Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rant #585: I Left My Heart ... Somewhere ... ?

In the latest chapter of "Shut Up, Don't Leave Your Day Job," crooner Tony Bennett decided to become a diplomat yesterday, and in the process, caused an uproar that could be heard from New York to, err, San Francisco.

In a bizarre interview with shock jock Howard Stern on satellite radio, Bennett proclaimed "we caused" the 9/11 attacks and said former President George W. Bush admitted to him the Iraq war was a mistake.

"They flew the plane in, but we caused it," the 85-year-old singer told Stern on his Sirius Radio show Monday night. "We were bombing them, and they told us to stop."

Bennett's controversial answer came after Stern asked Bennett, a World War II veteran, how the U.S. should deal with the terrorists responsible for toppling the World Trade Center. "Who are the terrorists?" Bennett said. "Are we the terrorists, or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don't make a right."

Bennett went on to describe a night in 2005 when he claims then-President Bush made an admission to him about the Iraq war. The two were at an event at the Kennedy Center honoring Bennett. "He told me personally that night that, he said, 'I think I made a mistake,' " said Bennett, who was appearing on the Stern show to promote his new album, "Duets II," and whose granddaughter concurrently has an art exhibit opening in Manhattan.

The singer said he believed that the President made this revelation because "he had a special liking to me," said he agreed with that assessment. "To start a war in Iraq was a tremendous, tremendous mistake internationally."

We know that Stern often gets people to say things that they would never say out loud, only think about.

And he certainly did that to Bennett, who spent a good part of yesterday denying that he said anything wrong.

Of course, people who were directly impacted by the terrorist attacks have been taken aback by the crooner's comments.

Bennett is not a diplomat, he is a singer ... a singer who was born in Astoria, Queens, and has basically made his nickel on one single song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." He is not a politician, not a legislator.

If he really believes what he said--and I have my doubts the octogenarian performer even realized the gravity of what he was saying--then he should just shut up.

The 10th anniversary of these attacks was just a few days ago. To voice such tripe right now, even if that is what you really believe, is pretty stupid, don't you think?

His granddaughter, who is worried that her grandpa's big mouth will ruin her exhibition, said that her grandfather was a lifelong Pacificist, and is against any type of war or retaliation for such an act. And she left it at that.

Well, maybe she left it at that, but you just know that people won't forget this slip of the tongue by a guy who should be singing, not mud slinging.

Shut up and sing. That is what I would tell Bennett to do the next time he feels the need to have diarrhea of the mouth on the national airwaves about something he knows absolutely nothing about.

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