John Ashcroft’s name has become synomous with the “A-word,” in the minds of some Hollywood artists.
The Washington Post reports the former attorney general’s surname was dubbed over the seven-letter obscenity that begins with the same first two letters in a version of the Oscar-nominated movie “Sideways.”
Correspondent Monte Reel told colleagues he heard the substitution twice during an in-flight showing of the hit comedy aboard an Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Lima, Peru.
Reel reports the dubbing over the “A-word” was done “in the actual voices of the actors,” which would mean Thomas Haden Church participated in the dialogue, “You’re an Ashcroft! No, you’re an Ashcroft!”
According to the paper, Fox Searchlight Pictures, the studio behind “Sideways,” failed to respond to queries seeking an explanation for the name swap.
While serving as attorney general during Bush’s first term in office, Ashcroft came under fire for his promotion of the Patriot Act, which gave government agencies the ability to share information. Ashcroft credits the measure with helping prevent further terrorist attacks on America since Sept. 11, 2001.
Last June, Ashcroft lobbied for additional anti-terror tools. He argued law enforcement needs more powers, not fewer. Among those he called for are the power for investigators to subpoena business records in terrorism investigations on their own rather than through a grand jury and a federal death penalty for some terrorism attacks in which people are killed.
Civil-liberties groups heavily criticized the Patriot Act, claiming it weakened judicial review and other checks to law enforcement’s surveillance and investigative powers.