Stick to the movies, not politics
Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
What is it with Hollywood criticizing the way this nation is run 24/7?
Most actors/actresses have no experience in politics. Many do not have a college education, and few have ever served in the military.
Yet they use their celebrity to bash the White House administration thinking, for some reason, they have a better strategy.
When George W. Bush was in the White House, he drew criticisms from every celebrity imaginable, ranging from interviews to movies that mocked his every mistake.
Matt Damon recently released a movie called Green Zone. This movie is the epitome of anti-war/anti-American as it goes too far in blaming the United States government for the Middle East war while also manipulating the audience into rooting against American troops.
The line between good guy and bad guy becomes fuzzy – so much so that audiences are unsure whether to cheer on Sunni Iraqi insurgents as they shoot down a helicopter filled with American soldiers.
And it is no secret that Matt Damon is very critical of the government. He was known during the 2008 campaign for bashing both George Bush and Sarah Palin. This week, his new target is current president Barack Obama.
What’s interesting is that when Obama was running for president, Damon gave him his full support calling him “brilliant” and a “deep thinker.”
However, now, when asked by Piers Morgan of CNN if he was a fan of Obama, Damon simply answered “No.” He then began pointing out the things Obama was doing wrong.
Damon isn’t the only celebrity unhappy with Obama. In fact, he joins a long list of them including Barbra Streisand, Jane Lynch (of Glee), Hugh Hefner, Robert Redford and director Spike Lee. And they all seem to be saying the same thing, which is that the president isn’t doing enough.
Over the last year, a growing number of Hollywood types have publicly trashed the president’s record on everything from gay rights, to environmental issues, to the war in Iraq. They are highly critical of his failure to close a military detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
Does this sound familiar? Just a couple of years ago, celebrities were saying the same thing about President Bush and his policies. Are they just saying what they think the public wants to hear? Do they have any facts to back up their accusations?
Unfortunately, celebrities are the icons of America. People look up to them and are influenced by what they have to say.
When they criticize the government, guess what happens? Our culture listens. Most people don’t do enough research to form their own opinions and conclusions. Celebrities definitely use their influence and rarely filter their comments.
If you wonder how far their influence goes, take a look at Oprah Winfrey. Everything she mentions, good or bad, gains attention.
The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and should be able to voice that opinion.
With soldiers fighting for their freedoms, it is offensive when celebrities bash America. Soldiers are willing to die for everyone’s right to say how they feel, even celebrities.
Before speaking their minds, celebrities should temper their opinions with facts and experience. Or here’s a thought … public service.