Brent Bozell

And any politician seeking their assistance for the sake a few votes is enabling -- and advancing -- the culture rot these punks propose.

The Obama campaign released a new video on Oct. 21, in which the rapper known as Jay-Z urged viewers to participate in the process. "I want all my people in Michigan to go out and vote," he said. "I need you to vote Nov. 4," he says, calling this "the most important election that will happen probably in your lifetime."

At a Los Angeles concert on Oct. 16, Jay-Z wowed his audience by dedicating his song "99 Problems" to John McCain and his "homegirl" Sarah Palin, explaining that he was referring to "the one who says, 'You betcha.'" This is the same song that was controversial earlier this year when Obama was running against Hillary, since its signature line is "I got 99 problems, but a [B-word] ain't one." Jay-Z is not a celebrity who usually builds enthusiasm about government, since the song also has an entire verse about being racially profiled by the "mother f-ing law" for "doing 55 in a 54."

Doesn't the concept of a civic-minded gangsta-rapper strike anyone as odd? More to the point: If we are to conclude that a fragment of his message devoted to politics has the power to move thousands to the polls, what does this say about the power of his everyday, every-disc message -- the celebration of the violent gangster culture -- on the young?

Even though many people cite the moral decline of America as a major reason why the country is "moving in the wrong direction," this is another presidential-election season where neither the Republican nor the Democrat has dared to offer any political commentary on the sorry state of our popular culture. No debate moderator has found it worth discussing. But millions of Americans are still looking for someone, somewhere from Hollywood to Washington who actually sees our "entertainment" as a social problem, and our celebrities as worthy of criticism and not lock-step idolatry.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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