Oprah, Matt Damon, Roger Ebert, Rosie O'Donnell, Annette Benning, Chris Matthews, and so on... all have opinions and they've shared them.
They don't like Republicans. They loathe Sarah Palin or find her "scary."
They love Obama.
Every person in America is free to have their opinion and publish it, if they so choose. And since birds of a feather flock together, over the last 60 years of television and 100 years of Hollywood, both have become Liberal-Democrat cheering grounds. For those in TV and the big screen who dare to express a non-Liberal opinion, their career suffers rumor of ruin. (Paging Jon Voight...) And so it goes - the winnowing and pruning of the tree that is the entertainment business. Conservatives need not apply, thank you very much.
I loved the Bourne series of books when it came out. Robert Ludlum had me with every page. Great reads, those books. I own the DVD's and thought Matt Damon did a terrific job. Then I read today of how he argues hard for his beliefs. Does it affect my enjoyment of his movies?
How about Oprah, with her embrace of Obama and shunning of Palin? Do I view her differently now?
I'm political on my web site here. I know very specifically of people who once read my site but don't any longer because I espouse libertarian / conservative views. Is that fair?
After thinking about it quite a bit, Damon's views don't change my enjoyment of his movies. But I am skewed on Oprah. There's a difference.
Matt Damon is not in the business of informing people. He doesn't pretend to be something he's not, except in his roles in movies, and there it's clear that he's playing someone else.
It's the same reason I can watch Tom Cruise. I don't get the whole scientology thing, but he makes a good movie, generally worth seeing. I don't care about him personally.
Oprah... it's different. It's now easily seen that she puts her ethnicity before her gender, which is her business, but she's not about informing people, which is the whole premise of her show. It's obvious now that what is on her show will come through the filter of her agenda. In my opinion, she suckered her audience into a "you go girl" assembly. She hoodwinked them, the very thing for which she chastened James Frey. And her audience is mighty PO'd about it.
There was a local blogger who, after I declared my support for Mitt Romney, gave me huge grief about supporting the member of a cult for president. I regarded his comment here on my site (now deleted) an open example of religious bigotry. My opinion of him changed...
All of us are defined by the sum of our actions and decisions - and opinions. If it's open for public view, it portrays and defines us to others. Which is why the jovial college football fanatic at work is always more popular than the political junkie.
Matt Damon may lightly influence a few people with his passionate concerns. Big deal, and good for him for having the backbone to be unafraid to say what he thinks.
The media is a different matter. They purport to distill the truth to us, and we're learning that they are masters of spin and omission. Oprah tells us that she never even had a discussion in her offices about having Palin on the show. Did anyone buy that? Nope. Oprah never said anything negative about Sarah Palin. But it's the omission of Sarah Palin after a few appearances by Obama that betray her poorly hidden bias. Fair to her audience? Not if it's information and truth that they're expecting from her.
Chris Matthews went down a few pegs because he couldn't hide his fanaticism for Obama. Is it wrong for him to have an opinion? Nope. But if we're hoping for truth, or full information and disclosure, then he's not the right guy. He can't be. He doesn't allow it.
The American public doesn't go to Matt Damon for truth. And they're less likely to go to the media, however you want to define that, for truth. You only get one side of the story from the media.
I remember on the night that Palin gave her speech.l Katie Couric was asking questions of Lindsey Graham and Steve Schmidt. She mocked Steve's sarcastic response to a question and asked what questions might be considered legitimate to ask of Palin. This, after he said that some of the questions being asked about Palin weren't simply unfair. Katie scoffed, thinking that it was perfectly appropriate to hold Palin's feet to the fire. And she's right. But the omission is the absence of that same stern line of questioning of Obama. Which is why 75% of the American public now believes that the media is in the tank for the candidate of their choice, which for the vast tilt of reporters, editors, and journalists, is those on the Democrat ticket.
And if Obama does bring Hillary into the ticket somehow, whether under him or over him, all he will receive is praise. No stern questioning. No healthy skepticism at the judgment of someone who blew the biggest executive decision of any any presidential candidate. Instead, the media will collectively stand there like Sally Field at the Oscars in wide-eyed thrill: "He likes women! He really really likes women!" The Messiah returned for the Second Coming, don't you know.
It's not Matt Damon's job to tell me the truth. Or Annette Benning or Rosie O'Donnell. I don't expect it from them because they've never sold that to me. I never had that expectation. So actors and comediennes can sputter on about what matters to them and it doesn't matter.
But those who profess to be the truth-tellers... part of their presentation to us is the expectation of a full report, and that's what we anticipate. When we don't get it, they lose audience - because that audience can't trust them any longer to tell the whole story - to put all of the cards in front of us so that we can make informed decisions.
But that doesn't happen. Which says to me that there's a great market opportunity out there for someone...
If you've ever read anything from the founding fathers of this country, you know that they were quite vicious in tearing into each other with words at times. Eloquent undressing, like "wiping your ass with silk," to borrow a line from The Matrix. The press back then was not a profession, but this thing that put ink on paper.
Today, those in TV and print and in movies are largely Liberal. And because I no longer pay attention to them to get full information, big deal. Instead, I'll celebrate that they're able to voice their opinion - while I also work to support those who can provide what's been omitted. If it's important to the self-annointed truth-tellers, they'll notice my absence. Otherwise, like water, I'll move quietly past them to get what I need.
ETC: To my point...