This is why "Northern Exposure" was one of the best shows ever

"When I was a boy growin up in Oklahoma City, I'd go to the show on Saturday. My favorite was John Wayne. Didn't matter what kind of movie it was - cowboy picture, war movie - I was with him all the way. Except for 'The Quiet Man', that one bored the hell out of me. By the time I was 9 years old, I was walkin and talkin like the Duke. Then one day, the walls came crashing down.

I was playin army with the Marshall boys, Jed and Jeff, in Bailey's Woods. Jeff said, kind of off-handedly that John Wayne didn't do his own fightin, didn't throw his own punches, take his own hits, or falls. Well I kicked the hell out of the Marshall boys, then I ran all the way home and asked my daddy if it was true that John Wayne didn't do his own fightin. And, he said yes.

John Wayne was my hero, and the Marshall boys gave him feet of clay. Now, I don't give a damn if Walt Whitman kicked with his right foot or his left foot, or that J. Edgar Hoover took it better than he gave it, or that Ike was true blue to Maymi, or that God-knows-who had trouble with the ponies or with the bottle.

We need our heroes. We need men we can look up to, believe in. Men who walk tall. We cannot chop 'em off at the knees just to prove they're like the rest of us.

Now, Walt Whitman was a pervert, but he was the best poet that America ever produced. Now, if he were standin here today and somebody called him a fruit or a queer, behind his back or to his face or over these airwaves, that person would have to answer to me.

Sure, we're all human, but there's damn few of us with the right stuff to be called heroes. That closes the book on that subject."