Friday, August 31, 2012

LIZ SMITH: Political Victims, Tabloid Victims ...

Women — Political Victims, Tabloid Victims. Enough Already!!!
Richard Belzer — "Munching" Down on Conspiracy Theories in his "Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country's Most Controversial Cover-Ups."
by Liz Smith
Friday, August 31, 2012

“IF THERE is to be a future, it will wear the crown of feminine design,” said Sri Aurobindo.

But will it? The Congress and its conservative majority are trying to end Roe vs. Wade, decimate Planned Parenthood and fight the abortion fight all over again.

They are openly waging war on America’s women. This caused one Roll Parnell, who sent me the above quote, to add: “Unless we awaken to the mystery of the sacred feminine, and allow it to glow, irradiate, illumine, and penetrate every area of our activity — to create in them all harmony, justice, peace, love, ecstasy, and balance — we will all die out and take nature with us.”
MANY YEARS ago, I used to read Confidential with my jaw dropping. This magazine’s sensational revelations about the sacred stars of Hollywood was the antidote to years of what folks called “movie magazines.” My first real job in NYC was for one of these — editor at Modern Screen. We were giddy, silly, positive about everyone and didn’t even know we were being manipulated as publicity sources for the studios.

I felt when was reading Confidential that I needed to hide under the covers with a flashlight.

Then later Generoso Pope invented the National Enquirer, another headache for the movie-celebrity world. But as the years whizzed by, the Enquirer was often right and they probably deserved a Pulitzer for their correct work in tracking John Edwards’ lies. (If they helped destroy just one utter phony who thought he might reach the White House, they deserve a big salute.)

Now everybody has heard everything about every single person of prominence in America. There are no secrets. So I was amazed this week in the beauty salon when, without work or a book, I picked up the magazine InTouch.

This “thing” is nothing but stories of women, famous but mostly semi-famous or merely well-known and passingly mentioned. The thesis is how they are one and all, being dumped on by guys!!!!

Are women stupid? Are men that bad? Is it so utterly one-sided? Can’t anyone be faithful or doesn’t it matter? (I guess it doesn’t really matter — these people aren’t exactly Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton or Kate Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. That’s when love affairs were truly fascinating.)

Incidentally, the one interesting story in InTouch contends that Jennifer Aniston is working on a $150 million pre-nup for her marriage to Justin Theroux.
And there, just the other day I read that she wasn’t asking him to sign a pre-nup but would take her chances romantically. (I say, Jen, get the pre-nup!)

Aniston, by the way, has been designated the ultimate cover-girl “victim” of these and other gossip mags. The publications are trying to be happy for her, but long ago their editors decided that this appealing, attractive, talented young woman was going to pine forever over her divorce from You Know Who. I don’t think she’s pined for a long time. And her current fiancé is a hotter specimen than her baby-burdened ex. These weeklies will make her a victim again somehow, but you can almost hear the gnashing of teeth during editorial meetings as she prepares to wed.
LAST WEEK backstage at the Gore Vidal memorial I encountered a longtime friend Richard Belzer, actor and historian extraordinaire.

You probably think of him as the detective you’ve seen about a million times playing a character named “John Munch” on the long-running hit “Law & Order: SVU.” He is ever-disgruntled, efficient and memorable onscreen. And Belzer in real life has had plenty of adventures quarreling with his show’s various masters. He hates injustice and fights it everywhere he can.

It didn’t surprise me when Richard handed me his brand new coming book titled “Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country’s Most Controversial Cover-Ups.” I haven’t had time to consider and read all of this work of important recent history but just glancing through and examining some of theories about the deaths of JFK, RFK, Marilyn Monroe, Dr. Martin Luther King — and others, makes me see Belzer as a patriot and careful examiner of the facts, along with his co-writer David Wayne.

I was startled by the number of killers of the famous who Belzer believes are incorrectly still incarcerated. Or, they are now dead themselves.

Correcting history is always unpopular and hard to do. Belzer is trying. His most interesting point made in the opening to this controversial book is that the mainstream press falls down on its job when it comes to “official and often false” resolutions offered by governments, small and large.

Other books Richard has penned.
The book cites “media propaganda from U.S. Intelligence agencies.” Belzer believes that your everyday journalists don’t examine the facts closely. And so, true revelations aren’t really forthcoming because those who object are called, derisively “conspiracy addicts.” Belzer goes on to show that when we speak of “conspiracy,” we are probably misusing the term.

Belzer’s theory? “The real-world definition of conspiracy is simply; two or more persons agreeing to commit a crime. So Richard believes that many of those examining “conspiracies” are calling them by the wrong name.

“Dead Wrong” is startling, rich with detail — for instance, there are many things I have long believed myself.

Take the theory of Aristotle Onassis instituting the death of Bobby Kennedy. I have long believed the facts over the accepted verdict. On the other hand, in his chapter on Marilyn Monroe he sources, among others, a female “friend” of Monroe. Yet there is no proof that this woman ever even met Marilyn! (This woman's incredible tales are now generally accepted as fact, except by the most scrupulous, accurate biographers.)

I highly recommend Richard Belzer’s fascinating book from Skyhorse Publishing.

Contact Liz Smith here.

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