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Liberal Hollywood Celebrities & Kerry

Reported by Melanie - October 29, 2004 -

Dayside w/Linda Vester continued its week-long celebrities-and-politics theme today (October 29, 2004) in a seven minute segment titled "Can Celebrity Politics Influence the Election" with guest and Bush supporter, actor Stephen Baldwin.

According to Vester "we do try to make this fair and balanced." Vester said they asked Lou Diamond Phillips to be on the show too but he cancelled. (Apparently Phillips is a Kerry supporter, though Vester didn't say that.)

(COMMENT: I was curious to hear about the attempt to make this segment "fair and balanced" because actor Ron Silver was on by himself yesterday or the day before, giving a ringing endorsement of Bush, and Vester didn't mention having made an attempt to make that segment "fair and balanced.")

Baldwin said he wants to do what's in the best interests of his country so he's going to vote for Bush. He said he's not a Republican or a Democrat but an independent and a born-again Christian. He said Bush "really means what he says," and that if he looks "at the hearts of these two men" and at what's "important and truthful," George W. Bush is "the guy I want to be leading the country for the next four years." Baldwin said he's a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy, that Bush hasn't said things that are untrue about Kerry but Kerry has said things about Bush that are untrue, so Kerry is saying things that are untrue in order to become president. Baldwin said it's a "horrible thing to say" and just not true that the country's less safe since 9/11.

Giving voice to Fox's message, Vester then asked: "Ah, you have also heard that there are lots of other celebrities out on the campaign trail, on both sides, but the weight comes down more on the Democratic side, but then we've also heard from plenty of Americans who say 'what are these celebrities doing trying to tell us how to vote? They have totally different lives from us. They fly around in private planes and they don't live lives like we do. They live in a bubble.' What do you say?

Baldwin responded that the "music business and Hollywood" are represented by "creative people" and they're "going to endorse whoever they think is going to represent their values and what's important." He said he's a talented guy and making movies is fun and important but the "movie business has gone to a very bad place." Vester asked, "What do you mean," and Baldwin said that when "a game like Grand Theft Auto is one of the number one games in the country and 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 year old kids are playing a game where you can get a prostitute, have sex with her, then beat her to death with a baseball bat," it's a problem. He said, "I want to do whatever I can to make people more aware" and to change that content.

Vester and Baldwin then finished the interview talking about Baldwin's television work.

Video clips shown during the segment were:

Kerry with Bruce Springsteen
Actor Aston Kutcher speaking at a Kerry rally
Clinton with Kerry last Monday on stage at the Philadelphia rally
Bush with Schwarzenegger
Bush shaking hands with firefighters sitting on a fire truck

Banners at the bottom of the screen (shown in this order) read:

Michael J. Fox Has Campaigned with Kerry
Christopher Reeves' Wife Dana Campaigned with Kerry
Comedian/Radio Host Al Frankin Campaigned for Kerry
Actor Tim Robbins Visited Florida in Support of Kerry
Actor Ron Silver Has Campaigned for Bush
Burce Springsteen has Campaigned for Kerry
Christian Singer Michael W. Smith Platyed at a Bush Rally
Nascar Drivers and Owners Have Campaigned for Bush
Bill Elliott, Darrell Waltrip and Mark Martin Toured for Bush
Ashton Kutcher has Campaigned for Kerry
Actor Ben Affleck has Stumped for John Kerry

COMMENT: The gist of Fox's message this week is that voters don't like candidates (Kerry) who are "surrounded by celebrities." The message is that celebrities are the dread liberals (who cause our children to watch video games which contain sex and show women being beaten with baseball bats) and that they endorse politicians (Kerry), so a politician they endorse (Kerry) must be a liberal pervert too. The message is that a politician (Kerry) who surrounds himself with celebrities must be unable to attract attention on his own; and nobody would come to a politican's (Kerry's) rallies if it weren't for the celebrity at his (Kerry's) side.

Yet, Fox has celebrities on who glowingly endorse Bush. I think they feel that if the celebrity is in the studio they can be made more human and likeable, and the picture painted is different from that of a celebrity standing on a stage waiving to a crowd. Additionally, the Hollywood celebrities who endorse Kerry are spoken of as if they're "the others," especially after the Fox host asks the standard question of: "Since you've endorsed President Bush, are you ever going to work in Hollywood again?"

Here are the posts relating to this subject from earlier this week:

Setting up Coverage of Kerry

Democrats are Wimps. They Need Hollywood

More on Celebrity Endorsements

Pay Some Attention to That Person Behind the Curtain