Where’s My Roy Cohn

A Review

Listen Here @ 1:00:07

Joseph McCarthy. Julius Rosenberg. Ethel Rosenberg. Espionage. Rupert Murdoch. John Gotti. Homophobia. Master Manipulator. Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump.

Each term. Each person. Line ’em up. Then wait. Just wait. One slip of a man will emerge from the bushes: Roy Cohn, the notorious attorney extraordinare who came of age and gained power and influence during a most infamous time in the history of the United States: The McCarthy Era.

I did not know Roy Cohn; but the House UnAmerican Committee lead by Joseph McCarthy, I knew all too well. I learned of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg but had no idea the man behind that moment in our history. Even when Donald Trump asked “Where’s My Roy Cohn” after the former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation in 2017, Roy Cohn did not ring a bell.

Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary Where’s My Roy Cohn brings to relief Roy Cohn, a mastermind … a shadow of sorts lurking within the vein of the most recognized moments in our history. Tyrnauer’s Cohn is assured, Columbia University educated, and an aggressive craftsman in the art of manipulation. His tactics? Admit nothing. Apologize nevah! Lie and lie no matter the truth. Smear your enemies. Disparage the press. Go on the offense—immediately.

Where’s My Roy Cohn is a study of a product of capitalism—what that system can produce and what it will allow to have full reign in the halls of power.

Where’s my Roy Cohn is an exploration of the arrogant disregard for the law to such an extent that people, such as mob boss John Gotti, called on him for a defense.

There is no doubt Tyrnauer’s political leanings, but the director courageously offers up an incisive documentary raid on the personal life of Roy Cohn. Call him the devil. Call him evil. But there is one fact you cannot deny him: Roy Cohn was a shrewd and talented engineer of the maneuver and influence. He understood full well how far a system could bend. When it was rumored that he had contracted AIDS, he merely replaced them with his correct diagnosis: he had liver cancer.

Special to Where’s My Roy Cohn are the commentaries from his family, and from columnists such as the late Liz Smith, writer Ken Aluetta, radio personality Sam Roberts, and Donald Trump’s former longtime political advisor Roger Stone.

The beauty of Where’s My Roy Cohn resides in the knowledge of just how this kind of personality works; its strategies and maneuvers … you won’t be caught off guard again. After viewing Where My Roy Cohn, I wanted to hug every single person who had been kind to me and for those who had tripped me up on their evil, I can now say, and say it with a smile: I see you! Just as did Martin London who successfully engineered Roy Cohn’s disbarment in 1986 for unethical conduct. Five weeks later, Roy Cohn died of complications from AIDS on August 2, 1986 in Bethesda, Maryland. He was 59 years old.

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