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Politics & Policy

The Left Is Not That Angry About the New Charlton Heston Stamp


Heston in Ruby Gentry (1952)

Photograph by 20th Century Fox-Film Corporation/Everett Collection

Heston in Ruby Gentry (1952)

Last month, conservative websites lit up with the news that the U.S. Postal Service might be releasing a 49-cent Charlton Heston “Forever” stamp.

The Daily Caller referred to the late actor and National Rife Association president as “a tireless advocate of gun owners rights.” The National Review offered a more eloquent homage to the star of The Ten Commandments and Planet of the Apes: “Charlton Heston, who spun massive Hollywood stardom and popularity as America’s narrator-in-chief into a late-life career as a firebreathing Second Amendment advocate and president of the National Rifle Association, is being honored with a stamp from the U.S. Postal Service.”

The media immediately dubbed the proposed stamp “controversial.” The Daily Kenn blog site speculated that “Hollywood leftism is bemoaning the possibility [that] ‘polarizing’ actor Charlton Heston may soon be honored with his own postal stamps.” The blog linked to an article from the Hollywood Reporter noting that “Heston’s advocacy for Second Amendment rights and his stewardship of the NRA from 1998-2003 has made him a pariah in some liberal circles.”

Now it’s official: The USPS says the Heston stamp will be available on April 11. So where’s all the controversy and supposed liberal outrage? There hasn’t been any. Supporters and detractors alike left comments on the Postal Service’s Facebook (FB) page, but USPS spokesman Roy Betts told the Hollywood Reporter that the agency didn’t receive specific complaints about the stamp. Perhaps Hollywood’s A-list actors are still recovering from Oscar festivities.

Or maybe it’s because the USPS is assiduous about balancing stamp designs that might anger the Left with ones that might anger the Right, resulting in a kind of anger washout. Soon after the Heston stamp goes on sale, the USPS will release one honoring gay-rights icon Harvey Milk. That might bother some conservatives. But they can always register their dissatisfaction by affixing Heston’s face to their envelopes.

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Leonard is a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York.

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