By Daniel Johnson-Kim, Sports Editor
Not a fan of politics? Hollywood is.
Tyra Banks, Jon Bon Jovi, Tom Hanks, Donald Trump and many more entertainers, producers and writers put their money where their politics are to support the current presidential candidates and possibly influence the race to the White House.
But don’t let the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s wallets fool you – celebrity endorsements reek of irrelevance.
In a country where the rise and fall of celebrities clutter the national news with fodder best left on the gossip page, celebrities sadly have an unfair influence on the presidential race. And many uninformed voters may let their DVD collection decide our next Commander in Chief.
Sen. Barack Obama’s change-filled rhetoric has appealed to a long list of Hollywood’s finest. “Friends” beauty Jennifer Anniston, “Garden State” star Zach Braff, “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David and Bond girl Halle Berry have all donated money to the freshman senator from Illinois. And the list continues: George Clooney, Cindy Crawford, Morgan Freeman, Ervin “Magic” Johnson, Edward Norton, Will Smith, Steven Spielberg and, of course, Oprah Winfrey have all donated money to Obama’s campaign.
Obama’s nemesis, Sen. Hillary Clinton, has attracted a Hollywood crowd of her own. Bon Jovi, Alec Baldwin, Danny DeVito, author John Grisham, Jerry Springer and even aging playboy Hugh Heffner threw in their names and wallets to fuel the Clinton machine.
On the other side of the isle, celebrity support is scarce but present.
Sen. John McCain’s man is multi-million dollar producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced, “Pirates of the Carribean” series, “National Treasure,” “Remember the Titans” and other over-the-top blockbusters. Even the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has publicly endorsed the old man from Arizona.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has no big-time contributors, or the sense to pull out of the Republican race, but roundhouse king Chuck Norris has publicly endorsed the former preacher, and the Texas Ranger with a killer sidekick has been active in Huckabee’s bid for the White House.
So what do all these celebrity endorsements mean? Absolutely nothing.
Although celebrities have every right to support whomever they want, our next leader should not be decided purely by America’s Next Top Model fans or people with a crush on Clooney; policy – not celebrity – should choose the winner of the West Wing.
Come November, celebrities will still smile for the cameras, but if we let their opinions influence, we may have a flop in the White House, with a possible sequel.
Voting because views for or against universal healthcare, an opinion to stay in or pull out of Iraq, or a candidate’s stance on the environment should be the fuel behind this country’s decision. Don’t let it be any other way.
Who wants a kick-happy Norris to have the ear of the president anyway?