The HBO Western “Deadwood” features actor Gerald McRaney (pictured) as George Hearst (1820-1891), the father of famed publisher William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951). George Hearst is portrayed as the biggest, meanest man in town. In one scene, he hacks off the finger of a saloonkeeper with a miner’s pick. Mark McGuire, of the Hearst-owned Albany (N.Y.) Times Union, interviewed Hearst’s descendants (including to top execs at his own paper) and found that most hated the show. Says Hearst Corp. chairman George Hearst Jr.: “There is no factual integrity in that type of programming.” He’s also not fond of the blast-furnace profanity that laces almost every lyrical utterance. “After nine years, five months and 29 days in the service (Army), I’ve heard all those words,” he said. The chairman’s son, George Hearst III, is watching — “in the interest of staying informed.” That, and because he’s grown to like the show: “There are very colorful actors, and very good acting. I enjoy watching this show in spite of the crass language. It is entertaining.” But Hearst III said people shouldn’t mistake fiction for history. “The notion that … (Hearst) is a darker type of soul than the rest of them in town is a stretch of the imagination,” he said.
Hearsts aren't fans of TV's 'Deadwood'
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