Ben Stein's Diary

They’re Planting Stories in the Press

Safe from the tabloidistas on the Fourth of July.

By 7.5.14

Megan Visser
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July 4, 2014

Someone’s got it in for me.
They’re planting stories in the press.
Whoever it is, I wish they’d cut it out quick.
But when they will, I can only guess.
They say I shot a man named Gray,
And took his wife to Italy.
She inherited a million bucks,

And when she died,
It came to me.
I can’t help it if I’m lucky.
People see me all the time and they just can’t remember how to act.
Their minds are filled with big ideas, images, and distorted facts…
Idiot wind blowing every time you move your mouth
Blowing down the back roads heading south.
Idiot wind blowing every time you move your teeth
You’re an idiot babe
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.…

The ultimate genius, Bob Dylan, of course.

This song, my favorite, blows into my mind because while my wifey and I were flying up here two days ago to glorious Sandpoint, we stopped at a café at the SEA-TAC airport. We sat at a table, awaited our food, and opened my emails. Bang. There was an email saying that a major tabloid had run a story accusing me of “sexting” or sending nude pictures of my fat old self to a woman I once met for lunch in San Francisco.

Of course, this is a joke. I have never taken or sent a nude picture of myself. I am a fat old man. I wouldn’t even consider it. Besides, it’s just not who I am. It is a ridiculous bad, delusional  joke.

The amazing part is that I picked up that message at the precise same spot at that airport where five or so years earlier, I had gotten an email firing me from my column at the NY Times. The same exact spot!  Supposedly, I had committed the crime of doing a commercial for an investment bank while writing about it. But I have never done any such thing. Not even remotely. I was fired for my work on Expelled, a documentary questioning thought policing about Intelligent Design and asserting that God had a lot to do with creation.

Anyway, isn’t that some coincidence? Delusional thinking that came out of some dark place to bite me.

The story in the tabloid had come from a San Francisco woman who was apparently angry at me because I did not buy her an expensive trip to LA to see her friends. This was a woman I had only spent about 60 minutes with at lunch at a restaurant. Anyway, she apparently started this mess. Lucky for me I was not lured in by her youth and beauty. So, no sexting, no sex, no story.

Worse than that, the flight from SEA-TAC to Spokane was horribly hot and stuffy. I hate that.

When we got to Sandpoint, everything was great though.

Ooops. Not quite. A reputable magazine had picked up the tabloid story and was running with it. I hate that, too.

I texted the author of the story in the reputable mag and straightened him out and went to sleep listening to Mr. Buffett’s trains.

In the morning though, I had a long talk with the reputable magazine reporter, explained things and sure enough, this prince of a guy corrected the tabloid and ran a corrected version of the story.

I LOVE THAT.

Well, the basic point here is that I love meeting pretty girls and having them flirt with me. I am not sure why that’s a crime. It doesn’t bother my wife. But, as Mr. Dylan said, “There are a lot of people who have knives and forks and they don’t have anything on their plate, so they have to cut something.” This describes tabloids pretty well.

Now, here is something else I love. We are being visited in Idaho by our dear Canadian friends, Mike, Nancy, Tanner, Megan and Peyton Visser and they are so good looking it is almost unbelievable. Plus cheerful, loving, encouraging and Godly.

Just great people. We went out on my boat yesterday with the Vissers and Tim Farmin and zoomed all around and had lunch, slept, and walked around town.

Today, I learned that some online gossip mag is also attacking me for meeting pretty girls at airports. Can they really have nothing better to talk about? Hey, earth to media ! The Al-Qaeda, who bombed us horribly 13 years ago in DC and Gotham, now are about to take over a huge part of the Middle East. Hey, media, we are losing a big, big war. Wake up! Ben Stein’s fascinating, but really. Get hip. The world is coming to an end. Maybe that’s more important.

Anyway, the Vissers and Big Wifey and I watched the spectacular fireworks over City Beach here tonight. I thought how grateful I am to live in this perfect America, where sick, angry people can plant stories about me in the press—but they cannot yet put me in front of a firing squad. I love, love, love being here in a safe, kindly, beautiful part of the world on Lake Pendoreille, with the Vissers and wifey, far from the mean-spirited tabloidistas in Fun City. I think I will just stay here forever. Sandpoint, where I feel safe from angry malcontents. “In the mountains, there you find peace.” T.S. Eliot, a serious anti-Semite but what a talent. He said it.

And God bless my perfect wifey, who ain’t gonna let the stinking tabloids turn her around.

We met 48 years ago today and it was the best day of my life. My wife, the kindest woman on earth, the ultimate weapon against fear, the ultimate American.

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About the Author

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator.