Actor Kevin Spacey Makes Up Churchill Quote To Demand Tax Payer $ For Arts

Greg Hengler
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Posted: Apr 05, 2011 6:55 PM
I was watching this Hardball interview with Hollywood celeb, Kevin Spacey. And host, Chris Matthews had that thrill running up his leg from the outset. At the very end (seen here), Matthews asked Spacey to cite the Winston Churchill quote he shared the night before at his Kennedy Center lecture on the arts and specifically, government funding for the arts. To make a long story short, Spacey quoted Churchill as saying that Britain was fighting for the arts during WWII. This, according to Spacey, was a response to a suggestion that the British government should make cuts in art funding in order to better support the war.

[The fact that Germany was by far the most cultured and artistically sophisticated country in the world at this time did not get in the way of Spacey's fabrication.]

After hearing the so-called Churchill quote, which sounded out of place to say the least, I fact-checked it--as Mr. Spacey and Mr. Leg Thrill should have done. What source did this quote come from? Well, there is no source. Just a bunch of lefties re-quoting each other and saying it was P.M. Winston Churchill.

This reminded me of the Left's favorite made-up quote which they attribute to Thomas Jefferson, but is really uber-leftist historian Howard Zinn: "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."  But I digress.

Anywho, Here is what Richard M. Langworth, a Churchill historian writes regarding this hub-bub:

This alleged quotation was raised a few years ago in the Village Voice and is all over the web, but it is not in any of Churchill’s 15 million speeches, papers, letters, articles or books. Sir Winston’s daughter, Lady Soames, put me on to a close approximation, recorded in the official biography, Winston S. Churchill, by Martin Gilbert, vol. 6, Finest Hour 1939-1941, page 449. Not quite what the Village Voice recorded, but in a way, apropos…

1 June 1940 Colville Diary

The second matter concerned evacuation in the event of invasion, or even before invasion. This had been raised in several forms. The Foreign Office had put forward a suggestion to prepare to evacuate the Royal Family, and also the Government, to “some part of the Overseas Empire, where the war would continue to be waged.” When [Desmond] Morton passed on this request to Churchill, the Prime Minister answered: “I believe we shall make them rue the day they try to invade our island. No such discussion can be permitted.”

At this same moment, the Director of the National Gallery, Kenneth Clark, suggested that the paintings in the National Gallery should be sent from London to Canada. Churchill was likewise against this suggestion, and emphatically so. “No,” he minuted, “bury them in caves and cellars. None must go. We are going to beat them.”

It does not matter, because being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry.