Hollywood Cools on Obama

Monday, 07 Mar 2011 08:57 AM

By James Hirsen

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

The barbs tossed at the White House are arriving courtesy of some of the more prominent members of the Hollywood left, and the theme that keeps recurring is that there is 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, “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 back 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, channeling her Sue Sylvester “Glee” character, 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her frustration with Obama during an interview with Newsweek in late 2010, conducted before “don’t ask, don’t tell” was repealed.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, which was 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 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.


James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on landmark decisions. Hirsen is the co-founder and chief legal counsel for InternationalEsq.com. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood: www.youtube.com/user/NMHollywood

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