Opinion: Famous People Should Keep Their Mouths Shut During Political Conventions
It is strange that famous people – many who have nothing to do with politics – think the world gives a hoot about their political views. Last week, a good number of famed and fortuned people spoke their anti-Republican and anti-Romney prejudiced-minds regarding the Republican National Convention – and lost a lot of respect from the many people in doing so.
First and foremost, Rachel Maddow – even though she’s a political talk show host – was probably the most disturbing of those who revealed an inner-self during the three-day event in Tampa, Florida. It was Maddow’s live, heart-felt response to Clint Eastwood’s speech in which the Oscar-winning actor and director spoke to an invisible President Barack Obama in a chair propped on stage in which Maddow insulted seniors. Overly-animated – again – she appeared appalled, aghast, and near-speechless when she sincerely said: “I don’t – I don’t – I don’t know what was going on there. Clint Eastwood is 82 years old and I think that – I don’t know if that’s what was going on there.”
Of all the first thoughts Maddow had – and could have verbalized against Eastwood – she revealed her disrespect for one’s old age. She logically could have been aghast by his “libertarianism”, his life being influenced by Hollywood, or anything else. She even could have pinpointed him as one of the “crazy old white men” who Sen. Harry Reid referred to recently when attacking Romney’s fundraising donors. But no, Maddow attacked old people in general.
Rachel Maddow attributed what she obviously considered an incredibly poor performance by an 82-year-old to be because of old age. That is sad. She went on to say that if she lives to be 100, she will never see anything like it. For someone who is only 39-years-old, she certainly has old age on the mind and in her thoughts – and not in good thoughts.
Then there was Roger Ebert who now claims that he and Clint Eastwood were buddies long before anybody knew who Eastwood was. Considering the way Ebert lashed out at Eastwood during the Thursday night speech at the RNC, that’s totally incredible. Ebert, who could best preserve his previous positive reputation among the masses if he’d just stick to movie critiques and not political speech critiques, wrote: “Clint, my hero, is coming across as sad and pathetic. He didn’t need to do this to himself. It’s unworthy of him.”
And Ebert – two days later in a publication – says that they’re good buddies who go way back. If that’s how Ebert writes about his good buddies, God-forbid what he’d write about an enemy.
Then there is country singer Clay Aiken – known specifically for his “American Idol” and “Celebrity Apprentice” television appearances. He came across as a racist with his unnecessary opinion on the Republican National Convention. With all the things Aiken could be tweeting on Twitter about in his life, he chose to step forward and promote racism by inappropriately joking about the few African-Americans at the Republican National Convention as well as taking a jab at the alcohol-less lifestyle of the Mormons.
Oddly enough, Aiken referred to a drinking game he was playing with his family while he was messaging. While one can blame liquor for someone overly-speaking his mind, he can’t blame the liquor for one’s true feelings coming out.
And the list goes on. I had a more positive image of all three of these people – and some others – before they spoke their minds during last week’s Republican National Convention. Since it’s not really the business of most famous people to speak out about politics, they would be much better off if they’d just do what they’re paid to do – which is not to become an insulting and trouble-stirring political commentator for a day. After all, they’d still have all their fans at the end of the day if they’d just shut up.
Oh, and before being called a hypocrite for not saying something against Eastwood for getting political, too. Touché. I agree. He probably should have been in Hollywood watching the speeches instead of giving one. But then again, if he didn’t speak, look how boring the political news would have been over the three-day holiday weekend without #Eastwooding on Twitter or without National Empty Chair Day on Monday.
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.