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Ed Asner Refutes Claims of Giving Republicans the Silent Treatment

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THR: What do you think of the uprisings in Egypt?

Asner: It's wonderful that people can become aroused and strike out for more Democratic pluses in their lives.

THR: You think the 2 percent who are uprising there speak for the other 98 percent who are not?

Asner: I haven't seen those figures. I'd want further confirmation. I gather you're not fond of what's happening in Egypt?

THR: I think a lot of people are jumping to the conclusion that it's a Democratic uprising when maybe it is not.

ASNER: Well, how would we know when our intelligence always seems to be six feet behind the moment? What is known is that (Mubarak) has generally been regarded as a dictator for a lot of years. The whole American policy of fostering and furthering dictators has to be questioned.

THR: What do you think of the Tea Parties?

Asner: Not much. I haven't the foggiest idea what they stand for, and the more you watch President Obama, I don't see what they have to complain about.

THR: At the event Morgan Brittany spoke at, many were complaining of high taxes, government overspending and over-regulation, that sort of thing.

Asner: We're less taxed than almost any other western country. Is Morgan Brittany aware of that?

THR: You seem in favor of the Egypt uprising but not sympathetic to an uprising here of Tea Partiers.

Asner: Oh, is that what you call it, an uprising? That's very clever.

THR: Thanks. I try.

ASNER: And I'll try to humor you. I repeat. The Tea Party uprisings are based on ghost images such as taxation, and I would recommend that Morgan Brittany or whatever Tea Partier you want to talk to check out our taxation under Dwight Eisenhower.

THR: Do you agree with the policy of tax breaks for the film and TV industries?

Asner: If it means more jobs, yes.

THR: Then why not tax breaks for other industries?

Asner: If it means more jobs, fine.

THR: You don't see the big Hollywood anti-war rallies anymore. Seems like activists had a problem with George Bush fighting the war but not with Barack Obama fighting it.

Asner: Well, this fellow from Hollywood has a problem with it.

THR: What's the one thing politically that you'd most like to see happen?

Asner: That I could get a president I'm thrilled with.

THR: The one we have isn't him?

Asner: That's right. We keep coming up with wonderful candidates who become deflated by the middle of the campaign. The U.S. more and more has become a corporatist state and any candidate who runs, and especially wins, is
primarily a corportaist promulgater, defender, advocate.

THR: Does it worry you that speaking freely about politics might turn off a segment of your audience and that they'd then tune out your TV shows and movies?

Asner: Well, they've done it before. I'm not a stranger to the waters. This would all go away for me if the people in this country were regarded first in terms of jobs, education and health care and the banks and corporations had to take a backseat.

THR: What do you think of actors who run for office?

Asner: I have no objection. They certainly are a weird breed, though. People are still trying to figure out Ronald Reagan.

THR: What was your opinion of him?

Asner: I certainly was charmed by him. Taking the final figures and results, I can only feel his two terms were not a success. Now, I'm trying to figure out where you stand.

THR: To the right of you. How do you describe yourself?

Asner: Call me a socialist.