NEWS AND OPINION:
It happens like clockwork. Most every day, some celebrity uses the soapbox of their fame to rant about politics and policy, most of their ire directed at the Trump administration and the Republican Party. Polls over the years reveal this practice is not all that popular with the public. A Fox News survey found that more than two-thirds of Americans would prefer the famous remain silent about their political opinions — and that was all the way back in 2003. Other surveys have had similar findings since then, and multiple political scientists and news organizations have studied the phenomenon. Following the 2016 election, even Vanity Fair asked this question: “Did celebrity endorsements contribute to Hillary Clinton‘s presidential upset?”
But not all Hollywood actors, performers, producers or creative types are poised to carry on — and on and on — about politics and culture simply because they are famous, or infamous, as the case may be.
Consider this new acronym: “CWMTOB.”
That stands for “Celebrities Who Mind Their Own Business,” a new political coalition and social media presence founded by “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak. He is urging his fellow performers to do just that. Stay out of politics. Please. Meanwhile, CWMTOB has become quite active on Twitter, drawing a positive response.
“I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines. Time to get involved, take a stand, make a difference. Announcing formation of Celebrities Who Mind Their Own Business. Join me now before it’s too late. #CWMTOB,” Mr. Sajak tweeted on Thursday to make his point.
The popular game show host’s personal website, by the way, is simply a blank page bearing this message: “This site contains news on the interesting and exciting activities in Pat’s personal and professional lives. That news will be included as soon as he does something interesting and/or exciting.”
C-SPAN CHRONICLES THE TURMOIL OF 1968
Americans, so you think we live in a troubled place these days? Consider 1968.
Some significant programming will address this pivotal political year, and it begins Sunday. C-SPAN’s American History TV has produced a unique new weekly series titled “1968: America in Turmoil.” It is must-see viewing for those now convinced by the mainstream media that the nation is on the verge of “chaos,” the apparent description of choice these days.
Fifty years ago, there was genuine discord.
The nine-part series examines the escalating Vietnam War, presidential politics, the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the Black Power movement, and the rise of conservative politics, including Ronald Reagan‘s debut as a presidential hopeful.
The series also will address women’s liberation during the bra-burning era, the emergence of a newly empowered and influential news media, massive student marches against Vietnam and other causes, the brooding Cold War and American astronauts who orbited the moon for the first time and read a Bible passage to the world in a Christmas Eve broadcast.
There is much genuine content in this new C-SPAN series, which will air live with multiple hosts and guests, plus archival film and video footage. The inaugural offering, “The Vietnam War,” will feature former Navy Secretary Jim Webb, himself a Vietnam veteran, author and onetime presidential hopeful, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David Maraniss.
The 90-minute programs air live at 8:30 a.m. on C-SPAN 3 and C-SPAN.org, and will re-air at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. each Sunday. Find information on the series here
THE COSMOS: BRING IT ON
Forget the space race. It’s the “Space Force” that matters now, say some.
Frank Gaffney, president and CEO of Center for Security Policy, completely agrees with President Trump‘s recent suggestion that the U.S. create a “Space Force” that would take America’s military to the heavens and beyond.
“Last year, President Trump’s national security strategy rightly emphasized the enormous importance of outer space to our security and economic well-being. Now, he’s considering creating a new military branch, the Space Force, to ensure that our enemies cannot dominate this strategic high ground to our grave detriment,” says Mr. Gaffney.
“Unfortunately, some of those enemies are far advanced in trying to do just that. The Russians have long had anti-satellite capabilities and maintained such a robust ability to gain access to space that we have long paid them to get rides to our space station,” he says.
“Meanwhile, the Chinese have been developing satellites capable of maneuvering and attacking ours. They’re also working on anti-satellite lasers, space planes, weapons platforms in space and their own militarized space station, leading ultimately to a People’s Liberation Army base on the moon. We need a Space Force. Now,” Mr. Gaffney concludes.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale on this Saint Patrick’s Day weekend: “The Old Farmhouse of Sheskin,” a traditional thatched cottage built in approximately 1718 on one acre in Sheskin Town, County Waterford, Ireland. “Storybook stuff of dreams” property includes three bedrooms, two baths, living room, sitting room; structure and systems completely renovated, new sash windows and Turkish reed roof thatching. Handmade cupboards, original chimney and timber flooring, stone entrance, vegetable garden, stone walls, restored stone outbuildings. Priced at $306,252 — find the charming property here, where 59 photos of the home are featured.
POLL DU JOUR
• 79 percent of U.S. voters consider North Korea to be an enemy or “unfriendly” toward the U.S.; 79 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of independents and 81 percent of Democrats agree.
• 74 percent follow news about President Trump‘s agreement to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un; 80 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of independents and 75 percent of Democrats agree.
• 41 percent say Mr. Trump should meet with Mr. Kim regardless of whether North Korea makes concessions on its nuclear weapons program beforehand; 45 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 36 percent of Democrats agree.
• 36 percent say Mr. Trump should meet with Mr. Kim only if he makes concessions beforehand; 40 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats agree.
• 24 percent “don’t know”; 15 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.
Source” A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,192 registered U.S. voters conducted March 9-11.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin