Opinion: Celebrities gone wild

Matt Vroom

Matt Vroom

By Chuck Prochaska

For the past few months we’ve seen Ben Affleck offer a million bucks to boot President Bush; Bruce Springsteen lead “Rock Against Bush;” and Whoopi Goldberg liken her female anatomy … to Bush. Will this change your vote? Last time I checked, these were actors, singers and performers – not agents of the political machine. Yet, an inflated sense of self-worth leaves them falsely believing they can control the outcome of today’s election.

If you have only looked to CNN, MSNBC or Fox News for your election coverage, you’re missing what the hip-hop community has deemed “its own October surprise.” Mosh, Eminem’s watered-down, gangsta’d-up musical version of Fahrenheit 9/11, uses animation to invoke anti-establishment imagery – accusing President Bush of inciting a cultural divide in the United States. Nice try, Marshall, but you’re singing the wrong song at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Verse three includes this eloquent observation of the war on terrorism:

“Maybe we can reach al-Qaida through my speech/ Let the president answer a higher anarchy/ Strap him with an AK-47, let him go, fight his own war/ Let him impress daddy that way/ No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our own soil.”

Some of you probably just said, “Right on!” or whatever trendy anti-Bush slogan the kids are using these days. If so, you are the exact reason why this video will not produce votes for Sen. John Kerry.

Let’s say Eminem can sell 10 million copies of this new album. While it won’t be released until after the election, we can factor in online file sharing and its number-one rating on MTV to say that it probably has reached 10 million people by today. But if I remember correctly, Total Request Live stopped being cool in the eighth grade, so maybe we have about three million 14- to 18-year-old Kerry supporters soaking up his message. The other remaining seven million people are a mix of urban dwellers and pop-cultured, hip-hoppin’ college kids.

Large chunks of these groups didn’t feel motivated to register to vote until it was too late, and those who did are voting against Bush in already-blue states. I highly doubt the union workers in Ohio, senior citizens in Florida and farmers in Iowa are going to go Mosh with Eminem at the White House while demanding regime change.

Celebrities like Eminem who are obsessed with dictating the election’s outcome are failing because their approach is completely wrong. Take Howard Stern, for example. His show now is composed of whiny tirades against Federal Communciations Commission Chairman Michael Powell only because he got slapped with fines for violating on-air decency laws. Key word: decency. The FCC doesn’t request righteous or holy content, just decent content!

Powell is the son of Secretary of State Colin Powell, so Stern’s personal attacks on the Bush administration as well as the FCC are just as fierce. Stern might be correct that the FCC is not universally equal in their levying of fines, but in typical liberal fashion, he blames others for problems that are his to fix. I’m sorry, but I’m disinclined to pity a multimillionaire who gets fined for spewing porn over the airwaves. Stern’s arrogance and vulgar demeanor render him zero credibility.

These two “bad boys” have failed to channel their displeasure with the president into an opponent, giving themselves no realistic alternative. During the primaries, there might have been several candidates who would have cut and run in Iraq or have allowed CBS to air Skinemax during prime time. Kerry won’t support either of these policies, so if he is elected, who will they blame then?

Tomorrow morning, there might be lawsuits, recounts, riots – or we might have a decisive electoral outcome. Whatever the result, I guarantee it will not be affected by the grandstanding of celebrity political amateurs.

Chuck Prochaska is a sophomore in LAS. His forum will return Monday. He can be reached at [email protected]