One gentle criticism is enough to send pro-abortion John Irving off the deep end

By Dave Andrusko

John Irving

John Irving

I am, admittedly, a poor example, since I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast. But wouldn’t you think 17 years is a tad long to hold a grudge, let alone wait to eviscerate your humble NRL News Today editor?

What capital offense did I commit to warrant a blistering attack by novelist John Irving in the pages of the Hollywood Reporter? Glad you asked. Having written on very short notice, a very short (376 word long) response to Irving’s acceptance speech at the 2000 Oscars?

Of course not. Why would a big-shot like Irving be bothered just because I wrote

Anyone who watched the Oscars on Sunday knows that the operative self-congratulatory word for the night was ”courage.” John Irving, honored for adapting his 1985 novel ”The Cider House Rules,” thanked the academy for honoring a film dealing with abortion and Miramax ”for having the courage to make this movie in the first place.” The audience burst into thunderous applause when he ended by thanking ”everyone at Planned Parenthood” and the National Abortion Rights Action League.

He would hardly have noticed, or, if he did, would not have bothered to crank out his essay, except (miracles of miracles) my little response appeared in the New York Times! Yowza!

Affection for unlimited abortion is to the Times what love for hard drink is to an alcoholic – – addictive, boundless, and highly intoxicating. Were they coming off a bender when they asked for a pro-life rebuttal? I dunno.

But I do know (as they say) I must have hit a nerve. Seventeen years later and steam is still coming out of Irving’s ears. I am, in various parts of his essay, a “familiar blowhard for pro-lifers,” “one-dimensional,” and (probably worst of all) responsible for a letter to the editor of The New York Times from a high school student who agreed with me and said he was “disappointed by the outright bias of Hollywood.”

Among other of my many sins, Irving is livid that I did not (17 years ago) give him credit for the appearance of a pro-life character in “Cider House Rules.”

I only had 376 words so my focus was on asking

When it comes to depicting pro-lifers, is it possible that the film industry may someday come of age? Can the public eventually expect textured portraits of these people, many of whom have dedicated over 20 years of their lives to helping women and their unborn children?

True, Homer Wells, the doctor’s [abortionist’s] apprentice (played by Tobey Maguire), did not wish to perform abortions because at the time the film was set, abortions were illegal.

But here is the whole point, as I explained at greater length in NRL News. (“Larch” is abortionist Wilbur Larch. Michael Caine won a Best Supporting Actor seventeen years ago for his portrayal of Larch):

For unexplained reasons, Homer has never been adopted and becomes the son Larch never had. Larch wants him to carry on the “family business” and patiently teaches him how to deliver babies and to kill them. But Homer refuses to actually perform abortions. Why?

Most likely he intuits that had his unwed mother chosen otherwise, Homer would have wound up in the incinerator. (Larch is so ticked at Homer’s refusal to perform abortions, he makes Homer dispose of the aborted “fetuses.”)

You can, of course, see the moral of the story coming a mile away: Homer must dispose of his scruples so he can “grow” to be a man like his surrogate father and dispose of the kids with a clean conscience (if not clean hands).

And he does. Now he is “worthy” to return to become Larch’s successor. Homer has now completed his spiritual odyssey. Like a modern-day Ulysses, Homer returns home, having finally drowned out the siren call of conscience.

Some “pro-lifer.”

Final thought. I was, so to speak, collateral damage. Irving hates President Trump. He segues from his own acceptance speech (17 years ago) to encourage “outright bias in acceptance speeches,” as the headline reads.

Irving dishonestly pretends that it makes no difference to him whether they criticize or support President Trump, as if in a town that is wholly intolerant of conservatives and has spent countless tens of millions of dollars to elect Hillary Clinton, someone would risk their career by saying a kind word about Mr. Trump.

Irving is rich. “Cider House Rules” received seven Academy Award nominations. Hollywood is pro-abortion from its collective head to its toenails. Irving received and continues to receive kudos for novels that, not to put too fine a point on it, push the envelope.

But all for naught. In his best pity-party manner, Irving laments, “There were complaints in the post-Oscar press about my speech, too.” I don’t know for a fact, but I’m guessing my little op-ed was outnumbered by unctuous praise maybe 200 to 1.

But good, tolerant, pro-abortion “liberal” that he is, even a single dissenting voice is one too many to Irving.

He fits right in with today’s Armies of Intolerance.