WND readers rockin’ Robbins

By Joe Kovacs

Controversy surrounding actor Tim Robbins is showing no signs of winding down in the wake of his exclusion from a Baseball Hall of Fame event and his subsequent comparison of the United States to the Soviet Union.

In fact, WorldNetDaily readers are now stepping up to the plate, grand-slamming the anti-war activist in a flood of negative e-mail.

Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins in ‘Bull Durham’ (MGM photo)

The rhubarb began last week when Robbins and his partner Susan Sarandon were uninvited to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 15th anniversary celebration of the baseball flick “Bull Durham” after speaking out against the war with Iraq. The entire event was canceled by Dale Petroskey, president of the Hall.

Since then, sportscaster Bob Costas has offered the celebrity couple and others the chance to re-create the event on his HBO program, and Robbins on Tuesday gave a National Press Club speech claiming the world now views the United States as a Soviet-style “rogue state.”

“A chill wind is blowing in this nation,” said Robbins. “A message is being sent through the White House and its allies in talk radio … and Cooperstown. If you oppose this administration, there can and will be ramifications.

“Every day, the airwaves are filled with warnings, veiled and unveiled threats, spewed invective and hatred directed at any voice of dissent. And the public, like so many relatives and friends that I saw this weekend, sit in mute opposition and fear.”

Anti-war activists Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon (photo: Scotsman.com)

Since coverage of the furor began, WND has been inundated with letters to the editor, the vast majority of which do not take Robbins’ side:

  • It is not the White House and its allies in talk radio who are blowing a chill wind in this country. It is everyday, ordinary Americans who find most [celebrities’] commentary offensive and very unpatriotic. And they are speaking out through rallies of their own, letters to editors and congressmen, and through their pocketbooks. Hollywood [stars] need to realize that they do have an absolute, perfect right to speak freely in this country, but so do the people who disagree with them – and that’s the part that they don’t like. You tell me, who is the hypocrite? (Denise D. O’Brien, Oak Forest, Ill.)
  • Please tell Tim Robbins that all the leftist [expletives] like him really quashed freedom of speech for everyone else long ago. During the American Revolution, Tories in the South were stripped, tarred and feathered, and run out of town “on the rails.” We should do the same to him and Ms. Sarandon, beautiful and desirable though she be. Robbins and Sarandon and others of their ilk have participated actively in denouncing such actors as Charlton Heston for their views on our Second Amendment rights. … Why should any of us respect their views, or their right to them, when they have never respected the rights of others in these matters? (Don Schley, Colorado Springs)

  • I thought the cancellation of “Bull Durham” was right on because while it just increased the liberals’ hatred for President Bush, it at least sent the message that most of us voiceless people wanted sent to those arrogant appeasers who think that their high-school diploma and an acting career qualify them as our spokespersons. (Russell Butler)

  • Baseball was absolutely, unequivocally, 100 percent correct in dumping this insignificant “event” in light of Timbo and Suz’s political perspective. Why stigmatize baseball with this those two jackasses’ “perspective”?! (Paul Simon, Ogden, Utah)

  • Give me a major break. Does [Robbins] think that over 70 percent of Americans are wrong and he and his liberal, immorality-pushing buddies are right? He’s on a different planet! (Jan)
  • The Tim Robbins speech at the National Press Club was nothing short of brilliant. The message, and the passion, of that speech was incredible.

    I think I have listened to Rush Limbaugh, after all these years, for the last time. His comments concerning the Robbins’ speech was as arrogant as anything I have ever heard. He couldn’t bring himself to say anything good about the speech, though he knows in his heart Robbins is right about the “chill wind.” His response was another attack that Robbins and his wife thought the Soviet Union was a “worker’s paradise.” I was shocked. Because Robbins dared to question the role of the “radio patriots,” in the attack on civil liberties (and the fact that so many of them raise not a peep) Limbaugh reached down to his disc jockey days and came back with retorts I have heard more often on his show – quips more akin to shock jock morning radio than a thoughtful show with enormous influence.

    My hope is that WND will stand up and rebuke the remarks of Rush Limbaugh. This fight for our very freedom is one that is not a left-right battle. This is a battle for liberty in which patriots across the spectrum recognize the dangers of the Patriot Act and the soon-to-be Patriot II. These measures (among others) have done more to erode the basic principles of our founding fathers than the terrorists of 9-11 could have ever hoped for. (Alex Jackson)

  • Tim Robbins made the idiotic comparison concerning retribution between Bush bashers and Clinton bashers. Here’s the difference:

    The retribution of Bush bashers is coming at the hands of the public, not the White House. Bush has not organized a single boycott of Hollywood in response to his opposition. The boycotts are coming from the public who has just as much right to free speech as Robbins. The public has every much a right to vote with their dollars who they want to support, as Tim Robbins does to make stupid anti-American statements. (Jim Nuziard, Bellflower, Calif.)

  • Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon have a right to voice their opinions, but not use their positions of prominence as a leverage point. And this they do. Given a podium, they will push their political positions on everyone that is within the loudspeaker’s reach.

    They say they are against the war, then they must be for Saddam’s gassing of a 100,000-plus Kurdish women, children, male citizens. They say they are against the war, then they must be for Saddam’s slaughter of 100,000-plus Marshland Shiites, after they surrendered. They say they are against the war, then they must be for Saddam’s polluting the world’s air supply when he torched hundreds of oil wells in Kuwait. …

    Since they use every chance they get to use these type of public forums to speak anti-war rhetoric, then Mr. Petroskey is right in blocking their access to a public forum that is not supposed to be political. (Mark)

  • Tim Robbins can kiss his career goodbye as far as I’m concerned, and all the other so-called Hollywood crowd who bash Bush. Seventy-five percent of the citizens of this country don’t care about those “looney-tunes” anyway. I think people have finally had enough of these so-called spokesmen from hell. They whine about everything that doesn’t go their way. They don’t have a clue about what the majority believe. And if they do, then they are not doing a very good job defending their cause right now, or perhaps it’s too much over their heads to believe that the silent majority really does disagree with them. They must be starting to believe their own press. (Tom Blackshear)

  • Baseball and Hollywood have one thing in common. They are both entertainment industries. If Hollywood can use its industry as a bully pulpit, so too can baseball. Baseball not wanting to associate itself with Robbins and Sarandon and their anti-war rhetoric is no different than Hollywood not wanting to associate itself with President George Bush and the actions to liberate Iraq. (Michael Roesch)

  • All those left wingers who constantly crow about their free-speech rights never give consideration to the obligation of responsibility which accompanies these rights. Good for Petroskey for denying these anti-Americans another platform to spew their venom. And if in fact they did not intend to politicize “Bull Durham,” that’s OK, too. Let them suffer the consequences of their speech and actions. (Joseph Greenberg, Goshen, Conn.)

  • This guy is an idiot. He obviously has no knowledge of the treachery of the Lenin, Stalin, and the leaders to follow. … Communism’s goal from a global perspective is to sucker idiots like Robbins into believing freedom is overrated. (Earl Nichols, Colorado Springs)

  • We in the USA have the right to a free press, but the press has no duty to report what any single person says. Neither is there a duty to provide Robbins with his own printing press. The media report what [Robbins] says simply because he is famous and creates controversy, not because he is correct or even logical. (Steve D. Fischer, Atlanta)

  • I’m not a famous person, I’m just a mom. A mom of a U.S. serviceman, and I couldn’t be prouder of my son. … The purpose of this letter is to try and get someone to explain to [Robbins] that while the Constitution guarantees his freedom of speech, it does not guarantee him that private citizens have to listen. …

    I personally feel his remarks border on traitorous as his daily outbursts (which get plenty of play in the press) are seen by other nations, and could cause them to believe we are seriously divided, when in fact most of the nation appears to be on the same page. I believe in the end this could hurt our troops. …

    Mr. Robbins and Ms. Sarandon are ostensibly in the entertainment business. They don’t entertain me anymore, therefore I won’t pay a dime to see them. I will not watch any network that features them and gives them a political forum at what should be an entertainment event. …

    P.S. I know I was one of many parents of servicemen and women who wrote to Cooperstown asking for the event to be canceled. Instead of putting it down to some right-wing government plot, maybe it was just democracy and a free-market system at work. (Robin Leckow, Queens, N.Y.)

Related stories:

Tim Robbins: U.S. viewed as Soviet Union

Text of Tim Robbins speech

Costas: ‘Bull Durham’ event back on

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