April 4, 2013, - 5:38 pm

Roger Ebert, RIP: My Mixed Personal History w the Far-Left, Anti-Israel Movie Critic

By Debbie Schlussel

**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****

As a pop culture and movie critic and columnist, I’ve had my dust-ups and exchanges over the years with Roger Ebert, who died today at 70 from cancer.


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Occasionally, he was collegial and thoughtful, in some e-mails between us. But many times he was not, as when Roger deliberately lied about me in the comments section of a New York Times article about Paramount Pictures revoking and then restoring my movie screening privileges. I alerted him to it, thinking he’d have solidarity with me as a movie critic whose privileges were revoked over a negative review. Silly me. Roger publicly called me a liar and claimed a movie that was screened for critics in Detroit was not screened for critics. But he admitted he was wrong in an e-mail exchange with me, and he posted another comment revoking his incorrect one. That’s how he was. Stubborn well past the point of truth, But sometimes nice, doing the right thing. I was the same way with him (I hope) and chose to take the upper road when I publicly wished him a complete recovery from cancer and when I apologized to him for not knowing that Howard Stern’s people were ambushing him with my phone call (which they did, after telling me Roger knew I’d be on with him). But he always stuck to his orthodox leftist, anti-Israel, pro-Muslim beliefs. That was my experience, anyway. And often, I felt he was spoiled by the waning power and influence he’d had over Hollywood.

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When there was “Siskel and Ebert at the Movies,” I believe he always knew that Gene Siskel was the smarter and far superior movie critic of the two and didn’t like that. But later in e-mails to me, he would praise Siskel’s views on some movies and told me that they mirrored some of my own in reviews of mine he’d read. I was honored by the comparison. As a movie critic, he was a good one . . . when the movie was not political or about race and he could keep his personal politics out of it. But when the movie was about racism, Ebert was always strictly “down with the struggle,” no matter how horrible or dishonest or race-baiting the movie was. Ditto for left-wing films on other topics. (I am political in my movie reviews, as all my readers know, but I don’t pretend to be otherwise, as he did.) He also liked movies that glorified Islamic terrorists, which wasn’t too far from his personal, real life views. And, jibing with that, Ebert was vehemently anti-Israel, too.


I first met Roger Ebert (online in e-mails and on the radio, but never in person), after I wrote about his involvement in pressuring the U.S. government not to deport his Islamic terrorist buddy, Ibrahim Parlak of Michigan, who had trained in Syrian terrorist training camps and lied on at least five different applications to get into and stay in the United States (where he remains free as a bird to date). Roger didn’t like this, as he fancied himself some sort of national security expert, claiming that his friend Parlak was no national security threat, despite the fact that Homeland Security and several immigration judges said he was. Roger complained to me about the “amount of energy” he felt I spent in my article on his advocacy for an Islamic terrorist on U.S. soil. After all, Roger liked to eat at Parlak’s restaurant in Western Michigan.

Later, Ebert attacked me in one of his syndicated movie review columns on a Kurdish documentary, criticizing me for not sharing his unnuanced view that all Kurds are the good guys. Yes, most are. But some are not . . . including Ibrahim Parlak. And after that, I was attacked and lampooned on Roger’s site, though maybe in a more charitable way, as one of Ebert’s website contributors had a “guess the quote” game featuring quotes from my movie reviews and from Ann Coulter. I actually liked that one.

Roger Ebert had a problem with Israel defending itself, and it appears he just had a problem with Israel, period. He tweeted his animus toward Israel and in favor of American-Flag-burning, HAMASnik Rachel Corrie, who died while working for the terrorist group, International Solidarity Movement, when she tried to stop the bull-dozing of a house she and the Israelis knew was used to cover up a tunnel for HAMAS weapons smuggling from Egypt. He resented that the usually far-left Israeli Supreme Court decided in favor of Israel and how the American pancake girl, Rachel Corrie, died, after she fell underneath a bulldozer and the driver didn’t see her.

If you could separate out Roger Ebert’s reviews of non-political movies from the political- and race-based ones, he was very good. But the guy was basically an activist for the Democratic party in what were supposed to be non-partisan cinematic reviews. And he wielded way too much power over what came out of Hollywood and what succeeded once it did.

In the age of the internet and the slow death of TV, Ebert’s syndicated movie review TV show became irrelevant long before he was stricken with cancer. And he resented that someone like me on the right could review movies and have her reviews quoted in the New York Times and USA Today and gain some of the influence and notice he lost. I felt that resentment each time he attacked me or lied about me on the New York Times website, and so on. Perhaps that was why he was usually mean when he did respond or react to the many very nice e-mails I sent him.

One other thing about Roger: he was responsible for his ex-girlfriend Oprah’s nationally syndicated TV show which wreaked havoc on America and its culture for 25 years, after suggesting on a date that she syndicate her local Chicago talk show. And before becoming a movie critic, he made disgusting, semi-porn B-movies, “Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens,” and “”Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” featuring lesbians, orgies, oral and anal sex, and so on. And another one, “Up!” featuring a Jewish Adolf Hitler look-alike and “breasts from every angle imaginable.” I’m glad he got outta the movie biz and into movie reviews because he was much better at the latter.

I felt for Roger that he suffered for so long from cancer and not being able to eat or taste food for years. That has to be tough for anyone, and I’m glad he is no longer suffering. I feel for his wife who was his caretaker for so many years and is now a widow.

But I think it’s important to point out where Roger Ebert stood, and that was often on the wrong side. Roger Ebert judged me solely for my politics. And that’s the way I will judge and remember him, too.

Just because somebody we know from TV passes away from illness, that doesn’t mean we can’t remember them for exactly who they were.

Roger Ebert, Rest In Peace. Ibrahim Parlak’s and Rachel Corrie’s Victims, Rest In Peace, too.

***

Reader Ralph Adamo:

In 1985, Ebert’s selection for best picture was “The Color Purple,” whereas Siskel’s choice was “Shoah.” In a nutshell, that tells you a lot about each of those critics and their respective values.

Indeed.

**** UPDATE: Below is the first e-mail exchange Roger Ebert and I had at the end of March 2005, after I wrote, “Thumbs Down: Roger Ebert Helps a Terrorist.” After this exchange, his responses to me thawed and then re-iced over the years. While at first you might feel sorry for Roger–and if I had only read his letter, I would too–please read my response and ask yourself who didn’t play fair and who is deceptively playing the victim:

Dear Ms. Schlussel,

Update your database. I have lost 100 pounds.

As you know, because I made it clear in the letter you refer to, Ibrahim’s offer to come to my house to cook for me came during a period when I was recovering from radiation treatment. By suppressing the context, you make it seem as if I support him because I am a glutton.

Of course I do not support terrorism, as you know perfectly well. I support Ibrahim, who was granted asylum in this country at a time when the Kurds were considered to be U.S. allies.

From the New York Times article on the case: “…one of his closest friends, Martin Dzuris, who had fled Communist Czechoslovakia and who is now a loyal George W. Bush supporter, built a Web site and organized a letter-writing campaign to politicians.”

He is a true conservative in that he opposes unnecessary government intervention in the private lives of citizens.

Since you are personally aware of the nuances of the case, as a fellow journalist I doubt you are proud of the headline “Roger Ebert Gives Thumbs-Up to Terrorism.” Surely there is a way to make your argument without playing dirty?

Sincerely,

Roger Ebert

*

Dear Roger Ebert, “R. Hyde,” “Reinhold Timme,” or whatever name or pseudonym you are using these days:

I was sorry to learn that you were ill, and am sincerely glad to hear that you are in remission.

Regardless, your illness and weight are not the issue. I did not once mention your weight or illness in my column. They are irrelevant. Instead, I mentioned your penchant for food, which appears– from your letter to the U.S. Government–to be the sole reason you know this man, Ibrahim Parlak, and want him to be allowed to stay here. In your 16 line letter (as it appears on Parlak’s website), I counted at least 7 references (almost one every 2 lines) to Ibrahim Parlak’s “restaurant,” restaurant “business,” your status as a 10-year “regular patron” of the restaurant, his offer to prepare “special foods” for you, etc. I could have quoted all of those things to give it even more “context” (which you claim is lacking, but isn’t), but in the interest of space, I chose only one of those many references.

And therein lies the issue. You are vouching for this murderer and terrorist because he makes food you like to eat and you like his restaurant. But that does not mean he is not a terrorist or a man held responsible in the murder of two people, and did not lie about it to get into this country and remain here. As you are well aware, Parlak is and did all of these things, of which he is accused. In fact, his food preparation skills and restaurateur status have nothing to do with the price of tea in China, as the trite old saying goes.

I am sure Osama Bin Laden could make a mean falafel and a fabulous fattoosh if he had to, but that would not be an excuse to fail to bring him to justice. I’m not saying this man is on that level. He isn’t. But he’s a terrorist and a murderer, who trained in terror training camps, and that’s enough. And many in his shoes can make Middle Eastern food. In fact, several men arrested on terror charges and/or deported from the U.S. have owned, operated, and/or worked at Middle Eastern restaurants. The ability to make Baba Ghanoush is not a litmus test on whether one is a terrorist or a murderer.

You claim that because PKK was not always classified as a terrorist group, as it was not so classified when Parlak came into this country, that Parlak should not be penalized. However, the same can be said of the groups Hezbollah, HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, and, yes, even Al-Qaeda. Yet, we regularly–thankfully–deport those who have been involved with these groups on a regular basis, even if they came here when, unfortunately, our country did not take terrorism seriously enough, and the groups were not labeled as terrorist groups. The State Dept. terrorist list only dates back to 1995 or 1996, when President Clinton signed a law mandating it and making it illegal to be involved with those groups. While, as you state, the Kurds were considered to be allies, the PKK was hardly considered to be so. It has ties to Al Qaeda and a host of other groups who hate us and want to eliminate us.

Regardless, it was ALWAYS illegal to lie on immigration and other forms. And it was ALWAYS the policy not to let a man held responsible for the murders of two men (who served jail time for it) into this country. Yet, your culinary pal, Mr. Parlak, lied not once, but FIVE times on FIVE separate government documents/applications — all of which are enumerated in my column, a fact which you continue to choose to ignore. It is a fact which is important, because, as you and I both know, had your chef, Mr. Parlak, been truthful even once regarding his conviction, he would NEVER have been allowed to stay here in the first place. He was granted asylum, only because he lied and continued to lie thereafter, every step of the way. That is the issue, plain and simple. Yet, you fail to address that.

You claim that because Martin Dzuris, a self-proclaimed conservative Republican, is a friend and supporter of Parlak, therefore, some Kosher (or is that Halal?) seal of approval must automatically be stamped on Parlak. What does Dzuris know about Parlak? He played tennis with him and, like you, ate at his restaurant. Big deal. He was not there in Turkey with Parlak and his grenade, AK-47, and pistol, and he was also not there, each of the five times Parlak lied about his being held responsible in two murders. He was not there at the terrorist training camp in the Bekaa Valley, etc. What about that?

And what about Parlak’s lawyer, Noel Saleh, who openly declared that he donated to Hezbollah, another terrorist group, which murdered over 300 U.S. Marines and civilians, and who is president of an organization tied to terrorism? President Bush welcomed Islamic Jihad front-man Sami Al-Arian to the White House, as well as others who are strongly tied to terrorist groups. Bush, as you may know, is a conservative Republican, too. But, he, too, was wrong (and I called him on it, in an October 2001 series of columns and an “O’Reilly Factor” appearance, that same month).

As a conservative, I really do not need to be lectured by a liberal, activist movie critic about the definition of a “conservative.” “Unnecessary government intervention in the private lives of citizens” (your words) have nothing to do with this situation. This is not even close to akin to government intervention in abortion or someone’s sex life, regardless of what your and/or my views on those issues are. In fact, the primary purpose of government is to defend its citizens–from harm, from foreign armies and invaders, etc. I suggest a review of the U.S. Constitution, as I can think of no better example of the federal government exercising its power per Article IV, Section 4, which states, “The United States shall guarantee . . . . and shall protect each of them [each State] against Invasion,” or Article I, Section 8, which provides Congress (which created DHS) the power to “repel Invasions.” When illegal aliens come to this country, and lie to get citizenship, that is, no doubt, an invasion.

As for the headline you quote, which you claim is “playing dirty,” I am, indeed, proud of it. On my own website, it’s entitled, “Thumbs Down: Roger Ebert Supports a Terrorist.” In your own letter to the government, you begin by saying, “I am a film critic.” You are allowed to use your status as a TV and print movie critic as a credential, however dubious with regard to national security, for your claims that Parlak does not pose a risk to this country and is not a dangerous person, yet I am not allowed to use your trademark phrases employed as a movie critic? You can’t have it both ways.

As far as “playing dirty,” I could have mentioned in my column your own failed “films,” which you—no surprise given their gutter quality–wrote under the pseudonyms, “R. Hyde” and “Reinhold Timme.”

I could have discussed the “plot” of “Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens,” the promotional posters of which feature two giant female breasts and erect nipples, with nude and semi-nude women orgying on top of them. I could have discussed the main character, “Lamar’s obsession with rear entry,” how “Lamar is trying to find other tail to try his technique on,” and the movie’s “love scene from the mattress’ point of view.” Or I could have mentioned your masterpiece, “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” featuring “a sleeping woman performing on a gun which is in her mouth” and “lesbian sex scenes.” Or I could have written about “Up!” which features an Adolph Hitler look-alike, playing character “Adolf Schwartz” (talk about belittling the Holocaust and WWII). “Springtime for Hitler,” anyone? That’s not to mention its “one-woman nude Greek chorus” that pops up at various intervals during the movie, to narrate, and “breasts from every angle imaginable.”

Had I mentioned these other things, perhaps you could have said that I was “playing dirty”–or merely just writing about you “playing dirty.” But the dirtiest thing here is that a renowned movie critic—who employs ink by the gallon for his own print column–is using his renown to help a man like this–a murderer and trained terrorist. Then, he’s shocked, shocked, when someone calls him on it.

Sincerely,

Debbie Schlussel

And, FYI, after I sent Roger this response, he again complained about “the amount of energy” I spent on it. Huh?

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41 Responses

altho I admit to being
entertained by ebert & siskel
many moons ago

ebert went on to distinguish
himself as a jerk

and not just by his adoration
and sucking up to
intellectually challenged
michael moore

his shameful endorsement of
an inconvenient truth
as the most important film ever made
will always be testimony of
the degree of his stupidity

prestigio on April 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm

What a column! I believe you were kinder to Ebert than I would have been. I think you were very magnanimous to him in this column. I don’t think I would be.

I bought his movie review books for YEARS in the 90s. Because Gene Siskel didn’t write any but I sure did hunger for them. Then he died.

I bought Roger’s books EVERY YEAR even though it was almost like buying the same book over and over (the NEW movies of course being the NEW content) because I loved his reviews and writing. But I don’t remember that about him now.

I was glad to read how you felt about Gene Siskel. He was my favourite. I LOVED their show. So much I even watched the Medved/Lyons show that was similar. That’s how I knew of Medved (and was a huge fan before I found out he is a fraudy squish) way before I became a Conservative.

Even all those years ago I knew Gene Siskel was the better talent and better at liking or panning films. I’m glad I saw that on my own.

The RE I came to know was very disappointing. Back then I didn’t think he lacked major character, just that Siskel was the better talent.

You were very kind to him in this column. Kinder than I would be.

Skunky on April 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Skunky–DS was much more kind and generous to Roger Ebert than I could ever be. I never thought he offered much as a reviewer and add his hatred of Jews–he was a no-watch.

    lexi on April 5, 2013 at 7:34 am

Loved Siskel; hated Ebert.

Just a gut feeling sort of thing…

As goes, so goes.. on April 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm

He became as bitter and twisted in his heart as his face became from surgery.

ladyruth54 on April 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I’ll never forgive him for giving a thumbs up to “Dancer In The Dark.” That’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back. For that reason alone, I also considered Richard Roeper (who accurately called it a pile of crap) to be the superior critic after Gene Siskel passed.

Irving on April 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm

G-d gave Ebert two thumbs down.

DS_ROCKS! on April 4, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Roger Ebert became less and less significant over the years as his illness and the Internet overtook him. Gene Siskel’s departure over a decade ago left Ebert without a foil, and thus without a viable career on television. Roger Ebert’s judgment on films that contained an overt political theme or racial content could be quite appalling, as Debbie has already noted. As for his sympathy for Rachel Corrie, it is not fathomable. I actually tried to read some of that woman’s stuff once. It was frightening to see that Stalinist rhetoric(I am not exaggerating)still existed in living form, and not on some yellowed pages of a book or magazine from the early 1950′s. Rachel Corrie was a very simple person who felt very comfortable with Leninist formulations of what went on around her. If she had been around during the 1930′s under the Third Reich, she would have filled her empty mind and soul with the bromides of that regime. Roger Ebert was either aware or unaware of Rachel Corrie’s writings before uttering his views of her. In either case, that does not speak well of him.

Worry01 on April 4, 2013 at 7:58 pm

F–k Roger Ebert. He made a career out of uselessness (criticizing other people’s work while creating nothing of his own) and then used his wealth and fame to tear into conservatives in some outrageous commentary.

F–k Roger Ebert. Glad he’s dead.

Matt on April 4, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Deb, we are almost never in disagreement, but you pussied out on your comments about the dead Fat Boy.

This fat turd lied about, supported terrorists, was vehemently anti-Israel, and you feel for him?

Anyone who is anti-American (Roger that), anti-Israel (Roger that), was is pro-terrorist (Roger that) or lies about someone (Roger that) should die a very painful, humiliating death. Roger that!

He was a pompous anti-Semitic prick. RIH Roger Eatturd.

Jonathan E. Grant on April 4, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I agree. Debbie’s article points out one difference between conservatives and leftists. The conservative will always find some good in bad people. The leftist will never, even after a conservative’s death,find any good in him. Were the shoe on the other foot would Ebert say anything good about Debbie. I doubt it.

    Jerry G on April 5, 2013 at 9:28 am

Yeah, I have a reeeeal hard time feeling sorry for somebody that has been a repeated a hole. Especially when it’s been personal. The older I get, the more solidly I become convinced I’m not wrong for this. Screw them. They wouldn’t bat an eye lash at my kind going away.

samurai on April 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Sorry Debbie, but I have to disagree with you on this one. Roger Ebert–RIH.

JeffE on April 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Roger Ebert’s death reminded me of something Moms Mabley once said. “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say nuthin’ at all. Well, I have something good to say ’bout him. He’s dead.”

I think he felt he was a left wing rebel. The only thing he rebeled against was stopping at the fifth helping of mashed potatoes.

There are some genuinely good people that die. People who did truly great things. People who were not anti-Israel, pro-Left, pro-radical black panthers.

Jonathan E. Grant on April 4, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Debbie-lah don’t waste your time trying to be nice to left wing pigs like that. They are out to get us. BTW I was in sunny Detroit this week and I have several complaints unrelated to you not sleeping with me during my 52 minute layover. For starters I paid $9 for a crummy airport sandwhich which looked like turkey but turned out to be ham. There was no label on it. I was forced to throw it away untouched. Of course it was still Passover so maybe it was karma that I shouldn’t be eating overpriced chametz sandwiches. My other complaint is I was hustling down your people mover and there was this unusually attractive woman walking on the carpet near me. I was looking at her when all of a sudden the people mover ended and I nearly face planted. There should be some type of warning. Finally Debbie due to my unlikely $9 ham and chametz purchase my credit card got frozen and I couldn’t use it. Detroit should alert the credit card companies when I enter town limits.

A1 on April 4, 2013 at 11:06 pm

A1, you deserve to have your credit card frozen and thrown to the ground by the people move for eating chametz on Passover!!!!!! You couldn’t keep G-d’s law for eight days out of the year???/

Jonathan E. Grant on April 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    JEG, I don’t think A1 is a Jew. He just impersonates one here, very offensively.

    skzion on April 5, 2013 at 12:20 am

      I don’t even read A1s boring, perverted, unfunny (and mentally disturbed) posts anymore. What a bore, and a very weird, unfunny, tunnel-visioned one at that.

      He’ll never get a babe. And even if he did the chick would have to be as weird as he is.

      Like that HORRIBLE movie “Eagle vs Shark”.

      Skunky on April 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I miss some people who have died. We all will sometime. I won’t miss him. I won’t be missed by my Leftie adversaries. I don’t expect to be.

David on April 4, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Even when I was a liberal, I always thought Gene Siskel’s reviews were better and more accurate. I remember one show where Ebert somewhat threatened Siskel, who laughed at and mocked Ebert. Ebert turned out to be a leftist, just like Walter Cronkite who was a one-worlder socialist.

Concerned Citizen on April 4, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Well, the question I asked on another thread has been answered, namely why Debbie goes to the movies. She’s an Official Movie Critic. Who knew? Better her than me. Don’t mind me, I’m The Resident Dumb Blond(e), jus’ passin’ through.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on April 5, 2013 at 12:07 am

Debbie, you say that Ebert should be judged politically:

Roger Ebert judged me solely for my politics. And that’s the way I will judge and remember him, too.

If so, he deserves RIH.

skzion on April 5, 2013 at 12:21 am

Roger Ebert was a Jew-hater, so you know… His tweet in sympathy for Rachel Corrie who gave her life in ‘martyrdom’ in the cause of the Palestinian Jihad against the Jews is all the evidence one needs.

Larry in Tel Aviv on April 5, 2013 at 3:43 am

I met Roger Ebert in a Chicago bar years ago. He was “holding court” and lecturing on “genre criticism”. He sounded like a pompous ass. I talked to him alone for a minute until my Israeli boyfriend showed up and as soon as Ebert saw him he scampered away!(like the little coward he was) RIH

PaulaMalka on April 5, 2013 at 9:19 am

Thank you, Debbie.

I often have a problem with “movie critics” determining which movies I watch and which ones I don’t. Usually, I depend on my friends and family to recommend a movie as “must see”. Even then, Hollywood puts out so much garbage that it’s rare I go to movies.

I appreciate Debbie’s movie reviews because she makes her politics plain and clear. She does not lay claim to impartiality like Siskel and Ebert did. I can always benefit from Debbie’s reviews by navigating through her politics that are plain and clear.

For example, a recent (last October, I believe) review of “Lincoln”, Debbie notes the cast is crawling with anti-Israel, pro-HAMAS cast and a script-writer. Other than that, the movie was good, but she thought we should know about the cast and script-writer. I couldn’t help but notice that a major role in “Lincoln” was Mary Todd Lincoln played by Sally Fields. I know of no anti-Israel sentiment from Fields and know that she played Betty Mahmoody in the movie “Not Without My Daughter” (1991). This movie does not make Sally Fields the darling of Muslims.

Robert Ebert’s review of “Not Without My Daughter” can now be scrutinized in light of Debbie’s column. From Wikipedia: In his review, film critic Roger Ebert noted the film made “moral and racial assertions that are deeply troubling” and that it “does not play fair with its Muslim characters. If a movie of such a vitriolic and spiteful nature were to be made in America about any other ethnic group, it would be denounced as racist and prejudiced.”

Sally Fields probably isn’t the darling of Muslims and Israel-haters (unless Deb knows something I don’t know). As such, I figured this was not a litmus test for the movie “Lincoln” regardless of Debbie’s caveats. So we watched “Lincoln” during Passover; a fitting time to review the passage of the Amendment to Free the Slaves in America. I thought it was a good movie with some notable quirks in accuracy that were usually unimportant; quirks pointed out in Debbie’s excellent review.

I agree with Debbie’s thesis on Ebert. He was not fair or impartial because he let his personal politics determine movies he’d recommend or discourage his audience viewing. Had he let us know his personal political views, we would have known he was partial but fair like Debbie. I might have watched movies on his recommendation.

I always thought Ebert (and Siskel as well) were careful to steer clear of the wrath of the Hollywood Left. As such, over the years, I just never paid much attention to them.

Frankly, I don’t pay much attention to ANY movie critic. I only pay attention to Debbie’s reviews because I read her blog for other reasons. Yet reading THIS column and looking back on it all, I think Debbie gave Ebert a good, fair, and dignified review.

Yasher Koach, Debbie!

Regards,

There is NO Santa Claus (aka TINSC)

There is NO Santa Claus on April 5, 2013 at 9:44 am

What an interesting read, Debbie. Thanks!

Karen on April 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

I usually don’t take the word of any critic, especially since I can judge films better than they can. I never thought that much of Roger Ebert/Gene Siskel. Like Michael Medved/Jeffrey Lyons, he played to the mass mind. But he was passable most of the time. With or without him, my love affair with cinema continues.

Seek on April 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

My friend Satan dropped by to issue a statement: there are too many people in Hell who really deserve to be in Purgatory.

Roger Ebert, for all his prolific writings, had done nothing for me. Not too many critics, if any, sway my opinion or affect my life.

In fact, when Frank Zappa was asked to make a list of his favourite music critics, he produced a blank sheet.

So Happy Trails, Roger Ebert. Even though I should have killed you myself, at least in Purgatory, you’ll get an epic beatdown by all those people who you have pissed off when they were alive.

The Reverend Jacques on April 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

In general, Debbie is my favorite movie critic. I grew up with Siskel and Ebert being the last word on film criticism, not the least of which because I grew up in Chicago. But as I matured, I realized that if Ebert liked a movie and said it was great, I’d probably hate it. Now Debbie is my favorite because she pulls no punches, and I almost always agree with her. She watches movies so I don’t have to.

DG in GA on April 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm

rachel pancake and ebert dead,yawn.

bruce on April 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I watched their show from the time it was on PBS. I thought Siskel took himself and his reviews waaaay too seriously. And I swear the guy was bisexual. He practically swooned over DiCaprio in Titanic and had a hissy fit when Ebert selected Kate Winslet as Best Actress and attacked her “boring” performance. I remember Siskel also talking about a movie wishing it featured more of Jean Claude Van Damme shirtless. I used to trust their reviews although I think I gave them far more credence than they deserved. There have been times in recent memory where I have been shocked at some of the garbage Ebert has given good reviews to. He seemed to have lost some of his edge when it came to judging what is good material from bad. Its hard to for me to take seriously anybody who is as far-Left as he was. Like Bill Maher, I don’t even turn it on or read it. Its not worth the aggravation and doesn’t deserve any recognition in my opinion.

Daniel Middleman on April 7, 2013 at 1:15 am

I agree w/ most of the others. Ebert was a cancer on society – it’s somewhat ironic that he’d have died of it. This belongs more in the RIH category, rather than RIP.

Infidel on April 7, 2013 at 7:32 am

Debbie,

Hope you had a nice seder or two and a nice Passover. Thank you for enlightening me re Roger Ebert. After Gene S. passed away, the show would never be the same. I rarely agreed in whole with either of their reviews, but enjoyed the show. I had a sixth sense about what was a good movie ever since I was in elementary school. If I really liked a movie then, it usually wound up garnering Oscar nominations. If it didn’t, it eventually became a cult classic or vastly (as it turned out) underrated movie. I probably should have majored in journalism, but was good in math and went into the technical area of careers.

NormCBS on April 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I’ll say one thing positive about Ebert. He wasn’t Richard Roeper. I swear they paired him with Roeper just to make Ebert look more intelligent and rational.

He also wasn’t Rex Reed or Bill Harris, but we can blame Ebert for those two schmucks getting a t.v. show.

Ebert hated the movie DUNE, which isn’t for everyone. But now I wonder if it wasn’t because of the source material/author.

Charlie Tuned Out on April 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Debbie thanks for being fair. I loved Siskel and Ebert’s review show and hate Ebert’s politics, just as I hated the politics of some in my own family who unfortunately died from cancer. So I admire Debbie’s approach, IMO we Conservatives shouldn’t sweep Ebert’s horrible stands under the rug, he should be called on them but personally I just can’t go along with these RIH comments, that’s not my call anyway and he just went through something I can’t wish on anybody.

Stephen Schochet on April 8, 2013 at 7:13 am

    I just can’t go along with these RIH comments, that’s not my call anyway and he just went through something I can’t wish on anybody.

    Sadly enough Stephen, there are people on this forum who do just that, and worse.

    Even I’m not innocent of wishing vile thing upon my worst of enemies, especially those who are way out of reach.

    As mentioned, Hell is getting too crowded with people who only deserve Purgatory.

    The Reverend Jacques on April 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

I’m not ashamed to state that I am not afraid to wish the WORST on bad people and my enemies who I fiercely hate. Even when I was a Libtard I knew this (may have hid it but I knew deep down…)

Not saying I will not pay for it in the end. Indeed, I may. I concede that.

I was not longer a fan of RE. I don’t wish him to RIH but peeps who do have their reasons why. They don’t need to defend it to me.

I could come up with a list of people I would LOVE to see endure what he dealt with regarding his cancer. The people I choose would deserve it, too. No shame in my game.

Skunky on April 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I’m not innocent either but to me this is bigger than just RE, it is epidemic of something that is not productive for the conservative movement, IMO our collective emotions sometimes are getting the best of us (I don’t mean all of us of course). Just for example on Free Republic today there was an outpouring of hate for John McCain on for his gun control advocacy. And I totally understand the feeling but at the same time what good does it do? There is kind of an impotency to it unless it is followed by clear political action. I mean these people are calling for John McCain to retire, well he’s not going to do it, he is not going anywhere, he does not consider himself senile, he will continue to be for the “Arab Spring”, “Comprehensive” Immigration Reform, gun control, etc. He will most likely run again in 2016, he will attack conservatives who run against him, he will continue to go on TV to undermine our cause and the only solution for conservatives, is not to get mad, but instead to defeat him in elections, as with all the RINOS. Another example is the “Anybody But Obama” mentality that took over the last election cycle. It helped lead us to nominate a complete progressive, Mitt Romney, who absolutely should be unacceptable to us IMO. It shouldn’t be about Obama personally but rather what he stands for, and here people get so upset they nominated someone who stood for virtually the same stuff at maybe a different pace. And we (by the way when I say we, I do not mean all of us, obviously there were many who did not go along with the RINO program) also elected a GOP leadership who has frequently voted to fund Obamacare. IMO it does no good to hate Obama more than Obamacare, it has got to be about the WHAT not the WHO. And another Big Government guy, Newt Gingrich, preyed upon Conservative emotions with his shrewd media attacks in the debates and he got a lot of support, and all of these things add up sometimes to the issues getting overlooked and the Conservative Movement cannot afford to do that, if conservatives do not vote for our issues then no one else will either. Another example was the Todd Aiken situation, IMO the man would have had the same voting record as Ted Cruz, we lost that one because of the echo chamber, I mean great that Anne Coulter thinks he’s a selfish swine, but now McCaskill is in there, horrible. Like I said, I get as emotional as anyone else, but I think in part conservatives, who for all intents and purposes, have no viable representation in our current Government, are losing politically because sometimes we lose our heads.

Stephen Schochet on April 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Stephen, you nicely summed up the frustrations of those of us who are proud Conservatives. Nicely done.

    I get what you are saying. I don’t waste anytime on McShame because I blame the dopes who voted him in. Just as you said, we need to focus on his defeat.

    That is why I also don’t have a head explosion when the Obama-Putins go on vacation (I will point it out and hi-light their hypocrisy but that’s it). Why bother when they were re-elected? The time to get agro about that was back in November. It’s moot now.

    I think you are sharing a collective frustration by those of us who know where all this is heading and things will change and NOT for the better. There is a reason Rush Limbaugh is not as optimistic as he usually is. Keen listeners will concede and start to worry what our future holds for us.

    Not to have peeps putting their heads in ovens but also Hillary Clinton is staking her claim to 2016. Back in Obama-Putin’s FIRST term of terror we had a heap of also-rans that was totally boring and predictable to be the possible GOP list of nominees. This time around we by this time have NO ONE!

    What does that tell you about the neutered and just about moribund GOP? NO ONE. We could not beat the most beatable failure (and demon) last go around and so far, we have NO ONE picked to save us. Not even a dopey dupe like Mitt Zombie.

    Be afraid. Be VERY afraid!

    Skunky on April 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Mitt Zombie….

Gotta love it.

vuulfie on April 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

“In 1985, Ebert’s selection for best picture was “The Color Purple,” whereas Siskel’s choice was “Shoah.” In a nutshell, that tells you a lot about each of those critics and their respective values.”

Siskel liked his jew propaganda and ebert liked his leftist white guilt propaganda?

Blarg on April 22, 2013 at 4:37 am

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