Roger L. Simon

Dinner with Mary

now.jpgIf you’re going to drop names, drop big ones. Last night, our friend Tammy invited Sheryl and me to have dinner with Mary Cheney. She was in LA (fresh from a Larry King appearance) to promote her new book – Now It’s my Turn: A Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life. Of course we were pleased at the invitation. How many times do you get a chance to meet the daughter of a sitting vice president, especially one at the center of controversy herself? Mary, as most of you undoubtedly know, is the first publicly out homosexual child of such a major executive official. Who wouldn’t be curious?

With us for the occasion were producer/manager Douglas Urbanski (The Contender) and his wife television writer Diane Wilk. The venue was Maple Drive, the by now almost venerable restaurant in Bev Hills.

Well, since it was an evening with more film people than political types, I will “cut to the chase.” Mary was a charming person, quite friendly, approachable and at ease with herself (more than I would ever be, I think, with a secret service cadre accompanying me everywhere I went). The predictable topics flitted by in the conversation – movies, Islam, gay marriage, what’s Larry King like, the food at Maple Drive (still up to snuff), our kids’ schools, etc. Mary chimed in with the rest of us but, like any author on tour, her mind was on her book, as it should be. (We will have a podcast interview with her on that subject on Pajamas Media shortly).

In all, I would have to say that Mary Cheney had what some of the Amazon “reviewers” of her book do not – common decency. Many of the reviews are excellent, but it is those ad hominem attacks that are really the subject of this post. And I have the “reviewers” in quotes, because I doubt most of them have read the book (it’s barely out). In fact, some of them even admit that they haven’t. Here’s one “gentlewoman” who reviews under the handle of “smtpgirl”: I saw Larry King, and after that diatribe, I will not read the book. The five-star raters are a bunch of SCHMUCKS. So far 37 of 43 readers of that vitriolic nonsense have branded it as “useful” (wonder why some people distrust the Internet?). Another “great intellect” named Drew Janson (at least he signs it) has this to say: “I thumbed through the book elsewhere…no way I’m giving my hard-earned $s to this self-loathing, opportunistic sellout…and must say it’s one of the most tedious, boring, pointless wastes of paper ever. Then again, Mary’s heroes…especially her precious father…never cared too much for preservation of the trees, anyway. For shame, Mary.

Well, you get the point. Indeed this is about common decency, civility. Without that, we can’t begin to talk with each other. I’m buying Mary Cheney’s book and I’m taking it on the plane with me to New York on Saturday. It was a pleasure to meet her.