August 3, 2004

And I was so looking forward to Frozen With Fear 2


There are several choice moments in Eric Alterman's Atlantic Monthly feature on celebrities and politics. It's interesting that Democrats get nearly as much money from Hollywood as Republicans do from the oil and gas industries. And it's shrewd of Alterman to note that "exactly why so many people in the media find it less objectionable, say, for the CEO of General Motors to lobby for relaxed auto-emission standards than for an actor or a director to contribute to a campaign for clean air is not immediately apparent. " [Update: Several people have misread this quote and inverted its meaning. See comments.]

But the part that got me chuckling is when Bush supporter Bo Derek "complains that she is treated as 'some hateful monster' by Hollywood liberals, and says, 'I'm told I'll never work again.'"

Wait -- she was working before?

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Because when the CEO of GM lobbies against emission standards, he's putting his personal profit above the health of the environment. When an actor or director (or anyone who has no obvious finanical interest in the issue) contributes to a clean air campaign, they are giving up their personal profit to help the greater good. In theory, of course. Actual motives may vary, but that's the assumption. And it seems pretty obvious to me.

Since at least two people have now misread Alterman's quote (I removed the first comment to get it 180 degrees wrong at the poster's request) I'm going to assume that the fault lies with Alterman's convoluted prose. So let me clarify on his behalf. Like Dashiell (and myself) Alterman also finds the CEO's contribution MORE objectionable than the actor's. The thing that is not immediately apparent to him why so many in the media find it LESS so.

Here's the rest of the graf: "Indeed, among the tiny percentage of Americans who do contribute large amounts of money to political campaigns (the number who give a thousand dollars or more to any candidate hovers around one tenth of one percent of the population), Hollywood contributors are almost alone in not trying to buy themselves anything so concrete as a tax break or a watered-down regulation. Although the entertainment industry itself does have corporate PACs, which do the industry's bidding and spread its wealth accordingly, most of the contributions handed out by individual members of the entertainment industry are ideological money that buys them nothing."

Thanks for clearing that up. Obviously, I couldn't be bothered to read the actual article. If I did that, how would I have time to post comments all over the web?

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