The whatever-happened-to dept: actor division

Fred Thompson is not the only former Law and Order cast member to attempt a run for President of the USA in ’08.

Michael Moriarty, who once had the part of prosecutor Ben Stone in the series (1990-94) is also running for President on the ticket of a party no-one seems to have heard of: The Realist’s Party. Interesting choice for someone whom most online biographies list as residing in Canada (more on the reasons for that later).

This will probably give him far more attention than he deserves, but what the hell. Moriarty drifted across my radar by writing about Camille Paglia as his “favourite feminist”, which popped up in a Google News Alert. Seeing as the website he wrote this for is titled Enter Stage Right – A Journal of Modern Conservatism it will come to no reader’s surprise here that the reason she’s his favourite feminist is that she’s on record as judging most other feminists as wrong-wrongitty-wrong. But most importantly, it gave him a chance to call Margaret Sanger a Nazi, because Camille Paglia is pro-choice (that connection is really clear, eh?).

Yay, can we all say “category error”? That Nazis promulgated eugenics does not mean that all eugenicists are Nazis. I’m not much for eugenics myself, because I am a great respecter of the Law of Unintended Consequences (hey, you culled that gene that make people just a little bit more ordinary two centuries ago, and now that’s the only gene-cluster that could save you from the Space Plague – oops!). However, exactly the same principles applied to racehorses and cattle have made for faster gee-gees and juicier steaks, so it’s not as if they are entirely without merit. Compulsory eugenics is abhorrent, but educating people to have eugenics in mind when choosing a reproductive partner? Not the worst idea in the world, surely. Sucks for romance though, of which Paglia is not a fan and Moriarty is, and that’s why he’s pro-life. QED.

Are you now somewhat confused? I’m not entirely surprised, as bewildering op-eds do rather seem to be Moriarty’s stock in trade. My websearch on “Michael Moriarty Realists Party” turned up a dearth of coverage from major news institutions, and a trickle of interest from bloggers. These Are Their Stories notes a juicy example from May this year, when Moriarty was convinced that Hillary would receive the Democrats nomination (via arranging for Obama to have an “accident”, because that’s what the Clintons do), sweep to the presidency, and usher in a worldwide totalitarian state (because that’s what the Clintons want). Riiiiigghht.

Now, why does Moriarty live in Canada? He views himself as a political exile. Why? Because in 1994 he threatened a lawsuit against then Federal Attorney General Janet Reno, who had inveighed against violence on TV and named Law and Order as a prime example. As it happened, that was the same year that Moriarty was dropped as a core cast member on L&O, and according to his IMDB profile he “alleges that he was dismissed from his role on “Law & Order” (1990) because of his threatened lawsuit against Janet Reno, who had been campaigning against violence in the media and cited his show as a major offender.”

He of course assumes that any reaction against his putative lawsuit was due to political differences, Hollywood being a hotbed of bleeding-heart libruls and all. But note that telling phrase, “his show”. How exactly was Law and Order Michael Moriarty’s show? Surely it was Dick Wolf’s show, on which Moriarty was simply one of the actors? Where on earth did Moriarty actually have any possible legal standing to launch a lawsuit against Reno anyway? (Edited to add: and seeing as he never went ahead with the lawsuit, why did he “need” to exile himself to Canada?)

Without a shred of knowledge of the events surrounding the original brouhaha, I can immediately point to another possibility as to why he got the boot. I suspect Dick Wolf, the creator and controlling force behind L&O as producer, might just have a few old-fashioned ideas about what he does and doesn’t want from his actors. Can Moriarty perhaps concede the logical force of this alternate hypothesis?

My guess is not.

Categories: culture wars, gender & feminism, law & order

Tags: , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. Oh shoot, I really liked Michael Moriarty. I mean I knew about the L&0 business but that’s just being a Temperamental Artiste, but not his lattery day kookery. Boo.
    Amandas last blog post..Only Slightly Annoying

  2. Given that he also ‘starred’ in that SF-dross “PSI Factor” I’m amazed that he’s been willing to show his face in public since.

  3. Oh shoot, I really liked Michael Moriarty.

    He’s an excellent actor, certainly better than Fred Thompson.
    Just another example of how acting talent doesn’t necessarily translate into clear thinking in any other arena.

  4. I did go through a whole period of watching all his films. Bang the Drum Slowly is excellent in a serious dramatic way and Q:The Winged Serpent is brilliant SF/fantasy/horror cheese. I love that movie.
    And Pale Rider of course.
    Amandas last blog post..Only Slightly Annoying

  5. I blame Regan. One does it, they all think they can do it.

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