Prosecute the torture.

December 8, 2009

Not What You'd Expect

Oh, so here goes.

Tony Norman, award-winning columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, winner of a Knight-Wallace Fellowship, and (most importantly) best man at my wedding, made a few boo-boos in today's column.

Boo-boo numero uno:
I was a sucker for environmental propaganda. When I was a kid, I fell for all of the "Keep America Beautiful" public service announcements. The most memorable of those PSA's featured a Native American paddling a canoe across a lake to a trash-strewn shoreline.

As ads go, it was devastating. The Indian had nobility and empathy to spare. As he paddled past factories belching smoke, a narrator with the deep, biblical voice of Orson Welles intoned: "Some people have a deep abiding respect for the natural beauty that was once this country. Some people don't."
Here's the ad:


Sorry, Tony. It was William Conrad NOT Orson Welles who did the voice over for the ad. This post at the Britannica.com says so. Take a look:
This classic television commercial, from the “Keep America Beautiful” campaign of the early 1970s, debuted on the second Earth Day, in 1971, and was one of the most successful public service announcements ever produced, starring actor (actually, Italian-American actor) Iron Eyes Cody as the “crying Indian” with a voice-over by actor William Conrad. [emphasis added]
And there's Tony's boo-boo numero due. Did you see it? Here's what Tony wrote again:
I was a sucker for environmental propaganda. When I was a kid, I fell for all of the "Keep America Beautiful" public service announcements. The most memorable of those PSA's featured a Native American paddling a canoe across a lake to a trash-strewn shoreline.
But the Britannica says Iron Eyes Cody was an Italian-American.

So does Snopes.com:
That "crying Indian," as he would later sometimes be referred to, was Iron Eyes Cody, an actor who throughout his life claimed to be of Cherokee/Cree extraction. Yet his asserted ancestry was just as artificial as the tear that rolled down his cheek in that television spot — the tear was glycerine, and the "Indian" a second-generation Italian-American.
And:
Iron Eyes Cody was born Espera DeCorti on 3 April 1904 in the small town of Kaplan, Louisiana. He was the son of Francesca Salpietra and Antonio DeCorti, she an immigrant from Sicily who had arrived in the USA in 1902, and he another immigrant who had arrived in America not long before her.
AND the tear was glycerine? How else did they lie to us?

See? That proves it: GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX!

9 comments:

Ms. Monongahela, Ms. Chief Editor said...

Dave -- Tony did *not* say it was Orson Welles who narrated. He said it was "a narrator with the deep, biblical voice of Orson Welles."

Boo boo on you. :-)

Bob H said...

Whoa! You guys are awesome! You ***really*** know how to get the heart of a question and suss out the answer with wisdom and sagacity. Let me tell you; I am soooo impressed! Wow!

Sherry said...

that was funny, but damn, i had no idea iron eyes really was italian.

phooey.

Ms. Monongahela, Ms. Chief Editor said...

I believe it's been pretty common knowledge for a while that the man was not actually Native American -- however, I don't feel it changes the intent of the message. What I found most interesting in my research though, was that some find a major problem with the ad in that it shows the offender polluting in an already polluted area, and that where people see litter -- they are more inclined to litter.

Ms. Monongahela, Ms. Chief Editor said...

Oh and Dave -- I still think you're a fantastic writer/researcher, just so we're clear -- which is exactly why I read your blog. But you know that "fleas ad infinitum" deal.

:-)

Just consider me coming to the defense of a guy we both really like -- Tony.

Peace.

Dayvoe said...

Ms;

My blog post was intended to be tongue-in-cheek. I thought I pushed the envelope enough so that everyone would know that I was kidding. There's no need to come to Tony's defense.

And OF COURSE the identity of the narrator or the actor in the ad in no way changes the message of the ad.

Dayvoe

Ms. Monongahela, Ms. Chief Editor said...

Fair enough. From henceforth, I shall call you "Tongue In Cheeks," my friend.

EdHeath said...

Ow

Audrey said...

Gee, an actor is an actor. Someone wrote the commercial, someone directed it, someone acted in it. It was effective. We do not discriminate when we cast!