DATELINE: Ethel’s Killer
Master of Slime.
You may be aghast at the idea that Roy Cohn managed to be so powerful and so hidden in the open. He was adviser to Joe McCarthy, Ronald Reagan, and his final resulting horror, Donald Trump.
His philosophy borders on evil incarnate: he claimed to hate hypocrisy and was the biggest hypocrite around. Now, the man who put together the shocking Studio 54 documentary turns his research on Cohn. The result is unnerving and frightful. Roy Cohn, claims the movie, was dangerous, like a caged animal: open the cage at your own risk.
Most people may know Cohn from Angels in America,the play and movie in which he is depicted as haunted by Ethel Rosenberg whom he assiduously worked to have executed as a Russian spy. Today, Donald Trump lamented that he could find no lawyer like Roy Cohn to defend him against impeachment.
Yet, the lessons of Roy Cohn now are shaping America. And Cohn died of AIDS in 1986, Words like evil, Machavellian, ruthless, despicable, permeate the film, and he had a tendency to become infatuated with tall Nordic blond men (the last of these was Trump). The Army-McCarthy hearings were an attempt to impress his companion, David Schein.
He made big money by getting John Gotti, crime boss, off from a murder charge—and became the mob mouthpiece. Trump, with his own crime connections, took to Cohn like a duck to water.
Among his strongest defenders are convicted political trickster Roger Stone, a long-time friend, Barbara Walters whom Cohn said he wanted to marry, and Donald Trump, his protégé. When he needed character witnesses, all these people came to his aid.
When he was dying of AIDS, denying it emphatically to Mike Wallace in an interview, Ronald Reagan pulled strings to put him in an experimental drug program.
Cohn was reprehensible, and this biography doesn’t help his reputation or those guilty by association.
DATELINE: DNA Results You Don’t Want
Brass Spittoon Like Grandpa Used!
For all those dozens of heartwarming stories about family reunions owing to genetic testing, there is a cautionary side that is quite ugly. And, I have found it in my DNA.
Spit in a tube may be the truest metaphor for some genetic results. Before you swab your inside cheek for the holiday result, let me give you some advice.
I have dozens of people now on my “cousin” list, some of whom have asked me what I know about my grandfather on my mother’s side. I tell them nothing. When I do tell them what I know, they never again bother me. They are as horrified as I.
It seems this man who is now my genetic and biological grandfather is an anonymous fiend who raped my grandmother over 90 years ago in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was one of several victims in North Cambridge.
Dutiful woman, my biological grandmother did not abort the child that was the result of a rape assault. She gave up my mother for adoption instead. She thought she knew who the rapist was because police later arrested a man named Farrell.
Several Cambridge woman identified him, and he went to prison for life. It now appears his life was ruined and reputation in tatters unfairly and unjustly. He was indeed innocent. He fought his conviction for fifty years, but died in a Massachusetts prison, convicted as a rapist.
Now, I am the living DNA proof this man was innocent.
It is an appalling burden. Names cannot be changed to protect the innocent, but the hundreds of new-found cousins are actually daily reminders that they are living in a fantasy world: one of their blood relatives was a sexual predator who escaped punishment for more than a few rapes.
Oh, like in a good James Cain novel, he went to prison for something else. He was called the Moonlight Bandit, a cretin who police could identify as a robber of small businesses because he was seen in bright moonlight.
Two issues jump out at me every day: the notion of not having an abortion means that generations down the line will now face unpleasant family ancestors. And second, that I am nothing like this man: yet, how much genetic code is in me? I think how little I resemble these new “family” members. Thank heavens.
If you want a cautionary tale about illegitimate children being foisted on others as theirs, you will find it sadly enough in your DNA testing kit. Beware.
DATELINE: Titan of TV
Mike Takes on Bette!
Mike Wallace is no longer here with us, but thankfully we have an astounding biographical documentary called Mike Wallace is Here.
He took on all kinds of interviews: politics, show business, crime, and assorted miscreants. He didn’t always as the hard-as-nails interviewer: he started out as a pitchman and game show host. He thought he had a face for radio.
There is some truth that he was more showman than journalist, but he ultimately played a journalist until he lived the part. Many hard-nosed CBS types did not respect him at first, and he suffered an interloper’s reception from them.
Yet, his early black and white smokey interviews on late night raised the bar for insider insights. Whether it was Eleanor Roosevelt, Drew Pearson, or some Mafia thug, he asked the questions you never expected. Perhaps it was the start of rude journalism, but he took umbrage of the Bill O’Reilly school of shout and shake.
It was with 60 Minutes that Wallace will likely be remembered mostly. But interviewers like Barbara Walters and Morley Safer owed their styles to him. When they turn the tables on the old Wallace, he is undaunted. He was shocked when CBS abandoned its muckraker style because of checkbook journalism. Mike was never that.
Questions he might ask Larry King or Barbra Streisand are not in his personal repertoire of response. He suffered personally because he put career ahead of family. He knew it and operated in full cognizance of his luck.
When he became depressed in old age, people were shocked. Didn’t he have ice water in his veins? Johnny Carson said he had that taken out years earlier so he could function in public. Wallace treated Gen. Westmoreland and Putin alike, as he was a democrat of truth.
If you were not interviewed by Mike Wallace, you may have lost something in history. He had a knack of putting celebrities and historical personages like Nixon in their perspective of humanity.
This is Mike Wallace is a stunning, delightful documentary, and we have to miss him. He nailed Trump before he was 40 and showed us what was in store.
DATELINE: Dumb Media
Heroic Richard Jewell
As we await the viewing of Clint Eastwood’s new movie, Richard Jewell,we took in a short documentary from ESPN that was produced in 2014 for their award-winning series30 for 30. It had the ancillary attraction of being a story about the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Richard Jewell was a heavy-set Southern man in his 30s who wanted to be a police officer, posed with weapons, lived alone in a rustic cabin when not living with his mother. He was one-step away from being a mall cop: he hired on as part-time security at the Olympics. He spotted a suspicious backpack, cleared the area before it went off, saving hundreds of lives.
Then, one suspicious former employer called the FBI and said he was an egotistical nobody with hero wishes. Suddenly a modest, unattractive man became the epitome of a lone Bubba Bomber. The media hounded him, made him run gauntlets, peppered him with questions about his fake heroism.
Jay Leno and Tom Brokaw joined the chorus of FBI and Atlanta Journal Constitution media hacks. They never apologized when 88 days later the FBI cleared him. Several years after that another man, the notorious Eric Rudolph, pled guilty to the bombing and went to prison for life.
Jewell was there to see justice done, though it was elusive for him. The media sneered at him. And they still do.
Few apologies and retractions followed Richard. Centennial Park in Atlanta never acknowledged his heroic action. The slime-ball newspaper ACJ still attacks Jewell through the new Eastwood movie.
Jewell enjoyed Clint’s movies—and his mother is grateful for the new film. Alas, Jewell himself died in 2007, likely driven to death by stress and pain—despite being cleared.
The ESPN documentary at 22 minutes is a succinct overview of justice denied, justice perverted, and justice delayed.
DATELINE: Voice-over Satire?
…of a Big Paycheck!
Sometimes you see or hear celebrities in the least expected places—or exactly where you thought you would hear one.
While watching the Celtics play a game on the local sports channel, we thought we saw a commercial for the Quinto series In Search of…
Apparently we were ignorant of the fact that Zachary Quinto is a frequent endorser of products, often in voice-over. However, we think he has not done such an overt parody of his own TV host persona.
Yes, those dulcet tones were talking over the image of an asteroid heading to Earth. Quinto spoke with his deadpan authority about how the world likely was to end around 2023 with doomsday because of an asteroid. Only a week earlier he had hosted the final season episode about the subject.
However, as we watched an asteroid hurtling toward the planet, Quinto reveals that we can buy furniture –all interest free until 2023 or the rest of our lives!
Apparently you can watch sports events not only to see your favorites sitting in the stands, or courtside (Gronk was there enjoying the game, and not dancing with the Celtics cheerleaders).
Watch and listen carefully for what you may hear and see.
DATELINE: Fox News & Ancient Aliens Fail Us!
As the latest series arc comes to its covenant with space darlings, we return to the U.S. Navy and a government coverup. “Countdown to Disclosure” featured Fox News Tucker Carlson interviewing Trump who dismissed the idea, claiming he never heard about it.
Nick Pope did not do his homework, nor did Tucker Carlson: Donald Trump’s uncle was one of the driving forces behind government secrecy, having confiscated the Tesla papers after the great scientist died.
Tucker Carlson is a believer. Nick Pope interviews him about his Trump interview. It is peeling an onion. Carlson, one of Trump’s biggest defenders, claimed he did not think Trump was telling the truth on this!
According to the famous series, this line of questioning proves that the ridicule associated with the topic is fading.
The public wants serious answers.
Now we hear that the US government is prepping the public to ready the truth. This will undercut shock and panic.The new reality is that pilots can report unknown aircraft with impunity.
We hear again that the movie industry and TV has been exposing the viewers to extra-terrestrials and their reality. Again, Ancient Aliens contends there is a shadow government—and it seems to be coming undone. The counter-intelligence started years ago, creating a massive denial policy.
Continued discredit programs seemed to be developed to stop whistleblowers like Bob Lazar. This policy is traced back to a 1960 Brookings Institute report, which may be out of date, but still stands as the foundation of government policy.
So, what is the reason for secrecy? The government does not want to transform the economic systems of Earth if UFOs gve the world new technology. Billionaires would suffer, and owners of the planet would lose their fortunes.
Several nations, like Chile and Belgium, are moving toward disclosure—but they are under tremendous influence from the United States to withhold aid and permission. Ancient Aliens believes that privatization of the space explorers like Musk and Branson makes disclosure inevitable.
They seem to forget Trump’s uncle John of the CIA was one of the architects of keeping big secrets to protect money interests.
DATELINE: Dangers of Dance Fallout?
If you don’t know the fancy moves of Gronk by now, you need a lesson in Dancing with the Stars.
In one of his latest publicity hound antics, Gronk chose to cheer with the Los Angeles Lakers girls. Yes, He prefers gold to Green, you Celtic fans.
You might recall seeing Gronk at games watching the likes of Kevin Garnett and Rondo, but that’s ancient history. He has grown into a first-rate Laker girl.
Those cheers you hear are not from the Bronx, but from the South Boston where True Believers think the Earth is flat and Gronk will return to the Patriots.
If Gronk wants to make a comeback, it will be in movies. He expects his latest film with Mel Gibson will be out before you can say Super Bowl hype.
Though Gronk seems a movie mogul’s dreamboat, he seems more to prefer spending time on Madison Ave. Quicker paychecks, fewer lines to remember, and more fans at the social media.
Like Marlon Brando, Gronk requires one take only and someone to whisper his lines in his ear. That’s why he prefers scenes where guns are blazing.
Every few weeks Gronk tells us that he has a big announcement, but it turns out to be a new product endorsement.
We are on record to wish Gronk stays healthy, avoids concussions, and has fun with fans and media. He remains a loveable lug, and we forgive him for exposing himself needlessly to Los Angeles TV producers who attend Laker games.
If you don’t realize that he admires Jack Nicholson and wants a part in his latest movie, you may not know that Jack—like Gronk—is permanently retired
DATELINE: Worst Episode in Series History
An empowered creature?
Reaching its most squeamish and unpleasant episode in a dozen years, Ancient Alienstackled the big issue of human self-mutilation: tattoos and body modifications practices. They are definitely scraping the crusty bottom of the alien pie plate.
If you are of an older generation that eschews such practice and are horrified by the endless human billboards walking around society, you may be turned off here. These people are called “Human Hieroglyphs,” as opposed to petroglyphs.
Of course, those Ancient Alien theorists think this is deep-rooted habit from the desire to show connections to space creatures who were those gods of yore.
Painful and ugly body transformation may be a right of expression, but it seems a stretch mark to call it inspired by outer space connections. Our typical Aliens hosts, all devoid of tattoos or other distinguishing marks, speak blandly about a habit (or obsession) to put ink stains on every part of the body.
You will be subjected to seeing people covering their skin with unsightly designs in order to appear more extra-terrestrial. Perhaps the most appalling is the praise for a young man who colored the whites of his eyes black to look like a gray alien.
Then, they claim the Internet has inspired this “creativity.”
It’s more like a fad of depravity.
We decided to shut down this episode and its rationalization of creative impulse to be other worldly. When one clown called this activity “empowering,” we knew we were on another planet. Perhaps these oddities will be the first to go to Mars, or the first to be sent there when it becomes the Devil’s Island of the 22ndcentury.
This may be the single-worst episode in the history of the long-running series.
DATELINE: Pond Scum Unites!
Who are these people?
Only 7 black students were allowed to attend a speech given by President T.rump at their college. Only the most out-of-touch semi-Republicans were allowed to attend. The rest were told to stay in their dorms, like good nephews of Uncle Tom.
You see, according to President Trump, those Republicans who support impeachment are “human scum.” Well, we have now learned where our place is in the food chain. We aren’t sure if we are at the top of the pond scum or at the bottom.
In any respect, two-hundred hand-picked toadies greeted the presidential nitwit’s big speech to the black community by the biggest fraud since Rudi Giuliani decided to steal assets out of the Ukraine.
You may find it ironic, or perhaps merely poetical justice, that Rep. Elijah Cummings was laid to rest at the Capitol, in repose in state under the rotunda, while several former presidents paid respect.
From the White House where the biggest idiot in history now resides, there came only deafening silence. He hated Cummings and likely celebrated his passing. You may well wonder what kind of human scum now floats on the puddles of the White House.
As the crown prince of emoluments now sees it, the Constitution he swore to uphold is “phony.” He arranges his storm trooping congressional toadies to raid hearings he does not like, violating protocol and good manners.
When baseball umpires plan to buy automatic weapons to shoot Americans who support impeachment, you know that Trump will resort to civil war to keep his job. It was once known as sedition, and Aaron Burr was the chief proponent.
History has dubbed a new Burr under our American saddle: his name is T.rump.
DATELINE: APB FOR A&B (NOT ANTONIO)
Brady mask, life-size!
Tom Brady just lambasted the media for making up stories about his desire to leave New England. It’s just “hype,” according to TB12. It’s a bunch of horse pucky from people trying to make money off the Brady name and legacy.
You mean people like Robert Kraft? The NFL? ESPN? CBS? MNF? TNF? SNF? You mean corporate types like Under Armor?
Yes, we would concur that all of the above named are trying to make money off the TB12 brand—not to mention his trainer, his real estate agent, and sundry souvenir marketing gnomes.
It was the second assault and battery on the media by TB12 in a weak moment. Maybe his patience is wearing thin, but we aren’t sure why.
Deflategate never bugged him like rumors of leaving Bean-town half-baked if you want a dozen Super Bowl parades.
As for making money off Tom, we wish we could hook up to that choo-choo train, but the milk train doesn’t stop here anymore. Flora Tom Goforth is about to go forth. Just call us the Witch of Capri. Our name has once again been crossed off the guest list.
Of course, Tom—the man who hides the truth under a thickening layer of Botox—never directly responded to the notions counter item that he is selling his home and his contract is up after the season.
He did not give an answer that re-assured, like he wants to play in New England until the end of the line, or that he even hopesto be back in the area next year.
That hope was hung out to dry with his TV appearance that mocked his owner, beloved Kraft of massage fame. As Tom complained testily, you dastardly media are reading metaphors into fiction where similes will do.
Oh, Tom, you coy boy.
DATELINE: Murder in the 21st Century
Andress in Undress?
The expiration date on using The Tenth Victim probably ended in the 20thcentury.
A social satire about murder in the future, this Italian film has all the earmarks of Fellini and Antonioni. It is excessive, flamboyant, and beautifully filmed. Its main conceit was that in the 21stcentury America, violence would be rampant and institutionalized as a game.
You would have hunters and the hunted. Alas, nothing racial or insulting to minorities occurs. In fact, there is not a minority to be seen in a colorful landscape meant to be the United States.
The male victim is a highly successful hunter with a dozen kills to his credit, but now the computer system has turned the tables and sent a stunningly beautiful woman out to get him. He does not know her identity, and that is part of the game. Everyone dresses in eye-popping fashion, and the future is squeaky clean, streets bright and cheery.
The cast is exemplary for the time: Marcello Mastroianni bleaches his hair blond (it was big that year as Terence Stamp did it too), and he is pursued by the American killer Ursula Andress. Hunh? You mean it’s not Anita Ekberg? Or Sophia Loren?
The sets are spectacular, and the music is jazz out of the classic Fifties mode, what you’d expect in a Euro-entertainment of the period.
As for the plot, it is neither violent enough, bloody enough, or shocking enough to make it controversial. It is played for light-hearted satire, and there is not a drop of blood to be seen.
Other touches indicate that comic books are great literature in America in the 21stcentury, collected like first-edition Francis Bacon.
In 1965, this flashy film grabbed them at the art house. Today it is more akin to a flash in the pan, though we are reluctant to pan something that is original, singular, and cute.
DATELINE: Another Dud Top 25!
Red Dye is not #2!
Twenty-Five Moments? It’s like sitting down for those home movies one more time. You may want a glass of wine, or something stronger to bare those ills we have than discover the repetition. There is no undiscovered country in this special.
Well, weren’t those the same as the 25 great theories? Or the 25 great discoveries? You could probably package a few minor times as a moment. And, you could rehash the entire two hours from the previous week.
The notion that Matty Blake, the Lagina Brothers’ cheerleader, has to bridge each three-minute segment with some hyperbole is growing tedious.
It might have been interesting to have Gary Drayton, Alex Lagina, or even Charles Barkhouse, host one of these preamble specials. Of course, that would have given the second bananas too much attention. Instead, the radio personality that shows excitement over a licked stamp is the host with the most.
Could they not give us a two-hour biography of Dan Blankenship who received three-minutes of tribute in the first of these specials?
That could have been illuminating, given his disagreements with the other Oak Island pioneer, Nolan, or even with Marty Lagina over dowsing rods.
Instead, we seem to have a two-hour episode with more commercials than usual, but it must be our imagination.
As for the clips, we are re-visiting Paris, and there are repeated clips of previous research families. Mostly, there are pictures of the Lagina Brothers being “cute” or “meaningful.” Perhaps we have lost something over six seasons.
Yes, there have been three or four figures, including Dan Blankenship, who have passed on. These are among the moments. However, Number One is not finding the leaden Templar Cross! We won’t spoil the invisible suspense.
As for treasure, you will see the jewels, the bones, the scenes of the early diggers re-enacted, and on and on. We are now at the edge of waiting for the seventh season to start, and this nonsense to stop.
DATELINE: Ghost Hunters
If you saw New York Jest Quarterback Sam Darnold, of mono fame, on Monday Night Football, you saw a man spooked.
Yes, the young and callow big QB was mic’d up as they say for the cameras. He did not disappoint. When all the cursing is done, and whitewashed out, you had the tall drink of water having the worst night of his life. If you dismiss the night he caught mono…
He ended up with a QB rating of 6.5, which sounds nearly as abysmal as anything this season by anyone.
That conjurer of ancient gridiron spirits, Merlin Bill Belichick, apparently sent Macbeth’s witches to bubble up some trouble for young Darnold. Too damn young for being darn old.
The Jets main man said on the bench after one appalling interception that he was seeing ghosts out there on the field.
We, of course, believe him, as we have seen the power of orbs flying by at breakneck speed. These little photons of light are really the spirits of past football for Darnold, and they are making mischief that would do poltergeists proud.
Marley’s Ghost might have offered him some sound advice on how to deal with the Patriots defense that was fired up to deny the existence of ghosts.
Perhaps Hamlet’s fatherly ghost might have warned him of a coach would pour poison in his ear. That Jets coach was heard to tell him that he knew what to do. Apparently the coach did not know or have the number of an exorcist on his speed dial.
You can scare children with ghost stories, or conversely you can scare QBs like Josh Allen and Sam Darnold who look like giant kids playing a game of chess with the Grim Reaper. Shades of Shades.
DATELINE: A Dark & Stormy Movie
Polidori, Shelley, and Byron, aka Spall, Sands, and Byrne
If you want to learn about the dark and stormy night in 1816 that resulted in the creation of Frankenstein and Dracula by Lord Byron’s pals, you might look elsewhere.
Ken Russell’s hothouse and nuthouse movie about Percy and Mary Shelley and Lord Byron is pure Gothicnonsense. As was the style of Russell back in 1987, you had a psychedelic version of biography and history. It is not satisfactory.
The cast is somewhat exemplary: Gabriel Byrne as lame Byron, Julian Sands as pretty Shelley, Timothy Spall as off-putting Dr. Polidori, and Natasha Richardson as demure Mary! Wow, you almost expect the acting alone will carry the film.
However, the director hijacks every moment and even has cast members chewing on rats. We thought the film turned into that rat-festival moviel, Willard.And, inexplicable pythons wrap around suits of armor. Yep, it’s Ken Russell.
Instead of a dark and stormy night where these highly creative people choose to write great books, we have a literal ghost story. The demons are really around every corner. You almost feel sorry for the servants who basically take a powder during the latter part of the movie to avoid these koo-koo birds.
The summer without sun inspired the writing of Frankenstein and Dracula. Byron took credit for Polidori’s work, and Byron couldn’t write prose. The stepsister of Mary is around for crazy moments in which the sexual peccadilloes of the characters is tested.
We have more than your usual homoerotic connections between the men, including some fairly passionate kisses, but Julian Sands was never prettier. Gabriel Byrne seems to have bigger breasts than the women stars. Timothy Spall is actually slim.
The film becomes increasingly erratic and difficult to watch, as befits what did in the style of Ken Russell ultimately. We had hoped to see something truly fascinating, but not quite on the level of a train wreck.