Thursday, June 28, 2018

Why We So Love to Listen to "Celebrities' Opinions"

President Trump, a prolific tweeter, has long been accused of not thinking before he tweets.  I don't know if that's fair; for the most part it appears that he thinks about the issue before he tweets; he may just not contemplate the consequences of his tweetage, or may not use an editor, too much in advance of hitting "Send."  I do not mind; as I wrote yesterday, I think it gives the American citizen good and valuable insight into his thinking.

Now, when celebrities tweet it is a whole 'nother thing.

You see, celebrities, most of whom in Hollywood and New York being absurdly leftist, don't have to worry about the consequences of anything they tweet or say, ever.  Madonna can threaten to explode the White House and she is still walking the streets and maybe still performing (I wouldn't know, or care).  Peter Fonda can encourage the kidnapping and assault of the First Lady and a young boy, and he has a movie opening with him in it; Sony Pictures appears not to care, although the Secret Service supposedly did.  And on it goes.

Don't do that, of course, if you are a Trump supporter.  As Roseanne Barr can attest, an indiscreet tweet can get you fired promptly if you happen to support the, you know, president of the United States.

This acute double standard has manifested itself not only in tweets from leftist celebrities being more vicious than before (because of lack of consequence), but also in their lack of a need for a factual basis for pretty much anything they type.

Exhibit A today is Chrissy Teigen, who is a performer of some kind, married to John Legend, who is also a performer and well-known musician.  Both are devout leftists and haters of the president, which means that they are in the Hollywood bubble, nice and firm, and no one they know is around to tell them when they're being stupid in the eyes of the other 99.9% of the nation.

So as you know, after the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, was asked to leave a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, because she worked for President Trump, she politely got up and left, along with her six companions (family, I believe), and went to a different place to eat dinner.

That would have been about it, except that other people started notifying the press and posting online accounts of the incident.  Mrs. Sanders, who was not planning to comment immediately on the incident, decided after others had, that she needed to put out an account quickly, and did so the next morning after hearing that it had become news.

"Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left.", she tweeted.  "Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so."

Mrs. Sanders had not planned to say anything, but just let it go, until the news got out and she had to provide her summary of what happened.  I think we all can agree that it was necessary for her to have said something after it became known.  We can also agree that she acted with complete class from the time of the incident right through and including the issuance of her tweet.

Naturally, that was not good enough for Miss Teigen, who felt the need to say something, whether or not it were related to anything that she knew as factual.  So she decided to tweet out her ignorance of the news to the world:

Didn’t you morons get your panties in a wad defending the baker that didn’t want to make cakes for gay couples?", she wrote.

Now, her being a leftist and anti-Trumper and all, no one will take pains to dissect her tweet and point out what was wrong.  But I will.  I like doing that, you see.

I'll even get past the whole "morons" thing, even though we know Mrs. Sanders to be a perfectly reasonably intelligent person, serving in a position that requires quick absorption of facts and policies to be able to answer daily questions, and command of language that Miss Teigen probably wishes she had.

More than that, I'll let go the "panties in a wad" thing, because if there's anyone who clearly does not lose her cool when people behave like cretins to her, and who behaves calmly and with class, it is Sarah Sanders.  After all, she deals with a White House press corps that mostly hates her boss and asks vicious questions that somehow never seem to touch on the economy, the post-summit softening of tensions with North Korea, or the president's rising popularity as people can afford more in their lives.

But I will not let pass the notion either that "the baker didn't want to make cakes for gay couples", or that the actual case was even about that.  That is fake news of the worst kind, prejudicially fake, and used to make a point predicated on a non-fact.

Miss Teigen may actually believe that is what happened, not that she should be excused for it.  I mean, I do try to source material, when I'm not sure of the facts of an article on this site.  If I make a point based on something that turns out not to be true, I correct it and, if needed, run a retraction.

But the baker did not "refuse to make a cake for a gay couple."

Had he done so, actually refused to bake a cake for the couple, I'd have been on their side.  I mean, I owned a bridal shop, and we would have sold a wedding gown to a guy, if he wanted to buy it.  And I'm just as much of a Christian as the baker.

But he was willing to bake them a cake, and that's the fact the left doesn't want to hear, especially since they can say it incorrectly and no one corrects them.  He is a cake artist, and he has a history of not using his talent to decorate a cake with a message he does not agree with on religious grounds.  He previously, for example, had refused to put a design celebrating divorce on one of his cakes, although he was willing to bake the cake.

Did Sarah Sanders "defend the baker"?  Well, after the decision came down in the baker's favor, she pointed out that the White House was happy about it, on religious freedom grounds, so I suppose you could say she "defended" him, although the "panties" reference was not just over the top but wrongly assigned, given Mrs. Sanders's even temperament.

But if Chrissy Teigen is not informed enough even to know the facts of the case, not even to know that it was not a baker refusing to serve a couple because they were gay, well, she ought to confine herself to topics she does know, whatever those may be.

Obviously no one cares what celebrities say or think outside their artistic purview, although that does not keep them from spouting off.  Chrissy Teigen would have added herself to the list of people whose performances I will now not spend a penny on, except I don't know or care what she does, so it's no real loss for her.

I hesitate to give her the Michael Jordan lesson, but since there's absolutely no chance she reads this far, I'm probably OK doing so.  The greatest basketball player we'll ever see was asked to make an endorsement of a Democrat in a North Carolina governor's race.  He politely declined and, when challenged, pointed out that "Republicans buy sneakers, too."

Chrissy Teigen gained exactly zero by shooting off her mouth, or her Twitter finger, with an impolite remark that was based on an incorrect notion of an actual event.  She did, however, succeed in ticking off people who might have actually bought whatever it is she sells.  She added exactly nothing productive to the discourse (many, even before her, tried to relate the restaurant incident to the SCOTUS bakery decision, mostly getting the facts wrong and therefore sinking the analogy).

What it costs her, well, I don't know, but it didn't have to cost her anything at all.

Do I hope she reads this?  Sure, I do, because she might actually get the actual point, which is that if you are commenting on something you're passionate about, at least get your facts straight.  Basing a snarky tweet on incorrect information just makes you look stupid.

And she really doesn't need any more of that.

Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Appearance, advertising, sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton

No comments:

Post a Comment