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A reader asked us to look into whether a chain email was signed by actor-director Clint Eastwood, who famously rumbled his critique of Barack Obama’s first term to an empty stool before Mitt Romney spoke at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
We don’t know if Eastwood signed or wrote the email. But doubts have surfaced.
Here is the email as shared by the reader:
As I enjoy my twilight years, I am often struck by the inevitability that the party must end. There will be a clear, cold morning when there isn't any "more." No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat.
It seems to me that one of the important things to do before that morning comes, is to let every one of your family and friends know that you care for them by finding simple ways to let them know your heartfelt beliefs and the guiding principles of your life so they can always say, "He was my friend, and I know where he stood."
So, just in case I'm gone tomorrow, please know this.
I voted against that incompetent, lying, flip-flopping, insincere, double-talking, radical socialist, terrorist excusing, bleeding heart, narcissistic, scientific and economic moron currently in the White House!
Participating in a gun buyback program because you think that criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbors have too many kids.
We failed to draw a reply from Eastwood through his production company. But the publisher of Eastwood's hometown newspaper, the Carmel Pine Cone, offered up doubts. By email, Paul Miller wrote: "I’ve covered Mr. Eastwood for 20 years, and gotten to know him fairly well, and I can (un)equivocally state that he would not do such a thing. If a ‘chain mail’ that purported to come from him arrived in our newsroom, I would not even spend two minutes to check it out; I would just ignore it."
Miller said in another email: "Once I called Clint and said, ‘It’s all over the Internet that you died.’ And he said, ‘That’s just wishful thinking.’"
Separately, Snopes.com, which often debunks chain emails, said in a post last updated March 3, 2014, that this particular email "is not a reproduction of anything Clint Eastwood said or wrote."
Snopes.com continued: "In typical urban legend-like fashion, the earliest appearances of this item (from September and October 2013) are simply postings of untitled and uncredited emails that made no mention of Clint Eastwood; not until about three months later did versions identifying this piece as "Clint Eastwood's Twilight Years" begin to appear." Snopes.com said that an Eastwood representative, which Snopes.com did not identify, told the site that the actor-director had nothing to do with the message attributed to him.
Emails, Paul Miller, publisher, Carmel Pine Cone, Feb. 26-27, 2014
Blog post, "Twilight Years," Snopes.com, last updated March 3, 2014 (accessed March 5, 2014)