For weeks, GOP/Trump apologists have poo-poohed the Academy Awards, understandably anticipating a global showcase of anti-Trump speeches breathlessly delivered by jaded elites who are largely immune to the consequences of bad government.
Elites just like President Donald Trump — at least economically. It’s easy to speak truth to power when you make $20 million per film — a truth exploited by obfuscating right-wing commentators who robotically smear Hollywood as the dark heart of liberal decadence. The Oscars — and the reliably liberal political statements made by winners don’t matter, so-called conservatives say.
I generally agree. I revere the art of film, but don’t watch the Oscars. Or the Emmys, Grammys or any other awards show designed to remind us how “important” the current crop of artists are, and why we should empty our wallets to bathe in a few lumens of their brilliance. I don’t care about the Oscars, but some so-called conservatives apparently do.
Driving to work, I heard a local Republican talk show host poke fun at the “In Memoriam” segment, which erroneously included a photograph of a living woman in tribute to another who had shaken off the mortal coil. The host wondered aloud how Oscar organizers didn’t get such an easy thing right. It’s a fair question.
A two-second Google search could have avoided the mix-up.
Another fair question: Why would said talk radio host seize upon an embarrassing but meaningless gaffe on an awards show while ignoring a serious gaffe committed by the Trump Administration?
On Friday, whoever manages Vice President Mike Pence‘s Twitter account tweeted support for Israel with a picture of the Nicaraguan flag. The tweet was part of an administration campaign to reassure Americans and Israelis unnerved by a rash of anti-Semitic vandalism since Trump’s election. The intended message — that the administration takes the issue seriously — was immediately undermined by the use of the wrong flag.
How much can you truly care about a topic if you’re unwilling to devote at least as much energy to its successful completion than the average fifth-grader watching the Oscars and cobbling together a book report the night before it’s due? If you’re serious about showing solidarity with American and Israeli Jews, how hard is it to pick the right flag? It’s the one with the big Star of David in the middle.
A two-second Google search could have avoided the mix-up, which did not slight some obscure Hollywood personality, but a key ally with one of the most recognizable flags on the planet. The Oscars ceremony always runs long, but watching the Trump administration bumble and stumble along feels like forever.