Of course, Hollywood makes itself an easy target, though our scandals appear no more often than those of that other high-crime clique, CEOs.
And sometimes coming out of the mouths of these babes and boy toys issomething stupid, especially if Woody Harrelson is speaking. But today’s politics also make for strange bedfellows: Sean Penn and Dick Armey both worry about civil rights being trampled by the war on terror, while Ed Asner and Bob Barr both support the ACLU.
Ann Coulter didn’t charge “treason” when famously Republican Clint Eastwood threw support to his old friend Rusty Areias, the Democratic nominee in California’s 12th District Senate race, in the midterm election. And conservatives were quick to claim Steven Spielberg as a George W. supporter for some anti-Saddam remarks at a European movie premiere — until the liberal director issued a statement that “It was never my intention to give an endorsement.” North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole said in midcampaign that “It’s my secret desire to guest star on Law and Order” — while her political attack dogs, California-based Strategic Perceptions, have as their slogan: “As far from ‘politics as usual’ as Hollywood is from Washington, D.C.” And what to make of Virginia Republican Congressman Tom Davis, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, who invited donors contributing at least $5,000 to join him at a Rolling Stones “Forty Licks” concert?
SURELY IT’S APPARENT THAT for George W. to praise Schwarzenegger is tantamount to White House approval for the near-worst excesses in Hollywood, from R-rated movies (since Arnold has been responsible for 500-some onscreen deaths) to self-indulgent celebritydom (since Arnold claims environmental concern while driving SUVs and running that multihouse estate in Pacific Palisades) to pie-in-the-sky paydays (since Arnold, as part of his compensation for The Last Action Hero, was given a Gulfstream IV by Sony’s Columbia studio, whose management was brought down when the movie bombed).
At the same time, actor activists have the most to lose if Schwarzenegger opens his mouth too often or not enough and becomes a laughingstock. He also could drop out if his personal life is exposed as tawdry. (Right now Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff, who uncovered the Bill and Monica mess, is trolling for dirt on Arnold.)
Finally, let’s look at Arnold’s past as his political prologue. Pitt and Schwarzenegger had a long and loyal relationship. Until the actor’s career faltered. When times got tough, the Terminator terminated his agent. Let that be a warning to the former Pete Wilson gang who now advise The Running Man.