The Hollywood Hypocrites – All But Invisible During Obama’s Oil Spill

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Andrea Tantaros makes a great point here. During Katrina, a disaster that occurred during Bush’s watch, celebrities were falling all over themselves to get on camera to “help” the victims.

No so with Obama’s oil spill:

In case anyone is questioning it, celebrities are terribly concerned about the Gulf of Mexico. Actor Sean Penn has said he “cares about New Orleans.” Actor Brad Pitt has spent days in the region assisting with relief efforts. And Jamie Foxx has raised more than half a million dollars to help those living in the area put their lives back together.

Oh, wait: That was in 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – when George W. Bush was President.

Back then we saw A-listers come out in droves to shout about the man in charge, draw attention to the need for assistance and help marshal resources in the relief effort.

Angelina Jolie, who has often mentioned her love of New Orleans in interviews, sent letters to members of Congress and the White House. Penn visited the wreckage on a tugboat, with a shotgun (photographer in tow). John Travolta personally flew supplies to the area on his private jet, while dozens of more famous faces donated to and participated in a nationally aired telethon.

Now that the gulf faces a crisis that’s poised to be potentially worse down the road for the region, Hollywood celebrities are not only absent from the area – they are practically silent. Unlike after the earthquake in Haiti in January, there hasn’t been an overwhelming response of donations, large-scale fund-raisers, contribution-driven Web sites and hotlines or public service announcements encouraging Americans to do all they can to help out the fishermen or the oil-drenched ducks.

Not because celebrities don’t want the media attention, but because their guy, Barack Obama, is in the middle of the mess.

On Sunday, at the MTV Movie Awards, which are famous for their red-carpet political talk, you never would have known that the country was being hit by arguably the largest environmental disaster in its history – because any mention would have reminded viewers that the horror movie is still happening and Obama is still playing the role of supporting actor.

At a benefit concert in 2005, Kanye West proclaimed that Bush doesn’t care about black people.

If that logic is correct, I guess Obama doesn’t care about pelicans. Or fishermen.

Unbelievable hypocrisy. If this had occurred during Bush’s watch we would see all those lefty A-list stars on every nightly newscast for weeks on end.

But not so with Obama in office. As Andrea notes, some C-listers have tried to do some small scale stuff but not so with those A-listers that loved to hate Bush.

Remember when they screeched and wailed about the response time from President Bush? Not a peep from them this time on Obama’s embarrassing display of unconcern towards this disaster AND the response time.

Regular folks are concerned about the reponse:

…and more people give the federal government’s response a negative rating than did the response to Hurricane Katrina.

A month and a half after the spill began, 69 percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll rate the federal response negatively. That compares with a 62 negative rating for the response to Katrina two weeks after the August 2005 hurricane.

But no condemnation from Hollywood.


Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

37 Responses to “The Hollywood Hypocrites – All But Invisible During Obama’s Oil Spill”

  1. 1


    Guess who was leading the pack in the Bush bashing. If the guess was our “Fearless Leader,” the guess would have been correct. Even the A-listers in the media are silent on this one.

  2. 2



    Off the top of my head: James Cameron, Kevin Costner, and Stephen Baldwin have gone down to help, and Stephen Colbert has been taking donations on his show.

    This was not a natural disaster. Perhaps the “Katrina Celebs” don’t feel comfortable asking Americans to pay for the criminal negligence of a multi-billion dollar corporation.

  3. 4



    Good one, Bob. Because I prefer those who created the disaster to take responsibility and pay for it themselves, rather that burdening the American taxpayer with even more spending, I must be a communist. Touché.

  4. 5


    There are probably too many hard working white Bush voters who are affected, here, for these Hollywood clowns to care. Same for the victims of the catastrophic recent Nashville floods.

  5. 6

    Gayle Miller

    Czero doesn’t like the South – pure and simple. These twerps have been wholly silent during the flooding in IOWA also. People in flyover country don’t count either!

  6. 7


    Wait. What?
    Bush didn’t blow up the levees?

    And where were the Celebs in Tennessee?

    No. I’m afraid what’s being proffered here is correct,
    the banding together of celebrities was foremost and
    effort to make it look like they had to step in to fill the gap of Bush incompetence.
    They don’t step it up now because they have to keep up the appearance that
    Obama doesn’t require help because he is the greatest president ever.

  7. 9


    BigFurHat is correct.

    The thing that is pretty amazing is just how coordinated the celebutard responses were to Katrina and the BP oil spill.

    The loony left saw Katrina as their moment to paint their enemy-Dubya-as a dithering incompetent. Those same liberals have remained mum on this because they know if they say anything, people might start question the Obamster.

    Hollywood: Lockstep against Bush, lockstep in their silence about Obama. If that doesn’t tell you something about the ideologogical rigidity and lack of free thought amongst the glitteratti, I don’t know what will.

  8. 10

    Sid(the other one)

    Get off Obama’s case people, he has a golf game to work on. Like he said, “this happened on my watch”…but it’s still Bush’s fault.

  9. 14



    @Cary This was not a natural disaster. Perhaps the “Katrina Celebs” don’t feel comfortable asking Americans to pay for the criminal negligence of a multi-billion dollar corporation.

    Mr. Cary, nothing in the article, or Curt’s post, had anything to do about who pays for what. So where does that come from, or are you falling prey to Obama’s lawyer-up mentality?

    Technically, our OPA (Oil Pollution Act of 1990), demands federal involvement in spills. This doesn’t mean I demand that Obama and his merry bunch of advisors seize control. Especially in light they can’t even manage a WH shopping list with any dexterity.

    Technically the feds…aka the POTUS… is tasked to:

    1: perform cleanup immediately (“federalize” the spill),
    2: monitor the response efforts of the spiller, or
    3: direct the spiller’s cleanup activities

    Obviously Obama has chosen door #2. Tho one can say he’s not been much of a communicator in ensuring BP had whatever federal assets close at hand, nor did they have any of the inventory required with the spill contingency plans that were in place in the late 90s.

    However the subject of the post is not your imagined tangent, guy. It’s “where’s Hollywood?”. Brangelina are supposed to be part time denizens in NO, yet they must be busy abroad with the brood and film production.

    One way to look at it, there’s not much for Hollywood to say since dealing with this spill is certainly far above Obama’s “paygrade”. But it is notable they haven’t even broken the oil surface to take some pop shots at BP.

    But if they wanted to be the local heroes, they could act as a “cash advance ATM” for BP, having people sign over their claims receipts to date to them for later collection from BP. This way the locals could get paid from Hollywood pockets in advance, floating the claims payment, until BP gets their claims department/act together. Of course, they’ll never do it because BP may reject some of the claims amounts as illegitimate. I’m wondering about the Bourgeois Charter Fishing company who starting faxing claims to BP 20 days after the original Horizon fire, requesting claims for loss of $300K during their summer season. That’s generally a little over a month in that region.

    Seems like a hefty amount. It may be legit. But then this kind of event screams “free money via claims” to a ton of scumbags. Witness all the fraud following Katrina.

  10. 15



    Oh, I think there’s plenty left to be had once I’ve had my fill.


    I’m not going to deny there was some of that going on. But I’m also not going to deny that what I see from some on the Right is a political tit for tat game instead of actually looking at the problem at hand. When big business gambles their priorities, placing profit over people, why should the rest of us pay for it? I include the banks along with the oil industry here.

    You wanna succeed in bringing down Obama? Pick your battles, or the rest of us stop paying attention. Think the boy who cried wolf. He blinks at the wrong moment and it’s an “Impeachable Offense”. Don’t bother saying the Left did it to Bush. I know, and I said the same thing to them at the time.

    I try very hard to see others’ points of view, even if I disagree. I even understood where the Right was coming from on Healthcare Reform, even though I see it differently. I understand why the Right sees the things the Left is doing as punishing success. But I just don’t see how we don’t have the money to make sure the less fortunate can see a doctor, but we’ve got plenty for the incompetent wealthy to be let off the hook for things as enormously damaging to the entire country as what we are dealing with now. Sorry, I just can’t see where you guys are coming from on this one at all. It honestly doesn’t seem a bit rational to me.

  11. 16



    @Cary, I forgot to mention that the reason Baldwin and (probably Cameron, in cohorts) visited Louisian is because they are making an enviro documentary dissing “big bad oil” called “The Will to Drill”. They aren’t there but to make a buck for themselves.

  12. 17



    I listed celebs in comment #2 that were helping. The linked article specially discusses donations and fundraisers. No tangent here.

    If there’s been much condemnation of BP on this site, I’m afraid I’ve missed it.

  13. 19



    And I have since corrected your listed celebs “help”, save Costner. He did donate the CINC (Costner Industries) centrifuges that were being tested by BP for oil vacuuming. However since that time a few weeks ago, the news of if they are being used has dropped off the radar. I’ve even emailed the lawyer who started up a corporation (and is not any “partner” of Costner on record) to lease/use those CINC centrifuges to see whether they were effective in anything other than a kiddie pool. No response.

    But I will tell you who was on that LLC filing along with that enviro lawyer… who also has a penchange for Ferraris and exotic sports cars. ANd that’s Steven Baldwin, as well as a local French actor. Simultaneous to starting up Ocean Therapy Solutions, leasing/using Costner’s centrifuges, they also did a start up LLC on The Will to Drill… the anti-oil documentary. There’s a suspicious redundancy of names there, most notably Baldwin and that French actor. (his name escapes me, but I can look it up in my bookmark archives…)

    That, my friend, is why Baldwin was there. Since Baldwin is no director of noted talent, he likely brought his enviro lib/prog bud, Cameron, along.

    As I pointed out, their reasons for being there were entirely self centered. Get used to it, guy. That’s Hollywood, as well as the DC beltway.

  14. 20



    @Cary: you’re getting there. Tell me how this is of aid to the struggling Louisiana citizens, and isn’t just more cash for their pockets?

    At least Costner had machines there to aid in clean up. The rest? Pure box office receipts/Cannes/Oscar visions.

  15. 21



    That’s Hollywood, as well as the DC beltway.

    And corporate industry who made the mess in the first place. Why shouldn’t we see it?

    I think I’ve said all I need/want to say.

  16. 22


    On a more practical note, we all know what stress has done to Tiger’s golf game: are we willing to watch Obama’s golf game go to hell over an oil spill? For the first time in his life, he can play golf on the best courses without life’s tedious demands on his precious time. Remember, a man must have priorities or he will become distracted with the incidental details of a job. 😐

  17. 23



    Cary, the reason I personally haven’t had much to say INRE BP… or Transocean who were the primary rig operators… is that the investigation isn’t in yet. I’ve read enough on Rigzone and TheOilDrum, plus listened to a few others, to know that this could be human error response to a situation, or Mother Nature kicking that well (as she occasionally does).

    Unlike many, I prefer not to race to fingerpointing, and to reserve my judgment on the cause until the investigation is through. I don’t need a scapegoat for this event. Sheeeeet happens… and this is one major bummer for me personally.

    And again, fundraising is a voluntary event not to be equated with mandatory tax dollars and simply letting BP off the hook. Even the US OPA funds in the spill trust would be recouped from BP post spending. So you are still off on some sort of bizarre tangent.

  18. 24



    Cary: With BP deliberately making efforts to block the press from showing us how horrific the site is down there, I’m glad someone is getting it down.

    Cary, I just read your NYT’s link, and I’m thoroughly disappointed in your deliberate misleading comment I have just quoted above. First of all, BP is not the only one limiting access to media, and some of that denial is wholly justified. Denied access is also being done by the FAA, Homeland Security and the USCG. And for you to deliberately ignore the entire article, and the documented incidents is simply reprehensible.

    So how about I fill in the blanks you chose to leave out in order to attack “big oil”?

    Journalists struggling to document the impact of the oil rig explosion have repeatedly found themselves turned away from public areas affected by the spill, and not only by BP and its contractors, but by local law enforcement, the Coast Guard and government officials.

    To some critics of the response effort by BP and the government, instances of news media being kept at bay are just another example of a broader problem of officials’ filtering what images of the spill the public sees.


    Officials at BP and the government entities coordinating the response said instances of denying news media access have been anomalies, and they pointed out that the company and the government have gone to great lengths to accommodate the hundreds of journalists who have traveled to the gulf to cover the story. The F.A.A., responding to criticism following the incident with Southern Seaplane, has revised its flight restrictions over the gulf to allow for news media flights on a case-by-case basis.

    “Our general approach throughout this response, which is controlled by the Unified Command and is the largest ever to an oil spill,” said David H. Nicholas, a BP spokesman, “has been to allow as much access as possible to media and other parties without compromising the work we are engaged on or the safety of those to whom we give access.”

    Anomalies or not, reporters and photographers continue to be blocked from covering aspects of the spill.

    Last week, Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, tried to bring a small group of journalists with him on a trip he was taking through the gulf on a Coast Guard vessel. Mr. Nelson’s office said the Coast Guard agreed to accommodate the reporters and camera operators. But at about 10 p.m. on the evening before the trip, someone from the Department of Homeland Security’s legislative affairs office called the senator’s office to tell them that no journalists would be allowed.

    “They said it was the Department of Homeland Security’s response-wide policy not to allow elected officials and media on the same ‘federal asset,’ ” said Bryan Gulley, a spokesman for the senator. “No further elaboration” was given, Mr. Gulley added.

    Mr. Nelson has asked the Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, for an official explanation, the senator’s office said.

    Capt. Ron LaBrec, a Coast Guard spokesman, said that about a week into the cleanup response, the Coast Guard started enforcing a policy that prohibits news media from accompanying candidates for public office on visits to government facilities, “to help manage the large number of requests for media embeds and visits by elected officials.”

    In a separate incident last week, a reporter and photographer from The Daily News of New York were told by a BP contractor they could not access a public beach on Grand Isle, La., one of the areas most heavily affected by the oil spill. The contractor summoned a local sheriff, who then told the reporter, Matthew Lysiak, that news media had to fill out paperwork and then be escorted by a BP official to get access to the beach.

    BP did not respond to requests for comment about the incident.

    “For the police to tell me I needed to sign paperwork with BP to go to a public beach?” Mr. Lysiak said. “It’s just irrational.”


    For journalists on the ground, particularly photographers who hire their own planes, one of the major sources of frustration has been the flight restrictions over the water, where access is off limits in a vast area from the Louisiana bayous to Pensacola, Fla. Each time they fly in the area, they have to be granted permission from the F.A.A.


    A spokeswoman for the agency, Laura J. Brown, said the flight restrictions are necessary to prevent civilian air traffic from interfering with aircraft assisting the response effort.

    Shame on you.

  19. 26


    If I actually wanted to try to hide something, I wouldn’t have provided the link. We’re clearly not going to see eye to eye on this. That’s fine. I’ve made my point the best I can, sorry I couldn’t communicate it better. Let’s hope this whole situation in the Gulf is over with more sooner than later.

  20. 27


    What I’ve been hearing from some on the left is whining that ‘BP should bear the costs, and we shouldn’t be bailing them out.’ That is a very blind and asinine way to look at it. It has taken years of legal battles to get Exon to pay a portion of the clean-up costs of the Exon-Valdez spill. This is many times worse and the damaged people and ecology can not wait for the BP court cases to go though the regular decades long process of: Trial-Appeal-Trial-Appeal-Arbitration-EnforcementOfArbitration-TrialToReduceLiability-Appeal-Etc…

    Decisiveness, a sensible game-plan, and mobilization of aid was needed weeks ago, yet the Administration’s handling of this disaster is nothing short of incompetence on a grandiose scale,

  21. 28



    I think you have been owned by Mata this time around. It is obvious what you were trying to do and it such a common tactic by people who build a straw man and then cannot justify their position.

    Yes, Shame on you!

  22. 29



    Yep, shame on me for not communicating my point more clearly and allowing such a diversion around what I’m saying, so that I could get “owned”. Sucks to be me.

    Say… did that leak stop yet?

  23. 32



    @Cary: As I said….C-listers, except for Redford, and all they are doing is promoting their hatred for big oil. Nothing about the poor response from Obama….nada, zip.

    Where is Sean Penn, Clooney, Pitt and Jolie to condemn Obama and his lackadaisical attitude?

    Hypocrites…as you’re being for not acknowledging Obama’s mistakes as I’m sure you did for Bush.

    And then you pick and choose quotes from an article while ignoring others that nullify the point you were trying to make.

    Typical Cary, thought you were better then that

  24. 33



    Cameron, Costner and Kutchner are hardly C list Celebs. Spike Lee, also hardly a C lister, has been quite vocal about his opinion of Obama’s response.

    You clearly haven’t read all of my comments I’ve left on your site, where I did indeed agree that Obama needs to step it up.

    Funny how we both feel our points are being ignored. The fact is, much of our government – on both sides of the isle – is in the pockets of big oil. So I don’t see how BP isn’t in control of what is disclosed.

  25. 34



    I’ll agree that Cameron and Costner not being C-listers…..Kutchner? Come on

    As for C & C, Mata already covered why they are there and its for self-centered and selfish reasons.

    I’ll ask again, where are the A-List celebrities that were sooooo vocal during Katrina? Penn, Pitt, Jolie, Clooney…..where?

    You don’t find that suspicious?

    And all because their guy is in the White House and god forbid they point out the deficiencies in that guy.

  26. 35



    Okay, I really had to look hard, but there was at least one “fundraiser” for relief by celebs… The MTV Movie Awards hosted (hosting??) Melanie Segal’s Celebrity Save Our Seas (S.O.S) Lounge. Feel better, Cary? Of course, you can’t find anything on this “charitable” organization, so who knows where the money is going, or what it’s being used for.

    As far as Baldwin and Cameron, I don’t see they are “helping” anyone but themselves. As I said, it’s a box office/Cannes quest. And, as a matter of fact, Baldwin was in (or still is) Cannes, talking up the documentary which Costner is narrating.

    Costner I’ll give credit to… he’s donated the machines (certainly beneficial to him since it’s the only way to get them tested in real life, but he’s dumped $26 mil into that development of his own cash). The rest? They are merely paying lipservice to the big bad oil agenda. At least Costner was realistic enough to note that oil is our tecnology and survival lifeblood in his Congressional testimony before the House Science and Technology committee. You really ought to read that transcript…. what a story on it’s own.

    But in the long run, I think you sell your communication abilities short, Cary. I believe you were quite clear in expressing your hatred for the oil industry.

    BTW, what are Spike Lee and Kutchner supposed to be doing that’s “helping”? I find nothing on Kutchner’s activities, and all Spike Lee did was to advise da big Zero to “go off” on BP. Wow… that’s helpful. Some links that let us know what you are all a’glow about would be appreciated.

  27. 36



    I’m not going to speculate on where individual people are. Perhaps you are right, it was all political. Or perhaps they have contracts, or family issues to tend to at this time. Or a combination of both among those you mention. I don’t know.


    My hatred isn’t toward the entire oil industry. It’s towards the overrunning BS spilled by BP and Hayward since this thing occurred.

    I have to run and have a busy week ahead, so I don’t have time to look up those links you requested. But I can tell you off the top of my head, that your search missed the Kravitz itune donations, and Colbert’s on show fundraising….

  28. 37


    I understand that THE NATURE CONSERVANCY gets donating from BP and in fact many eco-freaks get donations from many leading companies and many eco-wackos have their own oil wells

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