Giuliani vs. Wilson

Rudolph Giuliani has a brief but significant mention in Charlie Wilson’s War (Universal, 12.25) . It’s just a quick line in a consultation scene between Rep. Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) and his secretaries over his being investigated for snorting cocaine at a hot-tub party in Las Vegas in ’86. The debauch is depicted at the very beginning of the Mike Nichols film.


(l.) the real Rep. Charlie Wilson; (r.) Rudolph Giuliani

Wilson asks a secretary, “Who’s running the thing? Who’s the prosecutor?” She answers, “Rudolph Giuliani. From the Southern District.” Another assistant asks, “Do you know him?” Wilson says “no.”

The scene is obviously telling us that Giuliani was an opportunist looking to make headlines…which he was. Guliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in ’83, and it was in this position that he first gained national prominence by prosecuting various mafiosos and white-collar criminals including Wall Street’s Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken for insider trading.

Wilson once said of Giuliani’s interest in his recreational Vegas sojourn: “It’s absolutely astounding the lengths to which the Justice Department have gone to try and figure out what I did in a hot tub in Las Vegas. If they had put the same resources into drug trafficking,,,there would be half as much heroin coming into the United States as there is now.”

25 thoughts on “Giuliani vs. Wilson

  1. “It’s absolutely astounding the lengths to which the Justice Department have gone to try and figure out what I did in a hot tub in Las Vegas. If they had put the same resources into drug trafficking,,,there would be half as much heroin coming into the United States as there is now.”

    Insert, “if I hadn’t let the Taliban run amok after funding their jihad against the Soviets”, and I’ll agree with you, Chuck.

  2. (I’ve run this line before but I’ll keep doing it anyway)

    “Rudy is a hero. He was truly America’s mayor after the way he handled 9/11. Such leadership. Such courage……….. what’s that? He’s running for president as a Republican? Why he’s the most evil, crooked, hate-filled man this nation has ever seen!… In fact, he probably CAUSED 9/11!”

  3. Actually that’s a little backwards. Rudy was pretty unpopular in NYC until 9/11 happened thanks to some of his more divisive policies. He wouldn’t be running if he hadn’t looked basically competent in the aftermath when the rest of the country’s leaders were hiding.

  4. “9/11 happened thanks to some of his more divisive policies.”

    How’s that?

    Unless I misread. Do you mean he was pretty unpopular because of his divisive policies until 9/11? Even so, it’s sadly untrue. He was always supported by the bluehaired and the law and order types, Dick Nixon’s great silent majority.

  5. Call me naive, but I just took that as a throwaway joke, based on Giuliani’s then-obscurity comparative to his worldwide fame nowadays.

  6. Giuliani was always a divisive presence in New York before September 11th and he was wearing out his welcome by the end of his term.

    Plus, I never thought he did anything special on September 11th except do his job while opportunistically grabbing the spotlight. If the governor had grabbed the spotlight that day and read victim’s names, the media and public would have been calling him a hero.

    All of this talk about Giuliani’s leadership and courage that day has been awfully phony from the start. But the media needed to anoint someone a hero that day. Unfortunately, the myth continues years later and people are being suckered to vote for him based on it.

  7. There’s another throwaway line in the script alluding to another top GOP presidential candidate.

    jeff did that one make the cut?

  8. Ugh. I always find it irritating when a period piece winks at its audience like that. Puke.

    The worst example, of course, were Billy Zane’s throwaway Titanic lines insulting Pablo Picasso, just to prove how stupid his character was.

  9. Sorry to get off topic, but on Ebert’s website today, he has a 1970 interview with Groucho Marx. And, yes, christian, he mentions Skidoo.

  10. The worst example, of course, were Billy Zane’s throwaway Titanic lines insulting Pablo Picasso, just to prove how stupid his character was.

    I couldn’t get past the apparent fact that Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was supposed to have gone down with the ship. That’s like Abraham Lincoln going down with the Titanic, we KNOW that didn’t happen!

  11. We know Les Demoiselles d’Avignon had to survive the Titanic in order to take that end-of-WWII ride on The Train with Burt Lancaster!

  12. Burmashave, there should have been a comma in there. Rudy had nothing to do with causing 9/11 (although he did think it was a good idea to put his command center in the city’s most obvious target).

  13. Thanks, Jason. That looks similar to what’s happening to me, although it is my own anti-virus software that is picking up the run attempts by unknown scripts (not every visit to this site, but on most visits to this site over the past few days). Script execution is blocked by my anti-virus program and my browser window is not hijacked and taken to another site.

  14. swordandpen: “Plus, I never thought he did anything special on September 11th except do his job while opportunistically grabbing the spotlight.”

    If he did his job, he’d have actually taken the advice not to leave the radio tower in the same building it was blown up in the first time.

  15. Not a big fan of cubism, myself, Josh.

    Jeff’s hatred for Italians runs so deep I’m surprised he’s able to look past the vowel at the end of Obama. I hate to be “that guy”, but he’s more than demonstrated it in columns past.

    Giuliani may be a whacko, a republican whacko at that, but what front-running politician ISN’T an opportunist?? Can you imagine the arrogance it requires one to possess to believe THEIR ideas, while perhaps not perfect, are the best for the country?

    What’s the standard here? This is a quality all politicans have. Are there degrees of how bad shit can smell? Seriously.

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