- The Washington Times - Friday, February 21, 2003

Not every Hollywood luminary has fallen in with the anti-war elite, who have joined forces with a political group originally formed in 1998 to help America forget President Clinton's impeachment.
"All people have to be prepared. If we are going to be the police, we also have to be the guardians. We can no longer play games," actor James Earl Jones told a group of North Carolina college students Wednesday night.
"I was not against the war in Bosnia. I was against it taking so long. I was not against the war in Somalia. Again, it took too long, and we didn't finish the job. We should've stayed and finished the job. About this pending war, I just think we should've finished that war the first time," Mr. Jones said, referring to the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
The man who provided the voice of Darth Vader in "Star Wars" is also a former Army officer. His remarks drew "the loudest applause of the evening," reported the Fayetteville Observer.
Other actors are declining to weigh in at all. Actress Kathy Griffith, a regular on the "Suddenly Susan" TV series, recently refused to comment on U.S. military action in Iraq.
"Who cares what I think? I'm a comedienne. Leave it to the experts," Miss Griffith snapped at radio host Howard Stern.
This is not the case with the growing cast of celebrities who use anti-war rants to boost their publicity. Outspoken political beliefs may not boost careers, though.
A Hollywood Reporter poll released yesterday found that 44 percent of Americans would not support the films, recordings or TV shows of "a politically active celebrity with whom they disagree."
But politically active they remain.
Actor Martin Sheen is the star of a new TV spot from Win Without War, a coalition of some 30 groups that includes the National Organization for Women and the Sierra Club.
The spot began airing yesterday on CNN and MSNBC in Washington and Los Angeles. It urges people to constantly fax, phone or e-mail the Senate and the White House on Wednesday in a "virtual march on Washington."
Mr. Sheen has been crowned "the face of the Hollywood anti-war movement" in press reports.
Win Without War spokesman Tom Andrews, a former Democratic congressman from Vermont, told the Los Angeles Times yesterday that the barrage could shut down Washington's communications systems.
Other actors such as Mike Farrell and Janeane Garofalo say both the right wing and the media are marginalizing the peace movement and smearing actor Sean Penn, who visited Iraq in December and later said he had been manipulated by Iraqi authorities.
Miss Garofalo requested that she not be introduced as an "actor or celebrity" during a British Broadcasting Corp. interview on Wednesday, explaining, "The term 'celebrity' makes my skin crawl."
Meanwhile, the logistics behind the new TV spot are being organized by the California-based group Move On, which has been designated the coordinator of Wednesday's phone protest. The group is offering free faxes, protest posters and suggestions for anti-war activities.
Move On, however, has had other political callings. It was founded in 1998 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs intent on persuading America to "move on" past Mr. Clinton's impeachment. Their political action committee contributed $2 million to 30 Democratic House and Senate candidates in the 2000 election.
The National Journal at the time called Move On "an online fund-raising effort dedicated to defeating incumbents who voted to impeach Clinton."

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide