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Americans objecting to the anti-war rhetoric of Hollywood celebrities are no longer remaining silent, but are starting to fight back with their own grass-roots offensive.
They’re on the attack flooding actors, talent agencies and anti-war groups with their own thoughts on the possibility of war with Iraq, and what they think of the public stances being taken by many entertainers.
Sheryl Crow: ‘The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies’ (photo: Hollywood.com)
“These [celebrities] are abusing their stature and they need to be informed that there is a lot of America who vehemently disagrees with them,” says Los Angeles radio talk-show host John Kobylt. “They need to be put back in their place. They need to understand where they are in the great food chain of life.”
Kobylt and his partner Ken Chiampou of KFI-AM are promoting a “Virtual March on Hollywood.” It’s a counter-measure to the “Virtual March on Washington” which took place yesterday with anti-war activists jamming phone and fax lines in the nation’s capital to get their message across.
‘Stop Celebrity Spokesholes’
On the John and Ken website, the hosts provide a series of links in their movement to “stop celebrity spokesholes.” Phone and fax numbers, along with some e-mail addresses are listed for some of the leading activists opposing President Bush’s policy on disarming Iraq.
“It’s just the first time in their life they’ve been criticized,” says Kobylt, “because they think anybody who supports a war against Iraq is some stupid, redneck half-wit who’s got no teeth, no shoes, no brain. They don’t consider that most of the people would rather have a peaceful world, that we’re fighting this war or we’re gonna fight this war because of the terrorist attack.”
A caller from San Pedro, Calif., phoned in to read a portion of an e-mail he wrote to actor Mike Farrell, suggesting celebrities opposing the president volunteer to be human shields in Baghdad:
Since our military has already said we cannot guarantee the safety of those who have already gone over as human shields, when the bombing starts this remedy could have a double benefit. First, you will be able to put your money where your mouths are. Secondly, it’s more than likely that you and your traitor conspirators will be erased from the planet. I call this the [epitome] of the term ‘win-win.’ Your insignificant group does not have the backing of the American people. We are not quick to go to war, we are a people of peace who time and time again have tried to help the impoverished of this world with food, finances, and when necessary, blood (you’re welcome, France). … What a shame that you did not choose to support our country like the true stars of the past, people like Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, Errol Flynn, and others who used their talent to fight dictators, fascism, and tyranny.
For his part, Farrell has been on the front lines against the use of force to persuade Saddam Hussein to disarm.
“It is inappropriate for the administration to trump up a case in which we are ballyhooed into war,” said the former star of “M*A*S*H.” But as pointed out by WorldNetDaily columnist Larry Elder, “when Clinton took non-U.N.-approved military action in Kosovo, Farrell said, ‘I think it’s appropriate for the international community in situations like this to intervene. I am in favor of an intervention.'”
The Virtual March on Hollywood is indicative of a sentiment that has not received much coverage in the national media, but is just now elbowing its way to center stage.
For instance, America Online yesterday featured the issue of celebrities’ war stances on its welcome screen. The Internet service provider asked members three questions in connection with entertainers’ impact on public policy. With over 400,000 votes logged by 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time, results in the unscientific survey overwhelmingly showed that few believe high-profile activists influence their own stances:
- Do celebrity activists affect your political opinions?
- 93% No
- 7% Yes
- Total votes: 437,186
Should President Bush pay more attention to anti-war protesters?
- 71% No
- 29% Yes
- Total votes: 437,724
Do you think peace demonstrations embolden Saddam?
- 71% Yes
- 29% No
- Total votes: 432,144
AOL also showcased many of the personal comments submitted by its subscribers, shown here in the precise order displayed by AOL:
- “They are actors! Why do people bow down and swear allegiance to what they say?” (Danrad54)
“Are actors qualified to do geopolitical commentary? No. It is sort of like saying Charlton Heston is qualified to be Moses.” (Zopinion)
“Celebrities have a right to state their opinion and we have an obligation to ignore or mock them.” (Andy 72259)
“Stop the insanity and force these people to live in the rest of the world like the rest of us.” (MissOktavia)
“If Hannity and Rush and O’Reilly can froth at the mouth for the war machine – and none of them are more or less qualified to do so than any actor – I don’t see why the celebrities have to be silenced.” (PoetAmelie)
“Are celebrities entitled to their opinion? As private citizens, yes. As self-proclaimed experts because they starred in a movie about war, no!” (Pcny1953)
Meanwhile, a California investor fed up with hearing “anti-American” celebrity rhetoric has created a website to document the statements made by well-known entertainers.
HollywoodHalfwits.com made its debut three days ago, and without spending a cent on advertising was already receiving up to 2,000 hits per hour last night.
The site’s creator, Mark Fleming, believes many celebrities speaking against President Bush right now are simply ignorant and uninformed.
“While they think they’re promoting peace, they’re actually pushing us to war,” he told WorldNetDaily. “Saddam Hussein gets more and more emboldened [by them]. If we were all together on this, he’d be out of there by now.”
Among the celebs featured on Hollywood Halfwits is singer Sheryl Crow, who made headlines earlier this week by claiming CBS executives sought to silence any anti-war rhetoric during the Grammy Awards broadcast.
The Crow statement featured by Fleming is the singer’s current philosophy regarding military conflict:
“I think war is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies.”
Ironically, during the Balkan conflict of the mid-1990s, Crow was not involved in any anti-war protests. In fact, the singer was ecstatic about entertaining American troops in Bosnia.
“Once over there I felt extremely patriotic,” Crow told USA Today. “Here are these people, from 18-year-olds to military veterans, enduring real duress for the cause of peace.”
“I don’t ever want to play for a regular audience again, only military folks who are starving for music,” she added.
Crow’s apparent flip-flop didn’t go unnoticed by radio talk-show giant Rush Limbaugh.
“Do you think if the Bush administration asked her to go entertain the troops in Iraq, she would go?” asked Limbaugh. “I wouldn’t count on it. All these people are just a bunch of thoroughbred hypocrites.”
Also featured on Fleming’s site is the famous pro-peace statement made by actor Richard Gere during the “Concert for New York” to raise money for the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attack. Gere was loudly booed while making these remarks:
Richard Gere (photo: Hollywood.com)
“In a situation like this, of course you identify with everyone who’s suffering. [But we must also think about] the terrorists who are creating such horrible future lives for themselves because of the negativity of this karma. It’s all of our jobs too keep our minds as expansive as possible. If you can see [the terrorists] as a relative who’s dangerously sick and we have to give them medicine, and the medicine is love and compassion. There’s nothing better.”
Back in Los Angeles, KFI’s John Kobylt had this reaction to Gere’s stance.
“Who the hell wants to go see him in a movie? I mean who can stomach that guy once you hear that stuff?” he asked.
The public-relations offensive could gain more steam this weekend with the debut of a television commercial featuring “Law & Order” star Fred Thompson.
“Thank goodness we have a president with the courage to protect our country,” the former Tennesee senator says in the ad, according to the Drudge Report. “What should we do with the inevitable prospect of nuclear weapons in the hands of a murderous and aggressive enemy? Can we afford to appease Saddam?”
The effort comes just days after “West Wing” actor Martin Sheen created a commercial in which he implores fans and viewers: “Don’t invade Iraq. Inspections work; war won’t.”
NBC executives were reportedly unapprised of Thomspon’s spot challenging Sheen.
“We obviously have not taken a stand on President Bush’s policies,” a senior network official told Drudge. “Mr. Sheen and Mr. Thompson are both acting in their capacity as private citizens, I would trust.”
If you’d like to sound off on this issue, please take part in the WorldNetDaily poll.
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