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LA Times Writes (Stupid) Smear Piece on Fred Thompson

Nineteen years ago, Fred Thompson played a really bad guy on a made-for-TV movie, and Tina Daunt at the LA Times is trying to smear him with it. This is really pathetic:

Ronald Reagan became president even though he worked with chimps in B movies.


Arnold Schwarzenegger played a murderous robot, and that didn't keep him from becoming governor.

So can "Law & Order" actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) become the first presidential candidate with this credit? Thompson played a white supremacist, spewing anti-Semitic comments and fondling an autographed copy of "Mein Kampf" on a television drama 19 years ago.

His colleagues say that he was just an actor putting everything he had into playing the role of a charismatic racist, named Knox Pooley, in three episodes of CBS' hit show "Wiseguy" in 1988. "Do you call Tom Cruise a killer because he played one in a movie?" asked show creator and writer Stephen J. Cannell.

But in the age of YouTube, this performance could raise an intriguing political question: How does a performer eyeing a presidential run deal with a video history that can be downloaded, taken out of context, chopped into embarrassing pieces and then distributed endlessly though cyberspace? Some conservative political blogs are already considering the problem.

[...]

Some conservative websites are already discussing how a potential Thompson campaign may have to deal with these scenes. People who work out their politics on the Internet understand how potentially troublesome things like this can be. Like pebbles in a pond, you can't know where the ripples are going to stop -- or what the gullible or the mean-spirited may make of them.

One website called Patterico's Pontifications asked the question recently: "How will they trash Fred Thompson?" Several respondents immediately mentioned the "Wiseguy" performance.

Patterico responded to the author's last sentence this way:

It's not always true that fact-checking an L.A. Times article is as easy as accessing the search button on my web site. When I did that, I learned that the post in question garnered 38 comments -- and Thompson's "Wiseguy" character was not mentioned until comment #35, which said:
He played neo-nazi con-man "Dr." Knox Pooley on a five episode arc of the TV show "Wiseguy". His character gave a couple of speeches denouncing "mud people" and similar slurs which could easily be taken out of context and posted on You Tube.

That comment was quoted in the next comment (#36) which added:

That could work both ways. If he says something bad, he could always claim he was channeling the character ...

And those two comments were the first and last mention of Thompson's "Wiseguy" character.

This whole topic is just stupid. Does Ms. Daunt truly think that the American people would buy into the idiotic idea that the lines that Fred recited from the TV movie 19 years ago and that she quoted in her piece were a true reflection of his personal character? If this is the best the media has to offer, Fred should have nothing to worry about.


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Comments (41)

I think they realize that e... (Below threshold)

I think they realize that even the 2nd and 3rd tier Republican candidates are more qualified than the Democratic first stringers, so they're doing whatever it takes to keep Fred from even thinking of running. Not that he'd care what the LAT thinks of him of course.

Oh my!. Does this mean we ... (Below threshold)
RScott:

Oh my!. Does this mean we have to lock up Anthony Hopkins?

No this could be a serious ... (Below threshold)
89:

No this could be a serious problem, if they replayed those things on European TV after he's elected, and those people who don't know that he was an actor might be fooled.

Until of course the learn the truth, and learn to mistrust their bad choice of news source. Heh.

In the next installment of ... (Below threshold)

In the next installment of their hard hitting investigation into actors turned conservative politicians they will be reporting that California's governor once appeared as a relentless robot assassin and that despite his claim to come from Austria do we really know that he is not from the future?

If this story fails to gain any traction they will follow up with a report that he once appeared in movie pregnant and could well be a transsexual.

"Does Ms. Daunt truly think... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

"Does Ms. Daunt truly think that the American people would buy into the idiotic idea that the lines that Fred recited from the TV movie 19 years ago and that she quoted in her piece were a true reflection of his personal character?"

If you are a normal whacked out democrat you will believe anything the antique MSM puts out. IQ's below 50 are prone to being led by the nose, and millions of democrats are being led by the nose and evidently like it. Maybe it's the only attention they've ever had. They walk around quoting the characters in daily soaps as if they are personal friends with the character. That is a fact i've witnessed for the past several years. Just didn't associate it with the democrats and politicial stupidity. I heard it on TV so it must be true. Time for more butterfly nets and rubber rooms. When the effects of BDS is in complete control there won't be enough mental health professionals to take care of them. Now we know how Hitler and his ilk controlled the people. They want to be controlled.

I wonder what the LA times ... (Below threshold)
bill:

I wonder what the LA times think of the neurosis which causes Mrs Bill Clinton to take on the accent that fits the scene?

If this is the standard, so... (Below threshold)

If this is the standard, someone should be combing John Edwards' closing statements in trial curts (assuming one thinks he's a threat).

Query: Can one who claims to "channel" a dead person be mentally fit to hold public office?

Off-Topic:Kevin Sp... (Below threshold)
John F not Kerry:

Off-Topic:

Kevin Spacey made what may have been his showbiz debut on Wiseguy (a great show, by the way) as a cool mobster.

I think the MSM watched the... (Below threshold)
Jo:

I think the MSM watched the democrat debate the other night and realized no way in hell one of those clowns could win the presidency. They must be really getting worried. Love it!

Who reads the LA Times? No... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

Who reads the LA Times? Not many I'd bet and that includes people who take what they print with a grain of salt since they are so biased with a socialist agenda. It's not even worth bird cage liner.

Not to worry. I played a li... (Below threshold)
Burt:

Not to worry. I played a liberal in a high school production of "The Mouse That Roared". I believe I have recovered completely.

Well, clearly Sen. Byrd is ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Well, clearly Sen. Byrd is a sessionist and a slavery supporter.

Why?

He played a Confederate general in "Gods and Generals"

Query: Can one who claim... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Query: Can one who claims to "channel" a dead person be mentally fit to hold public office?

I don't know...was Eleanor Roosevelt giving cattle future tips?

Well, clearly Sen. Byrd ... (Below threshold)

Well, clearly Sen. Byrd is a sessionist and a slavery supporter.

Why?

He played a Confederate general in "Gods and Generals"

Yeah but there was this role he played as a Kleagle in the KKK...No wait! That wasn't a movie! He REALLY WAS a Kleagle and a member of the KKK for about 10 years. Silly me.

VW

VW

What a friggan idiot this T... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

What a friggan idiot this Tina Donk chick is....

I think while playing the white supremacist character, Fred ate some carrots.

That MAKES him a vegetarian too, right!???...liberal dip shits

"Does Ms. Daunt truly think... (Below threshold)

"Does Ms. Daunt truly think that the American people would buy into the idiotic idea that the lines that Fred recited from the TV movie 19 years ago and that she quoted in her piece were a true reflection of his personal character?"

Unfortunately, whether Miss Daunt believes it or not, some voters do lack the ability to distinguish an actor from his role(s). If the Left is really frightened of Thompson, they'll play this Nazi-doc thing to the hilt. Some number of idiots will believe that Thompson is a Nazi, and some number of pseudo-conservative fainting flowers will back away from the best presidential candidate in the current crop. The combination might be enough to sink Thompson's chances.

Stephen Hayes tells us what... (Below threshold)
kim:

Stephen Hayes tells us what Fred Thompson says about Libby.
====================================

No one complained when Bill... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

No one complained when Bill Clinton played a porn star when he was President....

Whoever wrote this is an id... (Below threshold)

Whoever wrote this is an idiot. Now I'm not a Thompson fan, I like Romney, but to go after him in this way is discusting.

But in the age of YouTub... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

But in the age of YouTube, this performance could raise an intriguing political question:

Um, no it doesn't.

Stephen Hayes tells us what... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Stephen Hayes tells us what Fred Thompson says about Libby.
====================================
Posted by: kim

Fred Thompson's on the Libby Legal Defense Fund committee. I can take a wild guess, though...

I'm pretty annoyed with the... (Below threshold)
Sean P:

I'm pretty annoyed with the article myself for personal reasons, but it should be made clear that the LAT isn't technically smearing Thompson with the charge, they are simply "wondering" aloud whether the charge, fair or not, could hurt a politician in the age of You Tube.

As far as the Thompson supporters who are angry at the article, my advide would be: don't get mad, get ready. If some clown does try this during the campaign (as opposed to talking about trying this) the Thompson campaign should be ready to respond quickly and decisively.

Interesting tidbit: Did you know that ** spoilers ** at the end of the story arc it was revealed that the Knox Pooley character in question wasn't REALLY a nazi, he was just pretending to be one to fool a few suckers out of some money?

"I think the MSM watched th... (Below threshold)
Ennis:

"I think the MSM watched the democrat debate the other night and realized no way in hell one of those clowns could win the presidency. They must be really getting worried. Love it!
Posted by: Jo at May 4, 2007 11:22 PM"

They have long known this.

That is why they are launching all sorts of "preemptive strikes" on anyone who looks like they might be the Republican frontrunner. They are on a fishing expedition to find out if they can get anything to stick. So far it hasn't worked.

The MSM has hammered Giuliani about his divorces, his having a "gay roommate" and his stances on various subjects. All designed to highlight his "unpalatability" to (in their minds) the "knuckledraggin', gun-totin', bible thumpin' rethuginazi base". They haven't yet realized that reality is nothing like it is in their "reality-based communities".

They go on and on about Mitt Romney being a Mormon.(I wonder if they would do that if he were a Moslem? Only if he were a Republican Moslem-they have no problems with radical Moslems like Nation of Islam member Keith Ellison or Barak Obama) The MSM are trying to scare people into believing he is some form of religious nut. I find this funny because it was the same tactic used when JFK ran for president. There were many who believed that if he were elected President the Pope would be running the US.

Now Fred is going to catch alot of heat. I think he will catch more then most for I think that out of all of them he would be the most electable. The Democrats know this, too.

I am sure it scares the bejabbers out of the MSM to think what a debate between any of the Democratic candidates and Fred Thompson would be like three weeks before the election. Fred would chew them up and spit them out. Hillary would implode, Barak would look like a vapid talking point spouting wind up parrot, the Silk Pony would look like the overprocessed fraud he is and Rev. Al would melt down so fast they would have to put a drool cup on him.

do you guys honestly think ... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

do you guys honestly think that a republican has a chance in hell of becoming president in '08?

do you guys honestly thi... (Below threshold)

do you guys honestly think that a republican has a chance in hell of becoming president in '08?

Do you honestly think a Democrat has, after the fools the Democrats in Congress are making of themselves?

If the Democrats *hadn't* g... (Below threshold)

If the Democrats *hadn't* gotten the majority in Congress I believe that it would be nearly impossible for a Republican to win in '08. I also think that it's likely that part of the Democrat win in '06 was due to Republican voters wanting to give their party a wake up call, a needed slap, to shape up, with the conscious or subconscious understanding that they could lose the Congress *or* the Presidency. And yet, the Republicans didn't lose by much. (Which makes claims that the "American People" have suffered some sea change toward the Democratic agenda self-serving and silly.)

Americans are uncomfortable with an uneven distribution of power. We've got two years for the Democrats to make all sorts of loud noises about how they are in charge now. Like Pelosi waving her little hammer around and explaining that she gets to make the rules. (Dems cheered her for that little dramatic moment.)

The parties are very evenly split. Some idea that the Republicans have lost so much and the Democrats have gained a significant majority, much less a *mandate*, is... unfounded.

The Democrats holding their tiny majority in congress and acting like they are the new Sheriff in town makes a Republican win *much* more likely.

And, as a couple people pointed out... they only need to be "better" than whomever the Democrats put forward. They only need to make a ticket that will pull the middle.

oooooookay, kool-aid drinke... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

oooooookay, kool-aid drinkers. do you not realize that the republican party is self destructing right now? do you honestly not see that? people simply do not want to buy what you are selling.

Slingshot:I find i... (Below threshold)

Slingshot:

I find it difficult to take anyone who is incapable of using the "shift" key on their keyboard seriously.

However, what you think is "self destruction" within the GOP is called "honest debate." Since that art is dead on the left, it's not surprising that you've never seen it.

you know why i love this si... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

you know why i love this site? because of all the comedians that post here. honest debate! that is hilarious.
[SHIFT]
the GOP had six years to march in lockstep, and they did, and then they got thrown out on their asses. now we have people who are supposed to be serious candidates for president of "the greatest and most powerful nation in the history of planet earth" getting up and publicly decalring they don't believe in evolution so they can convince the idiots who make up their base to vote for them.
[SHIFT]
yes, the MSM is afraid that fred will kick some ass in a debate. where do you guys get this stuff? hilarious material! you keep this up and one of you will be invited to give a speech at the white house correspondents dinner next year!
[SHIFT]
you really think fred law and order is going to win? he is not nearly enough of a wingnut for your base.
[SHIFT]

The GOP marches in lockstep... (Below threshold)

The GOP marches in lockstep? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Tell that to John McCain.

The Party of the Donkey is the one that won't tolerate any disagreement. See Lieberman, Senator Joseph.

would that be John "I used ... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

would that be John "I used to be a maverick but now I hhave gotten on full board with the Bush Administration" McCain? Are you talking about THAT John McCain?

If you think he's full on b... (Below threshold)

If you think he's full on board with the Administration, you're more clueless than you look... and that boggles the mind!

Go ahead, give it a shot, b... (Below threshold)
kim:

Go ahead, give it a shot, bD, what did Fred Thompson say about Libby?
===========================

So - the state of the count... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

So - the state of the country according to slingshot IS--President Shillary Clinton.

100% certainty a Democrat ****
And the leading likely Democratic candidate SHillary.

hahaha....OH YA SHE's a LOCK!!!!
You really do amuse sling, glad you could drop in.

bD, he thinks Libby was set... (Below threshold)
kim:

bD, he thinks Libby was set up by the CIA and the DoJ and he's right. Before the campaign is over, all the candidates will be saying so.

Would you go to war with Joe Wilson? Or on a campaign to convince the electorate?

Enough said.
============

The only way the run-up to ... (Below threshold)
kim:

The only way the run-up to the war is not an issue next year is if there is a satisfactory resolution of it by then, something some thinking Democrats may well be wishing for. Even John Kerry wouldn't campaign on Joe Wilson's credibility.
=======================

I was teasing a Biden suppo... (Below threshold)
kim:

I was teasing a Biden supporter last night about two-way traffic in throats and she mentioned that 'Fracture' was fabulous.

So..... Anthony Hopkins for President.
=========================

Ennis, got a brother named ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Ennis, got a brother named Bill?
===================

I think all of you conserva... (Below threshold)
me:

I think all of you conservatives who think the GOP slate for '08 are deluding yourself...
...but I also think that LA Times piece is crap, crap, crap. The author should be fired. No one cares about what roles he played, and only a moron might think that playing a racist would make him a racist.

Perhaps the author of the article is good at identifying with morons.

This garbage can work both ... (Below threshold)
bob slater:

This garbage can work both ways...Clooney played a thief..twice!...Sarandon played a tramp in Kevin Costners baseball movie....Tim Robbins played a dim-witted sex-crazed dummy in the same movie...Sean Penn played a murderous juvenile delinquent in Bad Boys. Alec Baldwin playeed a mean, cruel, vicious windbag...oops, never mind!

Way to go liberal dems. ke... (Below threshold)
Kathy:

Way to go liberal dems. keep beating your idiotic drums and please do so loudly so that all can see what you're truly made of.




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