I was the same way with him (I hope) and chose to take the upper road when I publicly wished him a complete recovery from cancer and when I apologized to him for not knowing that Howard Stern’s people were ambushing him with my phone call (which they did, after telling me Roger knew I’d be on with him). when the movie was not political or about race and he could keep his personal politics out of it.But he always stuck to his orthodox leftist, anti-Israel, pro-Muslim beliefs. And often, I felt he was spoiled by the waning power and influence he’d had over Hollywood. But when the movie was about racism, Ebert was always strictly “down with the struggle,” no matter how horrible or dishonest or race-baiting the movie was. (I am political in my movie reviews, as all my readers know, but I don’t pretend to be otherwise, as he did.) He also liked movies that glorified Islamic terrorists, which wasn’t too far from his personal, real life views. And after that, I was attacked and lampooned on Roger’s site, though maybe in a more charitable way, as one of Ebert’s website contributors had a “guess the quote” game featuring quotes from my movie reviews and from Ann Coulter. Roger Ebert had a problem with Israel defending itself, and it appears he just had a problem with Israel, period.And he wielded way too much power over what came out of Hollywood and what succeeded once it did.
Occasionally, he was collegial and thoughtful, in some e-mails between us.
But many times he was not, as when Roger deliberately lied about me in the comments section of a New York Times article about Paramount Pictures revoking and then restoring my movie screening privileges.
And he resented that someone like me on the right could review movies and have her reviews quoted in the New York Times and USA Today and gain some of the influence and notice he lost.
Roger didn’t like this, as he fancied himself some sort of national security expert, claiming that his friend Parlak was no national security threat, despite the fact that Homeland Security and several immigration judges said he was. After all, Roger liked to eat at Parlak’s restaurant in Western Michigan. If you could separate out Roger Ebert’s reviews of non-political movies from the political- and race-based ones, he was very good.
Roger complained to me about the “amount of energy” he felt I spent in my article on his advocacy for an Islamic terrorist on U. Later, Ebert attacked me in one of his syndicated movie review columns on a Kurdish documentary, criticizing me for not sharing his unnuanced view that all Kurds are the good guys. But the guy was basically an activist for the Democratic party in what were supposed to be non-partisan cinematic reviews.