September 7, 2012 / by emptywheel


Clint Eastwood’s Time Travel

The local paper in Carmel scored the interview with Clint Eastwood where he tries to describe his bizarre empty chair performance at the RNC. Some of it, including this line…

President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people

… Reinforces my suspicion that the reason Eastwood feels so strongly about Obama is because he actually cried, too, when Obama got elected. He bought the hopey changey bit and now feels gypped.

That said, there’s reason to doubt the honesty of what Clint says in this interview. That’s because his account of how he doubled the amount of time he was alloted is not credible.

Originally, he was told he could speak for six or seven minutes, and right before he went on, he was asked to keep it to five, but he said, “When people are applauding so much, it takes you 10 minutes to say five minutes’ worth.”

Also, there were no signals or cues of any kind, so “when you’re out there, it’s kind of hard to tell how much time is going by.”

Conventions use lights to signal the time, and the Romney campaign’s account of the talk confirms one was used–and ignored–by Clint.

They gave him a time limit and flashed a blinking red light that told him his time was up. He ignored both.

Moreover, his account of how much time was lost to applause and laughter is false: Including the 31 seconds of applause after he came on stage and the 30 seconds of applause after he said, “And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go,” there was just over 2 minutes–out of an 11:40 minute talk–of applause and laughter beyond brief interludes. Eastwood generally interrupted before it ended. So once you consider some of that–especially his 30 second intro applause–is expected, Eastwood took about 10 minutes to say 10 minutes of stuff, some of which didn’t actually help Romney all that much.

Which makes his jab at Hollywood liberals–“conservative people by the nature of the word itself play closer to the vest. They do not go around hot-dogging it”–all the more ridiculous. Clint ignored what the campaign told him (perhaps he thinks he owns the campaign as well as the country), and now he’s lying about having done so.

Mind you, I’m not crying for Mitt, anymore than I’m crying for Obama that Bill Clinton went way over his alloted time. Invite certain kinds of people and you’ve got to expect they’re going to do what they want.

Copyright © 2012 emptywheel. All rights reserved.
Originally Posted @