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Celebrities Spouting Red State Wisdom?
December 6, 2004

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Some full page ads appeared recently in Variety magazine. One of the ads contained patriotic symbols, an image of Michael Moore, the film title "Fahrenheit 9/11" and a slogan that read: "YOUR VOTE STILL COUNTS. Now more than ever." Another had the Bush White House in the background along with the aforementioned slogan.

Evidently, Moore and Miramax have decided to take an unusual and rather questionable approach in their Academy Award quest. This year they're encouraging Academy members to use their vote as an act of political revenge rather than an acknowledgement of a film's merit.

Maybe Moore had come to the realization that if cinematic value were going to be the measure, his chances of snagging an award would be slim to none. Curiously, though, Moore also showed up for a "Tonight Show" appearance with a clean-shaven face and a suit and tie to boot. He proceeded to acknowledge that the reason Kerry lost the election was because "Bush got more votes."

"The Republicans - I'll give them this - they had a story to tell," the abnormally diplomatic Moore conceded. "The Democrats, oftentimes, aren't very good at telling a story."

Moore went on to tell an uncharacteristically positive Bush story. "Out of the ashes of September 11 rose one man. And he stood on the rubble of lower Manhattan with a bullhorn and he said, 'I will protect you,'" Moore intoned.

"And he did," Moore admitted as the audience began to applaud. "And we were never attacked again."

He then ended with the requisite tag line, "That has nothing to do with whether we will be attacked again."

Meanwhile a slew of big name actors from the film "Ocean's Twelve," the gang-of-thieves sequel to "Ocean's Eleven," tried to pull an off-screen con job by pawning themselves off as conservatives.

In a recent interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Don Cheadle and Andy Garcia took to spouting some red state rhetoric.

Sawyer brought up the results of the presidential election and the issue of moral values, and some unexpected responses came pouring out.

"We are, in fact, at times defensive of the idea that there's this disconnect between us and the rest of the country," Clooney confessed. He added that "we are actually, all of us, conservative, not liberal, whatever ... We are reflections of that society. And we're a product of it."

Maybe Clooney has had a change of heart since he said that our military couldn't beat anyone. Or maybe he's got box office angst.

Clooney described his Kentucky Methodist religious background as one of "fire and brimstone." He also acknowledged that when his dad, Nick, ran as a Democrat for an open House seat in Kentucky, he wasn't able to campaign for his father because it would have been "Hollywood vs. the Heartland."

Clooney and the other actors tried to answer the perennial question about why so many of the folks within their profession are Democratic.

Clooney mused, "Why are so many African-Americans Democrats?" He answered his own question by saying, "I think it has to do with tolerance."

Damon gave an oft-repeated relativistic explanation. "It's not good-evil, this-that, black-white, it's more complicated than that," he said, "because people are more complicated than that."

Cheadle attributed their politics to a job where "we look at and try to humanize people that are in those positions, because we often play them." According to Cheadle thespians are "not as willing to label and dictate to other people what is right and wrong."

Garcia, who really is a conservative foe of Fidel Castro (see "Hollywood's Heroes America's 25 Best Stars" in the latest NewsMax Magazine) spoke like someone who understands what America is all about.

"The important thing is that you have the ability to express yourself," Garcia explained. "I come from a tragedy where you cannot be free. We came to America 'cause my father wanted me to enjoy those freedoms."

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Copyright © 2004
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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