Mad as all Heck
All I know is that first, you’ve got to get mad.
You’ve gotta say, “I’m a human being, goddammit! My life has value!”
So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell,
“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!!”
—Peter Finch, “Network,” 1976, screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky
Joey Vento and Ann Coulter are mad as hell.
Or are they?
They have thrust their anger—or is it coolly calculated malice?—into the public arena and have been rewarded by vast amounts of national and international publicity.
More to the point, their cash registers are going ka-ching!
The Seductiveness of Fame
Everybody loves publicity.
As a young man, Warren G. Harding—arguably the worst president of the United States—bought a failing newspaper, the Marion [Ohio] Star and turned it into the biggest paper in town, which it still is today. Harding’s exquisitely simple editorial philosophy: “Mention the name of everybody in town twice a year.”
“I don’t care what you about me, as long as you spell my name right.” This adage has been attributed to many people. Among them: theatrical genius George M. Cohan, baseball team owner Charlie O. Finley, Louisiana Governor Huey Long, showman P.T. Barnum and sex bomb actress Mae West.
Very likely all of them said it at one time or another, because all were publicity hounds. Hey, I once heard my father say it.
But is all publicity good publicity?
Cheesy Treatment of Customers
The signature sandwich of Philadelphia is the Philly Cheesesteak—thin-shaved slices of beef fried up with onions and served in a hoagie bun with melted Kraft’s Cheez Whiz.