Today's celebrity activism proves Trump's point about crooked media
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Remember when the Dixie Chicks “trolled” President George W. Bush long before the term hit the mainstream?

We didn’t know it then, but those were the halcyon days of celebrity activism. To say many of today’s stars have become unhinged regarding the state of the nation (aka President Donald J. Trump) is to be kind. And the mainstream press pretends it’s simply business as usual, assuming reporters cover it at all.

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Most folks, even those in blue states, know better. And that’s eroding the brands of both Hollywood and the news media. Frankly, the latter can’t afford to lose any more respect in the public’s collective eyes.

 

The Dixie Chicks took Bush to task for his decision to invade Iraq during a 2003 London concert.

“We're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas," lead singer Natalie Maines cried.

The comments ricocheted around the globe. Country music stations yanked the group’s music off the airwaves. Conservatives condemned the Chicks for their presumed lack of patriotism.

That was then. Today? Consider these profound political statements from our current crop of stars:

Michael Shannon: The “Nocturnal Animals” star said Trump voters were ready “for the urn.”

Chelsea Handler: The Netflix host mocked Trump’s pregnant daughter in law and said Melania Trump, who speaks multiple languages, was too dumb to interview on her show. That was in between saying she wanted to reach across the aisle and put partisanship aside.

Madonna: The Material Girl confessed in public to a scheme in which she blew up the White House … presumably with President Trump inside.

Josh Fox: The “Gasland” director urged on Twitter that we can only beat ISIS through love, not bombs.

Ashley Judd: The actress roared, “I feel Hitler in these streets” during the January Women’s March

Amy Schumer: The “Snatched” star raged against more than just Trump. She pointed the finger at Red State voters, comparing them to the KKK.

Actor John Cho of “Star Trek” fame: He tweeted that President Trump created the culture which led to the recent United fiasco.

Rapper Bow Wow: The youthful star tweeted plans to pimp out First Lady Melania Trump after his uncle, Snoop Dogg, starred in a video where he pointed a gun at a clownish Trump.

“Avengers” director Joss Whedon, reacting to allegations that Chechnyan officials rounding up and killing gay people, warned President Trump might do the same if he’s not stopped.

Reporters cover virtually every molecule of Hollywood news these days. The latest “Star Wars” trailer is a stop-the-presses event. Someone body shamed Amy Schumer? Release the media hounds! Alec Baldwin’s 12th Trump sketch on “Saturday Night Live?” Make sure it’s part of Sunday’s saturation coverage!

Yet reporters either covered the above celebrity statements in a terse, matter of fact way or ignored them altogether.

Forget about outrage. You’re lucky if you found the aforementioned comments outside the conservative media sphere.

Deadline.com was one of several major outlets to dutifully report on Madonna’s statements. A later story scurried to her defense”

“Madonna gave a particularly fiery speech during the demonstration that was well received by the crowd, but nitpicked by pundits and right wing observers who gasped at its content.”

Do we even need to play the ol’, “what would the media do had President Obama been in the White House at the time” game?

Let’s be clear: one of Hollywood’s biggest directors warning of American concentration camps is a newsworthy item in 2017. Just try finding Whedon’s comments in the non-conservative press. IndieWire.com shared it, but they were the exception.

The pure hatred and surreal antics of celebrities since Trump's election warrants more media attention overall. Heck, it could be a running meme that reporters return to every few days. The material is certainly there.

So ... where is it?

Could it be too many reporters agree with those outlandish statements? Or, more likely, the press would rather not draw attention to them. Doing so only hurts the hashtag happy “Resistance.” It also burnishes one of candidate Trump’s most effective jabs: The media is crooked, and Hollywood liberals aren’t to be trusted.

All of this comes on the heels of a truly one-of-a-kind presidency, and one certainly ripe for criticism. Hollywood could lead the way, using its various media outlets to draw attention to genuine flaws in the “Make America Great Again” blueprint.

Instead, we get the kind of fever swamp ruminations you might find on a barely read blog.

The irony of today’s celebrity venom comes from both Maines and Whedon. The country crooner confessed on Twitter recently that President Trump was bringing out the worst in her.

It might be the most profound political statement from any celebrity this year.

And then there’s Whedon, whose Twitter profile reads, “I never let them see the worst of me.” Let’s hope that’s not true. But if it is, don’t expect Hollywood reporters to share that with us. Their agenda simply won’t allow it.

Christian Toto is the editor of HollywoodInToto.com and host of the Hollywood in Toto Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @HollywoodInToto.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.