Deep pockets and short arms


Remember Hollywood's version of the Watergate scandal, All The Presidents Men? Silly question, right? Right. But even if you only read the book, who can sift through their memories (with the possible exception of Mr. Felt himself) without picturing a young, dashing Robert Redford in the shadows of the parking garage with Hal Holbrook, aka Deep Throat, aka Mark Felt, offering and/or confirming the dirty details of the very first "gate" scandal. If only Humphrey or McGovern had garnered 60% of the votes instead of that perpetually 5 o'clock shadowed crook Richard Nixon. Who knows, if it weren't for all these damn unethical American politicians, our free press might've been able to achieve world peace by now. But I veer in vain.

Fast forward 30 years...

In bankruptcy plagued United Airlines' new ad campaign, Democratic hero—in waiting Robert Redford gets paid huge sums of money to tell potential customers of average means (like me)..."Where you go in life is up to you. There's one (Only one?) airline that can take you there, United. It's time to fly."

I find it a little more than dishearteningly ironic that the hard working men and women, the real backbone of United, are negotiating to limit contract cuts in pay, benefits and/or their pension plans to help their overpaid executive employers back into the black, while the Sundance not—a—Kid—anymore is using his no—sweat voiceover booty to fly around in waste—fuel private charter jets with more blankets and pillows than you can shake a bag of free peanuts at.

You might assume that as a principled, opinionated multi—millionaire with lots of in—between projects time on his hands, he would fly around the world on do—gooder missions of mercy like the real—deal Bono. But we all know about the erroneous nature of assumptions. It's much more likely that you'd find him flying to exotic destinations where ordinary freedom loving people might fear to tread, like Cuba. He was down there recently to promote his ode to a youthful version of Marxist Che Guevara movie, The Motorcycle Diaries. The list of con—tradictions of his words verses his deads is at least as long, if not longer than most others of his ilk. Averages dictate that of the 754,000 Google search results for his name, there are sure to be more than one or two not so flattering things that most of his adoring fans would rather not even hear, let alone accept as the truth.

For a financially troubled company like United to pay mega bucks to an already too rich for anybody's good, avowed leftist like Mr. Redford, in an desperate attempt to add credibility (?) to their brand is not unlike the big bad oil companies spending many millions of public relations dollars to placate the always disgruntled tree huggers who then turn around and blame the current administration's energy policy for the extra pennies they pay at the pump. Talk about 'no soap, radio'. If we could just get the all the socialist types to shut up and practice what they preach we could balance the budget, reform social security and have enough left over to fight the war on terror that all us capitalist caused/started.

I guess Mr. Redford's reluctance to 'dance with them that brung him' is just his way of staying true to the Bob Woodward character.

Joe Crowley    6 3 05