Editorial: Celebrities, politics and the media who encourage them

By Rob Nikolewski on October 5, 2011
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Earlier this week, country singer when he appeared on the morning show and ridiculed a recent golf outing involving President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Asked what he didn’t like about it, Williams said, “Come on. That’d be like (Adolf) Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu. Not hardly.”

For years, Williams has sung the intro to Monday Night Football and after the remarks, from Monday’s game between Tampa Bay and Indianapolis.

A few thoughts:

First, I have no problems with ESPN pulling the open. They’re a private company and can do what they want.

Second, . But when you look at the quote, couldn’t you interpret the remarks to mean Boehner was Hitler and Obama was Netanyahu?

Third, let’s all agree that comparing anybody to Hitler is a dumb and lazy point of argument. Whenever somebody invokes der Fuhrer, we should disregard anything that follows. And it seems there were an awful lot of Hitler comparisons when the previous President was in office:

Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, Coke or Pepsi, just stop it.

Fourth, has ESPN ever reprimanded anchor for this tweet?:

But the biggest point I’d like to make is to fellow media members. Stop asking celebrities what they think about political issues. Just because someone is famous does not mean their opinion about the political landscape has any more credibility than anyone you would grab off the street.

Think about it. When you hire a plumber to fix a leaky faucet, you would never ask him, “By the way Frank, what do you think about the Israeli-Palestine issue?” No, you called him to your house to fix the faucet. His political perspective is irrelevant.

Similarly, when reporters and anchors invite actors and musicians into their proverbial house, the questions should stick to the celebrities’ movies, TV shows and CDs — not what they happen to think about political issues.

Celebrities tend to be narcissists by nature but it’s not their fault when they spout their opinions. They have just as much right as anyone else. But they don’t have any more right than the average person and it’s the fault of the media for posing the question in the first place.

So please, Katie, Matt, Greta, Bill O, Anderson, do us all a favor and don’t ask the question to begin with.


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