Saturday, May 3, 2008

From Mary Astor to Barack Obama: The Associations Just Never Go Away

To Hell With The Truth! Give Us
The Real Dirt and The Real Sex!

The Public will continue to believe what it wants to believe. It will also remember what it wants to remember. Politicians know that. Some people still believe that Saddam Hussein hid weapons of mass destruction. Some people believe that Grand Duke Alexi, heir to the Imperial throne of Russia, might still be alive. When I was very little, I had heard the name Joe McCarthy bandied about with Communism. I had also heard the name of Mary Astor - something to do with torrid sex. I later learned why McCarthy and Communism were mentioned in the same sentence, but I never learned about Mary Astor and her infamous diary until many years later.

For decades, people talked about Astor's diary as if it were a sex manual and body- part-by-body-part tour of all the great men of Hollywood. People were amazed she got any roles after the diary was mentioned in a court child custody case she had with her ex-husband.

The reality was that the press and rumors led the diary to be "shocking" to this day.

Excerpts of what she wrote about her marriage and affair with Kaufman were then released by Thorpe's lawyers to the press, who dubbed it the "purple diary," although it was actually penned in Aztec brown ink and not purple, and it became headline news. Although the excerpts in the papers were fairly harmless, with romantic and sentimental chatter and no intimate details, lurid tales of sexually explicit contents began to circulate. No one ever actually read the authentic diary, however, and such reports of its contents were purely speculative.

When Thorpe surrendered the diary to the court it was impounded and the full contents never revealed. The judge was only concerned with the welfare of the child. Astor wanted her diary back, while Thorpe asserted it should be returned to him. The judge ordered that the diary be stored in a safe deposit box, sealed against prying eyes. In April 1952, with no objection from Astor or Thorpe, the diary was destroyed, unread, by order of the court.

Picture of a very young Mary Astor who admited that she had had
sexual relations with John Barrymore when she was 18. But,
then again according to Barrymore, hadn't everybody?

On Sunday, Senator Barack Obama will again take questions (on Meet the Press) from Tim Russert who grilled him rather tenaciously about his association with his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright of the Trinity Church in Chicago. For some people, the questioning was out-of-line and tedious but to some people, it may not have badgered Obama enough.

Posted by Hugh Hewitt on, the following would be the questions he (Hewitt) would ask Obama (think of them being asked in rapid-fire fashion)

What year did you join Trinity Church?
How often did you attend services there?
When you attended the Million Man March, did you go with a group of men from Trinity?
Did you see Pastor Wright on that trip?
How often would you see Pastor Wright in a setting away from church.
Did you go out to dinner together? Socialize together? Travel together?
I'd like to know about your friendship with Bernadine Dohrn and William Ayers.
They hosted an event for you when you ran for state senate, right?
You and William Ayers served on a foundation board together, correct?
So how well do you know them and how often have you seen them over the past dozen years?
Did you ever socialize with them?
Let's talk about Tony Rezko.
He helped you buy your house?
Did you have any other business dealings with him at all?
Did you socialize with him? Attend events at his home?
Do you think the country has made great progress on race relations?
Do you believe the government had anything to do with inventing AIDs?

Whew! Why do I feel the the next question would be: "Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?"

No matter what the Rev. Wright did or didn't do, Obama's association with him will always be on the minds of people. The Right-wing minds know that. They don't care how Obama answers these kinds of questions. They just want the questions to keep on coming.

Mary Astor weathered the press and the public's image of her to become an esteemed, award-winning actress. Can Obama overcome the pointed viciousness of right-winged minds?