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Introducing the New Self-Appointed Director of Civility in Political Discourse

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By Doug Powers  •  January 29, 2011 01:27 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Richard Dreyfuss, the actor/activist (not necessarily in that order) who said that he had to channel his inner Hitler in order to portray Dick Cheney in Oliver Stone’s slapstick comedy “W” is heading up The Dreyfuss Initiative. The organization purportedly aims to improve civics education and promote civility in political discourse. Why is Dreyfuss the one leading the “new tone” effort? Because Rob Reiner and Alec Baldwin had prior commitments.

Our new chief of toning down the rhetoric was asked if MSNBC’s Ed Schultz crossed the line of civility in violation of “the new tone” when he called Dick Cheney an “enemy of the country,” a “dirtbag,” a “freakin’ loser” and wished Cheney would go to the “promised land” — in other words, just die already. Rather than denounce it, Dreyfuss said Schultz’s opinion was “beautifully phrased.”

To paraphrase one of Dreyfuss’s co-stars in Jaws:

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“New Tone” update: I’m almost positive that if Dreyfuss had been in attendance at this play, he’d have thought the scene in question was “beautifully phrased.”

**Written by Doug Powers

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