Ed Asner: Professional Hater

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When it was rumored that leftist actor Ed Asner was slated to play Stalin it was only natural, for although deprived of Stalin’s lethal tools, Asner has emulated all the left-wing hate and paranoia of the Soviet dictator.

Serving two terms as president of the Screen Actor’s Guild in the 1980s, Asner sought to use the Guild to oppose then-President Ronald Reagan’s policies against the totalitarian Sandinistas in Nicaragua, who ruled the country with an iron fist, shutting down opposition newspapers, jailing critics, and beating up those who tried to vote.

Opposed by Guild members like Charlton Heston (who Asner once called “a cocksucker”) and actor Robert Conrad, both of whom wanted the Guild to remain apolitical, Asner took to the streets, denouncing Reagan and stating that the Communist-backed Sandinistas were not his enemies.

Soon, Asner was seen with Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega (soon to be voted out, thanks to a U.N. monitored election), and despite seeing Ortega’s secret police beating up those trying to vote, remained silent on the matter.

But when it happens to be so-called “political prisoners” in the United States, Asner is far from silent. Despite eyewitnesses, several of whom were African-American, witnessing former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal murdering a police officer, Asner, along with other Left Coast celebrities, has waged a fervent campaign to get the Marx-quoting actor released from prison.

Regarding the 9-11 attacks, Asner belongs to the 9/11 Truth organization, which has accused the Bush administration of either orchestrating the 9-11 attacks or allowing them to happen in order to feed the American war machine.

Asner has also seen conspiracies even in the publishing industry. Believing that the Rosenbergs were framed for selling secrets to the Soviet Union, Asner starred in a fictionalized treatment of the couple, the movie Daniel, which was ambiguous about the verdict but nevertheless portrayed the couple as admirable progressives. When the book The Rosenberg File, by historians Ron Radosh and Joyce Milton, who asserted their guilt, appeared before the film premiered, Asner accused the publishers of conspiratorially trying to taint the movie.

He also echoed the standard leftist narrative regarding American’s policies toward Communist Cuba. A fervent Castro supporter to this day, Asner blamed America for pushing the late Castro into the Soviet camp:

“When Castro first took over, we all celebrated enormously. Cuba … had finally found its freedom…. [But] the United States could not tolerate … a little Hispanic country 90 miles off the United States declaring its independence of the United States, so immediately embargoes, everything began to take place, forcing him into the sphere of Soviet influence.”

Asked in 2003 about Castro’s denial of free elections for 40 years, Asner re-directed the question to his hated America, claiming there are no free elections in America. And despite Castro’s brutal policies to his citizens who are people “of other color,” Asner has instead focused on so-called American racism: “there is a strong streak of racism whenever we engage in foreign adventures. Our whole history in regime change has been of people of different color.”

Asner is equally notorious for spewing leftist-inspired hate. During Heston’s tenure as SAG president, Asner threatened to punch the actor out. Regarding Reagan, Asner stated that the then-President’s economic policies were in effect “urinating in the mouths of workers.” To conservative radio personality, Sean Hannity, Asner declared his hatred of Hannity on the conservative’s show.

In Lionel Trilling’s wake-up call to fellow-traveling liberals who defended Stalin in the 1930s, The Middle of the Journey (1947), the author’s main character, resistant at first to the view that Stalin’s Purge Trials were a monstrous frame-up, eventually came around based on the hate he saw exhibited by a fellow-traveling couple toward a renegade Communist defector; he reasoned that if the couple had the means they would have liquidated the renegade as Stalin did toward his foes.

This fits Asner perfectly. His life has been characterized by homicidal leftism and if ever plays Stalin it could be considered a form of fantasy; for the actor could imagine using “a government” to liquidate the Hestons and Hannities of the world.

Ron Capshaw is a Senior Contributor to The Liberty Conservative from Midlothian, Va. His work has appeared in National Review, The Weekly Standard, and the American Spectator.