Every time Michelle Obama goes to California for cash, she also makes TV appearances to boost the Obama image. On the latest trip, she was honored by Jay Leno and by Ellen DeGeneres. Last summer, she taped an episode of the popular Nickelodeon show "iCarly," which just aired in January. The Viacom network promoted her cool dance moves and her laudable support for military families.
Don't think all these favors aren't part of a deliberate attempt by the entertainment conglomerates to influence legislation designed to maximize their own profits. Their major initiative is the current "Stop Online Piracy Act." Unfortunately, their opposition is the tech sector in Silicon Valley to the north. Although the DNC received $1 million more from the entertainment sector than from the tech sector in the first three quarters of 2011, Obama just declared he could not support this bill.
In between Michelle Obama's Hollywood ATM withdrawals, President Obama landed in Southern California in late September for three events: one at the ritzy La Jolla home of Elizabeth and Mason Phelps; a gay event at the House of Blues in West Hollywood with ABC "Modern Family" star Jesse Tyler Ferguson; and then a $17,900-a-plate dinner with 100 top Hollywood bigwigs at Fig & Olive restaurant on Melrose Place, including Jack Black, Judd Apatow, Quincy Jones, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. This is Hollywood's 1 percent.
Of course, for the last two weeks we've been incessantly reminded that Obama sang two lines of Al Green's soul classic "Let's Stay Together." That was one of several Big Apple fundraisers for Obama at the Apollo Theater. "American Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe went on Twitter to invite the president to sing a duet with Al Green on his show. Smooch, smooch.
In the same trip, Obama held a $35,800-per-ticket fundraiser at the New York brownstone of director Spike Lee, who was infamous in the Bush era for suggesting in a reckless, conspiracy-theory HBO documentary that the federal government dynamited the levees to drown black people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Obama patronized Lee by claiming he and his wife went on a first date to see "Do the Right Thing," which ends with a race riot. That's a real handholding flick. Among the 45 guests were Mariah Carey and her husband Nick Cannon.
Campaign Obama wants its candidate to be seen as the embodiment of the "99 percent." In truth, he is the personification of the exclusive and ultimate 1 percent -- the super rich and super famous. Our "news" and entertainment media have their hands full trying to meld those conflicting themes into one convincing narrative.