"...Ronald Reagan became president even though he worked with chimps in B movies.
Arnold Schwarzenegger played a murderous robot, and that didn't keep him from becoming governor.
So can "Law & Order" actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) become the first presidential candidate with this credit? Thompson played a white supremacist, spewing anti-Semitic comments and fondling an autographed copy of "Mein Kampf" on a television drama 19 years ago.
His colleagues say that he was just an actor putting everything he had into playing the role of a charismatic racist, named Knox Pooley, in three episodes of CBS' hit show "Wiseguy" in 1988. "Do you call Tom Cruise a killer because he played one in a movie?" asked show creator and writer Stephen J. Cannell.
But in the age of YouTube, this performance could raise an intriguing political question: How does a performer eyeing a presidential run deal with a video history that can be downloaded, taken out of context, chopped into embarrassing pieces and then distributed endlessly though cyberspace? Some conservative political blogs are already considering the problem..." (Read the whole article)
The article goes on to say that Fred's good acting may work against him when he runs... That opponents could play clips of this "Wiseguy" character and pass the words off as his own and not a character.
..Maybe this has an upside though. Maybe the Hollywood Super-Libs would have to stand up in his defense. How many have them have played scurrilous characters? And would they want the scripts of murderers, rapists and pedophiles added to their own actual gaffes?
They discussed this over at Wizbang also. They took it as a smear piece:
"...This whole topic is just stupid. Does Ms. Daunt truly think that the American people would buy into the idiotic idea that the lines that Fred recited from the TV movie 19 years ago and that she quoted in her piece were a true reflection of his personal character? If this is the best the media has to offer, Fred should have nothing to worry about."
I do happen to think the American people would buy it if they saw it on enough MySpace sites... How long has the "Tommy Hilfiger doesn't want Black people wearing his clothes" rumor persisted? This is a country that believes if they see it "on TV", or hear it from Bill in the next cubicle-- it's true...