Ed Asner Breaks the Set on 9/11 Truth, the Hollywood Left, and Syria

Abby Martin talks to legendary actor and activist, Ed Asner, discussing 9/11 questions, US intervention in Syria, the declining role of Hollywood’s anti-war left and his charity work with his organization Autism Speaks.

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Abby Martin

Abby Martin

Creator at The Empire Files
Creator The Empire Files on teleSUR, Founder Media Roots, BOD Project Censored & Former Host Breaking the Set
Abby Martin

26 Comments on "Ed Asner Breaks the Set on 9/11 Truth, the Hollywood Left, and Syria"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Sep 14, 2013 at 6:24 pm |

    Ed Asner’s portrayal of Mr. Wuncler of The Boondocks is priceless. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9DqpN3bCNQ

  2. Charlie Primero | Sep 15, 2013 at 7:08 am |

    I can’t believe I’m agreeing with this crazy old coot. Like all schoolchildren and teevee watchers, the belief was drilled into my head that Merka is the one exceptional place on earth where; the media doesn’t lie, there is no ruling class, government benefits the people, and the elections are free and fair.

    Every day more and more citizens awake to the fact that America is not exceptional. The media does have an agenda and lie. There is a ruling elite. Government is a massive criminal enterprise. Electronic voting is a sick joke. Acceptance of these realities benefits all.

  3. Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 8:39 am |

    I support actors, musicians, artists, athletes making good money. They aren’t stealing from anybody. Good interview.

    • Bruteloop | Sep 15, 2013 at 9:17 am |

      Not even when the actors regularly make millions for morally compromised propaganda riddled with product placement…which Asner cites and the excuses it ‘ because they just want to make a buck ‘ or white musicians who make money by co-opting musical, style and dress modes originated by economically oppressed people of color? Artists don’t steal? Athletes take sponsorship from companies whose goods are made by impoverished workers on a barely minimum wage. We are all prostitutes but why do ‘ artists’ so called get a free pass?
      Asner speaks a lot of sense but has a blind spot where some of his fellow thespians are concerned.

      • Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 9:31 am |

        Well, I also think people who don’t have money sometimes also have a blind spot called “envy” Everybody with money is not evil.

        I don’t begrudge people success well earned. I try not to have a jaundiced view of success.

        • Bruteloop | Sep 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm |

          Unfortunately I don’t see the excesses of mainstream movie making in terms of salary or budget as anything other than greed. Same with sport, music and art. Marketing and greed.
          Downey Jrs vapid films success can never explain the moral ambiguity of the size of his salary other than as a numbers game. But at what point does that become obscene? No one needs that kind of money. Same for the UK footballer who was transferred for £85m. Figures like that trickle down negatively. Prices for the average punter who is struggling day to day go up.
          Meanwhile, no accident that the ‘entertainment’ produced increasingly represents a moral vacuum.
          It is everywhere, I guess…currently, doctors in the Health service here are being called out, quite rightly, for refusing to work weekends and also asking for up to £300 an hour if they do.
          It is sheer greed.
          Of course, there is also the mass cultural theft in the arts. Depp as Tonto? Cyrus, wealthy from birth, co-opting the dress and dance styles of poor women of color to get sales and column inches.
          There is a cynicism and lack of concern at the heart of it that is disturbingly skewed.
          And it just seems to go on and on and I feel many in the ‘entertainment’ industry perpetuate it when there really is no excuse any more.

          Or maybe I’m just getting old…

          • Brilliant rant, man:)

          • Bruteloop | Sep 16, 2013 at 4:37 am |

            Thanks. It’s been brewing a while.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm |

            Is Robert Downey Jr. stealing money that should belong to others? You haven’t made the case.

          • Bruteloop | Sep 16, 2013 at 4:37 am |

            Ticket prices in cinemas have increased because of the increased cost of mainstream films. The increased cost of mainstream films is in no small part due to the massively over-inflated salaries paid to certain actors. He is stealing in the sense that someone selling goods with an unreasonable and cynically greedy mark up is stealing. He is a willing participant in an industry that exists for no other reason than to fleece as much money from a public it grooms. Anyone who accepts such over inflated salaries is not only countenancing the system that allows that but is immediately contributing to further inflation of same.
            Obviously he is not stealing directly out of a particular pocket. But he is as much a part of the culture of greed as the bankers.
            I would admit it is a bit of a bugbear of mine. I would probably gnaw at the bit less if the stuff that came out of ‘Hollywood’ was not almost entirely vacuous pap.
            When these films cease to be a marketing exercise for a franchise I will then accept them as entertainment. Right now, and I can’t see it changing, they are advertisements masquerading as entertainment.
            Downey Jr and his ilk are part of the problem. Not all the problem.
            Yup – still no cogent case made. I just despise greed.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 16, 2013 at 6:03 am |

            I dunno, I mean, I like Indie films, but not everyone does and if they pay for the tickets the people selling them aren’t stealing.

            I mostly hate Hollywood but once in a while a really good science fiction movie comes out. The First Star Wars, Alien, Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, and most recently Avatar. I know all concept artists for these films and many of them are my favorite artists outside of film.

            I guess we define “greed” differently. I don’t conflate the desire to be successful and well compensated financially, with greed. Greed to me is more like wanting to have stuff, like money and resources so that other people can’t have it.

            I see greed in Monsanto, because they want to destroy independent farmers and prevent everyone from saving seeds. Its a negative thing.

            I see art as a creative, positive thing, even bad art. Making things that didn’t exist and selling them, is not greed, IMO.

          • Bruteloop | Sep 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm |

            Totally agree about Alien and Bladerunner. We do see greed differently. And art it would seem. Making things and selling them is commerce, not art. But, sure, it is not necessarily greed either.
            Maybe I should get down off my high horse.
            Maybe. But the view is just so good from here.

          • Jin The Ninja | Sep 16, 2013 at 3:34 pm |

            this discourse is good. i think both of you have rather good positions. although i lean to what you are saying more strongly.
            hollywood is no better than banking in many ways, the americanisation/commercialisation of cinema is detrimental to cinema, perhaps antithetical. certainly antithetical to high art. however art can arise from circumstance. HK ‘new wave’ cinema for instance is often referred to by film scholars as ‘avant-pop’ because it was commercial in genre, but highly artistic in style.

          • Bruteloop | Sep 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm |

            Having kept a journal online these past few years I have obviously read the journals of a numbers of other people. One thing that initially shocked me and now just depresses me is the amount of adults, 35 – 50, who post about the films they go to see and, invariably, these films are not only mainstream but aimed at a lower age group. ‘Despicable Me’, ‘IronMan’…the most radical or ;adult; thing they may watch is a Tarantino film. There is a disturbing lack of curiousity about anything else. People have been infantilised and it is entirely for profit. Hence the irony that Spielberg and his ilk are now talking about how serious film has been destroyed by the blockbuster imperative. The need to market the films is entirely detrimental to the creation of art or simply the dissemination of ideas…both of which necessitate risk.

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm |

            I may have a skewed view of reality having lived in Olympia, WA and Madison, WI and attended film festivals in both places, but to me Indy films are doing OK. I watch a lot of foreign films too. These guys all seem like thy want to make money eventually though. I did live in Bemidji MN for a while though and all that was available was blockbuster movies, that did suck.

          • Bruteloop | Sep 18, 2013 at 11:16 am |

            There are some excellent films out there. Planet of Snail, The House I Live in…in fact I think it seems a golden time for documentaries. However, because of the stranglehold the studios have on distribution they often preach only to the choir. I think ‘Hollywood’ kills thinking. It is part of Control.
            I think it was a dream factory because it mirrored what people dreamt.. Then it started stealing dreams. Now it destroys them.
            Stories are important in any culture. That they sell such empty ones damages all of us.
            It’s that line that Rotten/Lydon said at the last Pistols gig. “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”.

            Right, I am at my local pub because Internet access at home is down. My glass of wine is finished and I need to get back and make some food. So, whatever meandering rant laced with wooly logic I could have embarked on you are spared!

          • Ted Heistman | Sep 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm |

            This essay shaped my thinking on the difference between wealth and money:


            I also got a lot out of “Prometheus Rising” by Robert Anton Wilson also. He describes an increase in wealth as an increase in people learning how to use their brains better. Wealth creation ideally doesn’t take anything away from anyone else, it just makes things better.

          • Bruteloop | Sep 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

            Key word I think is ‘ideally’.In reality it does take away from others…unless the 1% are actually misunderstood altruists.
            On a side note I really wish that ‘1%’ still solely referred to outlaw bikers. I grew up with that and do a double take each time it is used now.

            But I haven’t read the essay and so will before I comment anymore. Also, coincidentally scored a copy of ‘Prometheus Rising’ fairly recently.

          • You might think of it this way… huge salaries are inflationary. The damage is that the purchasing power of my meager income is constantly reduced.

          • Bruteloop | Sep 18, 2013 at 11:17 am |

            Exactly. And so it goes…

          • Jin The Ninja | Sep 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm |

            i think a very strong argument can be made for iron man and its sequels being deeply perverse- effective propaganda: pro-empire, pro military, pro-capitalism. however, i agree with points both you and bruteloop have made. i think nuance and context matters. it depends who, what and why.

          • Bruteloop | Sep 18, 2013 at 11:20 am |

            I actually became physically annoyed watching the first Iron Man because of exactly that. It also frightens me that increasingly life seems to be marshalled in such a way as to rob people of all nuance and context bar one that has been engineered specifically.

          • Jin The Ninja | Sep 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm |

            it also made me feel nauseated- the intro scene of him testifying to congress and then while leaving, either downey or another character says something to effect about ‘glories of american capitalism.’ i vomited a bit in my mouth. the entire movie- iron man as a character even, is a shill. a billionaire-cum-super using only his billions.

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