Tim Robbins is not afraid of a little controversy. His political opinions about the war in Iraq have gotten him into a lot of hot water with the conservative right. Not that he gives a rat's ass about that, though.
So it should come as no surprise that when Robbins was asked to deliver the keynote speech at the National Association of
But with a bit of prodding, Robbins to his credit delivered the speech anyway.
And he bit the hand that feeds him hard:
You, the broadcasters of this great nation have a tremendous power, and a tremendous potential to effect change. You have the power to turn this country away from cynicism. You have the power to turn this nation away from the hatred and the divisive dialog that has rendered such a corrosive effect on our body politic. You can lift us up into a more enlightened age. Or you can hide behind that old adage, ‘I’m just a businessman. I provide what the audience wants.’ Well, I’m here to tell you that we don’t need to look at the car crash. We don’t need to live off of the pain and humiliation of the unfortunate. We don’t need to celebrate our pornographic obsession with celebrity culture. We are better than that.I doubt any media outlets will even mention this speech in their nightly newscasts, but reviews of the keynote have put it in the same league as Edward R. Murrow's "Wires and lights in a box" speech given at the Radio-TV News Directors Association 50 years earlier.
Robbins joked that “Die, you Nazi c___suckers" was the lesser known of Edward R. Murrow's signoffs at the end of his London blitz broadcasts.
All kidding aside, Robbins' speach was enlightening, inspiring and thought-provoking. I sincerely hope that news directors in attendance had their eyes opened, or at least take into consideration Robbins' words.
Enough with the sensless non-news "infotainment" that gets churned out by the nightly news programs. Now more than ever, people need to know about the things that are really important in the world.
Tim Robbins gets our vote for the quote of the week. I only hope that some people paid attention to it.