On Wednesday at the Beverly Hills Hotel I interviewed former Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr about his new book Contempt, before a lunch crowd of the Wednesday Morning Club. A good time was had by all. Here are a few pics...
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco
We are approaching the 40th anniversary of two shocking events that most people are unaware are linked: the assassinations of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Mosconi by disgruntled Supervisor Dan White in November, 1978, and – ten days later – the ghastly, bizarre murders and suicides of 918 cult followers at Jonestown, which constituted the largest loss of civilian life in American history (until the terrorist attacks of the morning of Sept. 11, 2001) and the largest mass suicide of the modern era.
These dark episodes have been brought back into the light in an investigative new page-turner titled Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco by Daniel J. Flynn, also the author of The War on Football: Saving America’s Game, Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America, A Conservative History of the American Left, Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas, and Why the Left Hates America.
I interviewed the author via email about his just-released book, recently reviewed at FrontPage Mag here.
Mark Tapson: Your book dispels some widely-held myths about both the murder of Harvey Milk and the Jonestown mass suicide. For example, Milk swiftly became a martyr for the gay community after his assassination, and the media helped promote this. What is the truth about Milk and about why Dan White targeted him?
Daniel J. Flynn: Looking to make sense of a senseless crime, gay activists immediately advanced a narrative that Dan White killed Harvey Milk because of his homosexuality. I interviewed White’s campaign manager, chief of staff, and business partner, a gay man, who rejects this thesis. As I detail in Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco, White occasionally supported liberal causes, including some gay-rights measures, and generally thought of Milk as a friend during his short time on the board —particularly in the first few months. Harvey Milk’s homosexuality had as much to do with his murder as George Moscone’s heterosexuality had to do with his death.
Dan White murdered Harvey Milk because he believed that Milk had aggressively lobbied San Francisco Mayor George Moscone to prevent the supervisor from reclaiming the seat he had resigned from on the board. Moscone initially refused, in a very public way, to accept White’s resignation. But after Milk and others persuaded him to go back on the words he had uttered to the media Moscone decided to appoint someone more inclined to vote his way on the board. In other words, a petty man nursing a petty grievance lashed out against the two men he believed most responsible for denying him the $9,500-a-year job back from which he had recently resigned. He should have blamed himself. Instead, he blamed others—and sought revenge.
White felt betrayed by Milk and Moscone. Perhaps more importantly, he came to feel that in abruptly resigning he had inadvertently betrayed allies—their identities, importance, and the nature of their dependence on White which I will leave for a fuller explanation in the book. That’s part of the untold story. Another untold part of the story involves White’s history of violence. Out of my interviews came several shocking revelations and accusations involving White on this front. As Dianne Feinstein, White’s mentor on the board of supervisors, reflected long after the fact, “This had nothing to do with anybody’s sexual orientation.”
MT: Another myth stems from the favorable media coverage then and now about the Peoples Temple, which turned the Jonestown horror into a cautionary tale about the dangers of evangelical Christianity. What’s the truth about the Peoples Temple?
Why You Must See ‘Gosnell’
Masked by innocuous language like “pro-choice” and “reproductive care,” and protected by a media conspiracy of silence, the grim reality of abortion rarely surfaces in our cultural awareness. But a new movie, drawn from a real-life courtroom drama that exposed what is arguably the deepest, darkest episode in American abortion history, is poised to have a dramatic impact.
Directed by openly conservative Justified star Nick Searcy, who does double-duty playing the role of the defense attorney, and written by novelist and political pundit Andrew Klavan, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer is based on the riveting book Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer, written by investigative journalists and filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. The husband-and-wife team are well-known for their controversial documentaries FrackNation and Not Evil Just Wrong, as well as for a play called Ferguson about the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer. To produce this controversial film that pro-abortion Hollywood studios wouldn’t touch, McAleer and McElhinney miraculously crowdfunded over $2 million from over 30,000 investors composed of “average” citizens – more money than any film project in the history of the Indiegogo crowdfunding site.
Former TV Superman Dean Cain stars in the film as the Philadelphia narcotics investigator without whose dedication Dr. Kermit Gosnell, played with chilling normality by character actor Earl Billings, might still be butchering babies today. Cain’s real life alter ego exposed not only the shockingly filthy state of the abortion doctor’s clinic, but also the grotesque evil being undertaken there. In addition to manipulating ultrasound readings to falsify fetal ages in order to perform late-term abortions well beyond the state’s legal limit, Gosnell’s practices included killing babies that were born alive by plunging scissors into the backs of their necks and snipping the spinal cords. In one powerful scene in the movie, the camera lingers on each face of the jury as the members peruse photographs of such examples of Gosnell’s victims. That scene alone is enough to drive home the undeniably evil nature of abortion.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Interviewing Clinton Prosecutor Ken Starr
I'll be interviewing Bill Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr onstage about his book Contempt at this lunch event next Wednesday in Beverly Hills. Check it out if you'll be in the area.
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