Last night, I watched the Lee Atwater documentary, Boogie Man. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it very highly. I always knew Atwater was an awful human being, but I didn’t realize quite the level of his scumbaggery until I watched the movie. He was just an irredeemably horrid individual. Disgusting. Revolting. Almost equally infuriating was listening to Sam Donaldson talk about getting played by Atwater, knowing he’s being lied to, and just not really caring. Give it to Dan Rather, at least he did care about these things, even if it meant he was eventually railroaded out of the profession for it. Atwater’s attack on Rather was disgusting. But the fact that the media thinks it’s a big funny game made me feel real hate for all involved.
On the other hand, before watching Boogie Man, I decided that it was time to fill a hole in my film knowledge and watch a Jerry Lewis movie. I chose The Errand Boy, supposedly one of his best. And I have to say, Lewis makes Atwater seem a lot more sympathetic. I knew I was watching a monster in Atwater, but at least he wasn’t quite a soul-destroying as Jerry Lewis. Holy hell that was awful. I started yelling at the TV, which is not out of character for me, but I was really angry. I have a Francophile side, but if it is true that the French actually like Lewis, I am going to have to rethink my fundamental positions on the world.