and takes it. I guess his career's in the dumper and he thinks he needs the exposure. But I can't imagine it's helpful.
But Old ed..ClydeTri
Oct 15, 2003 9:54 AM
you have to admit that Hollywood of old, and Ed qualifies in that regard, seemed to have alot of people who sympathized with the USSR....
Sure. But if I have my commie history right,OldEdScott
Oct 15, 2003 10:03 AM
Hollywood was a nest of Trotskyists, not Stalinists. Trots and Stalinists were blood enemies. Remember how Trotsky was murdered?

Regardless, I don't think Ed's THAT old. And I don't know a single living American Stalinist these days. If Ed's a Stalinist, I salute him for being the bullheaded last specimen of an otherwise extinct breed. And my point remains the same: Stalin WOULD be a great part for an actor to play.
why is that, anyway?DougSloan
Oct 15, 2003 10:18 AM
Why would Hollywood tend toward Liberal/Socialist/Communist sympathies? I don't get it. It is just as capitalistic as any industry on the planet; they make huge profits, all because of capitalism.

How does an actor making $20 million a year compare to a corporate executive making the same or less? Why would one tend toward liberal and one conservative thought?

Just a guess or two.OldEdScott
Oct 15, 2003 10:33 AM
Movies are a populist art form. Entertainment for 'the masses.' The great unwashed are the movies' bread and butter. As in 'bread and circuses.' Movie stars have to at least SEEM to care for 'the people' and connect with them on some level. Right or wrong, liberalism is seen as a movement of the masses while conservatism is seen as representing the elite.

Plus, artistic types have always tended toward progressive politics. It has to do with being 'avant garde.'

Plus, you want all those poor folks and working folks to have a few extra bucks in their pocket to spend at the movies, so you support programs that redistribute wealth downward.

Plus, it may just be that they're really, really smart!
does that apply to Arnold?DougSloan
Oct 15, 2003 10:43 AM
Hmm. Good points. Many would seem to apply, for example, auto execs, too. They certainly would want the regular guy to have enough money to buy a new car, even more so than the entertainer.

Maybe one more difference, I realized after reading your message. Typically, entertainers don't risk capital. The perform, and the money floods in (for some). On the other hand, a business owner invests money, personally guarantees loans, etc., and then must continuously operate a business successfully to reap the rewards.

While doing so, he is at odds with labor. OTOH, entertainers typically are not directly at odds with labor; they are both "labor." Make any sense?

ps/follow upDougSloan
Oct 15, 2003 10:46 AM
Do entertainers become more conservative when they become owners/investors, not just hired help/talent? That would seem to explain those like Arnold.

There may be something to thatLive Steam
Oct 15, 2003 11:25 AM
I don't know a source for researching it, but of the actors turned politicos, that I know of, the are/were all Republican - Sonny Bono must gave started out as a democrat like RR, but became more conservative as he changed careers. Same for Clint Eastwood. That is all I can come up with.
republican actorsPaulCL
Oct 15, 2003 12:27 PM
Sonny Bono...OK not an actor
Kelsey Time this week
Bruce Willis...came from very humble beginnings but saw the light
Dennis Miller...hmmm does Monday Night Football fire Republicans?? Heston

Plus I'm sure lots more who are afraid to come out of the closet (so to speak) because it will hurt their career.
republican actorsLive Steam
Oct 15, 2003 1:32 PM
You should also include Fred Thompson - retired republican senator - but I think he was in politics first?
Let's not forget Sly StallonePaulCL
Oct 16, 2003 7:43 AM
Hmmm....what party is Gary Coleman with?? He was running, but said he'd vote for Arnold. Do we want him?? Yes..becuase we are a party of inclusion.
Sly Stallone acts? nmClydeTri
Oct 16, 2003 7:48 AM
I was just talking about those that ...Live Steam
Oct 16, 2003 8:18 AM
actually got elected to something :O)
Yeah, as a generalization I thinks that's true of most people,OldEdScott
Oct 16, 2003 5:04 AM
Except me! I've retained my purity of heart.
I think you're right In fact, since entertainers have no capitalOldEdScott
Oct 16, 2003 5:01 AM
but what they DO, they're in fact 'labor.' Well-paid labor, but labor nonetheless.

As for auto execs, I've always said that 'enlightened self interest' should guide capitalists toward policies that put more money in the hands of workers.
I'm having this framed :O)Live Steam
Oct 15, 2003 11:20 AM
"Movies are a populist art form. Entertainment for 'the masses.' The great unwashed are the movies' bread and butter. As in 'bread and circuses.' Movie stars have to at least SEEM to care for 'the people' and connect with them on some level. Right or wrong, liberalism is seen as a movement of the masses while conservatism is seen as representing the elite.
Because of its brilliance? nmOldEdScott
Oct 16, 2003 5:06 AM
Not reallyLive Steam
Oct 16, 2003 6:14 AM
"Right or wrong, liberalism is seen as a movement of the masses while conservatism is seen as representing the elite.

It goes to show the mindset of someone who lacks conviction. Playing to the masses is not virtuous. It is done to achieve personal enrichment and not necessarily to do what is right. It also speaks of the "mob rule" mentality that Dumocrats play to and talks about perception and not truth as being what is important as a means to an end.

That is your definition of liberalism? That's what I thought it was too :O)
Spoken like a true Robber Baron, Steam.OldEdScott
Oct 16, 2003 6:25 AM
Better to 'achieve personal enrichment' at the EXPENSE of the masses, right? Don't even throw them the pitiful crumbs the Dumocrats do. Just strip mine 'em.
Same as Wall Street, I suppose,TJeanloz
Oct 16, 2003 10:24 AM
Despite what most people think, Wall Street is an overwhelmingly liberal place. I think the reason for it is that most people on the street (and in Hollywood) continue to be baffled by the amount of money they make for the work they do. They look around and say: it doesn't feel like I just did $5 million worth of work, yet this is how I'm being paid. When the money is very big, and basically earned doing what you love, people are much less protective of it. The entrepreneur, who put his life savings, home and everything else on the line, makes $5 million, and wonders why anybody who didn't take that risk deserves any part of it.

Money means different things to different people.
they aren't all richmohair_chair
Oct 15, 2003 10:49 AM
90% of all actors are currently unemployed, and that's normal. Percentage-wise, only a handful are rich. Just because the Friends each make $1 million an episode, doesn't mean everyone on a sitcom does. There are probably 5 actors today who can get $20 million for a film, and none of them are socialists. I can only think of three: Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, and Arnold.

I doubt many actors are communists today, but the socialist tendencies probably come from the fact that most successful actors struggled quite a bit before they hit the big time. Most were living at poverty level for years, and many still are, all to support their art. I think that kind of life tends to make socialism look good. Their union is also very strong and healthy. How many lawyers, doctors, and CEOs had to struggle the same way, hoping to break into the business?
Same argument applies to the "liberal" media, Doug.Cory
Oct 15, 2003 11:34 AM
I work for a big newspaper company--we live, thrive and employ thousands of people through the success of the system as it exists today. We depend on advertisers, which is to say we love big, successful capitalist companies. We earned nearly $280 million in the quarter ending Sept. 28, up 5 percent from the same period last year. Every other major media outlet I know of makes its money the same way and depends on the success of the same people.
And ALL DAMN DAY I have to listen to morons rant about how the liberal media are only interested in tearing down the system. Doesn't reason EVER intrude in those thought processes?
Stalin on Ed AsnerDale Brigham
Oct 15, 2003 11:13 AM
Loved him on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (who didn't!), but I personally felt that the Lou Grant spinoff was too much of a good thing. For that act of artistic deviancy, I had Ed sent to the Gulag, his friends and family were likewise imprisoned, his village was burned to the ground, the surrounding fields were swept clean of their livestock and crops, and the soil was salted.

Some things you just can't forgive.


little known fact about Joseph Stalinmohair_chair
Oct 15, 2003 11:28 AM
He was spunky.

(think back to the first episode of Mary Tyler Moore...)
"I HATE spunk!" nmOldEdScott
Oct 16, 2003 5:10 AM
The Stalin thing bothers me less than his "workout" clothesmickey-mac
Oct 15, 2003 7:52 PM
I see Asner out walking every now and then when I'm riding. When the weather is cool, he's mercifully covered for the most part. However, when I've seen him in the summer he's often in a tank-top, shorts that would never qualify as baggies, and white tubesocks that go up to his knees. The worst part is the tank-top. Ed's pretty damn hairy. The sight is enough to ruin an otherwise enjoyable ride. However, the sight of Ed exercising pales in comparison to seeing over-the-hill-hair-band-guitarist CC DeVille out "jogging." Blech!