Monday, August 31, 2009

War Criminals in Bush administration

BY Terry Bankert

I ASK AGAIN “ When is torture justified?”

George W. Bush must be charged a a war criminal! It is the only way we can discover what crimes the Rouge Vice President Dick Cheney committed.

The ex vice president continues to run his mouth reducing the esteem this country is held world wide and rubbing it in our face that he has gotten away scott free after orchestrating a series of violations of international law as vice president.

Two things will be achieved
(1) We learn if the president or vice president was running the country during the term of George W. Bush.
(2) We will safe guard ourselves by showing the world we hold the rule of international law in high regard.


Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace was able to get an important, and clarifying, admission from Vice President Dick Cheney in an interview that was broadcast today. Wallace mentions a list of techniques that CIA agents are accused of using in violation of the legal guidance that the Bush Administration established. [fox]

These include threatening a naked detainee with a power drill and a gun, and staging mock executions. Then Wallace asks Cheney this question:WALLACE: So even these cases where they went beyond the specific legal authorization, you're OK with it.CHENEY: I am.[fox]


Former Vice President Dick Cheney lashed out at President Barack Obama and the attorney general Sunday, saying the Justice Department's decision to investigate whether CIA operatives broke the law in their interrogation of terrorism suspects was politically motivated and dangerous to national security. [chic]


War crimes are "violations of the laws or customs of war"; including but not limited to "murder, the ill-treatment or deportation of civilian residents of an occupied territory to slave labor camps", "the murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war", the killing of hostages, "the wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages, and any devastation not justified by military, or civilian necessity".[1] [W] The modern concept of war crime was further developed under the auspices of the Nuremberg Trials based on the definition in the London Charter that was published on August 8, 1945. (Also see Nuremberg Principles.) Along with war crimes the charter also defined crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, which are often committed during wars and in concert with war crimes.[W]

Article 22 of the Hague IV ("Laws of War: Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907") states that "The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited" and over the last century many other treaties have introduced positive laws that place constraints on belligerents (see International treaties on the laws of war).

Some of the provisions, such as those in the Hague conventions, are considered to be part of customary international law, and are binding on all.[2] Others are only binding on individuals if the belligerent power to which they belong is a party to the treaty which introduced the constraint. [w]


There is not much nuance there. Cheney is saying he does not object to the rogue behavior of CIA agents who went beyond their legal mandate. (In the same interview, Cheney says that the Bush Justice Department found there was nothing "improper or illegal" in this behavior, a determination that is now under review by the Obama Justice Department.) Speaking of the interrogation program as a whole, Cheney says, "It was good policy. It was properly carried out. It worked very, very well."[fox]


Power drills and mock executions are not the only extralegal techniques that CIA employees are alleged to have committed. One CIA contractor, according to the CIA Inspector General, is alleged to have beaten an Afghan detainee to death with a large metal flashlight and his foot. Released criminal records show that another CIA employee was interrogating a detainee at Abu Ghraib prison in a stress position with a bag over his head, when the detainee died of asphyxiation. Assuming that Cheney did not misspeak, his statement to Wallace suggests that he believes these deaths are "OK' given the circumstances.[fox]


There are the beginnings here of a possible pattern in Cheney's thoughts--the suggestion that violations of law in the service of a greater national good are forgivable fox]


Former Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday condemned the Justice Department's decision last Monday to investigate suspected CIA prisoner abuses, indicating that he may not cooperate with the prosecutor assigned to the case. [inq]


Cheney, in a taped Fox News interview that aired yesterday, said President Obama set a "terrible precedent" by allowing an "intensely partisan, politicized look back at the prior administration." [inq]

Asked whether he would talk to John Durham, the veteran prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to examine allegations that the CIA abused Sept. 11 terror suspects, Cheney said: "It will depend on the circumstances and what I think their activities are really involved in." [inq]


Not only does Cheney believe the changes in tactics are bad policy, he said the review, if it travels up the chain of command, will set a dangerous precedent for future administrations to seek prosecutions for opinions a previous administration has cleared through the Department of Justice.[wp]


Cheney said he was aware of a Bush administration order banning the CIA from advising Congress about a program to kill or capture terrorists.[inq]

By Terry Bankert


Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, August 30, 2009


By Terry Bankert
Background piece ,work in progress 4th update 8/30/09 9:30 pm


The Dean River Production web page calls the “ Alledged” Now in Pre-Productoin in Michigan. Locally it was announced it will be shot in Genesee County at Cross Roads village with two world Class actors , Brian Dennehy and Fred Thompson.“

ALLEGED is a romantic drama based on events (using both historical and fictional elements) occuring behind the scenes and outside the courtroom of the famous Scopes "Monkey Trial" of 1925. Charles Anderson, a talented but restless young reporter, feels trapped working for his deceased father's weekly newspaper and livingin a tiny town (Dayton, TN) with six storefronts and a newly bankrupted coalmine.Seeing the "Monkey Trial" as an opportunity to expand beyond the borders of his small-town life, Charles manages to insert himself into the middle of his hometown's wild-eyed stunt to host the "Trial of the Century" and put Dayton "back on themap." (Dayton's own stimulus package, conceived and carried out by a real-estate flipperfrom Brooklyn!)


Once in the midst of the staged event, however, Charles is increasingly torn between his love for the more principled Rose, his fiancee, and the escalating moral compromises that he is asked to make as the eager protege of H.L. Mencken,America's most colorful and influential columnist.


ALLEGED is a true story of great historical characters (William Jennings Bryan,Clarence Darrow, H.L. Mencken) and fundamental conflicts that largely remainwith us to this day: creation, evolution, secular confidence, bible backpedaling,eugenics, and (perhaps above all) media bias.

Without moralizing, the film capturesthe issues, plot twists, and even the great fun that surrounded the original ScopesTrial but from the perspective of a young couple that experienced, where there waslittle on-hand, pure love and old-fashioned integrity win in the end. [dr]


FLINT, Michigan -- Don't rub the stars from your eyes: you really might see award-winning actor Brian Dennehy chatting up fellow star Fred Thompson at Gillie's Coney Island in Genesee Township or Blackstone's in downtown Flint.[fj]


BRIAN DENNEHYBrian Mannion Dennehy (born July 9, 1938) is an American actor of film stage and screen.Early yearsDennehy was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Hannah and Edward Dennehy, who was a wire service doctor for the Associated Press; he has two brothers, Michael and Edward.[1][2]

The family relocated to Long Island, New York, where Dennehy attended Chaminade High School in the town of Mineola.Rather than immediately chase his dreams of stage and screen, Dennehy enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1959, actively serving until 1963.

DENNEHY SAID HE SERVED IN VIETNAM...BUT DID NOT...?this needs double checking.

Although he said in numerous interviews that he had fought in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, even telling harrowing tales of his service there, it was revealed in the 1998 book Stolen Valor by B.G. Burkett that Dennehy had never served overseas at all during his time in the military.

Later that year, Dennehy admitted to the tabloid The Globe "I lied about serving in Vietnam and I'm sorry. That was very wrong of me. There is no real excuse for that. I was a peace-time Marine, and I got out in 1963 without ever serving in Vietnam. I started the story that I had been in 'Nam, and I got stuck with it. Then I didn't know how to set the record straight."

However, in 2007, he once again told a reporter tales of his service in the Vietnam War, this time to Glenna Whitley of the Wall Street Journal.[3]


He went on to attend Columbia on a football scholarship to major in history, where he also became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, before moving on to Yale to study dramatic arts. He played rugby for Old Blue RFC. He currently resides in Woodstock, CT.[edit]


Dennehy is primarily known as a dramatic actor. His breakthrough role was as the overzealous Sheriff Will Teasle in First Blood (1982) opposite Sylvester Stallone as Rambo. His other roles include a corrupt sheriff in the western Silverado, and an alien in Cocoon, both released in 1985.

He later played memorable supporting parts in such films as Legal Eagles (1986), F/X - Murder By Illusion (1986), Presumed Innocent (1990) and F/X2 - The Deadly Art Of Illusion (1991).During the 1980s, Dennehy gradually became a valuable character actor in films and subsequently gained leading man status in the thriller Best Seller (1987) co-starring James Woods.

He gained his arthouse spurs when he starred in the Peter Greenaway film The Belly of an Architect, for which he won the Best Actor Award at the 1987 Chicago International Film Festival. Commenting upon this unusual venture, Dennehy said, "I've been in a lot of movies but this is the first film I've made." He then went on to support star as Harrison in the Australian legendary film, The Man from Snowy River II in 1988.Perhaps one of his most well known roles
was in the 1995 Chris Farley-David Spade comedy Tommy Boy as Big Tom Callahan.

Two of his earliest roles were in 10 with Bo Derek and Dudley Moore and Foul Play with Chevy Chase. Later, he would again star with Bo Derek in "Tommy Boy."He also has had a role in the recent movie Ratatouille as Django, Remy's Father.[edit]


Dennehy began his professional acting career in small guest roles in such 1970s and 1980s series as Kojak, Lou Grant, Dallas and Dynasty. He also appeared in an episode of "Miami Vice" during the 1987-88 season.

Dennehy portrayed Sergeant Ned T. "Frozen Chosen" Coleman in the television movie A Rumor of War (1980) opposite Brad Davis. He continued to appear in such high-profile television movies as Skokie (1981), Day One (1989), A Killing in a Small Town (1990) opposite Barbara Hershey, In Broad Daylight (1991), Scott Turow's The Burden of Proof, and the miniseries A Season in Purgatory.
He also played a convincing Jackie Presser in HBO's Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story.

Dennehy also had a lead role as fire chief/celebrity dad Leslie "Buddy" Krebs in the short-lived 1982 series Star Of The Family. Despite his star power, that show was cancelled after two seasons.

Dennehy was nominated for Emmy Awards six times for his television movies including one for his performance as John Wayne Gacy, for which he was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie.

He was also nominated that same year in a different category, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie, for The Burden of Proof (1992). He was also nominated for an Emmy for his work in A Killing in a Small Town, Murder in the Heartland (1993) and, most recently, for the Showtime cable TV movie Our Fathers (2005), which was about the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.In 2000, Dennehy was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for a television presentation of his performance as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman which he had performed on Broadway.

Although he did not win the Emmy (he has yet to win an Emmy), he did receive a Golden Globe award for the presentation.He has starred in the popular crime drama Jack Reed TV movies. He also appeared as a recurring character in the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me!

Dennehy parodied in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, 1999 Dennehy was parodied in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) and an episode of The Simpsons.In January 2007, he starred as a retired criminal who wants to reconnect with his daughter and admit his crimes thus eventually clearing a wrongfully imprisoned inmate on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In April 2008, Dennehy guest-starred as a Teamster boss named "Mickey" in an episode of "30 Rock".

Dennehy is currently shooting footage for his upcoming mini-series on the History Channel called "Brian Dennehy's America." The show follows Dennehy as he explores the states, from his boyhood home in New England, all the way to the Pacific Northwest, interviewing the locals about why they love their state.Dennehy will guest-star in an episode of Rules of Engagement in the Fall 2008 season as the father of the main character, Jeff.[4]

Dennehy has also worked in many television specials and pilots. He has appeared in many episodes of other television series.[1]

Brian once played an extra in the video for 'The king of rock 'n' roll' by musical legends Prefab Sprout.Dennehy has also narrated many television programs[5] and recently narrated the IFTA nominated[6]

Canadian-Irish docudrama Death or Canada.[7]


Dennehy has won two Tony Awards, both times for Best Lead Actor in a Play. The first win was for Death of a Salesman (for which he also won a Laurence Olivier Award for the production's London run), in 1999, and the second was for Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night in 2003.

Both productions were directed by Robert Falls and were originally produced at the Goodman Theatre company in Chicago.On stage, Dennehy has made frequent performances in the Chicago theatre world, and made his Broadway debut in 1995 in Brian Friel's Translations. In 1999, he was the first male performer to be voted the Sarah Siddons Award for his work in Chicago theatre. He made a return to Broadway in 2007 as Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind opposite Christopher Plummer. In 2008, Dennehy will appear at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, appearing in All's Well That Ends Well and a double bill of plays by Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape and Eugene O'Neill's Hughie.


Fred Dalton Thompson (born Freddie Dalton Thompson[1][2] on August 19, 1942), is an American politician, actor, attorney, lobbyist and radio host. He represented Tennessee as a Republican in the U.S. Senate from 1994 through 2003.

Thompson served as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board at the United States Department of State, was a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a Visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, specializing in national security and intelligence.[3][4][5]

As an actor, Thompson has appeared in a large number of movies and television shows. He has frequently portrayed governmental figures.[6]

In the final months of his U.S. Senate term in 2002, Thompson joined the cast of the long-running NBC television series Law & Order, playing New York City District Attorney Arthur Branch, until the network granted his request to be released from his contract in May 2007.[7]

In late February 2009 Thompson made his return to acting by making a guest appearance on the ABC television series Life on Mars playing NYPD Police Chief Harry Woolf.

Thompson has also made a brief unsuccessful run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. He resides in McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.[8]

On March 2, Fred Thompson's radio show, The Fred Thompson Show, debuted on Westwood One.

His wife, Jeri, co-hosts the show.Early life and educationThompson was born in Sheffield, Alabama, the son of Ruth Inez (née Bradley, living in 2007 in Franklin, Tennessee) and Fletcher Session Thompson (born Lauderdale County, Alabama, August 26, 1919, died Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, May 27, 1990), who was an automobile salesman/used car dealer.[9][10]

He attended public school in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, graduating from Lawrence County High School. Thereafter, he worked days in the local post office, and nights at the Murray bicycle assembly plant.[11]

Thompson then entered Florence State College (now the University of North Alabama), becoming the first member of his family to go to university.[12]

He later transferred to Memphis State University, now the University of Memphis, where he earned a double degree in philosophy and political science in 1964, as well as scholarships to both Tulane and Vanderbilt law schools.[11]

He went on to earn his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Vanderbilt in 1967.[12][edit]

Career as an attorney

Thompson was admitted to the State Bar of Tennessee in 1967. At that time, he shortened his first name from Freddie to Fred.[13]

He worked as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1969 to 1972,[14] successfully prosecuting bank robberies and other cases.[11]

Thompson was the campaign manager for Republican U.S. Senator Howard Baker's reelection campaign in 1972 and was minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of the Watergate scandal (1973–1974).

He also owns Thompson cigars.

In the 1980s Thompson worked as an attorney, with law offices in Nashville and Washington, DC,[15] handling personal injury claims and defending people accused of white collar crimes.[16]

He also accepted appointments as Special Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1980–1981), Special Counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee (1982), and Member of the Appellate Court Nominating Commission for the State of Tennessee (1985–1987).[11][12]

His clients included the German mining group and Japan's Toyota Motors Corporation.[17]

Thompson has served on various corporate boards. He also did legal work and served on the board of directors for engineering firm Stone & Webster.[18]

Role in Watergate hearings

In 1973, Thompson was appointed minority counsel to assist the Republican senators on the Senate Watergate Committee, a special committee convened by the U.S. Senate to investigate the Watergate scandal.[19]

Thompson is sometimes credited for supplying Republican Senator Howard Baker's famous question, "What did the President know, and when did he know it?"[20]

This question is said to have helped frame the hearings in a way that eventually led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon.[21]

A Republican staff member, Donald Sanders, found out about the White House tapes and informed the committee on July 13, 1973. Thompson was informed of the existence of the tapes, and he in turn informed Nixon's attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt.[22]

"Even though I had no authority to act for the committee, I decided to call Fred Buzhardt at home," Thompson later wrote,[23]

"I wanted to be sure that the White House was fully aware of what was to be disclosed so that it could take appropriate action."Three days after Sanders' discovery, at a public, televised committee hearing,Thompson asked former White House aide Alexander Butterfield the famous question "Mr. Butterfield, were you aware of the existence of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?" thereby publicly revealing the existence of tape recordings of conversations within the White House.[17][19]

National Public Radio later called that session and the discovery of the Watergate tapes "a turning point in the investigation."[24]

Thompson's appointment as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate committee reportedly upset Nixon, who believed Thompson was not skilled enough to interrogate unfriendly witnesses and would be outfoxed by committee Democrats.[25]

According to historian Stanley Kutler, however, Thompson and Baker "carried water for the White House, but I have to give them credit — they were watching out for their interests, too... They weren't going to mindlessly go down the tubes [for Nixon]."[25]

When the Watergate investigation began to pick up speed, tapes revealed that Nixon remarked to his then-Chief of Staff Alexander Haig, "Oh shit, he's dumb as hell."[26]

Journalist Scott Armstrong, a Democratic investigator for the Senate Watergate Committee, is critical of Thompson for having disclosed the committee's knowledge of the tapes to Buzhardt during an on-going investigation, and says Thompson was "a mole for the White House" and that Thompson's actions gave the White House a chance to destroy the tapes.[27]

Thompson's 1975 book

At That Point in Time in turn accused Armstrong of having been too close to The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and of leaking committee information to him. In response to renewed interest in this matter in 2007 in the context of his presidential campaign, Thompson said, "I'm glad all of this has finally caused someone to read my Watergate book, even though it's taken them over 30 years."[27]

Corruption case against Tennessee governor

In 1977 Thompson represented Marie Ragghianti, a former Tennessee Parole Board chair, who had been fired for refusing to release felons after they had bribed aides to Democratic Governor Ray Blanton in order to obtain clemency.[28]

With Thompson's assistance, Ragghianti filed a wrongful termination suit against Blanton's office. During the trial, Thompson helped expose the cash-for-clemency scheme that eventually led to Blanton's removal from office.[17]

In July 1978, a jury awarded Ragghianti $38,000 in back pay and ordered her reinstatement.[28]


Thompson lobbied Congress on behalf of the Tennessee Savings and Loan League to pass the Garn-St Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982, which deregulated the Savings and Loan industry.[17]

A large congressional majority and President Ronald Reagan supported the act but it was said to be a factor that led to the savings and loan crisis.[29]

Thompson received $1,600 for communicating with some congressional staffers on this issue.[30]

When Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in 1991, Thompson made a telephone call to White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu advocating restoration of Aristide's government, but says that was as a private citizen, not on a paid basis on Aristide's behalf.[31]

Billing records show that Thompson was paid for about 20 hours of work in 1991 and 1992 on behalf of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, a family planning group trying to ease a George H. W. Bush administration regulation on abortion counseling in federally-funded clinics.[32][33]

Thompson has earned about one million dollars from his lobbying efforts. Except for the year 1981, his lobbying never amounted to more than a third of his income.[30]

According to the Commercial Appeal newspaper:Fred Thompson earned about half a million dollars from Washington lobbying from 1975 through 1993....Lobbyist disclosure records show Thompson had six lobbying clients: Westinghouse, two cable television companies, the Tennessee Savings and Loan League, the Teamsters Union's Central States Pension Fund, and a Baltimore-based business coalition that lobbied for federal grants.[30]

After leaving the Senate in 2003, Thompson's only lobbying work was for the London-based reinsurance company Equitas Ltd. He was paid $760,000 between 2004 and 2006 in order to help prevent passage of legislation that Equitas said unfairly singled them out for unfavorable treatment regarding asbestos claims.[18]

Thompson spokesman Mark Corrallo said that Thompson was proud to have been a lobbyist and believed in Equitas' cause.[34]After Thompson was elected to the Senate, two of his sons followed him into the lobbying business,[35] but generally avoided clients where a possible conflict-of-interest might appear.[35]

When he left the Senate, some of his political action committee's fees went to the lobbying firm of one of his sons.[36]

Character actor

Marie Ragghianti's case became the subject of a book,

Marie, written by Peter Maas and published in 1983. The film rights were purchased by director Roger Donaldson, who, after traveling to Nashville to speak with the people involved with the original case, asked Thompson if he wanted to play himself.

The resulting film, Marie, was Thompson's first acting role and was released in 1985.

Roger Donaldson then cast Thompson in the part of CIA Director in the 1987 film No Way Out.[37] Thompson would go on to appear in many films and television shows. A 1994 New York Times profile wrote "When Hollywood directors need someone who can personify governmental power, they often turn to [Thompson]."[6]

He has portrayed a fictional president of the United States in Last Best Chance as well as two historical presidents: Ulysses S. Grant in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007) and the voice of Andrew Jackson in Rachel and Andrew Jackson: A Love Story (both produced for TV).[38]

In the final months of his U.S. Senate term in 2002, Thompson joined the cast of the long-running NBC television series Law & Order, playing District Attorney Arthur Branch for the next five years. Thompson began filming during the August 2002 Senate recess.[11]He has also made occasional appearances in the same role on other TV shows, such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and the pilot episode of Conviction. On May 30, 2007, he asked to be released from the role, potentially in preparation for a presidential bid.[7]

Due to concerns about the equal-time rule, reruns featuring the Branch character were not shown on NBC while Thompson was a potential or actual presidential candidate, but TNT episodes were unaffected.[39][edit]

Senate (1994–2003)

Two campaigns for U.S. Senate

In 1994, Thompson was elected to finish the remaining two years of Al Gore's unexpired U.S. Senate term. During the 1994 campaign, Thompson's opponent was longtime Nashville Congressman Jim Cooper. Thompson campaigned in a red pickup truck, and Cooper charged Thompson "is a lobbyist and actor who talks about lower taxes, talks about change, while he drives a rented stage prop."[40] In a good year for Republican candidates,[41]

Thompson defeated Cooper in a landslide, overcoming Cooper's early 20 percent lead in the polls to defeat him by an even greater margin.[42]

On the same night Thompson was elected to fill Gore's unexpired term, political newcomer Bill Frist, a Nashville heart surgeon, defeated three-term incumbent Democrat Jim Sasser, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, for Tennessee's other Senate seat, which was up for a full six-year term. The twin victories by Thompson and Frist gave Republicans control of both of Tennessee's Senate seats for the first time since Sasser ousted incumbent Bill Brock in 1976.

In 1996, Thompson was re-elected (for the term ending January 3, 2003) with 61 percent of the vote, defeating Democratic attorney Houston Gordon of Covington, Tennessee, even as Bill Clinton narrowly carried the state by less than three percentage points on his way to re-election.[43]

The GOP continues to hold the seat, as it was won by former Tennessee Governor and Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in 2002.Senate career


Thompson has an 86.1 percent lifetime (1995–2002) American Conservative Union vote rating, compared to 89.3 for Bill Frist and 82.3 for John McCain.[52][53]

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) characterized her colleague this way: "I believe that Fred is a fearless senator. By that I mean he was never afraid to cast a vote or take a stand, regardless of the political consequences."[54]

Thompson was "on the short end of a couple of 99-1 votes," voting against those who wanted to federalize matters that he believed were properly left to state and local officials.[55]With Thompson's decision to campaign for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination, his Senate record has received some criticism from people who say he was "lazy" compared to other Senators.[56]

Critics say that few of his proposals became law, and point to a 1998 quote: "I don't like spending 14- and 16-hour days voting on 'sense of the Senate' resolutions on irrelevant matters. There are some important things we really need to get on with—and on a daily basis, it's very frustrating." Defenders say he spent more time in preparation than other Senators. Paul Noe, a former staffer, told the New York Times, "On the lazy charge, I have to chuckle because I was there sometimes until 1 in the morning working with the man."[57]

Post-Senate activities

Political work

In March 2003, Thompson was featured in a commercial by the conservative non-profit group Citizens United that advocated the invasion of Iraq, stating: "When people ask what has Saddam done to us, I ask, what had the 9/11 hijackers done to us -- before 9/11."[58]Thompson did voice-over work at the 2004 Republican National Convention.[59]

While narrating a video for that convention, Thompson observed: "History throws you what it throws you, and you never know what’s coming."[60]

After the retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in 2005, Bush appointed him to an informal position to help guide the nomination of John Roberts through the United States Senate confirmation process.[61]

Roberts was subsequently confirmed as Chief Justice.Until July 2007, Thompson was Chair of the International Security Advisory Board, a bipartisan advisory panel that reports to the Secretary of State and focuses on emerging strategic threats.[62] In that capacity, he advised the State Department about all aspects of arms control, disarmament, international security, and related aspects of public diplomacy.[63]

Legal defense for Lewis Libby:

Lewis Libby In 2006, he served on the advisory board of the legal defense fund for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Jr, who was indicted and later convicted of lying to federal investigators during their investigation of the Plame affair.[64][65]

Thompson, who had never met Libby before volunteering for the advisory board, said he was convinced Libby was innocent.[37] The Scooter Libby Legal Defense Fund Trust set out to raise more than $5 million to help finance the legal defense of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff.[66] Thompson hosted a fundraiser for the Libby defense fund at his home in McLean, Virginia.[67]

After Bush commuted Libby's sentence,[68] Thompson released a statement: "I am very happy for Scooter Libby. I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life."[69]

Radio analyst

In 2006, he signed on with ABC News Radio to serve as senior analyst and vacation replacement for Paul Harvey.[70] He used that platform to spell out his positions on a number of political issues. A July 3, 2007 update to Thompson's ABC News Radio home page referred to him as a "former ABC News Radio contributor", indicating that Thompson has been released from his contract with the broadcaster.[71]

He did not return after his campaign ended.[edit] Talk radio hostIn 2009 he took over on Westwood One's east coast noon time slot, hosting the talk radio program The Fred Thompson Show after Bill O'Reilly ended The Radio Factor.[edit] Campaign for United States President, 2008 electionMain article: Fred Thompson presidential campaign, 2008On March 11, 2007, Thompson appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the possibility of a 2008 candidacy for president. At the end of March, Thompson asked to be released from his television contract, potentially in preparation for a presidential bid.[7]

Thompson formed a presidential exploratory committee regarding his possible 2008 campaign for president on June 1, 2007,[72]

but unlike most candidate exploratory groups, Thompson's organized as a 527 group.[73]

Thompson continued to be mentioned as a potential candidate, but did not officially declare his candidacy. On June 12, Thompson told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show that while he did not crave the Presidency itself, there were things he would like to do that he could only do by holding that office.[74]

A New York Times article cited Thompson's aides as saying on July 18 that he planned to enter the race just after Labor Day (the first Monday in September), followed by a national announcement tour.[75]

On September 5, 2007, Thompson made his candidacy official, announcing on The Tonight Show that "I'm running for president of the United States" and running an ad during a Republican Presidential candidates debate on Fox News.[76] In both cases he pointed people to his campaign website to watch a 15-minute video detailing his platform. His campaign entrance was described as "lackluster"[77] and "awkward"[78] despite high expectations in anticipation of his joining the race.[79]In nationwide polling toward the end of 2007, Thompson's support in the Republican primary election was sliding, with his placing either third or fourth in polls.[80][81]

Starting with the South Carolina Primary, however, he was more aggressively challenging his rivals until finishing third in that primary.[82]On January 22, 2008, after attracting little support in the early primaries, Thompson confirmed he had withdrawn from the Presidential race.[83] In a statement issued by his campaign, Thompson said:"Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people."[edit] Post-campaignThompson has signed an agreement to be returned as an actor with the William Morris Agency.[84]

He also signed a deal with Salem Communications's to write for the organization's new magazine, Townhall, in May 2008.[85] Thompson recently has founded a new political action committee "Fred PAC" to raise money for conservative candidates.[86]He spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention on September 2 in Minnesota, and described in graphic detail presumptive Republican nominee John McCain's torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese during his imprisonment and gave an endorsement of McCain for President.Westwood One stations' new radio program The Fred Thompson Show began airing nationwide on March 2, 2009, replacing The Radio Factor with Bill O’Reilly.[87]

Political positions

Thompson has said that federalism is his "lodestar", which provides "a basis for a proper analysis of most issues: 'Is this something government should be doing? If so, at what level of government?'"[55]

Thompson states "Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad medical science," and that judges shouldn't be determining social policy.[88] Thompson has also stated the government should not criminally prosecute women who undergo early term abortions.[89][90]Thompson does not support a federal ban on gay marriage, but would support a constitutional amendment to keep one state's recognition of such marriages from imposing gay marriage on all states.[91]

Thompson says citizens are entitled to keep and bear arms if they do not have criminal records[92] and the Gun Owners of America says that he voted pro-gun in 20 of 33 gun-related votes during his time in the Senate.[93]Thompson says U.S. borders need to be secured before considering comprehensive immigration reform,[94] but he also supports a path to citizenship for illegal aliens saying “You’re going to have to, in some way, work out a deal where they can have some aspirations of citizenship, but not make it so easy that it’s unfair to the people waiting in line and abiding by the law.”[95]

Thompson supported the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq[96] and is opposed to withdrawing troops,[97] but believes "mistakes have been made" since the invasion.[98]Thompson initially supported the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation, but now says certain parts should be repealed.[99]Thompson is skeptical that human efforts cause global warming and has pointed to parallel warming on several planets such as Mars.[100][edit] Personal lifeMarriages and childrenIn September 1959, at the age of 17, Thompson married Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey.[101]

Their son, Freddie Dalton "Tony" Thompson Jr.,[1] was born in April 1960.[102] Another son and a daughter were born soon thereafter. While Thompson was attending law school, both he and his wife worked to pay for his education and support their three children.[17]The couple divorced in 1985. They have two surviving children,[103] as well as five grandchildren. Thompson's daughter Elizabeth "Betsy" Thompson Panici died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs on January 30, 2002.[44][51]Prior to his second marriage, Thompson had been romantically linked to country singer Lorrie Morgan, Republican fundraiser Georgette Mosbacher and columnist Margaret Carlson.[104]

In July 1996, Thompson began dating Jeri Kehn (b. 1966) and the two married almost six years later on June 29 2002.[105] When Thompson was asked in a December 2007 Associated Press survey of the candidates to name his favorite possession, he humorously replied "trophy wife".[106] The couple have two children, a daughter and a son.[107][108][109]


Thompson has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a form of cancer. "I have had no illness from it, or even any symptoms. My life expectancy should not be affected. I am in remission, and it is very treatable with drugs if treatment is needed in the future — and with no debilitating side effects," Thompson said.[110] Like many patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Thompson received treatment with Rituxan.[111] Thompson's cancer, though currently incurable, is reportedly indolent, the lowest of three grades of NHL.[110]

The cancer is nodal marginal zone lymphoma, a rare form of NHL, that accounts for only one to three percent of all cases.[112]


Thompson is a member of the Churches of Christ. According to Thompson, his values come from "sitting around the kitchen table" with his parents, and from the Church of Christ. While talking to reporters in South Carolina, Thompson said, "I attend church when I'm in Tennessee. I'm [living] in McLean right now. I don't attend regularly when I'm up there."[113] He did not speak much about his religion during his campaign saying, "Me getting up and talking about what a wonderful person I am and that sort of thing, I'm not comfortable with that, and I don't think it does me any good."[113] [WT]


The pair have signed on to two of the leading roles in "Alleged," a new movie on the historic Scopes Monkey Trial being shot at Crossroads Village starting Sept. 14.[fj]

The "Scopes Trial" (State v. Scopes, Scopes v. State, 152 Tenn. 424, 278 S.W. 57 (Tenn. 1926), often called the "Scopes Monkey Trial") was an American legal case that tested the Butler Act, which made it unlawful, in any state-funded educational establishment in Tennessee, "to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals."[1]

This is often interpreted as meaning that the law forbade the teaching of any aspect of evolution. The case was a critical turning point in the United States' creation-evolution controversy.After the passage of the Butler Act, the American Civil Liberties Union financed a test case, where a Dayton, Tennessee high school teacher named John Scopes intentionally violated the Act.

Scopes was charged on May 5, 1925 with teaching evolution from a chapter in a textbook which showed ideas developed from those set out in Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species.

Scopes was found guilty and fined $100; on appeal the verdict was set aside on a technicality by the Tennessee Supreme Court and Scopes was never punished.

The trial pitted two of the pre-eminent celebrities of the time against one another; three-time presidential candidate, and former Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan headed up the prosecution and prominent trial attorney Clarence Darrow spoke for the defense.[2]

The fame of the trial was reinforced over the years by the fictionalized accounts given in the 1955 play Inherit the Wind, the 1960 film adaptation, and the 1965, 1988, and 1999 television films of the same title.


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) offered to defend anyone accused of teaching the theory of evolution in defiance of the Butler Act. George Rappleyea, who managed several local mines, convinced a group of businessmen in Dayton, Tennessee, (a town of 1,756), that the controversy of such a trial would give Dayton much needed publicity. With their agreement, he called in his friend, 24-year-old John T. Scopes, who was Clark County High School's football coach and had substituted for Principal Ferguson in a science class. Rappleyea asked Scopes to teach the theory of evolution.[3]

Rappleyea pointed out that while the Butler Act prohibited the teaching of the theory of evolution, the state required teachers to use a textbook—George Hunter's Civic Biology (1914)—which explicitly described and endorsed the theory of evolution, and that teachers were therefore effectively required to break the law.[3]

Scopes mentioned that while he couldn't remember if he actually taught evolution in class, he did however go through the evolution chart and chapter with the class. Scopes added to the group "If you can prove that I've taught evolution and that I can qualify as a defendant, then I'll be willing to stand trial." [4]

Scopes became an increasingly willing participant, even incriminating himself and urging students to testify against him.[5]

He was indicted on May 24, after three students testified against him at the grand jury, at Scopes' behest.[6]

According to Edward J. Larson, Judge John T. Raulston accelerated the convening of the grand jury and "...all but instructed the grand jury to indict Scopes, despite the meager evidence against him and the widely reported stories questioning whether the willing defendant had ever taught evolution in the classroom."[7]

Scopes was charged with having taught from the chapter on evolution to an April 7, 1925, high school class in violation of the Butler Act (and nominally arrested, though never detained). His bail of $500 was paid by Paul Patterson, owner of the Baltimore Sun.[8][9]

The original prosecutors were Scopes' friends, Herbert E. and Sue K. Hicks, two brothers who were local attorneys, but the prosecution would be ultimately led by Tom Stewart, a graduate of Cumberland School of Law, who later became a U.S. Senator.Hoping to attract major press coverage, George Rappleyea went so far as to write to the British novelist H. G. Wells asking him to join the defense team.

Wells replied that he had no legal training in Britain, let alone in America, and declined the offer. However, John R. Neal, a law school professor from Knoxville, announced that he would act as Scopes' attorney—whether Scopes liked it or not—and became the nominal head of the defense team.

Baptist pastor William Bell Riley, the founder and president of the World Christian Fundamentals Association, was instrumental in calling lawyer and three-time Democratic presidential candidate and lifelong Presbyterian William Jennings Bryan to act as that organization's counsel.

Bryan had originally been invited by Sue Hicks to become an associate of the prosecution and Bryan had readily accepted, despite the fact he had not tried a case in thirty-six years.

As Scopes pointed out: "After [Bryan] was accepted by the state as a special prosecutor in the case, there was never any hope of containing the controversy within the bounds of constitutionality."[10][11]

In response, Clarence Darrow, an agnostic, volunteered his services to the defense.

After many changes back and forth, the defense team consisted of Darrow, ACLU attorney Arthur Garfield Hays, and Dudley Field Malone, an international divorce lawyer who had worked at the State Department while Bryan was Secretary of State.The prosecution team was led by Tom Stewart, district attorney for the 18th Circuit (and future United States Senator), and included, in addition to Herbert and Sue Hicks, Ben B. McKenzie and William Jennings Bryan.

The trial was covered by famous journalists from the South and around the world, including H. L. Mencken for The Baltimore Sun, which was also paying part of the defense's expenses.

It was Mencken who provided the trial with its most colorful labels such as the "Monkey trial" of "the infidel Scopes."

It was also the first United States trial to be broadcast on national radio.The ACLU had originally intended to oppose the Butler Act on the grounds that it violated the teacher's individual rights and academic freedom, and was therefore unconstitutional.

Mainly because of Clarence Darrow, this strategy changed as the trial progressed, and the earliest argument proposed by the defense once the trial had begun was that there was actually no conflict between evolution and the creation account in the Bible (a viewpoint later called theistic evolution).

In support of this claim, they brought in eight experts on evolution.

Other than Dr. Maynard Metcalf, a zoologist from Johns Hopkins University, the judge would not allow these experts to testify in person.

Instead, they were allowed to submit written statements so that their evidence could be used at the appeal. In response to this decision,

Darrow made a sarcastic comment to Judge Raulston (as he often did throughout the trial) on how he had been agreeable only on the prosecution's suggestions, for which he apologized the next day, keeping himself from being found in contempt of court.

The presiding judge John T. Raulston was accused of being biased towards the prosecution and frequently clashed with Darrow. On the onset of the trial Raulston quoted Genesis and the Butler Act, he also warned the Jury not to judge the merit of the law (which would become the focus of the trial) but on the violation of the act which he called a 'high misdemeanor'.

The Jury Foreman himself wasn't convinced about the Act but acted as most of the jury did on the instructions of the judge. [12]

By the later stages of the trial, Clarence Darrow had largely abandoned the ACLU's original strategy and attacked the literal interpretation of the Bible as well as Bryan's limited knowledge of other religions and science.

Only when the case went to appeal did the defense return to the original claim that the prosecution was invalid because the law was essentially designed to benefit a particular religious group, which would be unconstitutional.

In what proved to be his only extensive speech of the trial, Bryan responded to this theory on behalf of the state.

Following Stewart's strategy, Bryan argued that the proposed scientific testimony was neither competent nor proper, given the legal issue in the case, which he insisted was simply whether Scopes had taught evolution in the Rhea County High School.

To support his contention that evolution was morally pernicious, Bryan cited the famous Leopold-Loeb trial involving Darrow the year before the Scopes Trial.

Darrow had saved two rich young child murderers from the death sentence, and Bryan cited Darrow's own words:This terrible crime was inherent in his organism, and it came from some ancestor ... Is any blame attached because somebody took Nietzsche's philosophy seriously and fashioned his life upon it? ... It is hardly fair to hang a 19–year–old boy for the philosophy that was taught him at the university.

Bryan chastised evolution for teaching children that humans were but one of (precisely) 35,000 types of mammals and bemoaned the fact that human beings were descended "Not even from American monkeys, but from old world monkeys" (World's Most Famous Court Trial, 174–78).

Malone responded for the defense in a speech that was universally considered the oratorical triumph of the trial.[13]

Arousing fears of "inquisitions," Malone argued that the Bible should be preserved in the realm of theology and morality and not put into a course of science.

In his conclusion, Malone declared that Bryan's "duel to the death" against evolution should not be made one-sided by a court ruling that took away the chief witnesses for the defense.

Malone promised that there would be no duel because "There is never a duel with the truth." The courtroom went wild when Malone finished, and Scopes declared Malone's speech to be the dramatic highpoint of the entire trial and insisted that part of the reason Bryan wanted to go on the stand was to regain some of his tarnished glory.[14]

On the sixth day of the trial, the defense ran out of witnesses. The judge declared that all of the defense testimony on the Bible was irrelevant and should not be presented to the jury (which had been excluded during the defense).

During the court proceedings (7th day of the trial) the defense asked the judge to call Bryan as a witness to question him on the Bible as their own experts have been rendered irrelevant; Darrow had planned the day before and called Bryan a "Bible expert".

This move surprised those present in the court, as Bryan was a counsel for the prosecution and Bryan himself (according to a journalist reporting the trial) never made a claim of being an expert; although he did tout his knowledge of the Bible.[15]

This testimony revolved around several questions regarding biblical stories and Bryan's beliefs (as shown below), this testimony culminated in Bryan declaring that Darrow was using the court to "slur the Bible" while Darrow replied that Bryan's statements on the Bible were "foolish"[16]

Examination of Bryan

On the seventh day of the trial, Clarence Darrow took the unorthodox step of calling William Jennings Bryan, counsel for the prosecution, to the stand as a witness in an effort to demonstrate that belief in the historicity of the Bible and its many accounts of miracles was unreasonable.

Bryan accepted, on the understanding that Darrow would in turn submit to questioning by Bryan.

Although Hays would claim in his autobiography that the cross-examination of Bryan was unplanned, Darrow spent the night before in preparation.

The scientists the defense had brought to Dayton and Charles Francis Potter, a modernist minister who had lost a public debate on evolution with the fundamentalist preacher John Roach Straton, prepared topics and questions for Darrow to address to Bryan on the witness stand.[17]

Kirtley Mather, chairman of the geology department at Harvard and also a devout Baptist played Bryan and answered questions as he believed Bryan would.[18][19]

Raulston had adjourned court to the stand on the courthouse lawn, ostensibly because he was "afraid of the building" with so many spectators crammed into the courtroom, but probably because of the stifling heat (227; Scopes and Presley 164).

Adam and Eve

An area of questioning involved the book of Genesis and if Eve was actually created from Adam's rib, where Cain got his wife, and how many people lived in Ancient Egypt.

Darrow used these examples to show that the stories of the Bible could not be scientific and should not be used in teaching science with Darrow telling Bryan, "You insult every man of science and learning in the world because he does not believe in your fool religion."[20]

Bryan's declaration in response was "The reason I am answering is not for the benefit of the superior court. It is to keep these gentlemen from saying I was afraid to meet them and let them question me, and I want the Christian world to know that any atheist, agnostic, unbeliever, can question me anytime as to my belief in God, and I will answer him."[21]

Stewart objected, demanding to know the legal purpose of Darrow's questioning. Bryan, gauging the effect the session was having, snapped that its purpose was "to cast ridicule on everybody who believes in the Bible."

Darrow, with equal vehemence, retorted, "We have the purpose of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States." (299)

A few more questions followed in the charged open-air courtroom. Darrow asked where Cain got his wife; Bryan answered that he would "leave the agnostics to hunt for her" (302–03).

When Darrow addressed the issue of the temptation of Eve by the serpent, Bryan insisted that the Bible be quoted verbatim rather than allowing Darrow to paraphrase it in his own terms.

However, after another angry exchange, Judge Raulston banged his gavel, adjourning court and bringing the drama to a sudden close (303–04).

End of the trial

The confrontation between Bryan and Darrow lasted approximately two hours on the afternoon of the seventh day of the trial. It is likely that it would have continued the following morning but for Judge Raulston's announcement that he considered the whole examination irrelevant to the case and his decision that it should be "expunged" from the record.

Thus Bryan was denied the chance to cross-examine the defense lawyers in return, although after the trial Bryan would distribute nine questions to the press to bring out Darrow's "religious attitude."

The questions and Darrow's short answers were published in newspapers the day after the trial ended, with the New York Times characterizing Darrow as answering Bryan's questions "with his agnostic's creed, 'I don't know,' except where he could deny them with his belief in natural, immutable law."[22]

After the defense's final attempt to present evidence was denied, Darrow asked the judge to bring in the jury only to have them come to a guilty verdict:We claim that the defendant is not guilty, but as the court has excluded any testimony, except as to the one issue as to whether he taught that man descended from a lower order of animals, and we cannot contradict that testimony, there is no logical thing to come except that the jury find a verdict that we may carry to the higher court, purely as a matter of proper procedure.

We do not think it is fair to the court or counsel on the other side to waste a lot of time when we know this is the inevitable result and probably the best result for the case.

After they were brought in, Darrow then addressed the jury, telling them that:We came down here to offer evidence in this case and the court has held under the law that the evidence we had is not admissible, so all we can do is to take an exception and carry it to a higher court to see whether the evidence is admissible or not. . . . we cannot even explain to you that we think you should return a verdict of not guilty. We do not see how you could.

We do not ask it.Darrow closed the case for the defense without a final summation. Under Tennessee law, when the defense waived its right to make a closing speech, the prosecution was also barred from summing up its case.

Scopes never testified since there was never a factual issue as to whether he had taught evolution.

Scopes later admitted that, in reality, he was unsure of whether he had taught evolution (another reason the defense did not want him to testify), but the point was not contested at the trial (Scopes 1967:59–60).

After eight days of trial, it took the jury only nine minutes to deliberate. Scopes was found guilty on July 21 and ordered to pay a US$100.00 fine (approximately $1,165 when adjusted from 1925 for inflation).

Raulston imposed the fine before Scopes was given an opportunity to say anything about why the court should not impose punishment upon him and after Neal brought the error to the judge's attention the defendant spoke for the first and only time in court:Your honor, I feel that I have been convicted of violating an unjust statute. I will continue in the future, as I have in the past, to oppose this law in any way I can. Any other action would be in violation of my ideal of academic freedom — that is, to teach the truth as guaranteed in our constitution, of personal and religious freedom.

I think the fine is unjust (World's Most Famous Court Trial 313).

Appeal to Supreme Court of Tennessee

Scopes' lawyers appealed, challenging the conviction on several grounds.First, they argued that the statute was overly vague because it prohibited the teaching of "evolution," a very broad term.

The court rejected that argument, holding:Evolution, like prohibition, is a broad term. In recent bickering, however, evolution has been understood to mean the theory which holds that man has developed from some pre-existing lower type. This is the popular significance of evolution, just as the popular significance of prohibition is prohibition of the traffic in intoxicating liquors. It was in that sense that evolution was used in this act. It is in this sense that the word will be used in this opinion, unless the context otherwise indicates.

It is only to the theory of the evolution of man from a lower type that the act before us was intended to apply, and much of the discussion we have heard is beside this case.

Second, the lawyers argued that the statute violated Scopes' constitutional right to free speech because it prohibited him from teaching evolution. The court rejected this argument, holding that the state was permitted to regulate his speech as an employee of the state:He was an employee of the state of Tennessee or of a municipal agency of the state. He was under contract with the state to work in an institution of the state. He had no right or privilege to serve the state except upon such terms as the state prescribed. His liberty, his privilege, his immunity to teach and proclaim the theory of evolution, elsewhere than in the service of the state, was in no wise touched by this law.

Third, it was argued that the terms of the Butler Act violated the Tennessee State Constitution which provided that "It shall be the duty of the General Assembly in all future periods of this government, to cherish literature and science." The argument was that the theory of the descent of man from a lower order of animals was now established by the preponderance of scientific thought, and that the prohibition of the teaching of such theory was a violation of the legislative duty to cherish science.

The court rejected this argument (Scopes v. State, 154 Tenn. 105, 1927), holding that the determination of what laws cherished science was an issue for the legislature, not the judiciary:The courts cannot sit in judgment on such acts of the Legislature or its agents and determine whether or not the omission or addition of a particular course of study tends "to cherish science."

Fourth, the defense lawyers argued that the statute violated the provisions of the Tennessee Constitution that prohibited the establishment of a state religion. The Religious Preference provisions of the Tennessee Constitution (section 3 of article 1) stated that "that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship."[23]

Writing for the court, Chief Justice Grafton Green rejected this argument, holding that the Tennessee Religious Preference clause was designed to prevent the establishment of a state religion as had been the experience in England and Scotland at the writing of the Constitution, and held:We are not able to see how the prohibition of teaching the theory that man has descended from a lower order of animals gives preference to any religious establishment or mode of worship. So far as we know, there is no religious establishment or organized body that has in its creed or confession of faith any article denying or affirming such a theory.

So far as we know, the denial or affirmation of such a theory does not enter into any recognized mode of worship. Since this cause has been pending in this court, we have been favored, in addition to briefs of counsel and various amici curiae, with a multitude of resolutions, addresses, and communications from scientific bodies, religious factions, and individuals giving us the benefit of their views upon the theory of evolution.

Examination of these contributions indicates that Protestants, Catholics, and Jews are divided among themselves in their beliefs, and that there is no unanimity among the members of any religious establishment as to this subject.

Belief or unbelief in the theory of evolution is no more a characteristic of any religious establishment or mode of worship than is belief or unbelief in the wisdom of the prohibition laws.

It would appear that members of the same churches quite generally disagree as to these things.Further, the court held that while the statute forbade the teaching of evolution (as the court had defined it), it did not require the teaching of any other doctrine, so that it did not benefit any one religious doctrine or sect over the others.

Nevertheless, having found the statute to be constitutional, the court set aside the conviction on appeal because of a legal technicality: the jury should have decided the fine, not the judge, since under the state constitution, Tennessee judges could not at that time set fines above $50, and the Butler Act specified a minimum fine of $100. [24]

Justice Green added a totally unexpected recommendation:The court is informed that the plaintiff in error is no longer in the service of the state. We see nothing to be gained by prolonging the life of this bizarre case.

On the contrary, we think that the peace and dignity of the state, which all criminal prosecutions are brought to redress, will be the better conserved by the entry of a nolle prosequi herein.

Such a course is suggested to the Attorney General.Attorney General L.D. Smith immediately announced that he would not seek a retrial, while Scopes' lawyers offered angry comments on the stunning decision.[25]

In 1968, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Epperson v. Arkansas 393 U.S. 97 (1968) that such bans contravene the Establishment Clause because their primary purpose is religious.[3] Tennessee had repealed the Butler Act the previous year.

The Aftermath of The Trial

Image of science versus religion

The trial revealed a growing chasm in American Christianity and two ways of finding truth, one "biblical" and one "scientific." Liberals saw a division between educated, tolerant Christians and narrow-minded, tribal, obscurantist Christians. However in totality, the majority of Christians denounced evolution.[26]

Edwards (2000) contradicts the conventional view that in the wake of the Scopes trial a humiliated fundamentalism retreated into the political and cultural background, a viewpoint evidenced in the movie "Inherit the Wind" and the majority of contemporary historical accounts.

Rather, the cause of fundamentalism's retreat was the death of its leader, Bryan.

Most fundamentalists saw the trial as a victory and not a defeat, but Bryan's death soon after created a leadership void that no other fundamentalist leader could fill.

Bryan, unlike the other leaders, brought name recognition, respectability, and the ability to forge a broad-based coalition of fundamentalist and mainline religious groups to argue for the antievolutionist position.[27]

Anti-evolution movement

The trial escalated the political and legal struggles between strict creationists and evolutionists to influence the extent to which evolution would be taught as science in Arizona and California schools.

Before the Dayton trial only the South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Kentucky legislatures had dealt with anti-evolution laws or riders to educational appropriations bills.

After Scopes was convicted, creationists throughout the United States sought similar antievolution laws for their states.

By 1927, there were 13 states, both in the North and South, that considered some form of anti-evolution law.

At least 41 bills or resolutions were introduced into the state legislatures, with some states facing the issue repeatedly. While most of these efforts were rejected, both Mississippi and Arkansas put anti-evolution laws on the books after the Scopes trial that would outlive the Butler Act.[28]

The Butler Act ended up serving as a model for the anti-evolution crusade, and the ACLU could not find a teacher to volunteer for another test case.

In the Southwest, crusaders included ministers R. S. Beal and Aubrey L. Moore in Arizona and members of the Creation Research Society in California.

They sought to ban evolution as a topic for study or, at least, relegate it to the status of unproven theory perhaps taught alongside the biblical version of creation.

Educators, scientists, and other distinguished laymen favored evolution.

This struggle occurred later in the Southwest than elsewhere and persisted through the Sputnik era after 1957, which inspired increased trust in science in general and evolution in particular.[29]

The opponents of evolution made a transition from the antievolution crusade of the 1920s to the creation science movement of the 1960s.

Despite some similarities between these two causes, the creation science movement represented a shift from religious to pseudo-scientific objections to Darwin's theory.

Creation science also differed in terms of popular leadership, rhetorical tone, and sectional focus.

It lacked a prestigious leader like Bryan, utilized pseudo-scientific rather than religious rhetoric, and was a product of California and Michigan instead of the South.[30]

Teaching of science

The Scopes trial had both short and long term effects in the teaching of science in schools in the United States. Though often upheld as a blow for the fundamentalists in the form of waning public opinion, the victory was not complete. [31]

Though the ACLU had taken on the trial as a cause, in the wake of Scopes’ conviction, they were unable to find any volunteers to take on the Butler law and by 1932, the ACLU gave up. [32]

The anti-evolutionary legislation was not challenged again until 1965 and in the meantime William Jennings Bryans’ cause was taken up by a number of organizations including the Bryan Bible League, the Defenders of the Christian Faith and the Ku Klux Klan. [32]

The immediate effects of the trial are evident in the high school biology texts used in the second half of the 1920’s and the early 1930’s. Of the most widely used textbooks, there is only one which lists evolution in the index and in the wake of the trial, under the pressures of fundamentalist groups, the entry is countered with biblical quotations. [31]

The fundamentalist’s target slowly veered off of evolution in the mid 1930's. As the anti-evolutionist movement died out, biology textbooks began to include the lost evolutionary theory of Darwin. [32]

This also corresponds to the emerging demand that science textbooks be written by scientists rather than educators or education specialists. [31]

In 1958 the National Defence Education Act was passed with the encouragement of many legislators who feared the United States education system was falling behind that of the Soviet Union. The act yielded textbooks, produced in cooperation with the American Institute of Biological Sciences, which stressed the importance of evolution as the unifying principle of biology. [32]

The new educational regime was not unchallenged. The greatest backlash was in Texas where attacks were launched in sermons and in the press. [31]

Complaints were lodged with the State Textbook Commission. However, in addition to federal support, a number of social trends had turned public discussion in favor of Darwin’s theory.

These included increased interest in improving public education, legal precedents separating religion and public education, and continued urbanization in the south. This led to a weakening of the backlash in Texas, as well as to the repeal of the Butler Law in Tennessee in 1967.[31]

Publicity and drama


Edward J. Larson, a historian who won the Pulitzer Prize for History for his book Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion, notes "Like so many archetypal American events, the trial itself
began as a publicity stunt."[33]

The press coverage of the "monkey" Trial was overwhelming.[34]

The front pages of newspapers like the New York Times were dominated by the case for days. More than 200 newspaper reporters from all parts of the country and two from London were in Dayton.[35]

Twenty-two telegraphers sent out 165,000 words per day on the trial over thousands of miles of telegraph wires hung for the purpose;[35] more words were transmitted to Britain about the Scopes trial than for any previous American event.[35]

Trained chimpanzees performed on the courthouse lawn.[35] Chicago's WGN radio station broadcast the trial with announcer Quin Ryan via clear-channel broadcasts for the first on-the-scene coverage of a criminal trial.

Two movie cameramen had their film flown out daily in a small plane from a specially prepared airstrip. H.L. Mencken's trial reports were heavily slanted against the prosecution and the jury which was "unanimously hot for Genesis." He mocked the town's inhabitants as "yokels" and "morons." He called Bryan a "buffoon" and his speeches "theologic bilge."

In contrast, he called the defense "eloquent" and "magnificent." Some creationists have claimed that Mencken's trial reports turned public opinion against creationism..[36]

The media's portrayal of Darrow's cross-examination of Bryan, and the play and movie Inherit the Wind, caused millions of Americans to ridicule religious-based opposition to the theory of evolution.[37]

The trial also brought publicity to the town of Dayton, Tennessee, and was hatched as a publicity stunt.[34]

From The Salem Republican, June 11, 1925:"The whole matter has assumed the portion of Dayton and her merchants endeavoring to secure a large amount of notoriety and publicity with an open question as whether Scopes is a party to the plot or not."

Court houseAt the site of the trial, the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton, a $1-million restoration project was completed in 1979 which restored the second-floor courtroom to its original appearance during the Scopes trial. A museum of trial events in its basement contains such memorabilia as the microphone used to broadcast the trial, trial records, photographs, and an audiovisual history. Every July local people re-enact key moments in the courtroom.[38] the Tennessee Historical Commission:[WS]


Dennehy will portray Clarence Darrow and Thompson will play William Jennings Bryan in an original screenplay (not a remake of the Spencer Tracy classic) about the famous courthouse battle over evolution.[fj]


Clarence Seward Darrow (April 18, 1857 – March 13, 1938) was an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending teenage thrill killers Leopold and Loeb in their trial for murdering 14-year-old Bobby Franks (1924) and defending John T. Scopes in the Scopes Trial (1925), in which he opposed William Jennings Bryan (statesman, noted orator, and three time presidential candidate for the Democratic Party).

Called a "sophisticated country lawyer",[1] he remains notable for his wit and agnosticism that marked him as one of the most famous American lawyers and civil libertarians.[2]


Clarence Darrow was the son of Amirus Darrow and Emily (Eddy) Darrow.

Clarence's father was an ardent abolitionist and Emily Darrow an early supporter of female suffrage and a women's rights advocate. He attended Allegheny College and the University of Michigan Law School and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1878.

The Clarence Darrow Octagon House, which was his childhood home, contains a memorial to him.[edit] From corporate lawyer to labor lawyerDarrow began his career as a lawyer in Youngstown, Ohio, where he was first admitted to the profession by Judge Alfred W. Mackey.

He subsequently moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he soon became a corporate lawyer for the railroad company.[3]

His next move was to "cross the tracks," when he switched sides to represent Eugene V. Debs, the leader of the American Railway Union in the Pullman Strike of 1894. Darrow had conscientiously resigned his corporate position in order to represent Debs, making a substantial financial sacrifice in order to do this.

Also in 1895, Darrow took on the first murder case of his career, defending Patrick Eugene Prendergast, the "mentally deranged drifter" who had confessed to murdering Chicago mayor Carter H. Harrison, Sr.[4]

Darrow's "insanity defense" failed and Prendergast was executed that same year.

Among fifty defenses in murder cases throughout the whole of Darrow's career, the Prendergast case would prove to be the only one resulting in an execution.[4]

His next notable case was the defense of the McNamara brothers, who were charged with dynamiting the Los Angeles Times building during the bitter struggle over the open shop in Southern California (21 employees had died as a result of the explosion). Darrow perceived right away that the McNamara brothers were guilty, but he planned to celebrate them as heroes in the struggle of the workers against oppression and to have them acquitted by bribed[who?] jurors.

When Darrow was seen standing on a street corner within view from the place where an associate of his handed over money to one of the jurors of the case, he was forced to convince them to change their plea to guilty and was able to plea bargain prison sentences instead of the death penalty.

After representing the McNamaras, Darrow was charged with two counts of attempting to bribe jurors, although the brothers' guilty pleas meant that the jurors played no part in the case. After two very lengthy trials - in the first, defended by Earl Rogers, he was acquitted; in the second he struggled, defending himself, for a hung jury - he agreed never to practice law again in California and not be retried on the advice and help of his close friend John Jacobs in Greeley, Colorado.[5]

[edit] From labor lawyer to criminal lawyerA further consequence of the bribery charges was that the labor unions dropped Darrow from their list of preferred attorneys. This effectively put Darrow out of business as a labor lawyer, and he switched to acting in criminal cases.Throughout his career, Darrow devoted himself to opposing the death penalty, which he felt to be in conflict with humanitarian progress.

In more than 100 cases, Darrow only lost one murder case in Chicago. He became renowned for moving juries and even judges to tears with his eloquence. Darrow had a keen intellect often hidden by his rumpled, unassuming appearance.A July 23, 1915 article in the Chicago Tribune describes Darrow's effort on behalf of J.H. Fox — an Evanston, Illinois landlord — to have Mary S. Brazelton committed to an insane asylum against the wishes of her family. Fox alleged that Brazelton owed him rent money although other residents of Fox's boarding house testified to her sanity.

Leopold and Loeb

In 1924, Darrow took on the case of Leopold and Loeb, the teenage sons of two wealthy Chicago families, who were accused of kidnapping and killing Bobby Franks, a 14-year-old boy, to see what it would be like to commit the ultimate crime.

Darrow convinced them to plead guilty and then argued for his clients to receive life in prison rather than the death penalty. Darrow based his argument on the claim that his clients weren't completely responsible for their actions, but were the products of the environment they grew up in, and that they could not be held responsible for basing their desire for murder in the proto-existentialist philosophy of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. In the end, the judge sentenced Leopold and Loeb to life in prison rather than sending them to be executed.During the Leopold-Loeb trial, when Darrow was believed to have accepted "a million-dollar fee", many ordinary Americans were angered at his apparent betrayal, thinking that he had "sold-out."

He issued a public statement stating that there would be no large legal fees and that his fees would be determined by a committee composed of officers from the Chicago Bar Association. After trial, Darrow suggested $200,000 would be reasonable.

After lengthy negotiations with the defendant's families, he ended up getting $70,000 in gross fees, which, after expenses and taxes, netted Darrow $30,000.[6]

The Scopes Trial

In 1925, Darrow defended John T. Scopes in the Scopes v. State of Tennessee trial of 1925. It has often been called the "Scopes-Monkey Trial," a title popularized by author and journalist H.L. Mencken.

This pitted Darrow against William Jennings Bryan in an American court case that tested the Butler Act which had passed on March 21, 1925.

The act forbade the teaching, in any state-funded educational establishment in Tennessee, of "any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals."

The law made it illegal for public school teachers in Tennessee to teach that man evolved from lower organisms, but the law was sometimes interpreted as meaning that the law forbade the teaching of any aspect of the theory of evolution.

The law did not prohibit the teaching of evolution of any other species of plant or animal.

During the trial, Darrow requested that Bryan be called to the stand as an expert witness on the Bible. Over the other prosecutor's objection, Bryan agreed. Many believe that the following exchange caused the trial to turn against Bryan and for Darrow:
Darrow: "You have given considerable study to the Bible, haven't you, Mr. Bryan?"
Bryan: "Yes, sir; I have tried to ... But, of course, I have studied it more as I have become older than when I was a boy."
Darrow: "Do you claim then that everything in the Bible should be literally interpreted?"
Bryan: "I believe that everything in the Bible should be accepted as it is given there; some of the Bible is given illustratively. For instance: "Ye are the salt of the earth." I would not insist that man was actually salt, or that he had flesh of salt, but it is used in the sense of salt as saving God's people."

After about two hours, Judge Raulston cut the questioning short, and on the following morning ordered that the whole session (which in any case the jury had not witnessed) be expunged from the record, ruling that the testimony had no bearing on whether Scopes was guilty of teaching evolution.

Scopes was found guilty and ordered to pay the minimum fine of $100.

A year later, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Dayton court on a technicality—not the constitutional grounds as Darrow had hoped. According to the court, the fine should have been set by the jury, not Raulston.

Rather than send the case back for further action, however, the Tennessee Supreme Court dismissed the case. The court commented, "Nothing is to be gained by prolonging the life of this bizarre case."

Ossian Sweet

A white mob in Detroit attempted to drive a black family out of the home they had purchased in a white neighborhood.

In the struggle, a white man was killed, and the eleven blacks in the house were arrested and charged with murder.

Dr. Ossian Sweet and three members of his family were brought to trial and after an initial deadlock, Darrow argued to the all-white jury: "I insist that there is nothing but prejudice in this case; that if it was reversed and eleven white men had shot and killed a black while protecting their home and their lives against a mob of blacks, nobody would have dreamed of having them indicted.

They would have been given medals instead..." Following the mistrial of the 11, it was agreed that each of them would be tried individually.

Darrow alongside Thomas Chawke would first defend Ossian's brother Henry, who had confessed to firing the shot on Garland Street. Henry was found not guilty on grounds of self defense and the prosecution determined to drop the charges on the remaining 10. The trials were presided over by the Honorable Frank Murphy, who went on to become Governor of Michigan and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.[7]

Darrow's final closing statement, which lasted over 7 hours, is seen as a landmark in the Civil Rights movement, and was included in the book 'Speeches that Changed the World' (given the name 'I Believe in the Law of Love'). Uniquely, the two closing arguments of Clarence Darrow, from the first and second trials, are available, and show how he learned from the first trial and reshaped his remarks.[8]

Massie Trial

Aged 68, Darrow had already announced his retirement before he volunteered to take part in the Scopes Trial, apart from the Sweet trial later that same year. After those final trials, Darrow would retire from full-time practice, emerging only occasionally to undertake cases such as the 1932 Massie Trial in Hawaii.

In his last headline making case, the Massie Trial, Darrow—devastated by the Great Depression—was hired to come to the defense of Grace Hubbard Fortescue, Edward J. Lord, Deacon Jones and Thomas Massie, Fortescue's son-in-law, accused of murdering Joseph Kahahawai. Kahahawai had been accused, along with four other men, of raping and beating Thalia Massie, Thomas' wife and Fortescue's daughter; the resulting 1931 case ended in a hung jury (though the charges were later dropped and repeated investigation has shown them to be innocent).

Enraged, Fortescue and Massie then orchestrated the murder of Kahahawai in order to extract a confession and were caught by police officers while transporting his dead body.Darrow entered the racially charged atmosphere as the defense lawyer for the murderers. Darrow reconstructed the case as a justified honor killing. Considered by the New York Times to be one of Darrow's three most compelling trials (along with the Scopes Trial and the Leopold and Loeb case); the nation was captivated by the case and most of white America strongly supported the honor killing defense.

In fact, the final defense arguments were transmitted to the mainland through a special radio hook-up. In the end the jury came back with a unanimous verdict of guilty, but on the lesser crime of manslaughter.[9][edit] Books by DarrowA volume of Darrow's boyhood Reminiscences, entitled "Farmington," was published in Chicago in 1903 by McClurg and Company.

Darrow shared offices with Edgar Lee Masters, who achieved more fame for his poetry, in particular the Spoon River Anthology, than for his advocacy.

Darrow also took Eugene V. Debs as a partner, following his release from prison.The papers of Clarence Darrow are located at the Library of Congress. The Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center of the University of Minnesota Law School has the largest collection of letters to and from Darrow, though they remain closed to the public.[edit] List of booksPersian Pearl The Story of My Life Farmington Resist Not Evil


William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was the Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States in 1896, 1900 and 1908, a lawyer, and the 41st United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson.

One of the most popular speakers in American history, he was noted for a deep, commanding voice.

Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a supporter of popular democracy, a critic of banks and railroads, a leader of the silverite movement in the 1890s, a leading figure in the Democratic Party, a peace advocate, a prohibitionist, an opponent of Darwinism, and one of the most prominent leaders of populism in the late 19th - and early 20th century.

Because of his faith in the goodness and rightness of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner."In the intensely fought 1896 and 1900 elections, he was defeated by William McKinley but retained control of the Democratic Party.

For presidential candidates, Bryan invented the national stumping tour.

In his three presidential bids, he promoted Free Silver in 1896, anti-imperialism in 1900, and trust-busting in 1908, calling on Democrats, in cases where corporations are protected, to abandon states' rights, to fight the trusts and big banks, and embrace populist ideas.

President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Secretary of State in 1913, but Wilson's handling of the Lusitania crisis in 1915 caused Bryan to resign in protest.He was a strong supporter of Prohibition in the 1920s, and energetically attacked Darwinism and evolution, most famously at the Scopes Trial in 1925. Five days after winning the case but getting bad press, he died in his sleep.[1]

Background and early career: 1860–1896The son of Silas and Mariah Elizabeth Bryan, Bryan was born in the Little Egypt region of southern Illinois on March 19, 1860.Bryan's mother was born of English heritage.[2]

Mary Bryan joined the Salem Baptists in 1872, so Bryan attended Methodist services on Sunday morning, and in the afternoon, Baptist services. At this point, William began spending his Sunday afternoons at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. At age 14 in 1874, Bryan attended a revival, was baptized, and joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

In later life, Bryan said the day of his baptism was the most important day in his life, but, at the time it caused little change in his daily routine. He left the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and joined the larger Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. His father Silas was born of Scots-Irish and English stock in St.Croix.[3]

As a Jacksonian Democrat, Silas won election as a Democrat to the Illinois State Senate. The year of Bryan's birth, his father lost his seat, but shortly won election as a state circuit judge.The family moved to a 520-acre (210.4 ha) farm north of Salem in 1866, living in a ten-room house that was the envy of Marion County.Until age ten, Bryan was home-schooled, finding in the Bible and McGuffey Readers support for his views that gambling and liquor were evil and sinful.

To attend Whipple Academy, which was attached to Illinois College, 14-year-old Bryan was sent to Jacksonville in 1874.Following high school, he entered Illinois College and studied classics, graduating as valedictorian in 1881. During his time at Illinois College, Bryan was a member of the Sigma Pi literary society, and later initiated the Nebraska Chapter of the Acacia Fraternity.[4] To study law at Union Law College (which later became Northwestern University School of Law), he moved to Chicago. While preparing for the bar exam, he taught high school. While teaching, he eventually married pupil Mary Elizabeth Baird in 1884.

They settled in Salem, Illinois, a town with a population of two thousand.Mary became a lawyer and collaborated with him on all his speeches and writings. He practiced law in Jacksonville (1883–87), then moved to the boom city of Lincoln, Nebraska.In the Democratic landslide of 1890, Bryan was elected to Congress and reelected by 140 votes in 1892.

He ran for the Senate in 1894, but was overwhelmed in the Republican landslide.In Bryan's first years in Lincoln, he traveled to Valentine, Nebraska on business where he met an aspiring young cattleman named James Dahlman. Over the next forty years they remained friends, with Dahlman carrying Nebraska for Bryan twice while he was state Democratic Party chairman. Even when Dahlman became closely associated with Omaha's vice elements, including the breweries, as the city's eight-term mayor, he and Bryan maintained a collegial relationship.[5]

First campaign for the White House: 1896

In 1893, the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act resulted in the collapse of the silver market. Bryan stumped the country for free silver in 1894-96, building a grass roots reputation as a powerful champion of the cause.At the 1896 Democratic National Convention, Bryan lambasted Eastern monied classes for supporting the gold standard at the expense of the average worker. His "Cross of Gold" speech made him a sensational new face in the Democratic party.

The Bourbon Democrats who supported incumbent conservative President Grover Cleveland were defeated and the party's agrarian and silver factions voted for Bryan, giving him the nomination of the Democratic Party. At the age of 36, Bryan remains the youngest presidential nominee of a major party in American history.In addition, Bryan formally received the nominations of the Populist Party and the Silver Republican Party. Without crossing party lines, voters from any party could vote for him.[6]

In 1896 the Populists rejected Bryan's Democratic running mate Maine banker Arthur Sewall and named as his running mate Georgia Representative Thomas E. Watson. People could vote for Bryan and Sewell or for Bryan and Watson

1896 election

The Republicans nominated William McKinley on a platform calling for prosperity for everyone through industrial growth, high tariffs and sound money (gold). Republicans ridiculed Bryan as a Populist. However, "Bryan's reform program was so similar to that of the Populists that he has often been mistaken for a Populist, but he remained a staunch Democrat throughout the Populist period."[7]

This is because, despite having used many of the Populist ideas, Bryan kept all of his Democratic views while simply adding the Populist views to gain their votes.Bryan demanded Bimetallism and "Free Silver" at a ratio of 16:1. Most leading Democratic newspapers rejected his candidacy. However, despite this rejection by the newspapers, Bryan won the Democratic vote.Republicans discovered in August that Bryan was solidly ahead in the South and West, but far behind in the Northeast. He appeared to be ahead in the Midwest, so the Republicans concentrated their efforts there. They said Bryan was a madman—a religious fanatic surrounded by anarchists—who would wreck the economy.[8]

By late September, the Republicans felt they were ahead in the decisive Midwest and began emphasizing that McKinley would bring prosperity to all Americans. McKinley scored solid gains among the middle classes, factory and railroad workers, prosperous farmers and among the German Americans who rejected free silver.

Bryan gave 500 speeches in 27 states. McKinley won by a margin of 271 to 176 in the electoral college.Bryan volunteered for combat in the Spanish-American War in 1898, arguing, "Universal peace cannot come until justice is enthroned throughout the world.

Until the right has triumphed in every land and love reigns in every heart, government must, as a last resort, appeal to force." Bryan became colonel of a Nebraska militia regiment; he spent the war in Florida and never saw combat. After the war, Bryan opposed the annexation of the Philippines (though he did support the Treaty of Paris that ended the war).

Bryan gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1900 called "The Paralyzing Influence of Imperialism." In this speech he discusses his views against the annexation of the Philippines, asking what gives the United States the right to overpower people of another country just for a military base. He mentions, at the beginning of the speech, that the United States should not try to be like the Imperialistic British and other European countries.

Presidential election of 1900

He ran as an anti-imperialist, finding himself in alliance with Andrew Carnegie and other millionaires. Republicans mocked Bryan as indecisive, or a coward, a point spoofed by the Bryan-like Cowardly Lion in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in spring 1900.[9]

Bryan combined anti-imperialism with free silver, saying:The nation is of age and it can do what it pleases; it can spurn the traditions of the past; it can repudiate the principles upon which the nation rests; it can employ force instead of reason; it can substitute might for right; it can conquer weaker people; it can exploit their lands, appropriate their property and kill their people; but it cannot repeal the moral law or escape the punishment decreed for the violation of human rights.[10]

In a typical day he gave four hourlong speeches and shorter talks that added up to six hours of speaking. At an average rate of 175 words a minute, he turned out 63,000 words, enough to fill 52 columns of a newspaper. In Wisconsin, he once made 12 speeches in 15 hours.[11]

Before Bryan held any political office there remained a need for income; public speaking would not become any less of a passion as it also became a source of income for Bryan and his family. Bryan held an estate in Nebraska as well as a 240-acre (0.97 km2) ranch[ in Texas, of which both were paid for with earnings from publications of The Commoner as well as speaking fees. Bryan's rates were noted as $500.00 per speech in addition to a percentage of the ticket sales profit. He held his base in the South, but lost part of the West as McKinley retained the Northeast and Midwest and rolled up a landslide. McKinley won the electoral college with a count of 292 votes compared to Bryan's 155. This means that Bryan actually lost more states than he had in 1896.

Presidential election of 1908

The 1908 election was Bryan’s third attempt at gaining the presidency. The Democrats nominated Bryan by wide margin at the Democratic convention held in Denver and decided on John Kern, a politician from Indiana, to be his running mate. Bryan ran against the Republicans, and Theodore Roosevelt’s hand-picked nominee William Howard Taft.

The GOP ran its campaign on the benefits of the Roosevelt administration, creation of a postal service, continuation of “Sound Currency”, citizenship for Puerto Rico inhabitants, regulation on big business, and tariff revision in protectionist mode.[12]

Bryan and the Democrats’ platform denounced the wrongs done by the Republican party: Congress spent too much money; Roosevelt hand picked Taft in undemocratic fashion; Republicans wanted centralization; Republicans favored monopolies. In response, Bryan unleashed the slogan, “Shall the People Rule?”

In a time of peace and prosperity, and Republican trust-busting, Bryan fared poorly among the voters. He lost the electoral collage 321 to 162, his worst defeat yet, and did not carry any of the states in the Northeast.

Chautauqua circuit: 1900–1912

For the next 25 years, Bryan was the most popular Chautauqua speaker, delivering thousands of paid speeches in towns across the land, even while serving as secretary of state. He mostly spoke about religion but covered a wide variety of topics.[13]

His most popular lecture (and his personal favorite) was a lecture entitled "The Prince of Peace" which stressed that religion was the solid foundation of morality, and individual and group morality was the foundation for peace and equality. Another famous lecture from this period, "The Value of an Ideal", was a stirring call to public service.

In 1905 speech, Bryan warned: "The Darwinian theory represents man reaching his present perfection by the operation of the law of hate — the merciless law by which the strong crowd out and kill off the weak. If this is the law of our development then, if there is any logic that can bind the human mind, we shall turn backward to the beast in proportion as we substitute the law of love. I choose to believe that love rather than hatred is the law of development."

Bryan threw himself into the work of the Social Gospel. Bryan served on organizations containing a large number of theological liberals: he sat on the temperance committee of the Federal Council of Churches and on the general committee of the short-lived Interchurch World Movement.Bryan founded a weekly magazine, The Commoner, calling on Democrats to dissolve the trusts, regulate the railroads more tightly and support the Progressive Movement.

He regarded prohibition as a "local" issue and did not endorse it until 1910. In London in 1906, he presented a plan to the Inter-Parliamentary Peace Conference for arbitration of disputes that he hoped would avert warfare. He tentatively called for nationalization of the railroads, then backtracked and called only for more regulation. His party nominated Bourbon Democrat Alton B. Parker in 1904, who lost to Roosevelt.

For two years following this defeat, Bryan would pursue his public speaking ventures on an international stage. From 1904-1906, Bryan travelled globally; spreading the Word of God, sightseeing with his wife Mary, lecturing, and all while escaping the political upheaval in Washington, D.C.Bryan's speech to the students of Washington and Lee University began the Washington & Lee Mock Convention.Secretary of State: 1913–1915For supporting Woodrow Wilson for the presidency in 1912, he was appointed as Secretary of State.

However, Wilson only nominally consulted Bryan and made all the major foreign policy decisions. Bryan negotiated 28 treaties that promised arbitration of disputes before war broke out between the signatory countries and the United States. Bryan had made several attempts to negotiate a treaty with Germany but ultimately was never able to succeed.

In the civil war in Mexico in 1914, Bryan supported American military intervention.Wilson's desire to enter the war in Europe brought him to odds with Bryan and eventually led to Bryan's resignation in June 1915 over Wilson's demands for "strict accountability for any infringement of [American] rights, intentional or incidental."

Prohibition battles: 1916–1925

Despite their differences, Bryan campaigned as a private citizen for Wilson's reelection in 1916. When war was declared in April 1917, Bryan wrote Wilson, "Believing it to be the duty of the citizen to bear his part of the burden of war and his share of the peril, I hereby tender my services to the Government. Please enroll me as a private whenever I am needed and assign me to any work that I can do."[14]

Wilson, however, did not allow 57-year-old Bryan to rejoin the military and did not offer him any wartime role.Bryan campaigned for the Constitutional amendments on prohibition and women's suffrage. Partly to avoid Nebraska ethnics such as the German-Americans who were "wet" and opposed to prohibition,[15]

Bryan moved to Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida. Bryan filled lucrative speaking engagements, including playing the part of spokesman for George E. Merrick's new planned community Coral Gables, addressing large crowds across a Venetian pool for an annual salary of over $100,000.[16]

He was also extremely active in Christian organizations. Bryan refused to support the party's presidential nominee James M. Cox in 1920, because he deemed Cox not dry enough. As one biographer explains,“ Bryan epitomized the prohibitionist viewpoint: Protestant and nativist, hostile to the corporation and the evils of urban civilization, devoted to personal regeneration and the social gospel, he sincerely believed that prohibition would contribute to the physical health and moral improvement of the individual, stimulate civic progress, and end the notorious abuses connected with the liquor traffic. Hence he became interested when its devotees in Nebraska viewed direct legislation as a means of obtaining antisaloon laws.[17]

Bryan's national campaigning helped Congress pass the 18th Amendment in 1918, which shut down all saloons as of 1920. But while prohibition was in effect, Bryan did not work to secure better enforcement. He opposed a highly controversial resolution at the 1924 convention condemning the Ku Klux Klan, expecting it would soon fold. Bryan disliked the KKK but never publicly attacked it.[18]

For the nomination in 1924, he opposed the wet Al Smith; Bryan's brother, Nebraska Governor Charles W. Bryan, was put on the ticket with John W. Davis as candidate for vice president to keep the Bryanites in line. Bryan was very close to his younger brother Charles and endorsed him for the vice presidency.

Bryan was the chief proponent of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, the precursor to our modern War on Drugs. However, he argued for the act's passage more as an international obligation than on moral grounds.[19]

Fighting the theory of evolution: 1918–1925

Before World War I, Bryan believed moral progress could achieve equality at home and, in the international field, peace between all the world's nations.Bryan opposed Darwinism for two reasons. First he believed that what he considered a materialistic account of the descent of man through evolution undermined the Bible.

Second, he saw neo-Darwinism or Social Darwinism as a great evil force in the world promoting hatreds and conflicts, especially the World War.[20]In his famous Chautauqua lecture, "The Prince of Peace," Bryan warned the theory of evolution could undermine the foundations of morality.

However, he concluded, "While I do not accept the Darwinian theory I shall not quarrel with you about it."One book Bryan read at this time convinced him that neo-Darwinism (emphasizing the struggle of the races) had undermined morality in Germany.[21]

Bryan was heavily influenced by Vernon Kellogg's 1917 book, Headquarters Nights: A Record of Conversations and Experiences at the Headquarters of the German Army in Belgium and France, which asserted (on the basis of a conversation with a reserve officer named Professor von Flussen) that German intellectuals were social Darwinists totally committed to might-makes-right.[22]

Bryan also read The Science of Power (1918) by British social theorist Benjamin Kidd, which attributed the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche to German nationalism, materialism, and militarism which in turn was the outworking of the social Darwinian hypothesis.[23]In 1920, Bryan told the World Brotherhood Congress the theory of evolution was "the most paralyzing influence with which civilization has had to deal in the last century" and that Nietzsche, in carrying the theory of evolution to its logical conclusion, "promulgated a philosophy that condemned democracy... denounced Christianity... denied the existence of God, overturned all concepts of morality... and endeavored to substitute the worship of the superhuman for the worship of Jehovah."[24]

By 1921, Bryan saw Darwinism as a major internal threat to the US. The major study which seemed to convince Bryan of this was James H. Leuba's The Belief in God and Immortality, a Psychological, Anthropological and Statistical Study (1916).

In this study, Leuba shows that during four years of college a considerable number of college students lost their faith. Bryan was horrified that the next generation of American leaders might have the degraded sense of morality which he believed had prevailed in Germany and caused the Great War. Bryan then launched an anti-evolution campaign.[25]

The campaign kicked off in October 1921, when Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia invited Bryan to deliver the James Sprunt Lectures. The heart of the lectures was a lecture entitled "The Origin of Man", in which Bryan asked, "what is the role of man in the universe and what is the purpose of man?" For Bryan, the Bible was absolutely central to answering this question, and moral responsibility and the spirit of brotherhood could only rest on belief in God.The Sprunt lectures were published as In His Image, and sold over 100,000 copies, while "The Origin of Man" was published separately as The Menace of the theory of evolution and also sold very well.[26]

Bryan was worried that the theory of evolution was making grounds not only in the universities, but also within the church itself. Many colleges were still church-affiliated at this point. The developments of 19th century liberal theology, and higher criticism in particular, had left the door open to the point where many clergymen were willing to embrace the theory of evolution and claimed that it was not contradictory with their being Christians. Determined to put an end to this, Bryan, who had long served as a Presbyterian elder, decided to run for the position of Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, which was at the time embroiled in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy. (Under Presbyterian church governance, clergy and laymen are equally represented in the General Assembly, and the post of Moderator is open to any member of General Assembly.)

Bryan's main competition in the race was the Rev. Charles F. Wishart, president of the College of Wooster, who had loudly endorsed the teaching of the theory of evolution in the college. Bryan lost to Wishart by a vote of 451-427.

Bryan then failed in a proposal to cut off funds to schools where the theory of evolution was taught. Instead, the General Assembly announced disapproval of materialistic (as opposed to theistic) evolution.According to author Ronald L. Numbers, Bryan was not nearly as much of a fundamentalist as many modern-day creationists, and is more accurately described as a "day-age creationist":William Jennings Bryan, the much misunderstood leader of the post–World War I antievolution crusade, not only read the Mosaic “days” as geological “ages” but allowed for the possibility of organic evolution— so long as it did not impinge on the supernatural origin of Adam and Eve.[27]

Scopes trial: 1925

In addition to his unsuccessful advocacy of banning the teaching of evolution in church-run universities, Bryan also actively lobbied for state laws banning public schools from teaching evolution. The legislatures of several southern states proved more receptive to his anti-evolution message than the Presbyterian Church had, and passed laws banning the teaching of evolution in public schools after Bryan addressed them.

A prominent example was the Butler Act of 1925, making it unlawful in Tennessee to teach that mankind evolved from lower life forms.[28]Bryan's participation in the highly publicized 1925 Scopes Trial served as a capstone to his career. He was asked by William Bell Riley to represent the World Christian Fundamentals Association as counsel at the trial.

During the trial, Bryan took the stand and was questioned by defense lawyer Clarence Darrow about his views on the Bible. He was asked questions with no known answers, such as the population of China 5000 years ago (which the Bible does not address) and if the fish in the sea were drowned in the flood. The questions were designed to force him to admit that he did not know, or to guess wildly, or to add questionable explanations to things of the Bible.The national media reported the trial in great detail, with H. L. Mencken using Bryan as a symbol of Southern ignorance (despite him not being from the South) and anti-intellectualism.

In a more humorous vein, satirist Richard Armour stated in It All Started With Columbus that Darrow had "made a monkey out of" Bryan due to Bryan's ignorance of the Bible.After the judge retroactively expunged all of Bryan's answers to Darrow's questions, both sides closed without summation.

The jury quickly returned a guilty verdict with the defense's encouragement, as their aim was to take the law itself to a higher court in order to challenge its constitutionality. However, the state supreme court reversed the verdict on a technicality and Scopes went free.Biologist Stephen Jay Gould has speculated that Bryan's anti-evolution views were a result of his Populist idealism and suggests that Bryan's fight was really against eugenics.

However, the biographers, especially Michael Kazin, reject that conclusion, based on Bryan's failure during the trial or at any other time to attack eugenics; Kazin notes that there is a section on eugenics in Civic Biology, which was the biology textbook Scopes was in trouble for using.[29][edit] DeathImmediately after the trial, Bryan continued to edit and deliver speeches, traveling hundreds of miles that week.

On Sunday, July 26, 1925, he drove from Chattanooga to Dayton to attend a church service, ate a meal and died in his sleep that afternoon--five days after the Scopes trial ended.

School Superintendent Walter White proposed that Dayton should create a Christian college as a lasting memorial to Bryan; fund raising was successful and Bryan College opened in 1930. Bryan is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His tombstone reads "He kept the Faith." He was survived by among others, a daughter, Congresswoman Ruth Bryan Owen and her son (by artist William Homer Leavitt) John Bryan Leavitt and daughter Ruth Leavitt, as well as two children by her second husband, Royal British Engineers officer Reginald A. Owen.[30][31]

Popular imageMain article: Inherit the Wind (play) Inherit the Wind, a 1955 play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, is a fictionalized account of the Scopes Trial written in response to McCarthyism. A populist thrice-defeated Presidential candidate from Nebraska named Matthew Harrison Brady comes to a small town named Hillsboro in the Deep South to help prosecute a young teacher for teaching Darwin to his schoolchildren. He is opposed by a famous trial lawyer, Henry Drummond, and chastised by a cynical newspaperman as the trial assumes a national profile. Critics of the play charge that it mischaracterizes Bryan and the trial.Bryan also appears as a character in Douglas Moore's 1956 opera, The Ballad of Baby Doe and is briefly mentioned in John Steinbeck's East of Eden. His death is referred to in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. Bryan was also mentioned on the May 23, 2007 episode of The Daily Show when fictional comedian Geoffrey Foxworthington (an early 20th century parody of Jeff Foxworthy) quotes, "If your dream Vice President is William Jennings Bryan, you might be a puzzlewit." In Robert A. Heinlein's Job: A Comedy of Justice, Bryan's unsuccessful or successful runs for the presidency are seen as the 'splitting off' events of the alternate histories through which the protagonists travel.[edit] In political cartoonsThe sheer volume of political propaganda cartoons featuring Bryan is a testament to the amusement and fear he caused among conservatives. Bryan campaigned tirelessly championing the ideas of the farmers and workers, using his skills as a famed orator to ultimately reshape the Democratic Party into a more progressive one. These political cartoons attacked just about every facet of Bryan’s character and policy. They mocked his religious fervor, his campaign slogans, and even his ability to unify parties for a common cause. As Keen puts it, “The art of propaganda is to create a portrait that incarnates the idea of what we wish to destroy so we will react rather than think, and automatically focus our free-floating hostility, indistinct frustrations, and unnamed fears”.[32] Bryan embodied these fears of the Republican Party which is clearly evident in the lengths they went to deface his character in these cartoons.The most notable cartoons are of Bryan illustrated as a snake, representing Populism, swallowing a donkey, symbolizing the Democratic Party. Another notable Bryan cartoon is one where he is standing atop a Bible, marketing the sales of a "crown of thorns" and a "cross of gold" both referencing "The Cross of Gold" his most popular speech. Other cartoons can analyze overall judgments of Bryan’s continuous failure to win the Presidential Election and Bryan can be seen as some sort of puppet or smaller figure in comparison to other presidential elect opponents.[edit] NicknamesBryan had an unusually high number of nicknames given to him in his lifetime; most of these were given by his loyal admirers in the Democratic Party. In addition to his best-known nickname, "The Great Commoner", he was also called "The Silver Knight of the West" (due to his support of the free silver issue) and the "Boy Orator of the Platte" (a reference to his oratorical skills and his home near the Platte River in Nebraska). A derisive nickname given by journalist H.L. Mencken, a prominent Bryan critic, was "The Fundamentalist Pope", a reference to Bryan's devout religious views.


Dean River Productions is the production entity of choice for a talented team of five producers, each with a company of his own, but with a mutual desire to combine forces to work together as a creative powerhouse.

JOHN SCHMIDT - Writer / DirectorA graduate of the UCLA film school, John has worked in the film industry for the last 20 years. As founder and president of Dean River Productions, he has worked on nearly 30 films in various capacities: director, writer, producer, editor, having won numerous awards in the process

JIM SCHMIDTOver the last two decades, Jim Schmidt has accumulated an impressive resume of production experience in the music and film industries.An accomplished musician, Mr. Schmidt began his career in the entertainment industry as a vocalist, touring the world with The Continentals. Performing turned to conducting at age 18, then to studio vocals and record producing. He produced his first arena concert event in Rotterdam, Holland, at the age of 19. He released his first solo recording, Something Right, in 1982, at the age of 21, and has since released two more: Innermission in 1987, and New Frontier in 2000. He played the lead role of Benjamin in the DOVE Award-winning musical Dreamer.

JASON BEHRMANREVEL ENTERTAINMENT was formed in 2000 by partners Jason Behrman, Emily Barclay, and Mellany Behrman. Established as an entertainment production company, Revel develops and produces multi-media properties including commercials, interactive media, electronic press, television series, documentaries, and feature films.Partners Jason Behrman and Mellany Behrman met while studying filmmaking at the University of Oklahoma. Upon graduating, they each began working in the entertainment industry in various capacities, eventually working on such features as: Twister, Mortal Kombat II, Dr. Dolittle, Can’t Hardly Wait, 28 Days, and Charlie’s Angels.The three met in Hollywood and began working together as writing partners. The collaboration between the partners culminated while producing and directing an original interactive series “My Life Sucks” for, Dreamworks/Imagine’s high profile but un-launched internet company. At this time they decided to set up their own full-service production company, which provides all-inclusive high production value product in a cost effective manner.Dave RossDave RossEducationBachelor of Science DegreeBusiness Administration, 1979San Diego State UniversityGraduate Study - Film & TelevisionSan Diego State University 1982FilmographyDean River Productions, Inc. - Chief Operating OfficerThe Ultimate Gift – Feature Film 2006 – Executive ProducerStroke Of Genius – Feature Film 2004 – Executive ProducerHermie & Wormie I - VII - Animated Videos 2002/03/04/05 – Executive ProducerThe Climb - Feature Film 2002 - Executive ProducerMountain of Fire: The Search for the True Mt. Sinai - Video Documentary 2002 - Executive ProducerLegend Of The Candy Cane - Animated TV Special 2001 - Executive ProducerRoad To Redemption - Feature Film 2001 - Executive ProducerOne Life At A Time - Music Video 2000 - Executive ProducerSomething To Sing About – Made For TV Movie 2000 - Executive ProducerA Vow to Cherish – Made For TV Movie 1999 - Executive ProducerIn DevelopmentMountain Of Fire – Feature Film 2007 – Executive ProducerMulligans – Feature Film – Executive ProducerNames have not been announced yet for the film's other two major roles, including an ambitious journalist to be played by a young actor whose name should be familiar to twenty-somethings, said line producer Kevin Reidy of Dean River Productions.[fj]20 DAY SHOOTDuring the 20-day shoot, more than two dozen 50-foot trucks will fill the Village parking lots and fields to house equipment, wardrobe and personal needs for 150 cast and crew.[fj]KEVIN REIDY"We're like gypsies setting up our tents for a few weeks and then we leave. In the meantime we're the world's largest mobile home park," said Reidy, laughing.Seeing famous faces around town is just the tinsel on Flint's growing role as a filmmaking destination. The real gold is the economic and social impact on everything from local eateries and hotels to lumber yards, grocery stores and antique shops.[fj]

TOM HINES FILM HISTORY DIRECTORDave Gillie of Gillie's Coney Island has already named a banana chocolate milk shake the Monkey Malt, after learning the film's history from director Tom Hines, who's been using the restaurant as a lunchtime office.[fj]

GILLIES CONEY ISLAND"He comes in with maybe half a dozen people coming in and out, running videos on their laptops. I had no idea what it was all about at first until he introduced himself," said Gillie, chuckling. "They're really nice people so I'm looking forward to seeing more of them as things go along.[fj]

GILLIE PHOTO OPS"I'm trying to think of some pranks we can do to tie in, like maybe put some monkey tails on the waitresses and monkey masks on the cashiers. And I'll be keeping my camera handy in case somebody famous comes in."[fj]

FILM BUDGETThe film's $4.1-million budget might be small by Hollywood standards, but nearly a quarter of it will go directly into the pockets of businesses right here in Flint and southeast Michigan in less than eight weeks' time -- and that's just for the most obvious, basic expenses.[fj]

RED INK STUDIODean River Productions is setting up shop inside the old Red Ink Studios next to the Flint Farmers' Market.[fj]

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESSBesides renting the vacant office and warehouse space, Reidy expects to spend more than $320,000 to house about 35 cast and crew members coming in from out of town.The Holiday Inn Express on Longway Boulevard next door is serving as the first stop for arriving crew members, some of whom will stay there throughout the production while others are renting homes and apartments in Flint and nearby communities.[fj]"The impact for us is huge, but what a lot of people don't realize is that's also money going right to Flint's fire and police departments through the city taxes paid by our hotel," said Rose Seaman, regional director of sales at the Holiday Inn Express. "Plus we're sending them downtown to all the new restaurants there so we're helping spread it out even more."[fj]

ECONOMIC MULTIPLIERAbout $150,000 is paying for lumber and other set construction materials, and doesn't include wages for more than a dozen skilled union craftsmen.[fj]"Not only does it bring in a paycheck for us, we turn around and spend it in the community for our own needs," said Bill Hinderer, business manager of Local 201 of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, which has about 25 members in the Flint area skilled in stage craft including electricians to carpenters.[FJ]

A huge section of the empty Red Ink warehouse is already lined with antiques culled from shops all around the area -- old wooden chairs and tables, brass fans and table lamps, telephones and filing cabinets.[fj]1925 RHEA COUNTY TENNESSEEUpstairs in the makeshift art department, production designer Marthe Pineau and set decorator Andy Krish are busily turning those items into the thousands of tiny details necessary to faithfully recreate the 1925 Rhea County, Tennessee courthouse and town at Crossroads Village.[fj]

ANTIQUE STOR BONANZA"We're basically hitting every single antique store and mall over 75,000 square feet throughout the state," said Pineau, chuckling.[fj]

GOOD VALUE IN GENESEE COUNTYEven for all the money he's spending here, Reidy said the shoot is a real bargain compared to his past productions, which include "Mortal Kombat" starring Christopher Lambert and "Shanghai Noon" starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson.[fj]"The only reason we can even do this film at the budget we're doing it is because of Crossroads Village. It's almost as if they built it just for us," said Reidy. "I spent $2 million for a single train sequence for 'Shanghai Noon,' so just the steam locomotive alone is priceless."[fj]

REIDY NOW DOWNTOWN FLINTOIDReidy himself has rented digs downtown. He's already memorized the menu at Blackstone's and can recite the details of every recent crime story and gossip item in Flint.Would he recommend Flint to other Hollywood producers and directors? You bet.

WE NEED TO BUILD UP FLINT/MICHIGAN FILM INFRASTRUTURE"Michigan still needs to build up more of an infrastructure here for the film industry, but Flint already has so much to offer that's different than Detroit," said Reidy. "I'll be telling them there's a lot more to Flint than 'Roger and Me' and it's about time they found that out for themselves." [fj]Michigan has mustered the legislative muscle to enact stronger film incentives with the passage of a 16-bill bipartisan package. [BM]

MICHIGAN FILM OFFICEMichigan Film Office director Janet Lockwood said: "With amazing bipartisan support, there is little doubt in my mind that the package will pass, giving Michigan a remarkable incentive."[BM]Fast FactsMust spend at least $50,000 in Michigan to be eligible.40% refundable tax credit, across the board on Michigan expenditures.Claim an extra 2% if filming in one of the 103 Core Communities in Michigan (click the link to download and print a map of the core communities).Labor and Crew: 40%-42% Resident Below the Line. 40%-42% Above the Line regardless of domicile. 30% Non-resident Below the Line.$2 million salary cap per employee per production. There is no other cap and no sunset.[MF]

[fj]SeeBrian Dennehy, Fred Thompson to star in film shooting at Crossroads Villageby Elizabeth Shaw The Flint Journal Saturday August 29, 2009, 11:58 AM\[BM]

Bashirah Muttalib




[WS]Scopes Monkey Trial

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