Now let us politically-correct juries take up the inquisition of Tony Bennett. Beloved 85-year-old Anthony Di Benedetto who has sung his way into the hearts of every generation in and beyond San Francisco.
Tony inherited Frank’s crown as America’s trans-generational musical artist. And all was well until….yes, until the crown slipped a tad this month. In an interview with the crown-less bubble-head Howard Stern, Tony allowed himself a moment of personal honesty. Now right there was his big mistake! In show business, honesty must never come before flattery.
Tony was a decorated GI in WWII…fought in the 1944 Battle of the Bulge…has always worn his Italian-American heart on his sleeve with traditional love of flag and country. But then — as in the doctrinely-correct Spanish Inquisition of the bloody 15th C — he permitted a technical heresy to pass his lips.
Tony answered Stern’s question about 9/11 with the thought — simply the thought, mind you! — that a nation like a person sometimes gets back what it puts out. THAT WAS IT! The phone calls lit up and the columnists flared to collectively mouth the Inquisitional pronouncement: Heresy!
Somehow in some convoluted way, post 9/11 Americans have decided the best way to keep-the-faith is to vocally hate anyone and anything with Islamic undertones. [Come to think of it, the Spanish Inquisition had some of the same madness in mind]. And so it is that an authentic American flag- waver quite suddenly became a political pariah to many of our professional haters. Haters whose rage against anything “un-American” has no room for anyone who ventures the thought that sometimes Americans are themselves un-American as they bestride the world in our role as super-power.
A few years back, the Dixie Chicks met the same fate. Sixty years back we had the un-American inquisitions about Hollywood and later under Joe McCarthy. Ninety years back we had the un-American inquisitions known as the Palmer Raids. One hundred-and-fifty years back we had the un-American inquisitions by the Know Nothing Party.
Well, you get the idea. When things go badly — in a neighborhood, a city or a nation — there will always be a few lynch mobs seeking out someone to blame. To blame — like the heretics and witches of our dark past — whose destruction will somehow stave off evil and save us all. Even the un-covered evil of 85-year-old singers.
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