A new poll got little attention in the mainstream press. It’s easy to see why.
Most reporters cheer on celebrities when they get political. And by “get political,” we mean boost Democrats while savaging the GOP. Anything tinkering with that model is to be avoided, if downright shunned.
It’s why reporters often ignore celebrity headlines that make stars look bad, like Ellen Barkin suggesting the Commander in Chief’s demise.
So news suggesting politicized celebrities don’t sway public opinion isn’t catnip for reporters. The A Hill-HarrisX survey, revealed at TheHill.com, is important all the same. The headline alone captures the results:
Poll: Most voters say celebrity political endorsements don’t matter
…65 percent of respondents said political pronouncements from Hollywood stars have no bearing on their decisions at the ballot box.
Twenty-four percent said endorsements would make them less likely to vote for a particular candidate, while 11 percent said the celebrity endorsements made them more likely to vote a certain way.
Let’s put it bluntly. All the messaging pouring out of Hollywood, Inc., from awards show speeches to viral Tweets, might be more than just wasted calories. They could actually backfire.
The inconvenient truths don’t stop there.
Chris Matthews, the hard-left MSNBC host, echoed those fears for his fellow Democrats heading into the 2020 campaign.
“[Voters in 2016] knew there was a great party going on among the liberal elite with all their Hollywood buddies, and they weren’t invited,” Mr. Matthews said Monday. “Nobody wants to go to a party if they haven’t been invited. … A friend of mine once said — he said this about relationships with men and women — he said: ‘People don’t mind being used, but they mind being discarded.’ The Democrats have a lot of people out there who feel discarded by them and they’re not too happy about it.”
…But don’t make fun of the other side. Don’t make fun of the pro-life people. Don’t think they’re lowbrows because they’re not as ‘sophisticated’ as you are. I think there’s a lot of that attitude. This creeps into the voting. ‘Oh, not only they disagree with me, they look down on me for caring about life. Oh, I get it. I’m not one of them. I know that.’ And that’s the attitude. Look, Trump played the [pro-life] vote brilliantly in Pennsylvania last time. He’ll probably do it again. You’ve got to be careful about whose feelings you are definitely hurting.”
Taylor Swift may have done just that. The pop superstar unleashed a new music video, “You Need to Calm Down,” that portrayed those against the gay agenda in the cruelest ways possible.
Toothless, moronic fools, to be exact.
She’s not alone, of course.
The new zombie comedy “The Dead Don’t Die” mocks Trump supporters as racist. Consider Steve Buscemi’s MAGA-style hat reading, “Make America White Again.”
Several prominent Hollywood players, including Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel and Samuel L. Jackson, have actively chased away Republican viewers. Think that same crowd will be eager to hear what each has to say about the 2020 campaign?
President Donald Trump evoked Hollywood earlier this week in his massive re-election announcement in Orlando, Fla. Trump name-checked a key way stars attack the GOP -- awards show galas broadcast to increasingly smaller audiences.
“You know what I say? The amount of press we have tonight reminds me of the Academy Awards before it went political and their ratings went down the tube.”
That’s not Fake News. Awards shows are suffering significant declines in the Age of Trump. The recent MTV Movie and TV awards show endured a cataclysmic decline.
Hollywood’s political posturing isn’t new.
Celebrities similarly rallied to smite President George W. Bush during his two terms of office. President Bush, ever the gentlemen, let them speak sans comment. He didn’t call out their hypocrisies. Nor did he swat down their baser attacks.
In short, he didn’t return rhetorical fire.
That’s hardly President Trump’s style. If he recognizes a weakness in his opponent, he pounces.
He’ll likely do the same as we steer into the 2020 campaign. And it could be yet another weapon at his disposal given the country’s possible disgust with politically-charged stars.