Thursday, May 24, 2007

Spats and simpers: celebrities are news

Ann Curry's simpering interview with Angelina Jolie has been aired over and over - as if it has some major news significance. Oh, lordy, where will I have to see it next? Curry whispers at her subject with coy adulation, leaning forward in her chair, nodding like a bobble-head and daring to inject her own opinions and moist-eyed life stories into her interview - as if she and Jolie are just such special peers. I think I will dub it the American "simperview" since the talent-challenged Curry is not the only interviewer who uses this cringe-inducing technique. It seems intended to inject some emotional gravitas into what is basically pretty airhead material. Let's face it, Angelina Jolie is doing interviews to promote a new movie. The whole vast "scoop" interview is just a plug. This is not to say that Jolie is not one of the more interesting actresses around. She has always been "different" and she has a powerful and admirable political conscience which, one hopes, is of some influence to the masses in this gob-smacking culture of celebrity. But, bottom line, when she goes out there doing a dollar-driven movie promo, the media dissolves into a pathetic goo of star-worship.

How very differently does the media treat Jolie, the political animal, from the way it treats Rosie O'Donnell, the political animal!

The big bad right wing men in suits can't spew enough bile about Rosie. Rosie, a self-described "fat lesbian", is a popular hate target for expressing views not dissimilar to those of the beautiful Angelina Jolie. Rosie is intelligent and highly articulate, but Rosie is portrayed as a wicked loudmouthed left-wing extremist. The big bad right wing men in suits devour her with relish as an outlet for their deep anger at the very existence of a thinking left. She's an easy target, a soft target - and there's nothing they like better.

After yesterday's The View, they are having a field day - since Rosie was in very heated dispute with the very pretty and pregnant poster girl of the right, Elisabeth Hasslebeck. Hasselbeck is The View's balance of opinion - since most prominent and politically aware females in showbiz are, in fact, of Democrat sympathy. Hasselback is the NeoCon plant. She is a creationist.

While Rosie rose through the ranks of showbiz with brains, wit, originality and talent as a comedian, Hasselbeck's vast achievement was being a pretty thing on Survivor: The Australian Outback. I watched that show and I can barely remember her, but apparently American viewers so adored the cute shoe designer that, while she did not win Survivor, she won the bigger prize of national celebrity. She's a pretty little blonde, after all. The stereotypical American mould.

Watching the political spat on The View, I saw Hasselbeck on the attack and Rosie on the defensive. Hasselbeck struck out stridently, a ferocious viper already enraged by Joy Behar's praise for Al Gore and criticisms of the Bush regime. "Poor little" nothing! As she, indeed, said. Hasselbeck is a confident, self-righteous Republican and, doubtless, she is subject to constant briefing and revving up by the party cronies who would see her as a media prize. If you watch footage of that now historic spat, you will see Hasselbeck doing most of the talking and shouting - not Rosie. In sad fact, the two of them drowned out the real speaker, comedian Joy Behar, who had outlined a carefully-considered list of the political crimes of George W. Bush and his administration.

Rosie was naughty because she had a personal agenda with Elizabeth and, in giving vent to it, she enabled Elizabeth's shrieking outburst - all of which effectively took the audience's eye off the significant political ball that Behar had put into play. And it gave the men in suits yet another opening for yet another onslaught against Rosie.

Rosie will be gone from The View in three weeks - rather controversially insofar as all the denials in the world will never convince us that her departure was not pressured by the men in suits.
Meanwhile, pretty little Mrs Hasselbeck will stay on, radiantly pregnant with the next generation of Christian Republican creationists.
And, here's the bet, it won't be long before Fox is making a lucrative offer to draw her into their fold of "fair and balanced" rabid righties.


BusyLife Services, Inc. said...

You are so right on about the right targeting Rosie because she's not as pretty as Angelina. I'm not a Rosie groupie, but I don't care much for EH. I think she is out of her league and proved it yesterday with her histrionics. AQB

stephen said...

I have attempted entering into reasoned discourse regarding the war in Iraq. What is evident is the relentless defense for the war regardless of fact. It concern's me that intellectual argument is becoming lost amongst patriotism, propaganda and just plain stupidity.

Watching the footage of the View was frustrating and unfortunately all too familiar. I was glad when Rosie deviated from the main debate. I don't know if I could've endured another debate full of empty rhetoric and ignorant of fact.

Don't even get me started on Ann Curry, that simperview technique makes me want to vomit.

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