Conservative movie lovers didn’t suffer any serious Red State taunts during the just-wrapped Academy Awards telecast. Michael Moore wasn’t on hand to bash the GOP, and show host Seth MacFarlane trained his immature wit on George Clooney, breast-baring actresses and the show’s ridiculous length.
And then it came time to announce the Best Picture winner, and Jack Nicholson stepped on stage to do the honors. Only Nicholson, and the show’s organizers, had something else in mind.
Enter Michelle Obama.
The First Lady appeared via satellite to not only announce the night’s biggest prize but gave a speech extolling the virtues of the films in play. It was an unprecedented cultural power grab by the Obamas, almost daring conservative viewers to adore her as much as progressives already do.
“These nine movies took us back in time and all around the world. They made us laugh, they made us weep, and they made us grip our armrests just a little tighter. They taught us that love can endure against all odds and transform our lives in the most surprising ways. They reminded us that we can overcome any obstacle if we dig deep enough and fight hard enough and find the courage to believe in ourselves. These lessons apply to all of us no matter who we are, or what we look like, or where we come from, or who we love, but they are especially important for our young people…”
President Barack Obama is no longer running for office, yet the permanent campaign shows little sign of slowing. With this media appearance, the First Couple crossed the line into propaganda, their Cult of Personality act taking an ugly turn.
And there’s Nicholson, letting himself be upstaged for political purposes. Certainly the acting legend deserves better, but he probably was happy to go along for the ride. We mustn’t upset Dear Leader.
The Oscar telecast’s ratings have been slumping in recent years, and the death of the movie star is hardly an exaggeration. Yet the industry’s power brokers continue to stick their collective tongues out at roughly half the country, the half that prefers to see Hollywood’s biggest night devoted to the stars, not the White House’s latest media outreach effort.
To think the First Lady’s appearance lacked political motive is to deny the obvious, and even some liberal viewers, like film critic Richard Roeper, thought the appearance wasn’t appropriate.
I’m a big fan of Michelle Obama, but I think she should have turned down invite to present Best Picture. It just didn’t fit the moment.
The Oscar surprise shouldn’t shock us. Hollywood did all it could to re-elect President Obama last year, from vigorous fundraising to sending its minions into the media to sing the president’s praises. Remember that “First Time” video from current It Girl Lena Dunham?
Never mind those job reports or the ballooning deficit. Those are just distractions. Michelle Obama hijacked the Oscars tonight, and we’re all supposed to be giddy at the chance to see her shine anew.