February 09, 2006


That's the host of the show, not meSo apparently some show on MSNBC called SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY is going to have me on tonight to talk about VALLEY OF THE WOLVES: IRAQ. From what I can tell it's one of those shows where everyone just screams at other, and I haven't seen the movie, but that's not stopping anyone.

Tune in and see my new haircut! I just got it yesterday and the guy who cut it was glued to some "Ten Greatest Superbowl Coaches of All Time" show on ESPN while he took the clippers to me. You can tell.

Update: The show is repeated later tonight at 2am ET/11pm PT.

Update 2: You can watch streaming video of the segment here at MSNBC's site. (Thanks Wolf)

February 9, 2006 at 11:14 AM in News | Permalink


I hope it's not "the Belichick."

Posted by: Justin Slotman | Feb 9, 2006 12:01:15 PM

If anyone out there records this, please put it online and post a link to it here!

Posted by: Don | Feb 9, 2006 6:30:10 PM

You were great!!! You'll be getting a great deal of hate mail, but just wanted to be one of the first congratulating you for speaking up to one of the biggest hypocrites on cable news...damn i loved it!!

Posted by: Diane | Feb 9, 2006 7:32:47 PM

Nice haircut Grady.
And I agree with Diane, you did a good job. I loved how you pissed off your "pal" and drove him into an idiotic screaming fit.
We would be living in a sad, sad world if people like him have their ways.
I'm glad you were able to squeeze in a few words at the end, I would have hated for that moron to have the last words.

Posted by: Buma | Feb 9, 2006 7:56:01 PM

damn, i missed it. a cap would be nice, if not it gets rerun at like 3. anyone know how far this segment was into the show(i can't stand scarborough and don't want to watch the show for 45 minutes to get to grady)?

Posted by: robix | Feb 9, 2006 9:05:20 PM

I just saw it. I agree with Diane and Buma. You were great!!! It was cool how you pissed off your "pal", lol. He deserved it.

Posted by: Scott | Feb 9, 2006 9:07:12 PM

Less than 15 min into it . Second segment.

Posted by: scott | Feb 9, 2006 9:13:24 PM

The video is now online at this site:


Scroll down and find the video section.

Posted by: Wolf | Feb 9, 2006 10:07:54 PM


Posted by: Wolf | Feb 9, 2006 10:26:25 PM

wwwaaaaahhhh! It won't work on a Mac! I wanna see the new haircut! I even made popcorn!

Posted by: Colin Geddes | Feb 9, 2006 11:05:23 PM

that was pretty funny. i liked the teenage girl line you got in before it cut off, grady.
why is it that every movie bill donahue talks about is one he hasn't seen?

Posted by: robix | Feb 9, 2006 11:26:52 PM

maybe if that idiot is so concerned about US soldiers getting killed, he should warn them to stay out of Iraq. And what was that about rights without responsibility? Perhaps, the lawmakers should consider such views. Not really my kind of film anyway but now I'm intrigued. They sure gave it some publicity anyway. I appreciated your input.

Posted by: betsy | Feb 9, 2006 11:53:44 PM

Congrats! You talked and looked good.

Posted by: eliza bennet | Feb 10, 2006 12:58:18 AM

Interesting and odd is what I would say about the segment. I would like to respond to "Robix" for the comment about American soldiers staying out of Iraq. What military allows the soldiers to dictate where they will fight? As far as this film is concerned it is fine to show a different view of the world and opinions. I understand the trodden feeling the Muslim world might feel but no one alive today colonized their nations and America certainly didn't. America may be the big bully and school teacher on the playground trying to keep people in line and orderly but would anyone out there like Saddam Hussein still in power? This is like saying you wouldn't condone the assassination of Adolf Hitler in the mid-1930s.

Posted by: Jason | Feb 10, 2006 4:28:27 AM

Oy, how could I have missed this! Great job Grady, it's not a successful opinion-ed appearance if you aren't told to shut up at least once. I was a little surprised (well not surprised so much as amused) at how this was turned into a hollywood thing, just by the inclusion of 2 washed up American actors.

Posted by: walde | Feb 10, 2006 6:59:39 AM

First off, Grady, I can't say I saw a haircut substantially different from the one you had the last time I saw you.

Second, I'm glad you didn't let Donohue get away with slipping in that slimy "are you anti-semitic?" line right under the closing (love how Scarborough chastised *you* for insults - although, to be fair, he might not have clearly heard what Donohue said at first - I didn't).

Third: I'm not going to enjoy this, but I've gotta strongly disagree with some of what you said. When you started talking about "freedom of speech" and the U.S. Constitution, you descended to a level of rhetoric almost as silly as that of the two troglodytes you were faced with. Freedom of expression isn't at issue here as far as I can tell, and the Constitution simply doesn't come into it. I haven't heard anyone talking about jailing or fining Zane or Busey, or otherwise punishing them (well, not yet - it'll come). The 1st Amendment says the government can't use its powers to punish or infringe upon the expression of private citizens except in very narrow and specific circumstances (the classic "yelling fire in a crowded theater" example). Period. It doesn't enjoin you or me or even a moron like William Donohue from passing judgment upon how someone chooses to use that freedom and what they express - and that includes what sort of messages an actor chooses to lend his talents and financial clout to disseminating.

It reached a low when you said you wouldn't have a problem with Clark Gable choosing to act in a Nazi propaganda movie in the late '30s. Grady, why in the hell not? My jaw is still on the floor after hearing that. It doesn't infringe upon any of his rights to condemn a choice that's so clearly morally reprehensible. To say that respecting others' freedom of expression entails abdicating any right or responsibility to critically evaluate (and, yes, maybe even harshly judge) that expression is the sort of naive and nearly meaningless idea of the concept that I'd expect to hear from, frankly, a 14 year old girl.

You know how much I respect you and your work, and I know these shouting-match shows can quickly drag one down to well below one's normal intellectual level, but you dropped the ball here. And I feel obliged to say so, particularly because of this respect. (FYI for puzzled onlookers, I live in NYC like Grady and have been a friend and avid reader of his since well before his blogging days.)

All that said, it's not clear how much Scarborough's kneejerk "Gable/Nazi" analogy applies in this situation - I thought you were strong when trying to keep focus on the point that most of us are just hearing rumors at this point, as we haven't seen the film. And I can't resist observing that many of the same types complaining about this movie are those who stood up for Mel Gibson, in all his thinly veiled antisemitism, during the whole "Passion of" brouhaha.

Still in your corner, G-Man. And you really should've worn the tiger suit.

Posted by: Michael Wells | Feb 10, 2006 7:56:55 AM

jason, that betsy's post. names go below the post, not on top.

Posted by: robix | Feb 10, 2006 8:59:44 AM

Wow, never thought such an idiot would have so many fans. Ever research the meaning of the word WAR, Grady? You may have missed it, but we are at war. And I agree with the news anchors comparison of Clark Gable doing a
"pro-nazi, anti american" movie during WWII.
Freedom of speech, my ass..this is just two half assed actors trying to revive their careers through any kind of publicity. I will not watch anything either of them has done in the past, nor will I patronize their movies in the future.

Posted by: gerray | Feb 10, 2006 9:04:12 AM

Michael - I think my problem with the Nazi comment was that I actually responded to it at all. As soon as someone has to resort to dragging in the Nazi metaphor then the argument is over and they're the loser. One of the things that was tough about this show was that there's a bigger point at stake here, and one I felt got mixed in with all the apples and oranges that were getting slung around like ticker tape at a parade.

My point, which you're correct to say I didn't make very well, is that as an American I strongly believe that everyone has the right to absolute freedom to say or do anything no matter how strongly I disagree with it and as long as it's legal. If Errol Flynn (I think it was Errol Flynn, not Clark Gable) had made a Nazi movie as an American I can disagree with him all I want, I can think he's made an irresponsible choice, and I can think that I may not want to invite him to dinner, but I need to be prepared to defend to the death his right to do so freely.

The First Amendment and the rule of law give Americans the right to act as irresponsibly as they please as long as they don't break any laws. Other citizens are free to censure what they don't agree with, but the problem with freedom is that it even applies to people with whom I strongly disagree. I have to be willing to let Neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, and Christian fundamentalists have their say in a free and open society or else it's not open.

The biggest problem with the statement is that it was a trap that I blithely walked into. The word "problem" wasn't defined and that's the crux of the argument. Would I have a problem with a Hollywood actor supporting the Nazi's in the 1930's? Well, some prominent Americans did (like Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh did) and it doesn't keep me up at night, I honestly doubt it keeps anyone reading this blog up at night either. But the more important question is: what would it mean to "have a problem" with that? Personally, I don't approve of Neo-Nazi beliefs, although in the past I've been on friendly terms with some. In the public forum, which was the context I thought this show was taking place in, I figured that my private views weren't important and I felt a pressure to represent a point of view. And the point of view is that informed engagement and an open, civil debate, not blanket condemnation, is the best way to engage with people with whom you don't agree. And by saying I would "have a problem" with an actor's support of Naziism I would be endorsing William Donohue and Chuck Scarborough's belief that screaming at the person, condemning them, and comparing them to a sodomite would be an appropriate response.

I think condeming racism, or any of the other isms gets you nowhere. It makes you feel righteous and powerful, and gives you the illusion of being moral, but it doesn't accomplish the American ideal of bringing people together despite their differences. So within the context of the show I didn't have a "problem" with Errol Flynn in a pro-Nazi movie because "having a problem" with it is meaningless. That's like asking someone if they'd have "a problem" with someone who killed their parents. Of course they would, but there are people who seek to forgive those who've done them harm and engage them in a dialogue despite their personal pain and I find those individuals far more worthy of praise and far more admirable than people who begin and end with "having a problem".

But, again, you're right. I made this point very poorly last night.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Feb 10, 2006 9:14:56 AM

Wow again...neo-nazis, anti semites and christian fundamentalists in the same line...whew...surely not implying they are all the same?

Posted by: Gerray | Feb 10, 2006 9:19:28 AM

No, I'm not saying they're the same, I'm saying they are each a group that I don't particularly agree with. I decided on citing these three groups because they each represent a very different kind of point of view:

1) Neo Nazis are a bankrupt organization that has very little chance of ever entering legitimate, mainstream political debate and they exist on the very margins of public opinion.

2) Anti-Semitism is an amorphous kind of racism that appears in many different forms, ranging from casual value judgements made about people who are Jewish, to anti-Israel sentiment that some mainstream politicians endorse.

3) Christian fundamentalism is very much a part of the cultural mainstream in the US and while they represent a wide range of opinions there is also a powerful political movement that claims to be "Christian fundamentalist" and their political platform is one that's debated constantly in the public forum.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Feb 10, 2006 9:41:50 AM

Oops about the above: the host is Joe Scarborough, not Chuck Scarborough (a different tv personality). This is a little confusing because another guest on a different segment kept referring to the host as "Chuck". Is it a love name? Or maybe they thought they were on a different show?

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Feb 10, 2006 10:12:46 AM

My favorite line was from Scarborough and it was something along the lines of “If they’re gonna make movies about Jews being organ thieves, that explains why these people attacked us on September 11th…” One of the greatest leaps in logic I’ve ever seen….

He hates films that paint an entire race of people as evil, huh? Guess he hasn’t seen too many American action movies from the 80’s and 90’s.

Also, did he compare every Muslim to the Nazis, or is it just me?

Posted by: Sean | Feb 10, 2006 10:13:44 AM

Ok, point well taken on the three groups. I apologize for calling you an idiot, even though you would probably "fight to the death" to defend my right to call you one! Pun intended.
Personally, I feel that there is a lack of core moral values, and by that, of course in my case I mean Judeo-Christian values.
I certainly don't condone hate of any kind, especially expressed against individuals.
I just don't understand why, at this particular point in history (and especially in light of the furor raised by muslims worldwide because of the recent Danish newspaper cartoon), anyone who professes to be a patriotic american (which I believe Mr. busey has done, don't know about Billy Zane)would want to be a part of something so overtly anti-american, even granted their constitutional right to do so!
If more Americans had the strength of conviction and belief that Muslims show (perhaps without the fanatic twist to it...), perhaps our country would be in a better moral position overall than it is now (again, taking into consideration my Judeo-Christian values, which a majority of americans profess to some degree.
I appreciate your coherence and kindness under pressure, even while I disagree with you on this particular issue.

Posted by: gerray | Feb 10, 2006 10:34:31 AM

No problem. I actually appreciate the debate. I don't think anyone's saying that Busey and Zane have made a particularly swift career decision. I guess I look at it more from the point of a movie critic type person who sees this as two actors making a really bad movie, that based solely on a description seems absurdly offensive, and you're looking at it from the point of someone who sees what they're doing as a reflection of our culture.

Neither of us are wrong, but the more we talk the more apparent it is that we're coming at this from two totally different perspectives.

What I'm interested to see is whether this will help or hurt Busey and Zane's careers. I tend to think it won't help them, but the more cynically-minded amongst us say there's no such thing as bad publicity, so who knows?

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Feb 10, 2006 11:22:31 AM

you were great, IMO. They *ARE* teenage girls...
no offense to teenage girls...
wait...am I being anti-teenage girl?

Posted by: squinchy | Feb 10, 2006 12:39:19 PM

great job under the circumstances -- I would have lost my cool as soon as the Catholic League guy opened his mouth -- that is the same group that up until the 1970's told Catholics what films to see and not to see in a way that was more obvious than any other Christian group -- I think John Waters has written some funny bits about their disapproval meant a film was good and vice versa.

You should have stressed that it's just a film. If a movie can get people killed, then we are in a sad state indeed.

AND maybe -- just maybe -- if more Muslims vented their anger in films, they've be less likely to blow up something. Maybe.

Posted by: glenn | Feb 10, 2006 2:04:21 PM

Glenn's point is interesting...here in the west, while certainly things such as a Piss Christ and so on can generate a lot controversy amongst talking heads, we are definitely an irreverant bunch compared to some of the folks freaking out over a panel of family circus or whatever. Then again, there's no doubt in my mind the ruckus serves both the interests of the neocons in the west and the islamists in the east. So I'd argue that the flames of controversy will be delibrately fanned, as witnessed by those two jerkoffs Grady verbally bitchslapped.
How odd would it be if the answer was: make more dumb-ass action movies? Blow some shit up, remake die hard from a muslim perspective etc. It's worth a try...hell, even the leader of Hezbollah likes a good movie, according to that guy who wrote/directed Syriana.

Posted by: squinchy | Feb 10, 2006 2:41:27 PM

My apologies to Robix, though it appears they aren't necessary. I am new to posting here and thank for letting me know Michael.

Posted by: Jason | Feb 11, 2006 11:44:13 AM

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