Ed Asner, Union Buster
Via Romenesko comes word that Ed "Lou Grant" Asner is stepping back into the fictive newsroom in ads for Minneapolis-St. Paul TV station KSTP. During the ads, the loveably husky and gruff (gruffly loveable and husky? huskily gruff and loveable?) actor tells various newsroom types that they need to focus on hard news.
The subtext, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press, is much richer than what's onscreen:
what really had KSTP's newsroom staff laughing ? and this is the real staff, not the actors brought in to play reporters ? was the irony of Ed Asner, one of Hollywood's foremost liberals and a champion of union rights, playing a spare-me-the-bull(bleep) news director in the most resolutely anti-union shop in the Twin Cities.
"(Bleep)," said one (real) KSTP employee, "Asner's so liberal he makes Martin Sheen look like something out of Bush's Cabinet. But he's got to know what [station owner] Stanley (Hubbard) thinks of unions." (Asner was not available for an interview on that subject.)