Évocateur: Resurrecting Morton Downey Jr. Just to Kill Him Again

The odd and sad documentary — Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie — is now available for On Demand viewing, and I ordered the movie and watched it with a disgruntled uncomfortableness as I recalled what a boor and a phony Morton Downey, Jr. was in real life and on television.  He was the living embodiment of those who prefer to tear down beauty than create goodness.  He thrived on igniting his live television audience to violence.

Morton Downey, Jr. was a great cartoon celebrity who didn’t mean anything he said.  He grew up a democrat and lived next to Ted Kennedy — yet his public persona was one of hatred and despise for the very people who carved his childhood and early adult years.

Not only did Morton go against the Kennedy family in public — while still fawning over them in private — he also loathed the fact that his famous tenor singer father namesake, Morton Downey, was a better man, and a bigger talent.  Junior could not live down the magical legacy of his father and so, instead of honoring the blood, he instead decided to berate the dead and tear down the beloved memory of the man who fathered him.

The documentary cleanly reveals the pathological, and deep, insincerity of Morton Downey, Jr. in every facet of his life — he was all show and no substance — and we see, all over again, how his brand of hateful rhetoric became the ground stones for seeding the phony Right Wing radicals who would follow him:  Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

The legacy of Morton Downey, Jr. is one that does not deserve to be memorialized in a movie or remembered by the meme.  He was a nasty man and a horrible person and he didn’t care what anybody else thought of him — as long as he got paid.  I’m still uncertain why so much effort was spent on trying to venerate a career that deserves dissolution, but I suppose there’s money in the myth-making, and so we get Morton Downey, Jr. resurrected all over again, just to kill him again.

4 comments

  • Guess someone somewhere made some money out of this and that is why it was done ……….

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    • Yes, and it wasn’t a gentle documentary, either. People who worked with him didn’t seem to care much for him — mostly, it seems, because he was so duplicitous between public persona and private person.

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  • That never makes for a nice or a comfortable person to be around – wonder if they thought he owed them – so decided to cash in ……………….

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    • The documentary does have a mean streak in it — perhaps you’re right they seeking some sort of revenge or a disconnect from the history of what they enabled.

      It’s hard for a dead man to stand up for himself, though. The fact that his widow appears nowhere in the movie was stunning. Either she knows what he was — and his “Nazi Skinhead Attack” was a hoax — or she still has no idea and doesn’t want to know…

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