1/10/05       Charleston Hesseman paid $500,000 to promote Bush gun control policy…


The Warshington Roast has recently discovered that well-known and beloved movie actor Charleston Hesseman was paid over $500,000 in his role as a consultant for gun control policy for the White House.  Mr. Hesseman currently holds the position of president of the National Gun Association.  This follows closely on the heels of recent revelations that the Bush administration has paid for disingenuous "news reports" as well as clandestine "expert endorsements" for its controversial "No Child left Behind" education initiatives with taxpayer funds.

Roast reporter Lib Journeyman was able to track down Mr. Hesseman in his Hollywood hillside mansion, and what follows is an exclusive interview graciously granted by Mr. Hesseman himself:

Journeyman: "Mr. Hesseman thanks again for granting us this interview."

Hesseman: "Lib, it's always a pleasure."

Journeyman: "Well, Mr. Hesseman, I suppose you are aware of the story that my paper ran in regards to your consultative work with the White House.  Would you care to comment?"

Hesseman: "Well Lib, to be honest, I'll have to say that I don't read your paper that much because of the way it presents the news.  But, this is America and you are free to do that, and I'm free to not read it.  The truth of the matter is, yes, I have been a strong supporter of this administration's position on gun control.  I would be derelict in my duties as the president of the NGA if I wasn't. Yes, I've met the President, and his adviser Mr. Rove, and I've also met Mr. Bush Sr. on a number of occasions, and I'll have to say they're all fine, decent men, really.  As to the money, well, look around you here, Lib.  Do I honestly look like I'm wanting, or hurting for anything?  I've had a great career in Hollywood and I have been really blessed financially.  The fees that we are talking about, well, that's just really nothing more than "operating expenses".  I don't need the money.  Heck, I've just recently donated about that much to other Republican campaigns in America.  Really, there's no "smoking gun" here."

Journeyman: "So what would you say is the White House's position on gun control?"

Hesseman: "I think this administration has a lot of common ground with the NGA, Lib.  We're both staunch supporters of every American's God-given right from the Second Amendment to our Constitution to own and bear arms.  Every person has a right to feel safe in their own home, and to use firearms responsibly whether for sport or hunting.  The Republicans have been rock solid in their support behind this.  As a matter of fact this issue alone has made the party more attractive to many of our NGA members who are Democrats.  Every time that they propose one of these assault weapon bans, well, pardon the pun, but they just "shoot themselves in the foot" and prove our point further.  From my cold dead hands!... heh, heh..."

Journeyman: "Correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. Hesseman, but doesn't the Second Amendment speak more towards the rights of citizens to bear arms against their own government, or oppressive regimes?"

Hesseman: "Heh, heh... don't you think that's a bit of an exaggeration and a distortion there, Lib?  Let's just put me down as a "no comment" on that."

Journeyman: "Okay.  Perhaps you'd care to comment about the recent stories in the news about the .50 caliber rifles available in the United States."

Hesseman: "Oh!  The Barrett .50 rifle!  A fine piece of precision and craftsmanship!  Accurate to over a mile away.  I own three of them myself! Oops!  Maybe we’d better edit that out.  I support our new governor here in California, Mr. Schwarzenegger, a fine, fine man, I've met him many times, but he couldn't be more wrong on this particular issue for California.  Arnold, if you're reading this, take note...  ‘We’ll be back'...  heh, heh, heh.  But, seriously, Lib, no one was more appalled than I was about that story of the fishermen in Kansas finding three of these rifles apparently abandoned or stashed around a creek.  This is behavior that no card-carrying member of the NGA would ever tolerate."

Journeyman: "I think most people are more concerned with what would be the need for private ownership of this rifle in the first place."

Hesseman: "Lib, if you take away the right to own guns, then pretty soon only criminals will have guns.  If you haven't experienced the thrill and exhilaration of firing one of these babies, I really don't see how you can honestly report about it.  At three dollars a pop for a cartridge though, it's a little expensive for "punching paper"… wait, I’ve got an idea. Follow me.

I then followed Mr. Hesseman out onto his deck high in the hills overlooking Hollywood. Thousands of magnificent homes dotted the landscape off in the distance and it was a beautifully clear winter day for Southern California. Mr. Hesseman then leaned over the rail and pointed off into the distance.

Hesseman: “See that three story pink house just there in the distance, the one with the taupe roof? That’s not quite a mile from here, as the crow flies. Just imagine the thrill of just knowing that I could accurately hit something there from this distance, and I can, too! Actually, that’s the house of the current president of the homeowners association here. Arrogant bastard. Association fees keep going up, and the value of our Real Estate keeps going down. I feel kind of sorry for him, though. I understand he’s had a running problem recently with vandalism to his car… tires flattened… some other things…”

Journeyman: “So, Mr. Hesseman, your position on the .50 caliber rifle would be that it’s important for all Americans to have the right to own one in keeping with the true definition of the Second Amendment.”

Hesseman: “Heh, heh… nice try again there, Lib, but like I said before, I’m simply not going to go there with you! I will say this though, to anyone out there with anything bad to say about America and our President, I say ‘bring it on’; we’ve got a little surprise waiting for you!”

House Majority Whip Tom DeLay was unavailable for comment in regards to allegations of some of the funds in question being traced ultimately to his legal defense fund in Texas.

The Warshington Roast contacted the White House prior to publication and spokesman Scott McClellan stated, “The President, at this time, simply has no comment until all the facts are known. It would be foolish to either confirm or deny anything at this point and give it the semblance of factuality. The reality is that these things should more accurately be allowed to remain as allegations. We have an obligation to the American people to aggressively create and promote known facts responsibly and for the good of the country at a time of war.”