Hollywood Disses Obama; Huckabee Backs Off Portman

Tuesday, 08 Mar 2011 04:42 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Bob Dylan Exports Himself to China
2. Huckabee Backs Off Natalie Portman Remark
3. Moammar Gadhafi, Talent Agent to the Stars
4. Michael Moore Misleads in Madison
5. Hollywood Cools on Obama
 

1. Bob Dylan Exports Himself to China

The government of China continues in its Maoist traditions of censorship, stifling peaceful assembly, and committing human rights atrocities. Simultaneously, though, the nation also continues in its manufacturing of most of the goods we now consume.

Surprisingly, aging music legend Bob Dylan is enough of a commodity in China for the singer-songwriter to schedule concerts there for the first time.

"Blowin' in the Wind" Bob will perform in Beijing and Shanghai as part of an April 2011 Asian tour.

Last year Dylan's attempt to strum and sing at the same venues was refused, reportedly because the singer had declined to sign a pledge "not to hurt the feelings of the Chinese people" — in other words, he wouldn't promise to avoid political themes that would make the regime uncomfortable. Apparently, this time around the Chinese authorities were willing to let Dylan be Dylan.

Chinese audiences will have something in common with American counterparts who attend the legendary folk rocker's performances — neither will be able to understand a word Dylan is singing.


2. Huckabee Backs Off Natalie Portman Remark

Probable presidential candidate Mike Huckabee recently drew attention to the way in which the Hollywood community and media have glorified out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Getting specific, he cited Natalie Portman to make his cultural point.

As a potential presidential wannabe, Huckabee no doubt realizes that part of the high-powered gig involves the ability to convey strength to your adversaries. But rather than showing strength, the former Arkansas governor instead handed opponents a nerf bat with which to thump him.

Appearing on Michael Medved's radio show, Huckabee commented that he was troubled by situations like those of "Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, 'Hey look, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having these children, and they're doing just fine.'"

In the wake of the ensuing flap, the Fox News analyst and TV host is now softening his comments and blaming the "Hollywood media" for the impression that he was dissing Portman.

Perhaps trying to be more sensitive to potential single mom voters, Huckabee issued a statement that he was not criticizing "the hardworking single mothers in our country."

He praised Portman for being "an extraordinary actor" and "very deserving of her recent Oscar" and went on to emphasize his approval of her plans to marry the baby's father.

"My comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can't get a job," Huckabee explained.

"That's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that society often glorifies and glamorizes the idea of having children out of wedlock," he added.


3. Moammar Gadhafi, Talent Agent to the Stars

One after another, big name celebrities are fessing up to big paydays for gigs that were booked by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

In addition to being a top banana tyrant, Gadhafi turns out to be a party animal with a musical appetite for top American recording artists to entertain his family.

It's amazing that the despot could find the time, having been so tied up with the 1986 Berlin disco bombing that killed two American soldiers, the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 passengers, and his latest sideline activity of snuffing out his own people.

It turns out that Beyoncß, Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado, Usher, and 50 Cent are some of the stars who appeared and/or performed at events where Gadhafi played the role of party planner.

Carey was paid $1 million to sing for Gadhafi's son, Mutassim, Libya's national security adviser. The bash took place on New Year's Eve 2008, on the Caribbean island of St. Barts.

In 2009, also on New Year's Eve, Beyoncß and Usher popped up on the same island for an undisclosed amount. Usher appeared alongside Beyoncß while she sang, but did not perform himself.

50 Cent rapped for Mutassim at a film festival in Venice in 2005. In his tune "Emotional," the rapper brags about the gig with lyrics that include, "Shoutout to Gadhafi and his sons for having us out in Venice. I appreciate the half a mil' baby. For 30 minutes? Anytime."

Usher, Furtado, and Beyoncß have announced they will donate to charity their take from Gadhafi concerts.

Carey admits that she feels "horrible and embarrassed" about the Gadhafi connection but rather than donate her fee, she promises that a future single, "Save the Day," will raise money for human rights.


4. Michael Moore Misleads in Madison

Michael Moore showed up at one of the many recent Wisconsin pro-union rallies and told the crowd of public union members, "We're going to do this together. Don't give up. Please don't give up."

In addition to being a propagandist and hypocrite, Moore is a big-time phony. The faux friend of the public unions actually refused to use union stagehands for the production of his forgettable film, "Capitalism: A Love Story."

Moore also said, "America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash." He told the gathered crowd that the idea that the country and the state of Wisconsin are broke is "part of the Big Lie."

Guess that makes the $14 trillion debt we've accumulated a record-setting fib.

So just where is all the money, according to Moore? He informs the public that "we have indeed surrendered our precious democracy to the moneyed elite."

"The truth is, there's lots of money to go around. LOTS. It's just that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that sits on their well-guarded estates," the accidental Oscar winner said.

"They know they have committed crimes to make this happen and they know that someday you may want to see some of that money that used to be yours," he added.

Moore suggests that America's wealth is essentially a resource and should be divided up and redistributed.

I wonder if Moore considers his own wealth a part of America's wealth, and if so, why he hasn't started redistributing his own dough.


5. Hollywood Cools on Obama

Blasts of criticism keep wafting President Barack Obama's way, and they're not coming from Fox News.

The barbs are arriving courtesy of some of the more prominent members of the Hollywood left, and the recurring theme is that there's a vacuum of leadership in the White House.

Matt Damon, who enthusiastically supported Obama's 2008 campaign, has taken to griping about the president. He told CNN's Piers Morgan that Obama had "misinterpreted his mandate."

Damon quoted what he called a "great line" from a friend, who had said, "I no longer hope for audacity," a reference to Obama's book title, "The Audacity of Hope."

The actor attacked Obama's policy in Afghanistan, referring to it as a mission that has not "been very well articulated."

"It would help to kind of reframe the way we're thinking about being there and why we're there," he added.

Damon was also peeved with Obama's State of the Union speech. He decried the lack of any reference to the underprivileged in the address. "He didn't even say the word 'poverty,'" Damon said. "You've got millions of people languishing in it."

The former Lincoln Bedroom squatter, Barbra Streisand, confided her misgivings to Larry King in late 2010. She expressed dismay about Obama and the Democratic Party, miffed that the president had not used "his executive privilege . . . to get rid of 'don't ask, don't tell.'"

The singer-actress revealed that she left the country and traveled to Europe before the midterm elections to avoid what she described as a "bloodbath."

Streisand put on her political strategist cap and told Larry that she had figured out why her favorite party had suffered such a shellacking. According to Babs, it was due to "a mistake on the Democrats' part that they have not gotten their message across in communicating all that they have done that is good."

If only the Dems had sought communication advice from Streisand prior to November. She was also unhappy with Obama's tax compromise, describing it as "not fair to working people in America."

Jane Lynch, who plays coach Sue Sylvester on "Glee," expressed her frustration with Obama during an interview with Newsweek in late 2010, conducted before "don't ask, don't tell" was repealed. "We thought the great hope of Obama was going to magically change [gay rights], and it doesn't seem to have . . . He's just nicely walking the middle," Lynch said.

In late 2009, Angelina Jolie chastised the president in an Op-Ed published by Newsweek. In the column, titled "Justice Delayed Is Not Justice Denied," the actress and U.N. goodwill ambassador gave an account of the tragedy in the Darfur region of Sudan where "government supported militia have left 300,000 dead and 2.7 million people internally displaced."

Jolie blasted Obama's absence of leadership, noting that his administration had "not yet announced any serious moves" to bring the profoundly malevolent Sudanese leaders to justice.

During the summer of 2009, Robert Redford, actor and head honcho of the Sundance Film Festival, went after the president for his inaction during the Gulf oil spill. He spouted criticism that was similar to the kind leveled against then-President George W. Bush after Hurricane Katrina.

"The voters sent Obama to Washington to be a bold and visionary leader," Redford told MSNBC, his tone implying that Obama had neither attribute. "We don't need a disaster-manager," the actor said. "We need a leader."

Movie director Spike Lee chimed in on the Gulf spill, telling GQ, "The thing we don't talk about is that 11 Americans lost their lives and it took seven weeks to invite their families to the White House. I'm not trying to bash my man, but that's a long time."

Lee threw down the race card against the first African-American president, using the phrase "environmental racism."

"If this oil spill would have reached the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, that [expletive] would have been fixed," Lee said.

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