The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 November 2002

There's a kind of Hush

It's called Help Us Silence Hollywood, and it's getting some play in blogdom. The crux of this particular biscuit:

We, the undersigned, being of sound mind and strong viewership, would like to petition both Hollywood and the news media in order to restrain celebrities (movie & TV stars, pop & rock stars, producers, directors, etc.) from capitalizing on their celebritihood to sound off on whatever issue-du-jour comes rolling along to which they must bear witness. It is our deeply held belief that, on an extremely sunny day, only ½ of one percent of these stars could pass an entry-level college final relating to the political event for which their feet are oft found wedged deeply in their mouths (see B. Streisand, A. Baldwin, M. Moore, H. Belafonte, S. Penn, J. Fonda, W. Harrelson, M. Sheen, E. Asner, J. Lange, et al, etc., ad nauseam) and thereby merit no ink nor air time. It is ruinous enough for the civic culture to hear TV anchors who wouldn't know a "demand curve" from their elbow yammer on and on about the economy, but the glitterati sermonizing to us about America!?

It's clearly time to demand some evidence of educated brain waves prior to handing the public megaphone to celebrities. It is also our belief that if not for showing off their silicon, facelifts, and/or hairplugs on the silver screen, most of these knuckleheads would be modeling underwear at Wal-Mart, working third tier escort services in Jersey, or removing asbestos from tire factories in Detroit. And, as such, the news industry must restrain from entering these vacuous remarks into the public domain until said celeb has passed the appropriate college-level test corresponding to their tirade at hand.

Various examples follow. There's little to dispute in the description — for every David Duchovny, just this far from a Ph.D., there are likely dozens of Melanie Griffiths who barely escaped Krispy Kreme — but I'm not signing off on this thing. Hollywood types have the same Constitutional rights to make blithering, idiotic statements as the rest of us. Here in the Land of Blogorrhea, our job is to fact-check their asses, not to silence them.

(Muchas gracias: Rachel Lucas, who reproduces the complete text of the petition.)

Posted at 8:29 AM to Almost Yogurt

Well, yeah - 1st Amendment and all that, no question.

Besides, I need *something* I can feel superior to, since they get all the hot chicks and cash.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin at 8:58 AM on 23 November 2002

Well, yeah... "Hollywood types have the same Constitutional rights to make blithering, idiotic statements as the rest of us. The same rights not greater rights. When CNN gives exactly as much exposure to the opinions of a factory worker in Arkansas or a farmer in Iowa as they give to the opinions of people like Streisand and Belefonte then maybe I'll be a little more tolerant of celebrities getting up on TV and mouthing off about stuff they don't understand.

Sure anyone can start a blog but how many people read blogs? Let celebrities start their own blogs just like us ordinary folks. They'll still get more attention than most of us.

Posted by: Lynn at 11:14 AM on 23 November 2002

But, but, but, if they shut up, who are going to make fun of? Then the gov't will step in with an affirmative action program to encourage ordinary idiots to become celebrities to fill the gap, and then where will we be?

Posted by: Bill Peschel at 4:59 PM on 28 November 2002