It's Not Real, Maggots!
Date Added: Aug. 27, 2005
One of the biggest problems with passing things around on the Internet via e-mail or posting on message boards is that we typically have little control over what happens to them once they leave our outbox. Recipients are free to edit or pick and choose just the text they want to share. What results are nuggets of misinformation like this one.
USMC PRESS CONFERENCE
For the few of you who missed him, R. Lee Ermey is the host of The History Channel's "Mail Call" and played the Drill Instructor in the movie, "Full Metal Jacket." He is a retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant and a very plain speaker, as you will soon read. So, for your entertainment, here is Retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey at his first press conference. The main topic of discussion is the Marine in Iraq who shot the Iraq insurgent to death. We pick up as the reporter asks about how this potential war crime will affect our image in the world:
Ermey: "What kind of a pansy-assed question is that?"
Reporter 1: "Well I think...."
Ermey: "THINK, Fancy boy?! Get this through that septic tank on top of your shoulders, moron: I DON'T GIVE A DAMN WHAT YOU THINK, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME??? That Marine shot an ENEMY COMBATANT, SHITHEAD; SO GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND DEAL WITH IT BEFORE I MAKE YOU MY OWN PERSONAL PIN CUSHION!!! Next question: You in the blue suit."
Reporter 2: Don't you think that the world's opinion of our operations is important?
Ermey: "Oh sure! You don't know the times I have cried myself to sleep worrying about what some goddamned French pansy thinks! Oh the days I have had to weep because some sh*t eating terrorist f***er might be mad at us, because we went into whatever god forsaken hole in the sh*t that he lives in and killed him. WHAT THE HELL KIND OF DUMBASS QUESTION IS THAT YOU PETER-PUFFING JACKASS?? WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND WHEN YOU ATTACK US, WE ARE GOING TO COME TO YOUR HOUSE AND BLOW YOUR STINKING CAMEL-LICKING CARCASS INTO PIECES SO SMALL WE WILL BE ABLE TO BURY YOUR SORRY ASS IN A THIMBLE!! YEAH, I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING. YOU ARE PROBABLY AFRAID, THINKING THAT I HAVE SUCH AN "EXTREME" ATTITUDE AND THAT I NEED TO BE MORE SENSITIVE" TO OTHER PEOPLE'S FEELINGS. WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING YOU POLE-SMOKING PANSY! I DON'T GIVE TWO SHITS WHAT YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE THINKS! THIS IS A DAMN WAR, AND IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE THAT, THEN YOU SHOULD GO HOME AND SUCK ON MAMMA'S TIT!! DO YOU HEAR ME YOU RUNT?? NOW GET THE HELL OUT OF MY PRESS ROOM BEFORE I GO CRAZY AND BEAT THE LIVING sh*t OUT OF YOU!!! Next question: YOU WITH THE UGLY-ASSED TIE. LOOK AT THAT THING! IT IS HIDEOUS."
Reporter: 3: "Aren't you going against the freedom of the press by..."
Ermey: "FREEDOM?? WHAT IN BLUE HELL DO YOU KNOW ABOUT FREEDOM? I HAVE SWEATED MY ASS OFF IN JUNGLES, WHILE BEING SHOT AT FOR THIS NATION!! WHAT IN THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE YOU LITTLE sh*t-SUCKING WEASEL? WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU PUT YOUR ASS ON THE LINE FOR ANYTHING? AND YET YOU HAVE THE UNMITIGATED TEMERITY TO SHOW UP HERE AND MONDAY-MORNING QUARTERBACK THE ACTIONS OF A BRAVE MARINE, WHO WAS DEFENDING HIMSELF AND HIS UNIT FROM AN ATTACK BY SOME MURDEROUS AL-QUEDA SYMPATHIZER!!! YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT I AM CONCERNED ABOUT, NUMBNUTS? I AM CONCERNED ABOUT A BUNCH OF GRABASSTIC, ORGANIZED MORONS WITH CAMERAS AND MICROPHONES DOING THEIR BEST TO PORTRAY OUR BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN AS WAR CRIMINALS! I AM CONCERNED ABOUT CHICKEN-sh*t PANSIES THAT WANT US TO NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS AND WHINE ABOUT THEIR PISS-ANT "FREEDOMS"!!"
Reporter: 3: "I..."
Ermey: "DID YOU HAVE A BIG BOWL OF STUPID FOR BREAKFAST THIS MORNING, NUMBNUTS? I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER WORD OUT OF THAT COMMIE CRY-HOLE IN THAT sh*t-PILE YOU CALL A HEAD! AND THAT GOES TRIPLE FOR THE REST OF YOU PANSY-ASSED MORONS! NOW GET THE HELL OUT OF MY PRESS ROOM BEFORE I SHOVE MY BOOT SO FAR UP YOUR ASS THAT YOU CHOKE TO DEATH ON MY SHOELACES!!!!"
Marine DI's have a language all their own. God bless them all!!
Contrary to what the text suggests, this is not a real account of a press conference. Red flags are that it is not dated, does not give the location and reason for the press conference, does not identify the reporters Ermey supposedly put in their places, nor does the text reveal where this transcript came from.
Surely, if this exchange were real and a high-profile ex-marine, movie star and television personality really had publicly berated a trio of reporters at a press conference, it would be all over the news. Yet the media has been mum on this one. Not even the traditionally conservative media outlets have reported this and, at the very least, you'd think one of the rebuffed reporters would want to rebut the "Gunny" in a forum more favorable to him or her.
What we actually have here is some anonymous author's imagining of what might happen if an outspoken marine were to achieve an important post in the current presidential administration. I found copies of it on numerous bulletin boards and forums dating back to December 2004, soon after the controversial events it was crafted as a response to (the NBC footage of a U.S. Marine shooting and killing an apparently injured and unarmed Iraqi).
Earlier versions reveal it as a fictional account. It is frequently posted under the title "If R. Lee Ermey Were the President's Press Secretary" and contains an opening paragraph that explains the joke (emphasis added):
R. Lee Ermey, for the few of you that missed it, was the host of The History Channel's Mail Call and played the D.I. in the movie Full Metal Jacket . R. Lee is a retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant and a very plain speaker as you will soon read. So, for your entertainment, here is Retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey at his first press conference as unofficial US Press Secretary.
Ronald Lee Ermey is a retired Staff Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps. After serving more than 10 years (1961 to 1971), including a brief stint as a Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, India Company 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Ermey retired on a medical disability and took up acting.
In 1987, he took the role that would define his persona for the forseeable future, that of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, the foul-mouthed, abrasive drill instructor in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. He has since applied that persona to a number of projects, most recently "Mail Call," a question-and-answer type program about antique weaponry.
One title the Gunny has certainly never held is "US Press Secretary," unofficial or otherwise. The omission of the wished-for office for the Gunny in the version above erroneously moves this message from the "what if..." column to the make-believe "true story" category. A representative of Ermey's Web site told BreakTheChain.org that "As for the 'Chain Letter' we all get a laugh from it." Dismiss it as the bit of fanciful humor it was intended to be. Break this chain.
References: Snopes.com, RLeeErmey.com