I didn’t watch The Academy Awards last night, but I did stay up until around 2:00 a.m., at which point I ran across a Hollywood Reporter story about First Lady Michelle Obama presenting the award for Best Picture. I was a little groggy, but one part stood still made me scratch my head.
Apparently, Harvey Weinstein put together some super-secret mission to film the spot as a surprise. Fine. But then part of his little entourage suggested members of the military take part:
According to Academy president Hawk Koch, the plan came from Weinstein and his daughter, Lily. Koch and Oscar show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron loved the idea. And when it was pitched to the first lady, Zadan told The Hollywood Reporter that her response was, “Yes, I think it’s a great idea. We watch movies all the time at the White House. Let’s do it.”
So, two weeks ago, Koch and the producers borrowed Disney’s jet for a flight to D.C. They told their colleagues, though, that they had to go to New York for the day. “The planning of it was like ‘Argo’ — it was a C.I.A. mission, it was so complicated. We didn’t even want anyone to know where we were going,” Zadan said.
Once they arrived, they joined up with Weinstein and his daughter and then they all met with members of the first lady’s staff to hammer out the details. The staff took them through the available White House rooms so they could select one for the broadcast. They were asked whether the first lady should appear alone or with a group, and the producers suggested having members of the military join in.
I went to bed thinking, “Why the hell would they randomly have her flanked by military personnel?” Then, I woke up and it turns out that Matt Drudge and quite a few people on Twitter were thinking the same thing.
In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t nearly as bizarre as President Obama using children as human shields, but it does beg the question: What is wrong with these people? It was like they preemptively sought to mitigate any criticism of the First Lady taking part in the show by smattering in a few military personnel in the background. You could practically read Mr. Zadan’s mind: “This has nothing to do with liberal Hollywood having ties with a liberal president. It was good and wholesome and true because, umm, troops were there. And troops are good. And stuff.”
It’s fitting that during the broadcast that Hollywood would make weird Roman Polanski rape/orgy jokes, because Oscar night is really just about all of Hollywood and its friends getting together in one room to intellectually lube up egos. Here’s the message for viewers: We’re stars. We’re cool. Michelle Obama is cool. And the troops are cool … as long as the Commander in Chief is a Democrat.
When you’re a Democrat, you can drone Americans and no one says a thing. When you’re a Democrat, you can sign into law the National Defense Authorization Act, and no one says a thing. When you’re a Democrat you can make a big deal about campaign fiance reform, and then do everything in your power put more money into politics … and no one says a thing. Correction: no one says a thing until after you’ve been reelected.
Just for giggles, watch Jay Carney try and make the case that an organization that morphed from President Obama’s campaign apparatus into a non-profit that “forwards” his agenda has nothing to do with Obama. In response to whether or not you can buy access to Mr. Obama for $500,000, the answer is a long-winded statement that must be read like a robot to make sure it’s legally sound.
Expect White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to start giving briefings surrounded by U.S. military personnel tomorrow.