Tinseltown tarnishes the White House....
Oscar Night gave us a new cultural milestone: the First Lady announcing the Best Picture winner, and saying of Hollywood, as reported by the Washington Times:
Wearing a silvery art-deco-inspired metallic gown, Mrs. Obama showered affection on the Hollywood stars, writers and production teams and said they are setting a good example for the nation’s children because all the nominees demonstrated that “we can overcome any obstacle.”
That message is “especially important for our young people,” she said, thanking Hollywood for encouraging children “to open their imaginations.”
Roger Simon sees the Academy Awards and the leftist culture it promotes as quasi-officially representing one half (left of center) of the country. Mona Charen sees "bread and circuses" in Barack & Michelle as celebrities-in-chief.
Worse, Jonathan Tobin writes that the Obamas have matched the Kennedys' "Camelot" hagiography:
Obama’s historic status as our first African-American president grants
him the sort of edge that no other contemporary politician or any of his
successors can ever hope to acquire. But the strength of his position
is not just a function of a lapdog liberal media that is so easily led
around by the nose by White House flacks. The Obamas are not just the
leading figures in our politics; they are treated by popular culture as
the uncrowned king and queen of America....
[The] ability of the Obamas to preside over American culture like apolitical monarchs while simultaneously taking part in some of the most bitter, partisan and demagogic political warfare against their opponents gives the president an enormous advantage in everything he does, whether it is conducting a re-election campaign or bullying Congress to raise taxes.....
Republicans have spent much of the last few months since their defeat at the hands of President Obama engaged in an orgy of introspection and recrimination. A good deal of that is justified. But as much as they need to rethink their approach to some issues, as well as their messaging, they would be foolish to think that their losses in 2008 and 2012 are unconnected to their bad fortune in being matched up against a Camelot presidency.
Thus does a failed presidency nonetheless become an iconic one.
Yet is it hugely dispiriting to reflect on one difference between the Kennedy White House's cultural reach and that of the Obama White House: cultural class. Jackie Kennedy invited giants in the classics, the Kennedy administration having coincided with the September of Hollywood's Golden Years. The Obamas invite today's mostly low-rent Tinelstown crowd, including rap artists. To think that rap artists perform where once the likes of the great classical violist Isaac Stern performed is to see how far we have fallen.
OK, even in today's film colony there are nice, talented folks, to be sure. But the general level of culture has clearly turned nastier in the past generation. A White House that celebrates rap artists will surely drive the popular culture down further. (True, Lang Lang did perform at the Obama WH; but 'tis not he whom the president & first lady openly celebrate time & again.)
The legendary rogue, con man & wit Wilson Mizener famously quipped of Hollywood, where in 1927 he opened the storied Brown Derby restaurant, that living there was like riding down a sewer in a glass bottom boat. Sadly, it can be said that in today's toxic culture we are swimming in an ocean of raw sewage, without benefit of protective glass to shield us.
Bottom Line. The White House should not intertwine itself culturally with today's Tinseltown. It is hard to picture Jackie Kennedy inviting the likes of rappers to 1600 Penn. We are the poorer for it.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Conservative Politics