Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Moriarty Writes NY Magazine

Unhappy with a recent characterization of his Ben Stone character in a John Leonard review of "Conviction" in New York Magazine as a "Robespierre," Michael Moriarty wrote a lengthy note to the Letters to the Editor section, and it has been published. Here you go (and way to go to Debbie -- he mentions the MMUUUP page!):

Revolutionary Law & Order

A recent plug by John Leonard for Dick Wolf’s latest spinoff [“Television: A Soap in Wolf’s Clothing,” March 6] described my role in the original Law & Order as that of a “Robespierre.” What gives? For those of you who might not know, Maximilien Robespierre was the murderous ideologist of the French Revolution. He was most assuredly not a good man like my character, Ben Stone. Executing France’s aristocracy wasn’t enough for Robespierre, who sent his former comrades to be guillotined during the Terror. Dick Wolf had his own share of purges: I watched the real genius behind Law & Order, executive producer Joseph Stern, leave after two years. Actors Richard Brooks and Dann Florek were summarily fired. Paul Sorvino was eased out because he’d repeatedly suffered from a respiratory ailment after working on New York street locations and wanted to work indoors. Chris Noth was icily informed that his contract hadn’t been renewed at the end of the fifth year. I’m running for president of the United States in 2008 on a third-party ticket, entering the race on a basically comic note, since no one in the mainstream press is taking me seriously, certainly not John Leonard. Or is he? Someone at New York is reading my editorials and articles on and, or Leonard’s French Revolutionary comparison would never have been made. No, Mr. Leonard, I didn’t play Ben Stone as a Robespierre. If you want to lay a French moniker on me, try Lafayette, who advised George Washington to abolish slavery. As Lafayette cried for an end to slavery, I’m declaring, “End abortion! Overturn Roe v. Wade!” The last great lion, Sir Winston Churchill, suffered from sudden depressions he called his “black dog.” Churchill’s occasional funk will prove a mild case of the blues when compared to the eternal despair about to descend on the American careerists of the Third Millennium. Once the breathtakingly self-evident truth about abortion enters their Princetonian, Yalie, Madison Avenue, spin-doctoring, Rolling Stone, New York Times, exploitative souls, the effect of that light upon their eugenics-inspired darkness will be like rabies in a raccoon. Dick Wolf and John Leonard are minor raccoons swept up in the rabies of American careerism.

michael moriarty,
—Maple Ridge, British Columbia


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