On March 7, Newsweek assistant culture editor Marlow Stern went after "right-wing actress" Patricia Heaton of ABC's "The Middle" in an article headlined "Patricia Heaton's History of Outbursts:Sandra Fluke No Anomaly." He complained "right-wing actress Patricia Heaton unleashed a Twitter tirade against Fluke. But Heaton, best known for playing the caring, cerebral housewife Debra Barone on the hit CBS television sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, is no stranger to controversial political statements." He didn't interview her. He just "exposed" her.
Nine days later, Stern is lauding hard-left actress Susan Sarandon as "brilliant" and "masterful," and setting her up to make outrageous left-wing attacks on Rush Limbaugh and "the wacky GOP." Despite this, she is not labeled as a liberal: "The seemingly ageless actress is, at 65, also not afraid to speak her mind." Stern didn't so much ask questions as offer please-trash-them softballs:
What are your thoughts on the GOP’s field of presidential hopefuls?
I’m finding them incredibly amusing. They’re so ridiculous that it’s entertainment. I can’t imagine that America would be that insane to put any of these people in [the White House]. I just have to believe that the GOP just wrote off this time and said, ‘We don’t care. Anybody can run!’ ’Cause this can’t be the best they can do.
Limbaugh came up when Stern supportively noted that rumors had Sarandon dating a much younger man after the breakup of her second marriage to hard-left actor Tim Robbins, and they discussed how when men are sexually active they are "players," but women are "sluts":
Yes, it really seemed to rear its ugly head with the Sandra Fluke–Rush Limbaugh “slut” controversy.
What a Barnum & Bailey showman he is! Limbaugh will just say anything to get his ratings up. He doesn’t care who he endangers or what it means. Are the Republicans suggesting that they take care of all the children that are born when you don’t have birth control available to you when you’re a poor woman? Do these guys not understand what it takes to raise a child, financially and timewise? They sound like complete idiots! Does Rush Limbaugh have children? I mean he certainly isn’t against drugs! He’s just somebody who’s trying to get ratings by saying the most outrageous things possible, and unfortunately, there are a lot of nonthinking people who are affected by his theatrical carrying on, and he incites them to very dangerous positions.
And what do you make of the whole birth-control issue?
I don’t understand how you can be so anxious to populate the world with children who can’t afford to get an education or are going hungry. It’s wonderful to have a family, but it takes money. We’re in an election right now where there’s a lot of talk about how the government is not supposed to make it easy for you to get health care, education, food, or any of the things you need to give a child a chance to be a contributing member of society. I don’t understand how that works? If you don’t have control over your reproductive system as a woman, then who steps in to help you? Clearly, abstinence doesn’t work, and we’re living in an age where a lot of gentlemen don’t take responsibility for the children they’re so happy to give to women. So who helps?
Stern also gently suggested: "There’s been a lot of talk from the GOP presidential hopefuls about going to war with Iran, and you were one of the first celebrities to really speak out against the war in Iraq." Sarandon said "I hope we learned from the last one that war isn’t something you just go into simply and eagerly and that it costs an enormous amount. I hope that public opinion isn’t so easily coerced this time."
The interview began with how her new movie casts her as a mother of an "idealistic 30-year-old stoner who lives in mom’s basement," and how she feels about marijuana. (She's for it.)
You have two sons: Jack Henry and Miles Guthrie. Would you kick their asses out of the house if they were living in your basement and taking bong rips at 30?
No, I would not. I don’t think weed is such a horrible thing if you’re doing your job. It’s unfortunate that it’s illegal, but I think it’s one of the least offensive drugs that people use. Drinking can be much worse. Weed is barely a drug. I know a lot of artists and directors that are very high-functioning potheads.