Bozell Column: Hurray for Hollow-wood?
Beware celebrities getting involved in politics. In a 2007 CBS News poll, 49 percent of the public agreed with the notion that "Hollywood celebrities are inexperienced about politics and should stay out of politics." When asked if celebrity endorsements would make voters more or less to support a candidate, 78 percent said it "won’t matter to people on way or the other."
I can only conclude that 51 percent of Americans have never heard Hollywood celebrities speak out. Let’s take Cher, the singer who can’t honor her promises to retire. Upon Barack Obama’s inauguration, Cher told CNSNews.com that she loved the new president. "I just think he’s totally the right person at this time in our history," she said. "He brings something more in his spirit than maybe another president could be even with the same intelligence. There’s something about him that brings more with his spirit, and that’s what Americans need right now."
Okay, I’m totally cool with that. But why, then, add the next sentence: "Republicans almost killed me."
Asked how Republicans somehow "killed" her, Cher wasn’t specific. She just couldn’t understand why people would lower themselves to voting GOP. "You know what? I have so – I try to be charitable and there are some really good Republicans, but I just don’t understand how anyone would want to be a Republican," she said. "If you’re poor, if you’re any kind of minority – gay, black, Latino, anything. If you’re not a rich – I don’t know. If you’re not a rich [white] born-again-Christian, I don’t get it."
Those are the crucial words, "I don’t get it." Celebrities aren’t expected to make sense, they’re only expected to be famous. Cher doesn’t seem to have any stronger ideas on how to run the country other than she hates Republicans. Why would anyone let Cher help them decide what they think of political issues? Celebrities like Cher live inside a bubble that doesn’t let any reality seep through.
Here’s another example. Hollywood people think Republicans are dividers, but when Democrats come to power and shove their agenda down our throats, they can be plausibly defined as "healing" people. Here’s Cher on NBC in October: "The country is so divided. And it's still gonna be divided. But I honestly think there are some people that are healing people and there are some people like this President we have right now, that are just, you know he says, he's the Big Decider, but I think he's the Big Divider."
Clearly, Hollywood people think their kind of people are "healers" because they’re peacemakers who don’t start wars. But how would celebrities keep the country safe? How would Hollywood respond to 9-11? They don’t have to have a clue. "All you need is love" is about all they have to offer.
With the affairs of man so neatly resolved, it’s time to extend this "healing" crusade to animal rights. Cher’s also been active recently in trying to end any elephant exhibits at the Los Angeles Zoo, alongside other celebrities like Lily Tomlin and Bob Barker. They want to move a long-time resident elephant named Billy out of the zoo.
"I’m not a fanatic. I just love animals, like most Americans," she told the city council. "They say it's always been done this way, there's always been elephants in zoos. But it doesn't make it right because we've had other things we're ashamed of – like slavery."
But the stars' desperate protests – and Cher’s devastating logic – weren't enough to convince L.A. officials, who voted 11-4 to finish the $42 million "Pachyderm Forest" elephant enclosure for Billy and others. Zoo professionals were not impressed with the celebrity activists: "No disrespect, but if you want to know about a concert, talk to Cher," zookeeper Joshua Sisk told council members. "If you want to know about the zoo, let's talk to professionals at the zoo."
Like many a Hollywood liberal, Cher’s sympathies for animals don’t extend to human babies. She starred and helped direct a pro-abortion film for HBO in 1996. She told Newsweek at the time she was passionate from personal experience: "Our mother almost died from an illegal abortion when I was little. Our grandmother had a desperate coat-hanger abortion when she was young. I had four miscarriages before I got pregnant with my daughter. I had two abortions. Legal." She was upset there was still an abortion debate. "If men had babies, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It would be a done deal."
Celebrities like Cher are rarely pressed to reconcile their arguments. How is it inhumane to keep an elephant in captivity, but humane to murder an innocent human baby? The media merely want to exploit their star power, so it doesn’t matter to them whether celebrities are making sense. Hurray for the hollowness of Hollywood.