This is the west, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.
This is a sentence that Joseph Campbell would have understood very well. Every culture has a way of looking at itself, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance tells the "legend" of America as few other films have ever done.
Anyone who has ever seen this movie cannot possibly forget it. It is filled with iconic characters: The intelligent, naive Easterner played by the ultimate idealist: (James Stewart); the noble but flawed cowboy (John Wayne); the bad guy leader (Lee Marvin) of the gang from south of the picket wire; the pure, brave maiden (Vera Miles); strong, loyal former slave (Woody Strode) ; craven but funny sheriff (Andy Divine), and the heroic, drunken newspaperman (Edmond O'Brien) among many others. Even the minor characters were ones that we have seen in a thousand books and movies.
So what does this movie tell you about current politics. We've all heard the phrase "Cowboy Diplomacy", but is the bullheaded, walk all over others Bush style actually the legend of the Cowboy. Absolutely not. The instant we preemptively hit Iraq, allowed Abu Ghraib, and incarcerated combatants without trial in Gitmo, we violated America's vision of itself as the good guys. We became Liberty Valance not Tom Doniphan.
As Dutton Peabody said and all of the modern press knows: "I'd be a poor newspaperman indeed if I didn't know what everyone else in town knows!" We now all know just how misguided this administration has been. Unfortunately, the neocons and the President in particular would rather attack the media than correct the course that is so destructive to our image in the world.
We all need to go to the polls and do a wholesale house cleaning even if there is one major drawback to this proposal:
According to your friend, Mr. Stoddard, the bar is closed during voting. Says its one of the "Fundamentals of Democracy". No exceptions.
No exceptions for the working press? Why, that's carrying democracy much too far!