As of this moment, Clint Eastwood is Dead to Me. He no longer exists. I will not be spending a penny, a dime, on any project that he is involved in creating, I will not watch a movie he's done, I will not buy a product he endorses.
Not after this.
Let's not mince words with the reality of what this is. This is Oscar Winning Actor/Director Clint Eastwood having a one sided ad-lib fantasy roleplaying chat with President Barack Obama as if he were a Feckless Petulant Foul Mouthed Ghetto Rat
When he looked at that chair, that's what he saw. That's what he projected out into that crowd, who loved it because as I said yesterday there is nothing horrible, disgusting, insulting and BLATANTLY FALSE you can say to a Republican about the President that they'll disagree with.
Even we Democrats have gotten so used to the President being demonized and demoralized that we hardly even react to it anymore. Most have simply noted "how weird" Eastwood's delivery was, and that's true. Not enough have paid attention to what he was saying he thinks Barack Obama is.
And if that's what he thinks, then I don't really need to hear anything else he has to say - about anything.
Republicans are always lying about Obama, that's jut what they do.
We know as Jon Stewart points out here, that they are full of Bull Fucking Shit.
Stewart: And here is the most incredible part of the entire fiction. While convincing us that Barack Obama's destroyed this country's future, the Republicans have also invented a past where they were trying to help him succeed!We all know that Republicans openly admitted they wanted President Obama to Fail. They met secretly to plan his destruction and then acted openly to bring it about in vote, after vote, after vote after vote. They plotted to Sabotage This Presidency, and hence undermine the Country, since the day Barack Obama was inaugurated.
MITT ROMNEY (8/30/2012): That choice was not the choice of our party, but Americans always come together after elections. ... I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed.
We know that Blind Naked Democrat Hate and Blatant Rapid Fire Lies are baked into the Republican Cake.
It was the same for Bill Clinton who they called a "very good rapist", murderer and drug dealer. It was the same for John Kerry whose service in Vietnam they honored with Purple Heart Band-Aids, and Hillary Clinton whom they accused of being a Shrieking Secretly Gay Harpie. We know that Politics is a smash mouth full contact rhetorical sport and has been since the beginning of the Republic.
We expect this.
We expect Ted Nugent to say something foul, ridiculous and vaguely violent. We expect it from Hank Williams Jr. We don't really need more of this bile from Clint Eastwood.
>> James Lipton: full disclosure. clint is a friend of mine. we're not close friends but he's a friend of mine. i know him well. we have done things together and i like him enormously. i find him a very congenial person. he's also a great director. late in his career, became a very great director. that said, last night was not his best performance. look, we're talking here about something i know a little bit about, and he was doing an improv. that's ad lib. an improv, you needed a partner. he created one for himself. george bernard shaw was great because he always gave the best lines to the antagonists. the reason being that the stronger the antagonist, the stronger the protagonist because he has something to fight against. what he gave to barack obama was, well, not the best lines. it was a couple vulgarities. first of all, shut up, then go blank yourself, a word we can't utter here, of course, and shouldn't have been uttered there, certainly not before the candidate was going to come out and impress us with what a wonderful character he was. the result was, let me say this, in my opinion, obama is incapable of saying shut up and go blank yourself in any normal circumstance and is capable, in eloquent and i think proper replies. he was not given that opportunity. the words were put in his mouth. the words were vulgar and worse, they were disrespectful. i can remember a number of presidential campaigns where presidents who were running for re-election were not treated quite this disrespectfullyLipton, Hayes and Finney are all completely right. And yes, you could accuse the Romney Campaign of political malpractice by putting Eastwood on the stage without a script or a rehearsal of what he was going to say. And people can sort of go, "Well, Clint is really old and stuff" and "Maybe he needed another take..."
>> it was ad lib, no question about it. he got himself in trouble. he was in trouble throughout it. you saw him sort of fumbling for what's next. in an improv it should go smoothly but that's if you have a partner who is coming back at you. important stuff. here, unfortunately he was having to play both roles and while he plays himself brilliantly, he is the successor to john wayne in the public's imagination and estimation, he did not play obama well at all. he did him a great disservice.
>> Chris Hayes: yeah. i think that we tend to fetishize respect for the office too much. we are a republic, the president is elected by us, we shouldn't get too -- i resist the kind of pomp and circumstance stuff. that said, he was sitting in a chair, so he was being literally physically talked down to.
>> Lipton: down to.
>> Hayes: down to. and like a school boy, who like an errant school boy and my executive producer made this point about you know, clint eastwood and the rnc should go back and read "the invisible man" because there's a whole masterpiece of american literature around the experience of invisibility in front of the white power structure for a black man in america. obviously i don't want to say that was obviously the intentional subtext. i think it was not thought out. they wanted to have a gag. but the way it reads was deeply, deeply profoundly, profoundly disrespectful in a way that really, i found kind of upsetting.
>> Karen Finney: to this point about the disrespect, i love clint eastwood. part of what was so painful in watching that was that that performance was not clint eastwood. the clint eastwood that we know, the image of the clint eastwood we know, and it was disappointing. i sort of felt like where were his people to say no, we're not letting him go out on stage with his hair unbrushed and just wing it.
Full Disclosure: My Uncle was a set builder in Hollywood and worked on several Clint Eastwood Films. He's now retired, hates Hollywood and doesn't watch movies because he says everything in it is "Fake". But he still speaks well of Eastwood. And the one thing that impressed him about Eastwood is that he never does anything without planning ahead, and would do all his scenes in JUST ONE TAKE.
He doesn't make mistakes when there's a camera on him.
If you've seen his last film, Grand Torino, it's clear that Clint Eastwood is long, Long, LONG way from a Racist. That's a given, he's proven that.
But if people have rightly honored you for decades of amazing work, you really shouldn't be given a pass for taking all of that emotional cache and pissing it away in a rambling, insulting, foul mouthed 12 minute invisible man ad lib.
12 Minutes where a Giant of a man, an American Icon and Hero panders to a Room Full of Partisan Bigots by- Talking Down to An Invisible Black President as if he were a BOY!
I'm sorry but that was not a "mistake". Demeaning the President was the point, but all Eastwood really did was demean and tarnish every second of his own cinematic legacy. This is the guy we all looked up to in the "Good, The Bad & The Ugly"? This is our hero "Dirty" Harry Callahan?
Some things can't be ignored, can't be passed off as just a "Senior Moment" and they can't be forgiven.
12:52 PM PT: As has been mentioned by a couple commenters, Gawker has the story that Clint was simply filling in for the original "Special Surprise Guest" Donald Trump who was going to go on stage (or play a video, not sure which) with an Obama Impersonator and "Fire Him".
Last night, Obama impersonator (or “Fauxbama,” if you prefer) Kevin Michel posted a picture posing with Trump, along with a caption urging his Facebook friends to “[b]e sure to watch the Republican National Convention.”So when that picture went out on Facebook the secret was out and Clint was brought in to scold Obama instead of Trump firing him. Yeah, ok, that's classy - for a night at the Friar's Club.