Barack Obama’s White House is beginning to look a lot like a Joan Rivers special. Celebrity after celebrity is showing up at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., demonstrating, as Obama has told us time and time again, that the President is indeed outside the bubble, interested in the common man, and a representative of the little guy.
Last Monday, according to Politico.com, Tiger Woods sat down with Obama. Tuesday, Toby Keith stopped in. Wednesday, Usher chatted with White House staff about malaria. Friday, Forest Whittaker showed up. And that’s leaving out Brad Pitt’s recent visit to Capitol Hill and George Clooney’s briefing on Sudan.
The Hollywood contingent is downright chummy with this president. That’s not a surprise – Hollywood gave tens of millions to Obama, and Obama returned the favor by attempting to shoehorn a $246 million tax break for Hollywood into the stimulus package.
What’s shocking is the media’s soft treatment of this phenomenon. Suppose that every single day, oil magnates stopped by the White House to chat with Obama. Or – Heaven forefend — executives from WalMart. Do you think the press would stand for that sort of favoritism? Or would they scream bloody murder from the rooftops?
But when it comes to Hollywood, this sort of exclusive access is seen as a neat reminder of Obama’s glitz rather than a troubling reminder of his indebtedness to the leftist entertainment community. Instead of questioning the special relationship between Hollywood and the White House, the press blithely informs us that the Hollywood clique helps brief Obama on matters of import — as though we don’t have paid staffers to inform us about Sudan or the malaria situation in Africa. We’re told that these Hollywood folks have some sort of special expertise on matters ranging from health to foreign policy.
Sure they do. In the same way that they had expert opinions about the Iraq War, the abortion debate, and the Second Amendment. Which is to say, they have virtually no expertise, and the expertise they do have is so wildly biased by their insular engulfment in Los Angeles and New York that it can’t be taken seriously.
That, of course, is not what we’re being told by the Obama PR flacks. “Celebrities used to be considered vacuous people who didn’t know anything,” explains Brooking Institution VP Darrell West, author of Celebrity Politics. “And I think in response to that, the celebrities who are getting involved politically are actually boning up on the issues and developing expertise.”
And what better way to develop expertise than to have private meetings with the President of the United States on a particular topic? There are millions of kids in this country who don’t know anything about math. But the best way to teach them math isn’t to grant them exclusive access to the most powerful man on earth so they can brief him on addition and subtraction.
This is about the cash and the celebrity, pure and simple. The media knows it. What’s worse, the media is covering up the cash and celebrating the celebrity.