Elton John is complaining that stars in America are afraid to speak out, because of the climate of fear and repression we have out here:
Elton John has said stars are scared to speak out against war in Iraq because of "bullying tactics" used by the US government to hinder free speech.
Does Elton John really think we live in a world where stars are afraid to speak their mind about politics? Is he living on the same planet we are (not purely a rhetorical question, given that this is, after all, Elton John)?
Well, lets see. Barbara Streisand was okay with singing a "Bush Bashing" version of her song "People" at a Kerry fundraiser in Los Angeles.
Michael Moore has called the president a draft dodger and "a fictitious president."
John Mellencamp (wasn't there a "Cougar" in there at one point?) wrote a song for a Kerry fundraiser called "Texas Bandido. The song called the President "just another cheap thug that sacrifices our young."
At the same event Jessica Lange called the Bush regime a "self-serving regime of hypocrisy and belligerence." And Chevy Chase accused the President of having started the Iraq conflict "just so he could be called a wartime president."
A rapper called Jadakiss has a line in a popular song accusing Bush of having been responsible for the 9-11 terrorist attack.
Aging pop-star George Michael wrote a song and video that depicted Tony Blair as a dog, with the President rubbing his stomach.
Aging pop-star David Crosby referred to Bush and his administration as "these planet-raping sons of bitches"
And aging pop-star (is there a trend here) Linda Ronstadt recently called for the President's impeachment.
I could, of course, go on and on, but hopefully the point is made. Celebrities are not only showing no hesitation in attacking the president, but they skip right over policy disagreements to personal attacks on his character.
In fairness, there were two instances of celebrities who took some flack and might have lost some gigs over making political statements. There were the Dixie Chicks, who told a London audience that they were ashamed that the President was from Texas.
They took some serious heat from their fans. But as you can see from the photo, its not as if they are anxious to put the incident behind them and move on. To the contrary, they are wrapping themselves in the First Amendment (so to speak) and having a blast posing as free speech heros.
Then there was Whoopi Goldberg, who launched a foul mouthed attack on the President (his name is slang for female genitalia, ain't that a riot). She lost her job as a Slim-Fast spokesman. But it is unlikely that Whoopi will miss any meals either (get it? Slim-Fast spokesman? Miss any meals?) More importantly, she brings this on herself. At the fund raiser when she got in trouble, she told the crowd that Kerry's people wanted to see her material in advance. Her response?
"I Xeroxed my behind and I folded it up in an envelope and I sent it back with a big kiss mark on because we're Democrats - we're not afraid to laugh," she said.
Well, it seems to me that Whoopi ought to know that you can either be a free speech cowboy, unafraid to launch a graphic, x-rated tirade against the President, or else you can be a spokesman for a product that wants to appeal to large numbers of both Democrats and Republicans. It is hard to be both.