Sonnenfeld Predicts Bush to Go Out by 'Destroying All Life on Earth'

align="right"Catching up with an item from a few days ago: Barry Sonnenfeld, a movie director (Men in Black) and now the Emmy-winning executive producer and director of ABC's dramady Pushing Daisies, predicted on Wednesday's Late Show that amongst the things he's “worried” President Bush will do before leaving office is “go out by pushing the button and destroying all life on Earth.” That was too much for David Letterman, hardly a Bush fan (in June he asked if Bush has “any humanity?”), who responded: “It's just a little bleaker than I would have hoped for -- the idea that he would actually detonate the planet in a moment of despair.”

Sonnenfeld, who speculated about Bush hiding bin Laden, also wondered why Americans wouldn't vote for the “really smart” Barack Obama over John McCain who “finished second to last in his graduating class in college” and Sarah Palin, who “went to five different colleges,” and so “I'm thinking maybe she's got other talents than intelligence.” 

With some mix of seriousness and humor you can judge yourself by watching the video clip (though how funny is it to joke about the President as some kind of religious zealot out to murder millions?), Sonnenfeld told Letterman he's “worried since it's October that George Bush will do one of three things: Either find bin Laden, who've they've had somewhere for eight months waiting to bring out” or “let's start a war with Iran. That's always a possibility.” Then:

And here's the third thing -- and I don't know much about the Bible and I'm not a big rapture guy -- but I believe George Bush is and what better way, if your polls are so bad, than to go out by pushing the button and destroying all life on Earth?

Audio: MP3 clip (2:05, 750 Kb)

Asked by Letterman, on the show the day before the VP debate, his take on that and the election, Sonnenfeld -- without actually naming any of the candidates, but with his targets and implications pretty clear -- expounded:

I'm very lucky and surround myself with people who are smarter than me. So, metaphorically, what I wonder is why don't Americans do that and actually vote for someone who is really smart, was a President of the Harvard Law Review; as opposed to two people, one  who finished second to last in his graduating class in college and the other one, who I believe, went to five different colleges. Now, if I'm me and Chloe [his daughter] goes to five different colleges, I'm thinking maybe she's got other talents than intelligence.
The exchange on the Wednesday, October 1 Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, picking up a little before the audio/video clips above start:
BARRY SONNENFELD: Here's what I don't understand, Dave. I got the Emmy award for Pushing Daises in great deal because I surround myself with people smarter than me -- you know, the DP Michael Weaver, Michael Wiley, Brian, -- they're all much smarter than me, they're better than me. But I know I'm going to get all the credit. [audience laughter] And I did and I won the Emmy, and thank you very much and it was a thrilling moment.

DAVID LETTERMAN: But I know you're just being generous because you are a gifted director.

SONNENFELD: I'm very lucky and surround myself with people who are smarter than me. So, metaphorically, what I wonder is why don't Americans do that and actually vote for someone who is really smart, was a President of the Harvard Law Review; as opposed to two people, one  who finished second to last in his graduating class in college and the other one, who I believe, went to five different colleges.

Now, if I'm me and Chloe [his daughter] goes to five different colleges, I'm thinking maybe she's got other talents than intelligence. [audience applause and laughter]

So I'm worried about that, but I'm also worried since it's October that George Bush will do one of three things: Either find bin Laden, who've they've had somewhere for eight months waiting to bring out-

LETTERMAN: Crawford, at the ranch.

SONNENFELD: Crawford, at the ranch, you know, hacking up the brush. Or, you know, let's start a war with Iran. That's always a possibility. And here's the third thing – and I don't know much about the Bible and I'm not a big rapture guy – but I believe George Bush is and what better way, if your polls are so bad, than to go out by pushing the button and destroying all life on Earth? [mixture of laughter and groans from audience]

LETTERMAN: Gosh, now, that's-

SONNENFELD: Then you got rapture thing and, by the way, if I'm wrong I can't -- I mean, if I'm right I can't come back on the show and say “See, Dave, I told you so,” so I'm really screwed about it.

LETTERMAN: It's just a little bleaker than I would have hoped for -- the idea that he would actually detonate the planet in a moment of despair. That's a little, boy oh boy.

SONNENFELD: By a lot you think it's bleak, or just do you think?

LETTERMAN: Well I think for you, it fits the package perfectly. But I mean, honestly, do you walk around with thoughts like this?

SONNENFELD: Those are on my good days, yeah.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center