Hollywood 'experts' speak out

Posted: Feb 27, 2003 12:00 AM
In Hollywood, apparently, celebrity equals expertise. Edward Norton: "Almost everyone in Germany and France is in sync with the governments. I almost forgot what it's like to be proud of my government. . . . It's dismaying to see the unilateralism the government is doing. There aren't enough rational steps." Robert Altman: "The present government in America I just find disgusting, the idea that George Bush could run a baseball team successfully -- he can't even speak! I just find him an embarrassment. I was over here when the election was on and I couldn't believe it -- and I'm 76 years old. Then when the Supreme Court came in and turned out to be a totally political animal, the last shred of any naivete that was left in me has gone. When I see an American flag flying, it's a joke." Mike Farrell: "It is inappropriate for the administration to trump up a case in which we are ballyhooed into war." Yet when Clinton took non-U.N.-approved military action in Kosovo, Farrell said, "I think it's appropriate for the international community in situations like this to intervene. I am in favor of an intervention." Jessica Lange: "I hate George W. Bush" and "I despise" his administration. Danny Glover: "Yes, he's racist. We all knew that but the world is only finding it out now. As Texas's governor, Bush led a penitentiary system that executed more people than all the other U.S. states together. And most of the people who died from (the) death penalty were Afro-Americans or Hispanics. . . . (Bush) promoted a conservative program, designed to eliminate everything Americans had accomplished so far in matters of race and equality." (For the record, during George Bush's tenure as governor of Texas, the state executed 152 people, over half were white, about one-third black, with the remainder Hispanic or "other.") Janeane Garofalo: "The world would be better off with multiple superpowers." When asked if that means our enemies should be more powerful Garofalo said, "Sure . . . when Communist U.S.S.R. was a superpower, the world was better off. . . . The right-wing media is trying to marginalize the peace movement." Larry Hagman: "A sad figure (Bush): not too well educated, who doesn't get out of America much. He's leading the country towards fascism." Martin Sheen: "I think he'd (George W. Bush) like to hand his father Saddam Hussein's head and win his approval for what happened after the Gulf War. That's my own personal opinion, I don't know if that's true. I hope it's not, but I suspect it is." Ed Asner: "I think that the idea of Iraq being a nuclear threat is poppycock, and if they are a nuclear threat then they'd have to borrow atomic bombs from Israel." Ed Harris: "Being a man, I've got to say that we've got this guy in the White House who thinks he is a man, you know, who projects himself as a man and because he has a certain masculinity, and he's a good old boy, and he used to drink, and he knows how to shoot a gun and how to drive a pickup truck, etcetera like that. That's not the definition of a man, God dammit!" Dustin Hoffman: "I believe -- though I may be wrong, because I'm no expert -- that this war is about what most wars are about: hegemony, money, power and oil." Sean Penn: "If there is a war or continued sanctions against Iraq, the blood of Americans and Iraqis alike will be on our hands." David Clennon (of the television show "The Agency") appeared on the Sean Hannity radio show and likened America's current pro-war atmosphere to that of Nazi Germany. Was he comparing Bush to Adolf Hitler? No. Clennon said, "Hitler is smarter than Bush." George Clooney: "You can't beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people revenge-seeking. . . . These days it only matters who's in charge. Right now that's us -- for a while at least. Our opponents are going to resort to car bombs and suicide attacks because they have no other way to win. . . . We can't beat anyone anymore." Spike Lee: "Too many people are being bowled over by Bush and Tony Blair in Britain. It's ludicrous to expect the whole world to follow what they want. . . . America doesn't have the moral right to tell other people what to do. To say the whole world has to fall into line is you-know-what. I hope more people will rise up." To quote Oscar Wilde, "By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, (journalism) keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community." Surely not all of Hollywood feels this way. Undoubtedly, however, many fear losing work if "outed" as a non-liberal. Maybe Hollywood non-libs can band together, find a lawyer, and file a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The grounds? Hostile work environment.