The far-left celebrities raced to Twitter after MSNBC reported a “new” link between President Donald Trump and Russia.
The “bombshell” seemed suspicious at first glance, particularly given what the Mueller Report told us a few months back and the source in question. Less than 24 hours later MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell was backpedaling on his scoop.
It’s just the latest example of the Hollywood Resistance embarrassing itself. It’s fine to be both an actor and activist, but the latter requires more than just garden variety virtue signaling. It’s a problem that plagues many politically aware stars in the Age of Trump.
A late 2018 poll suggests more Americans, particularly Republicans, are tuning them out.
“Celebrities don’t have much influence,” says Alex Conant, a Republican political strategist who worked on Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign. “If anything, from a Republican perspective, being attacked by a liberal celebrity can be a badge of honor.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. Consider the following steps liberal celebrities can take to regain our trust when it comes to the latest headlines.
Take Down False Tweets
Milano’s vulgar Tweet celebrating the Fake MSNBC report is still up despite the high-profile retraction. So is Reiner’s message. Will they remain up indefinitely? It’s possible. As of now, Milano’s Tweet boast more than 5,000 retweets and Reiner’s north of 12,000.
Long story short: Their Twitter flock helped spread the false information.
So now we have Russians co-signing Trump’s loans. The mountain of Criminality is overwhelming. Impeachment is just the start. Vote him out. Then indict him. America deserves a President who isn’t a Liar, a Racist, and a Traitor.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) August 28, 2019
It’s true that any mea culpa they share will spark far less engagement. Still, it would be a good start, as would deleting the Tweet and explaining the reasons why in a subsequent message.
Newspapers routinely correct mistakes, leaving an imperfect but improved permanent record. When celebrities fail to do the same it hurts the trust we might have in their messaging.
You Need to Calm Down
With apologies to Taylor Swift … today’s political stars are often unhinged. Ron Perlman hoped for Charles Koch’s death moments after brother David passed from a cancer battle. The average Reiner Tweet reads like a street urchin’s “end of the world” placard.
Cher is the butt of Twitter jokes for sharing her histrionics in ALL CAPS.
Video, reports of machines automatically changing votes in Mississippi GOP governor runoff USA .IS ANY1 GULLIBLE ENOUGH 2THINK trump DOESN’T”ALREADY HAVE”PPL 2 CHANGE VOTES IN HIS FAVOR⁉️AM SICK OF YELLING,& POUNDING👊🏼TILL😡.I WANT DIGNITY &KNOWLEDGE https://t.co/reJBFvgy65
— Cher (@cher) August 28, 2019
Few movie fans connect actor Hugh Grant with the political winds of our age. That may have changed with this Tweet.
You will not fuck with my children’s future. You will not destroy the freedoms my grandfather fought two world wars to defend. Fuck off you over-promoted rubber bath toy. Britain is revolted by you and you little gang of masturbatory prefects. https://t.co/Oc0xwLI6dI
— Hugh Grant (@HackedOffHugh) August 28, 2019
The politics behind each Tweet isn’t as important as the tone. Stars need to calm down. Their voices will sound far more authentic, and trustworthy, if they do.
Enter the Lion’s Den
Milano once suggested she’d appear on NRA TV to tell her side of the gun control argument. Channel host Cam Edwards welcomed her on, vowing to conduct the interview in a fair, genial manner.
She never following through on that promise. She’s hardly alone here. Most liberals avoid platforms where their views will get challenged by the interviewers. That means no Fox News, National Review or even Hollywood in Toto.
This site interviews plenty of progressive stars, including Ike Barinholtz, and will happily continue to do so. Still, an increasing number of artists are refusing to be interviewed here, likely for partisan reasons.
There’s value in preaching to the choir, It solidifies the base, for starters. Still, opening up to a broader array of platforms makes sense, too. A few Democrats have done just that this presidential season, including Andrew Yang and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Who wouldn’t kill to see Milano and Fox News host Tucker Carlson have a spirited debate on today’s hottest issues?
A star confident in his or her position shouldn’t be afraid of some tough but fair queries. Just entering the “lion’s den” is a sign of confidence and strength. Conservatives appreciate that in our increasingly fractured age. Here’s betting liberals do, too.
Failing to do so, in contrast, leaves them thinking they can’t handle a fair debate.
Get Your Facts Straight
When even mainstream news outlets call out progressive stars you know there’s a problem. A crush of celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio, rushed to paint the Amazon fires in the worst possible light possible … by dousing the problem with Fake News.
Singers and actors including Madonna and Jaden Smith shared photos on social media that were seen by tens of millions of people. “The lungs of the Earth are in flames,” said actor Leonardo DiCaprio….
And yet the photos weren’t actually of the fires and many weren’t even of the Amazon. The photo Ronaldo shared was taken in southern Brazil, far from the Amazon, in 2013. The photo that DiCaprio and Macron shared is over 20 years old. The photo Madonna and Smith shared is over 30. Some celebrities shared photos from Montana, India, and Sweden.
How many stars shared the infamous “kids in cages” photos from the Obama years as if they were snapped during the Age of Trump?
The more stars bungle basic facts, the more the public doesn’t trust them on other, equally important issues. With great social media accounts comes great responsibility.
Too often, the stars don’t act accordingly.
Restrain Yourselves on Awards Show Podiums
This will be the hardest lesson for stars to heed.
We’ve watched awards shows transform into political rallies for quite some time now. It’s no accident the shows’ viewers continue to droop. The basement ratings for the recent MTV VMAs is just the latest proof.
We don’t want to be lectured during awards galas. These moments often suggest the stars prefer forums where they can’t be challenged.
The media make matters worse. Most outlets refuse to fact check these speeches. That leaves viewers who know the truth even grumpier. If the stars were taken to task for sharing misinformation during an awards speech they might do their homework the next time ’round.
The more Fake News invades our lives, the less we trust those who deliver it.