Does Celebrity Activism Make a Difference?

Recently actor Tom Hanks made a video where he announced he was supporting Sen. Barack Obama.

When the video first starts, the screen reads: Beware: Celebrity Endorsement. In the first minute, Hanks notes, tongue-in-cheek, "As an official celebrity, I know my endorsement has just made up your mind for you."

It's a tip of the hat to the idea that celebrity endorsements — of politicians or of other causes — don't really make that much of a difference.

On today's show, actor Michael Douglas will be joining us to talk about the work he is doing with Project Ploughshares on reducing the arsenal of nuclear weapons. We'll get a chance to ask him about his work, and also to ask if celebrity endorsements really can help make a difference.

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Since we are a culture of free speech, why not let even celebrities speak their mind. They ARE voters, after all. All kidding aside, I have been impressed lately by some of the methods some celebrities account themselves in the political arena. Michael Douglas explained his reasoning quite well. His comment on his father's hometown being "nonexistent" and why were on the mark. George Clooney is adept at getting the point across through various forms of media aside from his comments. Syriana, The Good German, and Michael Clayton imbedded my conscience deeply. Growing up in the Cold War knowing schoolmates whose fathers worked for Aramco or were in high "For Your Eyes Only" type military duties only made Mr. Clooney's astute observations all-the-more pleasurable. My two tours in DaNang with the Marine Corps only intensifies my opinion of the contractor issue in Iraq. The negative comments about celebrities commenting coming from the "Defenders of our Constitution" right wingers...as many of them have those "greenbacks" from military/industrial PACs peeking from their pockets...have many of us betrayed Republicans chuckling. I'm curious if any celebrities will bring up the question of introducing any of our blatant "war profiteers" to the Hague on criminal charges. Perhaps even "He Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken", our own version of Voldemort...commonly known as Batman & Robin among some of us vets out West.
Great show and I applaud Michael Douglas for his civic endeavors, as well as many others even if I don't agree with them.

Cordially,

Sent by Philip Boddy | 6:16 PM | 5-20-2008

wow! i thought that was very intresting. Tom Hanks good job in showing where your at in this next election. i think i learned a few things not only about barack obama but just how are freedom of speech is so awesome.

Sent by Ernest Torres | 1:31 PM | 5-29-2008