Clint Eastwood has always been a free-thinking artist the media can't quite pigeonhole.
Some on the Right tried to make him out to be another Lefty Hollywood actor when he filmed a commercial for Chrysler that aired during the Super Bowl, and now the press is trying to create a narrative that he's a babbling old fool for his "empty chair" speech at the Republican National Convention. Which is hard to believe since, at 82, he currently headlines a film as well as produces it and is gearing up to direct and produce another.
Even in interviewing the famous director/actor/producer/mayor/composer the media has stuck to its ridiculous stance of trying to make him a crazy old man who hates gays and can't stand Obama because of the president's skin color. All this is a result of a brilliant, 11-minute speech Eastwood. The actor's use of the empty chair killed, but the media chose to ignore it and those final few minutes where he eloquently spoke about the American people and what their relationship should be with failing politicians.
The media didn't care. Neither did the masses. The media told the masses to react with anger at a racist old man, and the masses obeyed.
But, now that Eastwood is out promoting his new film he has had a chance to fight the media narrative about him. "Fight" may be the wrong word. Eastwood seems to have just done what he does best: sit back and say whatever the hell he thinks. Reading many interviews with Eastwood, you'll find reporters asking him if he "regrets" his speech or would want it to go "differently" if he could go back. Why would he regret the speech? What about Eastwood's speech made the Left so angry? Was it the part where he criticized Obama for not leaving Afghanistan? Maybe it was when he criticized Obama for wanting to give basic civil rights to war criminals by trying them in civilian courts when we, as Americans, are denied those same liberties in some cases according to Obama's continued use of the Patriot Act and his naive passing of the National Defense Authorization Act?
Nevertheless, the media has been ruthless. They refuse to accept that an 82 year old legend who gives the world true art like "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby" could be a Republican. On Ellen DeGeneres' talk show, Eastwood was forced to reveal his stance on social issues like gay marriage which makes no sense since gay marriage wasn't even in his speech and many Republicans believe gay marriage is a constitutional right at this stage in the game.
Eastwood revealed nothing new. He said he was a Libertarian and thinks everyone should just be left alone. Was that enough? No.
DeGeneres had to then have Eastwood explain what exactly a "Libertarian" was. You would think the media would do a little research on the guy before asking him ridiculous questions like these. He's a former mayor whose political views are not hard to find. He's always been saying what he thinks. The only difference now is that the media is paying attention.
In recent years, Eastwood has had to address everything from the war in Iraq to free speech. And reporters don't like any of his unpredictable answers. He revealed that he believes in free speech and even in a racist's right to free speech (i.e. "Innocence of Muslims"), but he doesn't condone such speech. He also revealed being against the Iraq War (a fact already known) and how he has connected with some liberal actors over this view.
The media has even tried to shape Eastwood's speech in the last few days. On "Extra," he made a joke in typical Eastwood fashion and said that if the Republicans were "dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they're gonna have to take what they get."
Many media outlets have ran with this line and made headlines out of it. At least, the "dumb" part anyway. Anything to make the Republicans look bad, right? We can't have people knowing that one of their own could give a damn who a man or woman kisses but still believes in free markets.
The one thing the media seems to almost never ask Eastwood about these days are his movies. You have Dirty Harry and The Man with No Name in front of you and you want to sit there and play gatekeeper for Obama? His new film, "Trouble with the Curve," is an afterthought in most interviews which is a shame since it marks Eastwood's first return to the big screen since "Gran Torino."
Eastwood's publicity rounds having proven a few things already known and perhaps one new revelation. We know the media is desperate to defend its ridiculous narrative despite it being based on nothingness. They will even go so far as to conduct no research on a man whose views are mostly known already, and they'll even twist his words and outright disrespect a man who offers nothing but talent and wisdom.
We also already know Eastwood has class, but he's only proving it more with these recent interviews. He doesn't fight the narrative directly nor does he get angry about it. He just continues to be a man defiant of pigeonholes and headlines. He just sits back and says whatever the hell comes to mind. The questions from the media simply prove their bias; Eastwood's answers, however, prove that he is a culture warrior unaffected by the sad and pathetic culture around him.