Confessions of a “Hollywood Liberal”



This morning in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier this rebuttal appeared to a column that I had written the week before:

I will also offer my column if anyone wishes to use it as a reference:

For the record, I consider Van Miller to be a friend, and I have tremendous respect for him and the business he has created.  He is a smart and generous man.  However, with regard to his article, he has made my reply too easy.

Let’s start with my friend “Steve” (in reality I changed his name).  I don’t believe anyone attends Northwestern University dreaming of becoming a fast food manager and Steve was no exception.  Having lofty ambitions to become a writer, director and actor, he worked at Burger King in the evenings to make his attendance possible.  As Mr. Miller points out there is nothing wrong with being a manager at Burger King and today the benefits are very good (for managers), but they weren’t back then and that would be more relevant to this point, but still irrelevant to Steve’s story.

I don’t want to belittle the company or anyone in food service and Mr. Miller is correct when he points out that the fast food industry generates billions in sales and creates jobs, but he should realize that most of the jobs that it creates are not full time positions with benefits; those belong to managers.  What do you suppose that ratio (managers to employees) would equal?  Not as impressive as Mr. Miller has suggested.

No, what is relevant is that Steve was among the best in his chosen profession and he did quite well for a long time.  But, ageism took him out of the mainstream of employment opportunities and for the past 10 years he didn’t make enough to qualify for guild benefits.  Mr. Miller is very successful and I compliment his business acumen, but, perhaps he has forgotten what making less than 50,000 dollars a year is like and having to pay for family health coverage out of pocket without an employer or guild match.  After taxes, and costs of living, many Americans have to roll the dice with regard to health care.

donny and marieMr. Miller dismisses me as another “Hollywood Liberal.”  Not that I would be ashamed of that because Hollywood liberals are among the brightest people I know, however, I didn’t become a liberal in Hollywood.  I grew up in a house where I observed and was taught egalitarianism, critical thinking, compassion and about civil rights.  I am still the same Iowa bred, moderate-liberal.

Finally, with regard to questioning a statistic I tossed out concerning “scandals” from the Bush and Obama administrations, I seem to have placed a burr in the saddle of Republicans who read my column (read the comments that follow and on my Facebook page).  They simply have to believe that Obama defines corruption and any attempt to illuminate history that contradicts that premise is “left wing bias.”

How soon they forget…the George W Bush presidency…

1) The Valerie Plame spy outing,  2) Mismanaged intelligence gathering in Iraq (or you can call it “WMD lies” to justify invasion), 3) Remember Jack Abramoff? (Look him up if you don’t), 4) Enron (close administration ties),  5)  Ashcroft’s violations of campaign finance laws  6)  Abu Ghraib (torture made fun?),  7) Cheney’s secretive Energy Commission and giving Halliburton drilling rights denied to others (polluting drinking water),  8) The Medicare scam where the administration lied to Congress about actual costs of legislation (I’m sure Mr. Miller remembers that one), and 9) the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” (warrantless wiretapping).

I’m up to 9 and I haven’t even gone online to do research yet.  Mr. Miller mentioned 4 Obama scandals, but consider that one is a continuation of existing NSA policy since President Bush and two others have shown NO direct connection with the President.  The gunwalking scandal points to the Attorney General.  I won’t deny that was a bad plan, but an aggressive program to smoke out gun trafficking to Mexican Cartels is not something I can’t understand and I’m not really incensed over it.

And you know what?  I’ll bet a dollar to a donut that Mr. Miller isn’t really either….so, in my view…3:1 was being generously kind.

christmas cardGenerous…just like you’d expect from a Hollywood Liberal.



P.S.  Mr. Miller’s comment from his rebuttal about a “Stand down” order from President Obama to military in Benghazi is erroneous.  The only testimony that has been given contradicts that Fox News assertion.  And as for the President “taking credit” for the killing of Bin Laden, he never took any credit save for the fact that it required a presidential order to go through with the mission.  Perhaps, Mr. Miller believes that George “Mission Accomplished” Bush would have been more modest.


Published by gary1164

I'm an advertising executive and former actor/producer