I live in France where we already have a people-izing of government with the President marrying an ex-model just three months after his divorce and living a lifestyle of the rich and famous. The result of this is that, no matter how hard he tries, and how many serious things he attempts to accomplish, Sarkozy is undermined by his links to and ability to control the media, or even by the backlash of certain media. It is not good for the country and it undercuts the feeling that there is real democracy. It also cheapens and renders superficial the office itself, as one always wonders if decisions are made purely for the right reasons. This is not to say that media stars such as the new wife, Bruni-Sarkozy, cannot accomplish serious things (I applaud her recent decision to speak very honestly and openly about AIDS), it simply waters down and muddies the barriers between a vey powerful industry, the media, and what should remain a truly independent government.
Government is by the people and for the people, not to be owned by the media!
Obama should NOT repeat this mistake and include too many people linked to the media, neither ex-heads of media conglomerates, nor "stars" from television in his cabinet. Too close a tie to the media and entertainment industry only promotes the idea that he is being "packaged and sold" to the world. The whole internet campaign worked but now it needs to stop. I do not want to receive emails about the Obamas new puppies, not from Michelle not anyone else who keeps sending them. Stop the advertising and get on with the real work. I don't want to look at my President's Facebook page!!! We are not in high school!
It is virtually impossible to take political figures seriously when there is too much media control, because the focus becomes about more than the facts and what needs to be done. Although there is the old saying that politicians are simply those who were too unattractive to make it in Hollywood, I now have the feeling that the new cabinet could be Hollywood material.
And we do not want that. You do not want Hollywood running your country. And I say that as someone who has a deep respect for the film industry, the quality of American movies and talent. But you really do not want that industry having too much power in Washington. Some felt that the Clintons were too linked to Hollywood money, as the Bush presidency has been to oil, but what we really need is true independence from industry! Only that will be true Democracy! And that is why we voted for Obama...to rediscover our democracy.
Someone once said that Hollywood was high school with money...just imagine that some nerdy jerks in high school became rich and are now running the country! This is not quite the case yet, but please almost-President Obama, be careful with the media, because it can turn on you. And we Americans are not stupid, we are pretty much over being "sold" on photo-shopped images of celebrity. We are in a big mess both financially and socially and we need Obama not to sell us some new version of Kennedy's Camelot, but to look us in the eye, and speak truthfully...and most of all, get the job done!
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