Clint Eastwood: What media outlets are saying about bizarre speech


Today’s trip through the make-my-day checkout line largely centers on an old man on a big stage and what various outlets are saying about it, a couple of other things, and the mystery music video.

HUH?: To watch it was to. . .sit there and just watch it, per the New York Times, “Clint Eastwood’s rambling, head-scratching endorsement of Mitt Romney on Thursday set off immediate questions and finger-pointing among Romney supporters: Who booked Mr. Eastwood? Did anyone have an idea of what he was going to say? Did anyone read his remarks before they were broadcast? The actor, in one of the more unusual moments in Republican convention history, offered a speech in which he pretended to have an off-color conversation with an imaginary President Obama sitting by his side in an empty chair.”

#EASTWOODING: That was quite the swift boat, per the Washington Post, “Twitter went ahead and made our day with the creation of a new meme riffing off Clint Eastwood’s Thursday speech at the Republican National Convention. Ladies and gentlemen: Meet #eastwooding. . .(T)he Twittersphere — the people who brought you Tebowing, planking and owling — soon flooded the social network with pictures of people casting admonishing fingers their own empty chairs. Or glaring at empty chairs. Or having their pets glare at empty chairs.”

STARS REACT: A broad spectrum, per Access Hollywood, “Stars took to Twitter in response to Clint Eastwood’s conversation with an invisible President Barack Obama in an empty chair before the Republican National Convention on Thursday.
• “This seat’s taken.” — President Barack Obama, accompanied by a photo of the back of Obama’s chair with him sitting in it.
• “I. Love. Clint Eastwood.” — Blake Shelton, country singer and judge on “The Voice.”
• “20 years ago I wanted Clint Eastwood to make my day. Now I just want him to take his pills and b grateful he doesnt need medicare.” — Nancy Lee Grahn, “General Hospital” actress.
• “That was so awesome. Biden has to go shirtless for DNC to top it.” --- Seth Meyers, “Saturday Night Live.”

WELL, HE IS 82: And it was relatively late, per the Los Angeles Times, “Though Eastwood's message was simple — Obama has not done what he promised and so, as with any unsatisfactory employee, it was time to let him go — his delivery left many slack-jawed. Rambling so often that it appeared at least twice we had lost him, Eastwood studded his remarks with asides to an empty chair. "What? What do you want me to tell Romney? I can't tell him to do that," he said at one point. "He can't do that to himself."

BRAVO!: So says the GOP, per The Hollywood Reporter, “Republicans are a leery bunch when it comes to Hollywood's political activists, even when it's someone on their own side. But they were (mostly) all smiles after Clint Eastwood's presentatIon at the Republican National Convention thursday night, where his invisible Obama-in-a-chair routine went over very well. Of the dozens of people The Hollywood Reporter interviewed, only one had a negative take, and it was more about the audience's reaction to Eastwood than about Eastwood himself.”

CHOO-CHOO TRAIN: Off the tracks, per the Tampa Bay Times, “Watching Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood debate an empty chair before 50,000 devoted fans at the Republican National Convention was not just the weirdest major public event I'd ever seen before. It may be the weirdest public event I will ever see in my life, equal parts is-this-happening? absurdity and slow-motion train wreck inevitability.”

OFF MESSAGE: Um, Clint?, per the Boston Globe, “Eastwood's ridiculing tone undercut Mitt Romney's effort to appear more sad than angry at Obama's "failure." The joke, it turned out, was on Eastwood: He looked foolish, and his trademark whisper sounded feeble. Eastwood's ability to keep working at a high level in his 80s has been celebrated. Now his only hope is that people will give him a pass because of his age.”

UNCLE CLINT: Um, what?, per POLITICO, “Eastwood seemed to thrill the audience with his celebrity and swagger, drawing cheers and chortles — even if some of the laughter seemed of the nervous variety, of the sort one gives an elderly uncle at the Thanksgiving table in the middle of a story that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.”

PILING ON: Just the facts, per the AP, “Howard Kurtz, host of CNN's "Reliable Sources," said "Clint's empty chair act" was the "weirdest convention moment I have ever seen." Joe Scarborough, the conservative host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," declared that "a great night for Mitt Romney just got sidetracked by Clint Eastwood."


MOVIE GEEKS: Rise and shine, per the New York Times, “There are quarrels that are certain to be provoked by Chris Kenneally’s new documentary, “Side by Side,” which explores the impact of digital technology on 21st-century moviemaking, but one thing is beyond argument. For a film geek this movie is absolute heaven, a dream symposium in which directors, cinematographers, editors and a few actors gather to opine on the details of their craft. It is worth a year of film school and at least 1,000 hours of DVD bonus commentary.”

THE TONGUE: Of Mick and the lads, per Rolling Stone, “It's shaping up to be a major fall for the Rolling Stones. In addition to recording new music in Paris last week, the band will play its first shows since 2007 later this year to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Rolling Stone has learned the band is planning two shows at Brooklyn's Barclays Center to happen before the end of the year. "This was accomplished in a Navy SEAL-like operation," a source familiar with the deal tells Rolling Stone. "No one I knew whispered a word of this before yesterday."

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video.

--Skip Wood (Follow me on Twitter @DaybreakSkip)