Saturday :: Jul 17, 2004

The Whoopster Strikes Back

by pessimist

No one will ever claim success at silencing Whoopi Goldberg.

Slammed by the GOP for a performance at a Gemocratic fundraiser, she lost her job as a spokesperson for Slim-Fast - a company whose top execs are Democratic supporters.

Whoopi had this to say in response:

Whoopi slams GOP, Calls outrage over Prez bashing 'a little fake'

Whoopi Goldberg lashed out at Republicans again yesterday, branding them hypocrites for trying to "punish" her for joking about the President. Fired from her gig as SlimFast spokeswoman, the salty entertainer hit back at Republicans who threatened a SlimFast boycott over sexual puns she made about President Bush's name at a Democratic fund-raiser. "America's heart and soul is freedom of expression without fear of reprisal," she said in a statement.

"I find all this feigned indignation about 'Bush bashing' quite disingenuous," she said, noting the Bush administration has savagely gone after critics like former Sen. Max Cleland, Iraq whistleblower Joseph Wilson and ex-terrorism chief Richard Clarke. "For the Republican Party to pretend this is new to them seems a little fake," she said. "The fact that I am no longer the spokesman for SlimFast makes me sad, but not as sad as someone trying to punish me for exercising my right as an American to speak my mind."

Could there be a backlash against Slim-Fast for caving to GOP pressure?

Diversity promoter Asa Khalif, who has made headlines for accusing celebrities of insensitivity, cried foul in the Goldberg firing. "I smell racism from beginning to end," said Khalif, head of Racial Unity USA in Pennsylvania. "SlimFast must realize that black women have every right to voice their views."

This will bear watching. Meanwhile, the GOP reacted strongly to the use of smarmy humor against them - something that they are past masters at doing to others.

The Bush-Cheney campaign has been making a lot of hay out of Goldberg's set at last week's celebrity gala at Radio City Music Hall, professing shock at her blue jokes.

Calling Adam Clymer! Calling Senator Leahy! Take your shots while the going's hot!

They can dish it out, but they can't take it!

Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman called the event a "hatefest" that proves John Kerry doesn't "share the same values" as the rest of America. Mehlman has repeatedly demanded that Kerry's camp release a video of the event, even going so far as to promise not to use the footage in ads.

Sure - and they won't ejagulate in our oral cavities either!

I thought this a good comeback:

Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said tartly that he could have the video after Bush releases his military records and details of Vice President Cheney's secret energy task force.

The New McCarthyism

Elton John has decided to stand up and be counted as well.

Elton attacks 'censorship' in US

Elton John has said stars are scared to speak out against war in Iraq because of "bullying tactics" used by the US government to hinder free speech. "There's an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious," he told New York magazine Interview. Sir Elton said performers could be "frightened by the current administration's bullying tactics".

The singer likened the current "fear factor" to McCarthyism in the 1950s. "There was a moment about a year ago when you couldn't say a word about anything in this country for fear of your career being shot down by people saying you are un-American," he told the magazine.

The singer said things were different in the 1960s. "People like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, The Beatles and Pete Seeger were constantly writing and talking about what was going on. "That's not happening now. As of this spring, there have been virtually no anti-war concerts - or anti-war songs that catch on, for that matter," he said.


He voiced concern that it appeared acceptable to speak out if you were pro-Bush, using the example of country singer Toby Keith, but not if you were critical of the President, as in the case of country rock band, the Dixie Chicks.

"On the one hand, you have someone like Toby Keith, who has come out and been very supportive of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq - which is OK because America is a democracy and Toby Keith is entitled to say what he thinks and feels.

"But, on the other hand, the Dixie Chicks got shot down in flames last year for criticising the president. They were treated like they were being un-American, when in fact they have every right to say whatever they want about him because he's freely elected, and therefore accountable."

But that isn't they way BushCo wants it.

Surely they remember the influence of Dylan and the Beatles and the rest during Vietnam, and they aren't about to lose control of the mass mind if they can help it. Of course, if pop stars are more concerned about their financial security than they are their country's freedom, then in the words of Benjamin Franklin, they deserve neither.

There has been talk of Bruce Springsteen holding concerts across the timespan of the GOP convention. I await further news that these concerts are going to come about. Or not.

It will speak louder than a Who concert either way.

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pessimist :: 7:02 AM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!