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Discordant Note (2007 Kennedy Center Honoree Pianist/Conductor Bashes Bush)
National Review (The Corner) ^ | Saturday, February 09, 2008 | Mona Charen

Posted on 02/09/2008 5:57:52 AM PST by MaestroLC

This is the most graceless stunt I’ve seen a while. Leon Fleisher, the conductor and pianist, received a Kennedy Center honor. As part of the weekend of festivities associated with this prestigious award, Fleisher was invited to attend a White House reception along with the four other honorees (Brian Wilson, Steve Martin, Diana Ross, and Martin Scorcese). This caused the conductor to wrestle with his conscience.

In the past seven years, Bush administration policies have amounted to a systematic shredding of our nation's Constitution — the illegal war it initiated and perpetuates; the torturing of prisoners; the espousing of "values" that include a careful defense of the "rights" of embryos but show a profligate disregard for the lives of flesh-and-blood human beings; and the flagrant dismantling of environmental protections. These, among many other depressing policies, have left us weak and shamed at home and in the world.

For several weeks before the honors, I wrestled with this dilemma, deciding in the end that I would not attend the reception at the White House. That decision was met with deep, if understandable, disapproval by the powers that be. I was informed that I was hardly the first honoree to express such reserve; cited to me, among others, were Arthur Miller and Isaac Stern during the Reagan years and several during the present administration. I was asked to attend all of the scheduled events and to follow the well-established protocol of silence.

Silence? How about basic good manners? Listen Maestro, if your feelings were so strong you could have declined the honor. Instead you basked in the event (“I was pleased to be part of an event that raises money for the Kennedy Center and to be with my family and to see their joy at the ceremony”) and now you shoot over your shoulder at the president who feted you.

Obviously, Fleisher, like every American is fully within his rights to express his views on anything in the world. But to do it in this way, at this moment, is quite a shameful performance. Booooo.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dilemma; discordant; fleisher; monacharen; note; shutupandsing

1 posted on 02/09/2008 5:57:55 AM PST by MaestroLC
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To: MaestroLC

Hmmm, I actually saw him perform last summer.


2 posted on 02/09/2008 6:02:37 AM PST by Borges
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To: MaestroLC

Graceless, classless AND narcissistic.


3 posted on 02/09/2008 6:03:58 AM PST by Melinda
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To: MaestroLC

Obviously his mama didn’t teach him manners.


4 posted on 02/09/2008 6:04:12 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: mtbopfuyn

Leon Fleisher can eat sh!t and die!


5 posted on 02/09/2008 6:05:40 AM PST by Comparative Advantage
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; .30Carbine; 1rudeboy; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 31R1O; ADemocratNoMore; ...

Classical Music PING


6 posted on 02/09/2008 6:06:04 AM PST by Borges
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To: MaestroLC

Well, bless his heart.


7 posted on 02/09/2008 6:06:31 AM PST by Dick Vomer (liberals suck....... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.,)
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To: MaestroLC
A paraphrase from the book of Proverbs:

A [talented musician] without discretion is like a gold ring in a pig's snout.
8 posted on 02/09/2008 6:08:02 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Get yer red meat, tobaccy and ammo, now. The krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: Borges

9 posted on 02/09/2008 6:10:24 AM PST by Borges
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To: Borges

poor baby - apparently his vanity overrules his principles.


10 posted on 02/09/2008 6:15:30 AM PST by avital2
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To: Borges

perhaps he needs to read, learn and ascribe to the Constitution of the United States.


11 posted on 02/09/2008 6:15:50 AM PST by elpadre
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To: MaestroLC

Frankly, Fleisher will never be counted among the greats as a pianist or conductor. He’s a “second tier” musician.


12 posted on 02/09/2008 6:16:46 AM PST by Dr. Thorne (Clinton was "The Man from Hope". Huckabee is "The Sham from Hope".)
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To: MaestroLC

It only takes a moment to make a complete ass out of yourself.


13 posted on 02/09/2008 6:17:45 AM PST by sierrahome (Hillary Clinton "America's Ex-Wife")
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To: MaestroLC

Members of the left have a habit of shaming themselves in public by denouncing those they dislike. Eartha Kitt did so to Lady Bird Johnson at a White House reception, for example.

However, back then, the punishment by the public was far more severe than when Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks insulted President Bush.

Compare that to the dignity and grace of Tiger Woods, who very politely declined either golfing with or attending a photo op with Bill Clinton. He adamantly refused to say anything negative about Clinton, though repeatedly asked to, but was also firm that he would not make any public appearance with him, even though he was repeatedly asked and even begged by Clinton staffers at the behest of Clinton himself.


14 posted on 02/09/2008 6:22:48 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: MaestroLC
the illegal war it initiated

I wasn't aware that the USA INITIATED the war. Weren't we attacked?


15 posted on 02/09/2008 6:22:51 AM PST by shiva
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To: MaestroLC

It is fascinating to contemplate how American jewry is contemplating cultural suicide. Israel (which serves as a good platform for an inherant anti-Semtism) is already under attack in academe. Should the political right ever join the political left it will entail a return to the nineteen thirties, and American Jews will soon learn what it is like to be a Jew in today’s France, or Netherlands, or the U.K.


16 posted on 02/09/2008 7:04:11 AM PST by Melchior
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To: MaestroLC

Don’t you love it when award winners use their podium to spout the same old empty rhetoric?


17 posted on 02/09/2008 7:13:22 AM PST by SaveTheChief (Chief Illiniwek (1926-2007))
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To: MaestroLC

Such a brave Maestro, speaking truth to power. He will suffer greatly for this, being the toast of the cocktail parties and all.


18 posted on 02/09/2008 7:19:04 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: MaestroLC

He has issues.


19 posted on 02/09/2008 9:55:22 AM PST by Norman Bates (Freepmail me to be part of the McCain List!)
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To: Melinda

...and clueless to boot.


20 posted on 02/09/2008 9:59:50 AM PST by G-dzilla (did Todd Schnitt get censored by his own radio station employer (970 WFLA) yesterday?)
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To: MaestroLC

Perhaps if he had lost use of his “Left” hand, he would be supporting the conservative Republican effort...


21 posted on 02/09/2008 10:49:35 AM PST by Ozone34
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To: Borges

Thank you for the ping Borges.
Sorry to hear of this guy’s choice of words/thoughts/beliefs. :(


22 posted on 02/09/2008 11:12:05 AM PST by MeekMom (Present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God.)
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To: MaestroLC

When I first heard the name announced, I thought they were honoring the guy that did the voice for Roger Rabbit.


23 posted on 02/09/2008 3:25:57 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~~~Jihad Fever -- Catch It !~~~ (Backup tag: "Live Fred or Die"))
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To: Melinda
Graceless, classless AND narcissistic.

An excellent example of the difference between most liberals and most conservatives.

24 posted on 02/09/2008 3:27:19 PM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done, needs to be done by the government.)
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To: Dr. Thorne
He’s a “second tier” musician.

Par for the course.

Kennedy Center shows are pablum.

25 posted on 02/09/2008 3:30:01 PM PST by HIDEK6
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To: Melinda
It never ceases to amaze me how much these somewhat public figures appear to be so full of their own self-importance that they actually believe that everyone cares what they think.
26 posted on 02/09/2008 4:22:44 PM PST by HoosierHawk
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; HoosierHawk

So true! Too bad those qualities seem to prevent them from seeing the worst in themselves as others do.


27 posted on 02/10/2008 6:51:29 AM PST by Melinda
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