Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Personal Asides: Bob Woodward, & Fredrenna Lyle In the News—A Pulitzer for Fiction, the Captain Louis Renault Award for Acting Shocked and a Julian for Taking Umbrage at a Word That Rhymes with an Epithet.

                                       Woodward for Fiction.
          Bob Woodward has now told us that he is so disdainful of partisanship in his journalism he doesn’t even vote—but he casts ballots nevertheless.   How?  From his earliest days as a father, he would take a young daughter into the polling place and allow her to tell him who to vote for.   Isn’t that sweet and a wonderful service to the electorate? Now I’m ready for him to admit that he allowed the kid to dictate portions of his book Veil which deals with the CIA under Bill Casey.
         You’ll remember that Casey was in the hospital having suffered a stroke which left him speechless—irremediably.  Federal agents were guarding the hospital room but Woodward told readers of his book that he managed to sneak in anyhow and interview the stricken speechless Casey! In a word or two Casey confirmed everything that Woodward assumed about the CIA…namely that since the State Department could not and the Defense Department would not lead the fight for democracy and world capitalism, he himself led the CIA to lead anti-Communist rebels in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia and Nicaragua, sponsored a joint effort with Egypt to overthrow Qaddafi and strategized an unsuccessful assassination attempt against Muslim leader Sheild Fadallah which led to the death of eighty innocent Lebanese.
           Woodward sold the book and made millions on it by insisting that he had interviewed Casey a number of times.   Why the old Cold Warrior would spill his guts to the very liberal Woodward? Just happened, that’s all.  And the last interview in Casey’s guarded hospital room with him unable to talk and CIA guards outside?  Just happened.   But there can be no corroboration of his claim since Casey died shortly after the  “interview.”
          A similar case with Woodward’s first multi-million-dollar venture about Watergate, All the President’s  Men.  Woodward claimed he received a boatload of secret information from someone he  called  “Deep Throat.”   The guy was pictured as a very-very high up figure in the Nixon administration, leading people for 30 years to speculate:  Was it  John Ehrlichman?  John Dean?  Bob Haldeman? Leonard Garment?  John Sears? Alexander Butterfield?  All except Sears had an almost daily access to Nixon—and Sears, whom I knew well….very well….had first-hand confidential relationships with most of the above.
             Spinning a story worthy of Hollywood….in fact it was filmed by Hollywood starring Robert Redford as Woodward….Deep Throat had a condo visible from the  street and whenever he wanted to unload his secrets, he would move a flower pot from the left-hand side to the right on his balcony  where Woodward and Bernstein could see it and meet the Source in an underground  garage at midnight.  Finally 30 years after he made a killing on his books, Woodward identified Deep Throat. 
          What a disappointment!  He was nowhere near the Oval Office but an associate director of the FBI, a guy by the name of W. Mark Felt.  No one who worked in the  Nixon administration….as did I…believed that this obscure but relatively high level official had the intimate contacts to equal Deep Throat.   But here again,  after he unveiled Felt’s identity, Woodward was protected just as he had by claiming CIA secrets were transmitted to him by the hopelessly, irremediably ill Casey who lost the power of speech.
              By the time the Deep Throat “disclosure” was made, Felt was 93 and living with a daughter who wanted the old  man to write a book wherein she could recoup the costs of sustaining the old invalid.  Earlier and for two decades, Felt had denied he was Deep Throat. Now he agreed he had been but in subsequent  interviews, his memory was too feeble to corroborate much of what Woodward had  written.  He was hazy and unclear about  everything except one fact.  His condo in Washington was not facing the street so the story that Woodward judged when it was time for an interview by watching placement of  the flower pot on the balcony was  a hoax.   There was no balcony, no flower pot.
        Both cases forces one to ask himself how in God’s name could liberals be so incredulously gullible as to accept (a)  an interview with a perpetually silenced stroke victim and (b) a lesser-known official with no close tie to Nixon but who had some animosity to him since Felt had been passed over for promotion to FBI Director after J. Edgar Hoover died.  The logical answer: Woodward invented his facts and the liberal media, pleased that his fiction seemed to verify their consensus, accepted them fully.  
            After all, didn’t they accept the Obama romance without checking? And if you believe Woodward goes into his polling booth with his daughter and relies on the kid telling him how to vote, well you’re either hopelessly naïve or hopelessly liberal or both.
                         The Looie to Alderman Freddrenna Lyle for Acting.    
             The ultra-passive Chicagoland media passed this along the other day straight with no chaser.  Mark Kirk was surreptitiously recorded talking to GOP leaders, telling them that he had hired ballot security protection which would concentrate on four regions of the state—the Southside, the West Side, Rockford and Metro East.  He said needlessly I might add stemming from my experience as chairman of the now defunct Project LEAP [Legal Elections in All Precincts) Chicago’s anti-vote fraud unit that “the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat.”
                 This drew an outraged protest from Lyle.  Remember Capt. Louis Renault played by Claude Rains in Casablanca?  He who was “shocked! shocked!” to discover gambling in a casino he frequented regularly?  I remember going to a storefront polling place in Lyle’s 6th ward years ago a half hour before the polls opened and witnessing through the window precinct captains ringing up false votes on the then voting machines, the curtains at the booths flying open and shut before the voters were allowed to enter.  That’s why the alderman, her eyes wide with aghast anger, deserves the Academy Award named the “Looie” not Oscar in memory of Capt. Renault.
                             The Julian to Rev. Tyson for Taking Offense at the Word “Jigger.”
         Another statuette…the Julian (named for Julian Bond whose ultra-sensitive antennae detects subliminal racism by whitey) should be awarded to Lyle’s friend, the Rev. Albert Tyson who was quoted as objecting to Kirk’s use of  the word “jigger” referring to regions heavily populated by black voters.
    “The problem I have is that it sounds so much like another word,”  he said.
               Congratulations to these award winners.
*: Saint Firminus [3rd  Century].  He was the son of a Roman senator in Pamplona who was  converted to Catholicism by St. Honestus and was set on a fast track, ordained a priest and elevated to bishop at an early age. He was the first bishop of Toulouse,   was a fearless preacher and compassionate patron of  the poor. He was crowned with martyrdom by being tied to a bull by his feet and being dragged to his death.

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