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Paul, Eleanor Rigby and Me ...
About 20 years ago I met Paul McCartney. We spent four days together in Chicago. I was with CBS News at the time doing a 90-minute show about him for the program 48 Hours.
We hit it off. Two blue collar guys, one from Liverpool the other from the Bronx. After we finished the shoot, I went to his hotel suite to say goodbye. We talked for a while then I turned to leave. Paul, standing in the doorway as I walked down the long hallway of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in downtown Chicago, yelled out to me: “See you around, Dave.”
I slowly turned, looked back, smiled, and said, “After four days and you still don’t know my name.”
“Sure I do,” he said.
Since I didn’t believe him, I said, “Really, what is it?”
“Bernie,” he shot back in no time flat.
“So why did you just call me Dave?”
“I call all Americans Dave,” he said, with a smile of his own.
“No problem, Ringo,” I said, and then turned and continued walking away, down that long hallway.
I saw him again a few years later when he came to Miami. We chatted backstage before his show. I introduced him to my wife Nancy, and my son Brian played video games with his son James. Like I said, we hit it off. Which is why it’s not easy for me to now suggest to my pal Paul: Shut the hell up!
The other day McCartney told the Sun newspaper in England that, “Sadly we need disasters like this [the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico] to show people. Some people don't believe in climate warming - like those who don't believe there was a Holocaust.”
Quick question, Paul: What does global warming have to do with the oil spill in the Gulf?
While we’re waiting for an answer, let me point out that McCartney said pretty much what CBS News correspondent Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes has said. After doing a completely one-sided story on global warming – or climate change, or whatever they’re calling it this week – Pelley was asked why the bias. “If I do an interview with [Holocaust survior] Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”
This is mainstream liberal opinion, whether you’re a journalist or an ex-Beatle.
“There comes a point in journalism,” Pelley said, “where striving for balance becomes irresponsible.”
That would be true if someone said “The Earth is round” and some reporter ran out to find an idiot who said, “The Earth is flat.” But the jury is still out on whether global warming is a man-made catastrophe about to kill us all.
Pelley ought to know that. McCartney ought to stick to what he knows about Eleanor Rigby.
This wasn’t McCartney’s first leap into the world of liberal commentary. Just a few weeks earlier at the White House, after receiving the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from Presidesnt Obama, McCartney told the audience, “After the last eight years, it's good to have a president that knows what a library is.”
A liberal taking a cheap shot at W: Now there’s one I didn’t see coming.
I like Paul. I like his music and I like his easy going, non-elitist, regular-guy style. So Paul, please -- Shut Up and Sing!