So overnight Saturday night I am, as is my most peculiar wont, listening to the BBC...from which I learn that legendary actor - and, Yes indeed, citizen political activist - Charlton Heston has passed away.
Now, you have to be at least as old as me to remember Charlton Heston. Not the late night cable re-runs of Planet of the Apes Charton Heston but, rather, the Prime of His Career Heston: the definitive "Moses" in The Ten Commandments and, of course, his epic Oscar-winning lead role in Ben Hur (best actor, best picture + 9 others). Stealing a timeless line from Mad Magazine (the one, universal source of a certain brand of twisted humor associated with my generation): "This man had a 150 lb. toothbrush." Ok, you had to be there.
My point is this: the moment I learned of Heston's death, I knew - KNEW - from a lifetime of grim, disheartingly consistent observation, that Heston's obituary would be skewed and screwed and slammed and slimed.
Why? Because he was "a conservative". Not merely a conservative, according to the BBC, but a "far right winger". What did poor Moses do to deserve this unsentimental trashing of a send-off? Easy: he served a president of the National Rifle Association. That's right: Charlton Heston committed the mortal, unforgivable sin (vis the establishment media template) of...Horrors!...not just believing in, but publicly supporting the Second Ammendment to the Constitution of the United States of America - the right to bear arms.
But just one thing is missing in the media's unceremonious death notice. Do you know what it is?
Somehow lost in translation of the "news" media's coverage of Charton Heston's passing is the fact that he marched with Martin Luther King for human and civil rights...in the 1950s.
In the 1950s.
Long before today's civil rights gods - like, say, the Kennedy's, the Gores, et. al. - even privately thought about it.
But that doesn't make most obituary coverage. Doesn't count. "Head of the N.R.A." "Gun advocate" "Far right-winger".
That is the "news". That is how the media makes sure conservatives are remembered. With the lone exception of Ronald Reagan, whom they didn't Dare treat disrespectfully in death, that's the treatment every conservative - i.e. anyone sufficiently radical to believe what the Founding Fathers believed and died for, and the principles on which our entire civilization are based - will be treated to.
But media history isn't History.
And good, patriotic men are still Good Patriotic Men, - no matter what the BBC or the Boston Globe say.
That was Charton Heston's legacy.