Friday, June 08, 2012

“The Fame Monster”

Quotation without Comment

From conservative Matthew Continetti, writing in the “Washington Free Beacon:”
there is an American ruling class—comprising the perversely overcompensated men and women in finance, law, media, and entertainment who through a bizarre, osmotic alchemy determine the boundaries of social and political correctness. . . the president’s schedule. . . counts no less than 28 celebrity fundraisers for Obama held over the last year. . . the incumbent’s reliance on celebrity money, endorsements, solicitations, and other forms of that self-congratulatory alternative energy known as “star power” not only reveals the financial and ideological core of the Democratic party, but also the attitudes and agenda of the milieu in which Obama is most comfortable. Those attitudes are obnoxious and that agenda is totally unrelated to the daily struggles of millions of Americans.
That many of the participants at these events understood how easily they could be caricatured as limousine liberals only heightened the dramatic tension. . . San Francisco super-lawyer and Obama donor Martin Checov said that “the other candidate’s travel schedule is no more oriented to the masses,” using language better suited to an aristocrat than a Democrat. . . [A]s CBS president Leslie Moonves and his reality-show host second wifewaited patiently for their wristbands” to hear Obama[, he] acknowledged that “partisanship is very much a part of journalism now,” but don’t get the wrong idea: “I run a news division. I’ve given no money to any candidate.” [We don’t know] whether he was chuckling at his own blatant hypocrisy or simply so completely self-possessed that he told this joke un-ironically.
Michelle Obama [r]ecently . . . racked up IMDB credits with appearances on The View and The Late Show to complement turns on The Tonight Show, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Rachael Ray, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The BET Honors, The Biggest Loser, and the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Her husband, too, is no stranger to screens large and small, most recently “slow jamming” the news with Jimmy Fallon. Together, the[ Obamas] are on track to be the most televised first couple of all time[--their 195 appearances in 8 years surpassing the first-Hollywood-couple Reagans’ 175 appearances over an 85-year span that included 99 movie and television roles from 1937 to 1996, but behind the Clintons’ 338 media appearances over 20 years and three presidential runs].
Yet the Obamas have been slow to learn that the currency of celebrity depreciates easily. . . there comes a point at which fame and admiration are no longer freely given but must be earned, lest one risk becoming nothing more than a tawdry reality television star . . . donation-grabbing shows how much Obama has been weakened. There was a time when he could fill stadiums on his own, raise great sums on his own, [but t]hat time is long past: Nearly 90% of Obama’s individual donors in 2008 have not contributed in the current cycle. . . Obama has become a prop in his own play, an empty suit that trails Robert De Niro or Jack Black or Tobey Maguire or Salma Hayek or [whoever the campaign] think[s] might bring in some dough or inspire a Millennial to vote.

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