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September 26, 2005

Warren Beatty's Bleatings: Not Everyone Left Buys It

It seems that LA Weekly reporter Nikki Finke isn't easily snowed by the likes of Warren Beatty. In fact, she's less than impressed about Warren Beatty's latest in a long series of, "If I was governor of California I'd be doing a better job than Arnold," ad nauseum.

In fact, Finke is quite huffy about it. First thing to note, however, is that she gives Schwarzenegger no quarter:

DonÕt get me wrong: Anyone who has anything bad to say about our illegitimate governor is a friend of mine. This special-interest-beholden greedmeister, girlie-man-calling machomeister and sexually-harassing fibmeister needs to go down, and go down big come re-election time.

That kind of surprises me, considering most celebrities can be classified as special-interest-beholden greedmeisters. But I digress. Her real beef in this piece is whether Warren Beatty is the one to take Schwarzenegger down in 2006--and Beatty doesn't make the cut. (I couldn't help but add a few digs in the following excerpt.)

Yes, it sounds overly melodramatic, but there is a war on, figuratively and literally. The Hollywood antiÐIraq invasion group, Artists United To Win Without War, spoke up against the pre-emptive strike (and they continue to work and make big bucks--cry me a river), yet Beatty never joined. The Republican Party has long been out-fund-raising the Democratic Party, but Beatty gave his earliest political donations to Ralph Nader. The Supreme Court is ruling on abortion rights (is Roe v. Wade the only issue facing our nation today?), but Beatty is suing to make another Dick Tracy movie. Michael Moore is reinventing the political documentary (into the fake-umentary), but Beatty is making mindless fluff. The power-mad Rove-Frist-DeLay axis of evil is destroying the Constitution and our system of checks and balances (yes, they're the ones inserting things like "abortion" that don't exist and ignoring real content like the Second Amendment), but Beatty has spent hours on the telephone with right-wing blowhard Bill OÕReilly, and weekends in the company of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain. Hollywood liberals are up a creek without a paddle (since when?), but Beatty is basking in his own glory on the beach with a sun reflector.

I may disagree with Finke on ideology, but I agree with her on Beatty. Yet I'm not surprised. The thing is, most of these folks have no real political ambition save for a penchant for making pretty speeches, waving placards and giving interviews that bash America as often as possible. Becoming a politician means exchanging one kind of celebrity for another. Political fame has the potential not only to be harsher than the bright lights of Hollywood, but it can be much more fleeting as well. After all, no one's tracking the movements of John Kerry very closely these days, no matter how hard he tries to remain relevant. At least for celebs, they have the reruns of their movies and television shows to shore them up in slow times.

Like his politics or not, Arnold Schwarzenegger had the guts to act on his principles. He could have gone down in flames--heck, he may still--but he had the chutzpah to follow through. Beatty probably won't. Nor will many others in the Hollywood flock. Politics is simply just so much more PR for them.

Thanks goodness for small favors.

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