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He Was Really Good In Chaplin, Too


Somebody at CNN has it in for Robert Downey, it seems. Either that or their chyron title generator was stuck for the better part of 20 minutes -- or maybe more. Monday night, during the entire 20-minute stretch of the Larry King/Robert Downey/Shane Black confab I watched, the title onscreen rarely deviated from "ROBERT DOWNEY, JR, DRUG ABUSING FIEND!" Even when it was Larry's face or Shane Black's or footage from the movie playing. Come on, CNN, give the guy a break.

Posted by aalkon at October 18, 2005 8:29 AM

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Ha, I think "Less Than Zero" would have been a more appropriate reference. That cokehead has had plenty enough chances. Time to give him a long jail sentence. Poster boy for keeping drugs illegal.

Posted by: nash at October 18, 2005 6:33 AM

if he wasnt a famous rich white guy but some poor mexican nobody he would probably still be in jail from an offence 3 or 4 yrs ago

Posted by: john at October 18, 2005 11:03 AM

Who, besides himself, has he ever harmed through his drug use? What purpose would a long jail service serve (especially considering he is reportedly clean now)?

Or do you just enjoy being a knee-jerk buttwipe, Nash?

Posted by: Frank at October 18, 2005 11:04 AM

nash even volunteered to pay the cost of what it'll cost to keep him in jail for all that time. once he finds a second job, of course.

Posted by: g*mart at October 18, 2005 12:09 PM

What's a matter Frank, hit too close to home? Are you back on the wagon? Good for you.

Downey wasn't popping vicodin. He was doing heroin and coke. If you don't think those drugs fund terrorism then go read Killing Pablo.

Posted by: nash at October 19, 2005 6:09 AM

Diamonds fund terrorism. If you don't think so, go read Greg Campbell's Blood Diamonds.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 19, 2005 7:54 AM

Is that why you won't get married? Just kidding.

Posted by: nash at October 19, 2005 9:33 AM

Drugs only fund terrorism and criminals because they're ILLEGAL. If you made all drugs legal, then put a fraction of the money used for the "war on drugs" into areas like treatment for addicts, you'd wipe out most of the so-called drug problem - including the huge profits that attract terrorists, gangs, and organized crime and the murders, beatings and bribery committed to protect drug turf.

If we were rational adults instead of knee-jerk moralists, we could discourage and treat abuse (as we do with alcohol), and penalize irresponsible use (e.g., DUI, neglecting your kids while you get your buzz on), while still letting adults make their own decisions about what substances they might like to ingest.

Interestingly, we only criminalize substances that the mainstream doesn't personally relate to. It's simply a cultural anomoly that we allow (heck, glorify) caffeine and alcohol, tolerate (more or less) tobacco and pills, but criminalize marijuana, coke, heroin and so forth.

Posted by: Melissa at October 19, 2005 5:16 PM

Excellent point, Melissa. The war on drugs is, to a large extent, a war on drug users. And just a related reminder -- all drug use is not drug abuse.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 19, 2005 5:39 PM


You can't make a gun, a cigarette, or a burger without getting sued. What pharmaceutical company is going to start producing recreational pharmaceuticals given the risk of lawsuits? It's always going to come from the third word (mostly) where the money goes to fund corruption and terrorism.

Posted by: nash at October 20, 2005 10:11 AM

Marijuana doesn't grow on trees, but it doesn't grow in a lab, either. To name just one.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 20, 2005 10:15 AM

Nash, I can't think of many businesses more lawsuit-prone than the pharmaceutical business, so if your argument held, they wouldn't be willing to manufacture and sell currently-legal drugs either.

Besides, even if pharmaceutical companies didn't want to sell recreational drugs (disregarding the fact that they already do, just not marketed as such), there would be an entrepreneurial chemist to fill the breach (or farmer in the case of marijuana, coca and opium poppies). That's the beauty of a free market economy sans illogical, artificial restrictions.

I don't know what you thought you were illustrationg with the examples you chose - businesses selling guns, cigarettes and fast-food burgers are thriving, or at the very least surviving, despite lawsuits. (Guns, of course, are now available in the new "litigation proof" version, but they weren't exactly scarce before last week's "thanks Bushie" litigation shield law).

If you want to go into a business that isn't subject to lawsuits, I'd suggest managing your own trust fund - but only if you have no heirs who might want to wrench control. Everything else has some degree of risk of lawsuits, and many business have a fairly high degree (including substantial judgments and settlements, plus legal fees to avoid, fight and deal with the claims). This is simply taken into account in economic terms, such as the number of competitors and their business models (size of company, rate of innovation, price points, warning labels, etc.).

Posted by: Melissa at October 26, 2005 9:25 PM

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