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Ed Driscoll

Interview: Roger L. Simon and Sheryl Longin on The Party Line

December 18th, 2012 - 12:01 am


A journalist who cooked the books and avoided reporting on an international tragedy that was occurring in a far-off land and won a Pulitzer for his paper in the process — what possible relevance could that have to the twenty-first century? Well, let’s just say that he Walter Duranty really kept the news to himself, to coin a phrase.

Roger L. Simon, the co-founder and CEO of PJ Media and a veteran screenwriter and director, and his wife Sheryl Longin, a screenwriter herself, stop by to discuss their latest joint effort: The Party Line, the published script to their new play, with an introduction focusing on Walter Duranty by PJM’s own Ronald Radosh. Their play contrasts the lives of Duranty, the New York Times’ man in Moscow in the 1930s, when the Soviet Union was thought by many intellectuals to be “the future” of mankind, to Pim Fortuyn, who confronted a different kind of religious fervor in Holland — before being assassinated in 2002.

During their interview, Roger and Sheryl discuss:

● Why they chose the format of a play to tell this story.

● Who these two men were.

● Which came first? The Party Line or The Duranty Prize?

● The third historic figure in their play, the infamous Aleister Crowley, whom Duranty knew, astonishingly enough.

●  The “Penthouse Bolsheviks” of the 1920s and ’30s; the forerunners to today’s limousine liberals and Radical Chic.

● How they structured retelling the historic events they depict to create drama.

● What conservatives who feel impotent in the face of a hostile pop culture should be doing in 2012.

And much more. Click here to listen

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