“The Byrdman of Alcatraz, D.C.”: TOTUS Enchants ‘Em

finefrockaby Steve Finefrock, founder Hollywood Conservative Forum

As TOTUS stepped to the podium for his 100-day press conference – a “Hallmark Moment” according to his staff and acolytes in the media – another hallmark of liberal thought aired on TCM, as we became acquainted with Robert Stroud’s humanity. Credits to “The Birdman of Alcatraz” opened with caring hands caressing ailing birds, tiny lives brought to health by Stroud’s compassionate concern.

Quite a choice thus offered – which event was fuller of hyper-BS?  The man dubbed by bloggers as TelePrompTer of the United States [TOTUS] or the birdman killer whose life was given the gentle treatment by Hollywood?

Robert Stroud was a ruthless, psychopathic killer whose work with avian cures for ailing birds made him a worldwide phenomenon, as he did his work in prison, serving a commuted death sentence. At film’s end, he is met on the San Francisco docks by a reporter, to be transferred from Alcatraz in his elderly years to a minimum-security facility. His Buddha-like inner calm is reflected by Burt Lancaster’s cover-up of the real Stroud, noting he’ll enjoy to be in a cell without a lock, and walk a half mile without turning a corner.

The adoring reporter, whose book became the movie [produced by Lancaster], laments that he’s meeting Stroud for the first time on a transfer action, rather than being released to his freedom. Film ending is the reporter voiceover that the poor ole man is 72, now in his 53rd year of imprisonment, refused annually to receive parole.

So sad. Too bad.

In this film the villain is the warden at Stroud’s first federal prison. We are taken on a long road of conversion to become Stroud’s supporters – long before that Hollywood talent found its zenith in “The Godfather” – and cry at his pending death in prison, as a ‘harmless’ old man who did so much good for birds.

Turner Classic Movies has screened this film often since I first saw it on their output, but not once since my initial TCM viewing has Robert Osbourne repeated his coda to the film’s end: Stroud to his last day before a parole board, even as an old man who’d done ‘so much good’ for birds, calculated revenge against those who done him wrong. Osbourne noted that one time that Stroud explicitly told the board how he would seek his enemies and gleefully kill them, once he was free to do so.

Thus the reason Hollywood deleted the reason this poor, kindly, Buddha of a prisoner never would get a parole. Osbourne has not issued that particular ‘correction’ of the film’s ‘history’ in any of the subsequent broadcasts. The reason can be surmised: he violated the Oath of Hollywood, by revealing that a nasty was really nasty, after he’d been lionized by a film by a major director [John Frankenheimer, who later directed “Seven Days in May” with Lancaster again his co-conspirator] and actor.

And its competition that Tuesday night of 100 weenie questions? We see a Perez Hilton imitation from the NY Times ask a softball “enchanting” question, the focus of future commentary beyond measure. Dennis Miller observed that a tougher question was asked by Hilton to a Miss USA pageant nominee than any tossed at Obama The One [OTO], or more suitably, TOTUS the One.

The Metrosexual Journalist, Jeff Zeleny, is the epitome of tough questions to TOTUS? Clearly Zeleny is unlearned about anything other than his choice of metrosexual wardrobe and thinner in his knowledge of world history than the flimsy metal of his wire-rimmed spectacles. Any serious journalist would have challenged TOTUS’ notion that “we don’t torture” because of a mis-used anecdote about Churchill’s prohibition of abuse toward German internees held in wartime England.

But journalists ain’t known for what they actually know – you can put all their knowledge of serious events and issues in a caraway seed and still have sufficient room for a Hollywood agent’s heart. If Churchill’s intelligence chiefs found among those internees someone in Hitler’s high command, in the Wehrmacht, the SS or SA, you can bet he’d have gone very, very hard on that ‘internee’ in British custody. After all, Winnie allowed Coventry to be bombed without warning them he knew it was pending, to protect the “Ultra” secret.

How many Perez Hilton Journalists like Zeleny even know what the Ultra secret was? Or that Churchill said, in time of war the truth is so precious that it must be protected by a bodyguard of lies? Doubtless if TOTUS and his acolytes in Congress were working the political precincts in post-war England, they’d be seeking war-crime trials against Churchill and his high-command. After all, Winnie was defeated even as Berlin’s smoldering rubble was still smoking, thus very vulnerable to his enemies’ taking the government after the peace had been won by his leadership.

Bob Beckel declared, “Elvis is dead, and Beaver has grown up” in a quaint line branding the GOP as stuck in the 50s, which will find much circulation. The lie is that, it is this collection of cronies in TOTUS’ crowd, who are the naïve and ignorant ones. None stood tall and brave against communism, but now brand Sean Hannity a coward regarding waterboarding [Lawrence O’Donnell – transcript on the web, on MSNBC with Keith Olbermann]. These are the folks who declared they were patriots while causing America grief, and now attach patriotism to taxes!

“What has the arrogant, unilateral foreign policy of the last president achieved?” declared Geraldo on Fox that same night! Not a single thought to TOTUS’ arrogance, or Gibbs’ grinning contempt for those who challenge TOTUS policies. When TOTUS’ failure due to his snuggling up to our enemies and so-called allies, whose half-hearted gestures will amount to squat, we shall see what Geraldo has to say about what has been achieved by the multi-lateralist TOTUS.

That is, if Geraldo were an honorable man – but he won’t admit fault, and won’t be one-tenth as hateful a decade from now as he is toward Bush a mere four months after the change of POTUS to TOTUS.

CNN’s grade from their polling was a mere B-minus, with blacks overwhelmingly voting A+, and whites generally casting a solid C. Hmmm, maybe Janeane Garofalo will add to her mouthing ‘racism’ for such a poor grade by whites, but not a word about ‘black pride’ yielding over 70% blacks voting highly toward TOTUS.

That night, Leno asked Chris Matthews to give TOTUS a grade, as his tingly-leg tried to make it a ‘pass-fair’ judgment. “What kind of lame ass school is this?” blurted Leno, shaming the tingly-enchanter into giving an actual grade to his leggy hero. “Nobody wants to go back to Bush” was Matthews’ applause line, his only conclusion – as if even Bush wants us to go back to him.

As Dennis Miller noted, TOTUS can’t have a press conference without an apology. Not about democrats’ insanity and spending mania, but for America, about America, against America – giving our enemies aid and comfort and solace and empowerment: “Even their own president says that nation is abhorrent, so it must be true.”

All in all, it was One Enchanting Evening, as the Perez Hilton press corps became a TOTUS-loving corpse of quiet acceptance of his apologies and long-winded utterances. Ed Koch had a good reply for Bush to borrow: beaten with help of some his supposedly most devoted NYC Jewish supporters, Da Mayor was asked by one of those turncoats, Oh Mr. Mayor, it’s so, so bad now, we’re so sorry we didn’t support you, won’t you please come back and get things back like they were before.

Koch calmly replied, “Madam, the people have spoken, and now the people must be punished.”

Can we take TOTUS’ punishment of the nation’s economy [see the coming stagflation, Geraldo?], downsizing of the military [how enchanted will TOTUS be with SEAL funding, and the other service functions?], zigzagging like he’s Just Another Politician [let the ‘JAP’ jokes thus commence] and the rest which will leave us wishing we had Bush-Cheney back?

Indeed, by this date next year, it’s going to be a VERY INTERESTING SITUATION. A target-rich environment for ridicule and retribution. We only need good leadership – Ari Fleischer and Dana Perino, are you ready? – to exploit these rising weaknesses. We only need the skill to make this target-rich environment into a victory battleground.

It’s the return of the LBJ axis of weasels, as LBJ named his women with the moniker ‘Byrd’ – wife, daughters, others – we will see the cover-up of mistakes and truth by TOTUS akin to that of the Stroud, as TOTUS will become the democrats’ current Byrd Man. As Osbourne never again revealed that Lancaster’s hero was no hero at all, so the media’s Perez Hilton orientation will labor to keep us from seeing that Obama is a Byrdman of the DNC.

Now, though, we have alternate media – and a new generation who grasps those media outlets. It will be a far different world in 2010. We hopefully will get rid of John McCain, and also his silly daughter [Meghan Byrd?] along with other lightweights.

Right now, the lame-ass school of pass-fail is the best we can hope for. Soon, the nation will yearn for the old-fashioned grading system. No, Beckel, Beaver isn’t dead – he just has to learn how better to market his old fashioned rock-and-roll conservatism. As your crowd dithered in fighting communism, and have replicated the dissing in the current fight, you will also find the LBJ Byrd years – when Senator Robert Byrd was a segregationist, now the light of the democrats’ eyes as the champion of porkulus spending – being repeated now will eventually bring down the Byrd Men of D.C.

Beaver or Byrd? Give it twelve months, and the answer will be so, so much clearer.

copyright 2009 Steve Finefrock

Finefrock is founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to “Bring the Potomac to the Palisades” on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called "A State of the Union"], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA's Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation’s capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters. Finefrock is proprietor of PhoneBooth: The Smallest Space in Hollywood…

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