QUESTION OF THE WEEK – WEEK 9

29 Oct

Y’all,

We here about political activism among celebrities quite a bit, particularly those who tend to be more liberal. Sometimes, good can come of it — see: Sean Penn’s help in Haiti which, by all accounts, has been hands-on and not done with publicity in mind — but so can bad. And here’s, actually, the more pressing issue: What does it matter what these celebrities, whether they are musicians, actors/actresses, TV hosts, or others, have to say about a given political issue?

So here’s the question: In this QOTW response, argue one way or the other about whether celebrities should, in most senses, just keep their mouths shut about political issues.

Your response to this QOTW is due by class time on Friday, Nov. 4.

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14 Responses to “QUESTION OF THE WEEK – WEEK 9”

  1. Ashlie Detiege October 29, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Celebrities are just like the rest of us, they too hold opinions on the different issues around the world. Just because their responses are made more public doesn’t mean they should be silenced. Celebrities have influenced people to contribute more than anyone. Think about it, you may see something on the news about a tsunami, and sit there and think what a shame. Then a celebrity gets involved in the cause and all of the sudden you are donating and asking your friends to join you. I think celebrities are powerful influences on society and their generosity. Celebrities help draw more attention to the political issues of the world, which prompts more people to get involved. The bottom line is celebrities are people too and they have just as much right to express their opinions as everyone else.

  2. Norm Vernier November 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    Celebrities should just shut up and entertain us.
    The most uncouth outbursts at an inappropriate time (think Michael Moore at the Oscars blasting President Bush) make the celebrity seem like a jerk for using their status to spread their message and take attention away from “the issue” and place it on “the celebrity.” Celebrities should weigh their words wisely before spewing them, they have a greater responsibility as they are looked up to by many simple minded folks. I think that when Jennifer Anniston called George Bush a f—in idiot she should have been cutoff from all future political input. In a time of war, she insulted our “commander in chief”, dishonoring him in a time of war, shows her arrogance and disdain toward the many soliders following and respecting his command!
    If somebody “abuses their celebrity status while exercising their constitutional right, ignore them. Change the channel. Don’t go to their concert. Use “your” freedom to avoid them.
    Or do you believe only celebrities who agree with you should have the opportunity to speak out for issues that they find important?

  3. Julie Blattler November 2, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Although some celebrities have no idea what they’re talking about, many of them are politically active and for the people that don’t follow politics, this is more beneficial. Celebrities can get the word out about the issues. Let’s face it, most people find celebrities more entertaining that politicians. So if celebrities are spreading the word, it’s a good thing. Plus, more and more celebrities are pushing people, especially young adults, to vote. I think that’s definitely helped over the years. I think if anything, celebrities should get more involved. They should get their facts straight and talk about them. Many young adults don’t get into politics as they should and there’s always media coverage on celebrities. I mean, unless there’s a scandal, politicians aren’t in trashy magazines or have their own mtv show. I think celebrities should talk more about the issues that politics are covering. As far as their opinions go, as long as they can be backed up with a good argument, I say go for it.

  4. Chad Koenig November 2, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    I feel that someday there will be a thin line between politician and celebrity. With the ever increased interest in reality television and its players, it seems inevitable that people will eventually start voting for the most popular, least qualified candidate. Look at Sarah Palin, she gave up on her duties as a politician to pursue celebrity. Ronald Reagan was a famous actor before he became president. Unfortunately it does not take any qualifications to run for office or to be a celebrity. I don’t even know what is considered a celebrity anymore. The people that are famous anymore don’t even have talent. It’s not my place to say what someone should do or say in the limelight. I would hope that if they were to deliver a message it would be a well intended one. All I know is that I would respect a talented extraordinary individuals message over some idiot from a reality show.

  5. Cora Grimaldi November 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I personally think that celebrities should not speak about politics. Politics are not based on who votes for what, but what they are voting for. If celebrities speak their thoughts or beliefs about a specific party or group, it will influence the young, dumb, voters to vote for that specific group only because Kim Kardashian, or whoever their favorite celebrity is, agreed with that specific political group. As every individual has their right to believe in what political group they are in, celebrities should not speak openly about their own. Celebrities should not abuse their power to try to influence American citizens to vote for a specific person. Everyone has their own right to vote for who they want, and not to base their votes off what their favorite celebrity believes in.

  6. Elizabeth Blaszkiewicz November 4, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    Just because celebrities have a big impact on people and the world does not mean that they should not get a voice on important issues. Politics is always going to be a very controversial subject no matter who is speaking about it, and I believe that celebrities should be able to voice their opinions, like any other American citizen, no matter what the subject is. The United States has freedom of speech for a reason. It would be unfair to tell a celebrity that they are not aloud to voice their opinion, especially if its something that they have a strong feeling about. Having celebrities speak about issues like this could also be helpful to politics though. Some people who may be checking up on what these celebrities do every hour and not know a lot about the political subjects could end up learning from these people, which can help our country. Having celebrities voice their thoughts on this subject can be a very positive thing and their right to speak about them should not be taken away at any point.

  7. Sean Williams November 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Celebrities are always in a powerful position in what they say. As we have often elaborated in class, everything they say is super scrutuinized by popular media. Celebrities talking about political issues is a bit of a doubled edged sword, however, because not all celebrities are necessarily all that smart and informed about what’s going on. One example would be that beauty queen from a few years ago who when asked how we could help children in third world countries learn about America, responded by saying something along the lines of “those children can’t learn about America because they don’t have globes.” That being said, some celebrities are the opposite and have a good grasp of politics, even running for office as in the case of successful politicians such as Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzaneggar. Ultimately, celebrities have a right to say what they want under freedom of speech, but the American public should be wary enough to realize that whatever they say may not be entirely accurate. After all, celebrities are still only human.

  8. Alex Duenas November 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    Celebrities aren’t politicians, and only in rare occasions do celebrities actually possess the political knowledge to be deemed acceptable in political situations. A celebrity isn’t necessarily smart. Would we ask a celebrity to solve a complex theory in the world of science? Probably not. So why would we want a celebrity to give us their standpoint in politics or for that matter get involved? Celebrities are not bad people necessarily but also at the same time not necessarily smarter then any non-celebrity who has a political standpoint. Like in the question good can come out of volunteer work but some celebrities might use this seemingly “good willed” task as a means for being immortalized in the celebrity world. I could care less about a celebrities standpoint or what they do and likewise I seemingly don’t care about the current united states political system. Which one day will inevitably fail.

  9. Briana Lack November 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    I think celebrities more then anyone should have an oponion about political issues. Everybody looks up to them, they do what they do, and want to be everthing that they are. So by a celebrity having an oponion and any type of political concern normal people are to take a side also. Celebrities are human, just because they have way more money then they should, and everybody knows their names, doesnt give anybody the right to tell them, we think they should keep their mouths shut, expecially if the issue concerns them in some way. Like things with the president. This is their world too, and they have can speak what is on their mind. Even if people dont want to hear it, they still should be able to put their two-cents into a subject. Celebrties have a lot of power of the world, and over some individuals, everything they say can affect somebody in some way, But that doesnt mean they cant argue their side of it.

  10. Eunishia Hooks November 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I think celebrities have the right to express their opinions. But my opinion is that celebrities should stay out of politics unless they-themselves are running for a public office. Celebrities have much power to sway their fans towards, or away from, an otherwise good candidate who’s running for office. Everyone has a right to get involved in politics including celebrities. They can stand behind their chosen candidate, but not make a spectactle of themselves while doing so. If anyone thinks theres something wrong with world and wants to share their opinion…good for them. Its not the matter if we agree or disagree. Celebrities aren’t any different and shouldn’t lose the right to voice their concerns or thoughts because they’re “famous”. Its up to the viewers to decide if they are worth listening to.

  11. Misty November 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    I think that they should keep their opinions to them selves. Yes, they are people too that vote, and have an opinion, but no one cares who Justin Bieber, or Brittany Spears is going to vote for. At least they shouldn’t, they should make up their own mind and make an educated decision based on their own beliefs and choices. In my opinion they don’t really do their homework when it comes to political issues most times. They have an opinion about an event or something that took place in the media, but by then the media has already put their spin on things before most of the public has heard about it. So to keep in good graces with the public they will go along with something that they really don’t care about in the first place.

  12. derek delap November 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Politicians them selves are turning more and more like celebirties. The president recieves more publicity then any other celebirty in the country. I don’t think that celebrities opinions on any political matter makes any more difference then mine or your opinion. It’s just the large amounts of cash that politicians are after for support in raising revenue for their campains. Just about everyone has a bias of some sort whether it’s a little to the left (liberal) or a little to the right (conservative). We shouldn’t listen to anyone whom speaks against our personal observations, regardless to it being Bano from U2 or lady ga ga.

  13. Matt Knedgen November 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Celebrities can say what ever they want, but personally I think they shouldn’t tell everyone their views. It’s kind of annoying to have to hear what they have to say because most celebrities aren’t that intelligent. Don’t get me wrong, there are a handful of them that are very intelligent, but i think the majority of them aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. And since celebrities have people to admire them or in some extreme cases kind of worship them, if they tell everyone their views people might agree with them because they like that celebrity. Or they might even lose some fans if they disagree with that celebrity. So if they keep their mouths shut and don’t state their views, people are more likely going to think for their selves.

  14. Mark Ryan Beyer November 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    I think that celebrities have a right to express their personal beliefs like anyone else however, it does seem rather annoying when they use their media power and fame and fortune to express their political beliefs, like their opinions are more important than the average person. A lot of times these celebrities get a big head and we can blame the media for part of this. I personally would not listen to these famous people for the simple fact they are blinded by reality being in the lime light all the time. There for their perception on life is not the same as the average cat. I also believe that a lot of these celebs are doing good charitable work. This brings me to think that depending on the person and what they stand for I think that each individual should have a fair chance to be judged for what they stand for…

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