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Hooray For Hollywood


This week the Monitor is intent on having a bit of fun, though the subject is a serious one – the tendency of actors to embrace left-wing causes in general and the current antiwar movement in particular, all the while spouting the sort of inanities that only a New York Times editorial writer would take even half seriously.This, of course, is hardly something new: Way back in 1917 H.L. Mencken described actors as “blatant and obnoxious posturers and windbags” who were “full of hot and rancid gases.” And to think that Mencken, dead now for close to half a century, never met such preposterous blowhards as Ed Asner and Martin Sheen!But rather than get angry at the Hollywood pinheads who never let their shrunken intellects prevent them from pontifi cating on matters of great import, the Monitor much prefers laughing the dolts right off the stage.

If you agree there’s little point in gnashing teeth or growing ulcers in response to the pronunciamentos made by what are, after all, some of the dumbest people in the universe (Cher used to think that the presidential likenesses carved into Mount Rushmore were natural phenomena, while Barbra Streisand, according to biographer Shaun Considine, was a All Posts woman in her forties before she learned that the Warsaw Ghetto had been destroyed by the Nazis), then there’s a website you’ll probably enjoy called HollywoodHalfwits.com.

Many of the idiocies collected on Hollywood Halfwits (all carefully documented, with new entries constantly added) will be familiar to anyone who follows the news with the slightest regularity, but a surprising number of them escaped media attention when they were first uttered. The following are some of the Monitor’s favorites, but there’s a lot more where these came from:

Barbra Streisand on the administration’s motivation for invading Iraq: “The War on Terrorism has not been as successful as President Bush has stated, and he is feeling pressure to do something, even if that something has nothing to do with actually fighting terrorism! The Bush administration thinks they can fool us into thinking they have the terrorism situation under control by going after Saddam, when all they are doing is exacerbating the problem by creating more outrage against the United States from potential terrorists.”

Streisand again, at a fundraiser for Jesse Jackson: “I don’t like giving speeches. First, I don’t know what to say. Then I want to say too much. But I’m here tonight for one reason: I’m a sucker for Jesse.”

Ed Asner, whose cuddly Lou Grant image belies the reality of an actor who regularly lends his name to statements and petitions by groups on the anti-Israel, anti-U.S. hard left: “I think that the idea of Iraq being a nuclear threat is poppy cock, and if they are a nuclear threat then they’d have to borrow atomic bombs from Israel.”

Actor Woody Harrelson, a living embodiment of the truism that you can indeed be as stupid as you look, gives us his take on war with Iraq: “This is a racist and imperialist war. The warmongers who stole the White House (you call them ‘hawks,’ but I would never disparage such a fine bird) have hijacked a nation’s grief and turned it into a perpetual war on any non-white country they choose to describe as terrorist.”

Has-been actor Larry Hagman, never in danger of being mistaken as a cerebral sort by anyone other than himself (and possibly Barbra Streisand), offers his assessment of the president: “[Bush is a] sad figure, not too well educated, who doesn’t get out of America much. He’s leading the country towards fascism.” (Asked how he thought Bush would react to the accusation, Hagman responded, “It’s all the same to me; he wouldn’t understand the word fascism anyway.”)

Actor Richard Gere, conspiracy theorist extraordinaire: “Bush’s plans for war are a bizarre bad dream. There doesn’t appear to be any sort of basis for any of this. I have a feeling something hidden is at work here that will someday see the light of day.”

Singer Sheryl Crowe revealing herself to be the sort of hard-headed thinker and geopolitical genius in such heavy demand at Tinseltown dinner parties: “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.”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com 

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.

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