Appreciating Michael Medved, America's Great Renewable Source of Entertainment



The last time I read something by America's most mustachioed movie maven [*], Michael Medved, he was admitting to a hotel-soap-stealing compulsion, yammering that we should call Islamo-Fascists Islamo-Nazis, and trying to replace the term "traditional marriage" with "natural marriage" in an attempt to "drive the gay activists crazy." In what shaped up as an inadvertent attack on adoption, the arch social conservative wrote that his new term "will force the other side to try to assert the obviously absurd proposition that it's just as natural for a same-sex couple to raise somebody else's baby as it is for a heterosexual couple to raise their own."

Welcome to Medved 2.0, in which our hero shows himself to be one of the greatest, endlessly renewable entertainment resources we've got in this sweet land of liberty. Here he is heaping praise upon Reason Contributing Editor Deirdre McCloskey's new book, The Bourgeois Virtues:

I eagerly await the opportunity to digest this book in its entirety–feeling gratified that it seems to echo some of the arguments in a key chapter in my own most recent book, RIGHT TURNS…[in which] I specifically and passionately praise…"the Bourgeois Virtues," which have been subjected to considerable calumny and every sort of intellectual assault, while deserving as many defenders as possible. Deirdre N. McCloskey has, apparently, made a major contribution in that effort.

Whole thing, including Medved's strange identification of science writer extraordinaire (and major Ron Bailey fan) Matt Ridley as a "British banker and philosopher," here.

I'm curious as to Medved's reaction when he finally chows down on McCloskey's book and learns that she is the former Donald McCloskey, a change she documented in her stunning memoir, Crossing (excerpted here in Reason). If Medved is put off by bourgeois gays and lesbians who dast "raise somebody else's baby" as their own, what will he do when he learns that his great champeen of virtue is an unrepentant gender-bender, a drug-war apostate, a Modern Language Association member, and perhaps most shocking of all to a social conservative, the author of the following line regarding that great inspiration to Maggie Thatcher, F.A. Hayek: "You read it here: Hayek has more in common with Jacques Derrida than with Bentham and Comte and Russell"?

I don't know, but I sure hope Medved writes about it.

[*]: Commenter tew below argues that Gene Shalit is our most mustachioed movie maven and upon reflection, I'm tempted to agree.

NEXT: Some Were Dying, Some Were Weeping, Some Were Studying, Some Were Sleeping, Some Were Shouting "Texas #1!"

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  1. I really must take issue with this post.

    “most mustachioed movie maven”? I think a certain Gene Shalit claims that title, and I doubt anyone would seriously contest him.

  2. Let us not forget that only Medved had the courage and clarity of vision to call Captain America unamerican a few years back:

    (He has yet to chime in the Hero Registration Act central to the current Civil War)

  3. Medved is basically an angry Ned Flanders.

  4. Nick,

    Not everyone has difficulty accepting that a massively screwed up person can still have good ideas on a certain subject. As for Ms/r McCloskey, just because it’s a freak, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

  5. Professor McCloskey is a terrific person. We’ve had some fun at several lectures (one where she went after really poor econometric choices).

  6. this is very funny and deeply satisfying.

  7. As for Ms/r McCloskey, just because it’s a freak, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

    That’s low-class, crimethink.

  8. That dude has had an interesting career arc. I think he started out doing a movies so bad they’re good bit (kind of paleo-MST3k but MST3K was funny). Then he was just another dude paying the bills on Entertainment Tonite back in the 80s. Then I think he started to muscle in on the whole bald dead guy/Ebert show or he took over their show on PBS and they went syndicated? Then he reivented himself as a Kultural Kommissar just in time for the Naughty 90s, Clinton, then the Cult of Bush, and that takes us to 2006.

    It appears that he isn’t going away.

  9. May I be the first one to say: “Preved, Medved!”

  10. Not everyone has difficulty accepting that a massively screwed up person can still have good ideas on a certain subject. As for Ms/r McCloskey, just because it’s a freak, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

    I’m guessing she’s a lot less screwed up now than when she was a man. That’s kind of why they do it. But if it makes you happier to ignore inconvenient facts in your pursuit of belittling all humans who aren’t perfect manly men or girly girls, so be it.

  11. Medved is basically an angry Ned Flanders.

    Okeldee dokeldee

  12. Since we’re on the subject of Medved, lemme throw something out. Years ago Medved, with his brother Harry, wrote a bad-movie book (i.e. a book about bad movies) called The Golden Turkey Awards. At the end of the book, they claimed that one of the movies described in the book was a complete fabrication.
    The question should be obvious: which movie was the phony? I’ve emailed Medved on several occasions but never gotten a response. Anyone?

  13. Steven Crane,

    If thinking that a person who chooses to have his genitalia ripped out and replaced with their opposites is a bit screwed up in the noggin makes me “low-class”, then may I forever be low class.


    You’re right in saying that this person was screwed up before having the reproductive system ripped out and remodeled. My question is, can a sex change really solve the problem, or is it simply a band-aid solution (no pun intended)?

  14. crimethink,

    Would you tell that to Professor McCloskey in person?

  15. “My question is, can a sex change really solve the problem”

    well, if the problem is they feel locked in the wrong gender, then i daresay it’s a step in the right direction.

  16. Crimethink, I honestly don’t mean this as an insult, but have you ever considered the possibility that you spend maybe just a little too much time worrying about what people choose to do or not do with their between-the-legs body parts?

  17. highnumber:


  18. I went through the whole Golden Turkey Awards and narrowed down the fabricated movie to Matango the Fungus of Terror and Dog of Norway. Finally I came across a reference to Matango. Then I looked at the picture in the introduction to the book. The one with the dog leaping at a banana in its owner’s hand…

    It was a fun search.

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