John Stossel

I'm annoyed that so many Hollywood celebrities hate the system that made them rich.

Actor/comedian Russell Brand told the BBC he wants "a socialist, egalitarian system based on the massive redistribution of wealth."

Director George Lucas got rich not just from movies but also by selling Star Wars merchandise. Yet he says he believes in democracy but "not capitalist democracy."

Actor Martin Sheen says, "That's where the problem lies ... It's corporate America."

And so on.

On my TV show, actor/author Kevin Sorbo pointed out that such sentiments make little sense coming from entertainers. "It's a very entrepreneurial business. You have to work very hard to get lucky, mixed with any kind of talent to get a break in this business. I told Clooney, George, you're worth $100 million -- of course you can afford to be a socialist!"

It's bad enough that celebrities trash the only economic system that makes poor people's lives better.

What's worse is that many are hypocrites.

Celebrities who support big-government politicians routinely take advantage of tax breaks, which reduce the amount they contribute to that government.

It's nice that Obama supporter Bon Jovi has a foundation that builds houses for poor people, but at tax time, the musician labels himself a "farmer." He pays only $100 in state property tax. And his tax dodge gimmick: raising honeybees.

Bruce Springsteen sings about factories closing down but pays little tax on the hundreds of acres of land he owns. His dodge: An organic farmer works his land.

Hollywood's campaign to "save the earth" brings out the most hypocrisy. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio recently announced, "I will fly around the world doing good for the environment." Really? Flying around the world? I'm amazed they're not embarrassed by what they say.

Maybe they don't know how clueless they are because reporters rarely confront them about their hypocrisy. Hollywood reporters want access to celebrities, and posing uncomfortable questions reduces that access.

To fill the gap, Jason Mattera, author of "Hollywood Hypocrites," confronts hypocritical celebrities.

He and his cameraman located Harrison Ford after the actor had himself filmed getting his chest hair waxed. Ford said the pain of ripping out his chest hair should make us think about the pain the earth feels when trees in a rainforest are cut down. Chest hair, rain forest -- get it? But that environmental message came from a celebrity who owns seven airplanes. Ford once even flew his private jet to get a cheeseburger!


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate