On Fairy Tales and Role Models

As Sarah Palin’s nomination continues to foment in the media, many people comment both on the internet and in media about her qualifications, record, and personality. What strikes me about the commentary is not the content but what commentary is publicized by the media and whose opinions go unpublished.

Matt Damon’s very public comments calling Palin’s life a bad disney movie aired on cable news outlets. What distinguishes Damon’s opinion or John Voigt’s opinion from regular folks? How are these individuals more qualified to comment than the rest of us?

They are not. Conveniently for celebrities cameras seek them out and beg for comment. The educational background, political expertise and credibility of these folks remains unmeasured just like regular people. But the American public now sees the reverse of photog media frenzy that drove Brittany Spears to a mental hospital (among other things), the exploitation of the photog media frenzy by the subjects of the frenzy. Any famous person (usually of the liberal persuasion) now seeks out the cameras and the media to unload political diatribes.

How should the public respond to the foisting of political ideology from untested sources onto their election consideration? Any product or book mentioned by Oprah flies off shelves before the episode concludes. Senator Obama may not have received the same treatment from Oprah devotees as Oprah’s food guru. How does that translate to other celebrities? Hollywood packages characters for instant purchase at the local mall. Look like them, smell like them, you could even talk like them.

Do we really want to vote like them? What criteria make celebs a better political advisor than say the man who runs the convenience store down the street? Nothing. Celebs just look pretty and exercise for a living instead of punching a clock and attending to family matters.

At what point do you draw the line between seeking similarity and defining individualism? At what point, does one decide for themselves whether such a thing as a “good” disney movie exists and whether Palin’s political rise is a “bad” movie or just hokie in way that many regular people idealize?

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Filed under 2008 Election, Media, News, Politics

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