The Gift of Stern Angels

Duncan Frissell frissell at
Tue Aug 26 09:14:13 PDT 1997


I'm reading "The Gift of Stern Angels" by Michael Moriarty.  It is a memoir 
of how one hour with Janet Reno in a Washington DC hotel in 1993 turned the 
star of Law and Order from a Clinton voter into a very independent 
libertarian, a black-listed Hollywood pariah, and an exile to Canada.

[No they were just talking.]

Moriarty, who had voted for Clinton in 1992, was invited to a meeting on 
television violence between the AG and TV execs in the Ulysses S. Grant Suite 
of the Willard Hotel on November 18th 1993.  The AG said that a show like 
"Murder She Wrote" even though it didn't show violence on screen was 
troubling because it dwelt on the instrumentalities of violence.

Following the meeting, Moriarty publicly attacked the Administration, was 
fired from Law and Order, was unable to work in Hollywood (save for one 
appearance in Courage Under Fire), got divorced, and fled to Halifax.  He had 
favored a ban on "assault rifles" but he now moved to Canada because he 
feared that if he stayed in the US he would feel compelled to take up the 

The book has tons of great free speech quotes.  "In 3,000 years of human 
history, no one has ever dared to come to the conclusion that the fight 
scenes in Romeo and Juliet provoked the death of Christopher Marlowe."

It's not published in the US.  I ordered mine from the Book Room (North 
America's oldest bookstore) in Halifax.  1-800-387-BOOK (2665).


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