Tommy Lee and Ludacris: CNN’s New ‘Green’ Authorities

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterJust when you thought the "green" hype couldn’t get any worse, Thursday’s "Newsroom" program on CNN introduced the world to the latest celebrities to jump on the "environmentally-friendly" bandwagon: rocker Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, and Johnny Colt, the bassist for the pop group Train. Co-host Tony Harris interviewed the three for seven minutes during the 11 am Eastern hour of the CNN program so the new trio could promote their upcoming "reality" series, "Battleground Earth" on Discovery Network’s new "green" channel. This brings up the inevitable question, will the Church of Scientology sue for copyright infringement for the show’s title being so close to L. Ron Hubbard’s pulp sci-fi novel "Battlefield Earth"?

Harris, as might be expected, didn’t ask the three any hard-hitting questions, though the celebrities did seem like they were stumped by some of the softballs the CNN host lobbed at them. For example, Harris asked the celebrities about the presidential election and their favorite candidates. Of course, two of them endorsed Obama.



TONY HARRIS: Hey, while I got you guys here, I can't let you go without asking you are you guys paying attention? Clearly, if you are tapped into the conversation about the environment right now, are you following the politics on this issue, for one, of the environment with the candidates, this presidential year? Are you as caught up into the dynamics of the campaign? And Luda, let me start with you, as most of the country seems to be at this time?

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LUDACRIS: You know what, they are working us extremely hard on this show. We are trying to keep up as much as we can. I'm definitely checking out CNN as much as I can....

HARRIS: Needed to hear that. Thank you.

LUDACRIS: ...to hear the most updates.

(Laughter)

LUDACRIS: Plug it, man. But we're pretty much out of the flow on that.

HARRIS: Tommy Lee, are you following the campaign now? And Johnny, I want some endorsements. I'm going to give Luda an opportunity to think of his political way out of this. But look, look, what are you thinking about the campaign? Do you like anybody in particular?

COLT: Yes. Well, for me, in particular, you know, for me I got Obama out front which I don't usually vote to the Left, but he has a lot to say. I will tell you, this show has changed my priority structure in the green aspect, and environment as a whole, is on the top of my list right now.

HARRIS: Gotcha. Tommy Lee, come on. Declare.

LEE: I have not been keeping up. I have not been keeping up, I'm sorry to say.

COLT: We have been busy.

HARRIS: What have you been doing?

COLT: We have been busy.

HARRIS: Chris?

LUDACRIS: There is no political way out for me. I have been an Obama supporter since before he started running for president. I actually met with him in Chicago, Illinois, so I'm definitely an Obama supporter. So there you it, straight. No chaser.

HARRIS: No chaser?

LUDACRIS: Yes.

HARRIS: That's terrific.

I guess being a "hard-working" celebrity with a "green" reality show takes precedence over the dynamics of the presidential race.

Earlier, Harris also asked the three about the competition that is a major component of the TV show’s plot:

HARRIS: But here is what I need here from you guys. I need to know where the rub is. I need to know where the conflict is. Because if I don't have a conflict, if you all three agree that we need to improve the life of the planet. If you all three agree, I don't have a show. I need conflict. Where is --

(Crosstalk)

HARRIS: I'm sorry, you are in the 'Newsroom,' for goodness sakes.

LEE: Right.

HARRIS: Where, Tommy Lee, is the conflict? That's right, I'm coming to you, in this show?

LEE: The conflict is he went to a huge radio station in here Atlanta.

HARRIS: Right?

LEE: Trying to collect a bunch of junk mail, right? And to win this challenge. Well -- we went and -- (Crosstalk)

LEE: We are trying to one-up each other. We're here -- Johnny knows somebody here at CNN. So, we figure we had would get on the air and go global instead of just Atlanta.

HARRIS: Junk mail?

LUDACRIS: Yeah, here in Atlanta our challenge is about junk mail. Because 100 million trees are like destroyed every year and only 2 percent of junk mail is used. So, basically we are trying to gather up all the junk mail. Whoever can get the most junk mail is going to win this competition in Atlanta. We have been a little bit of everywhere. We have done solar paneling in New Orleans. We have done eco-burials in San Francisco. We learned about alternate ways of fuel when were out in Dallas, Texas. We have been on a journey.

COLT: I saw this man using a wrench, building a solar panel house.

HARRIS: You want to tear something down or you want to build something?

COLT: A little bit of both.

LEE: We made some fuel with some cow dung.

LUDACRIS: He made fuel with some cow dung. I'm staying hands off on that one.

Between the three of them, one must guess that the three have become the celebrity version of a cross between Jimmy Carter and Al Gore -- building homes and saving the environment at the same time!

At times, Harris seemed to be quite taken back by being in the presence of these three celebrities. For example, the CNN host said he was "pretty green with envy" (pun intended) listening to the Lee and Colt talk about their new show. When Ludacris then walked into the interview, Harris introduced the rapper like a MC: "Luda, in the ‘Newsroom.’"

Harris closed out the interview by bringing up the new music projects the three were involved with. After the three plugged their tours and/or albums, Harris quipped, "Best with the music, the best with the show. Thanks for coming on to the 'Newsroom.' I think you win the challenge. Junk mail at CNN, -- wow, we are huge."

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center