In Defense of Celebrities

I never thought that anyone would have to defend celebrities. But I've noticed an increasing disconnect between what we know must be true about celebrities and how they're portrayed in the media.

For example, we know that most celebrities are committed to combating global warming. So why do we keep hearing only about the few celebrities who compound the problem by driving gas-guzzling limousines, flying in private planes, and owning multiple mansions? Worse, why do we keep hearing only about the few celebrities who think that they can buy their way out of their personal obligation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by purchasing carbon-offset credits?

Why don't we hear about the vast majority of celebrities who set a good example by walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation wherever they need to go? Why are there no shots at award ceremonies of celebrities doffing bicycle helmets, flashing bus tokens, or switching from walking to party shoes? The media ridiculed the suggestion that people reduce global warming by limiting themselves to one square of toilet tissue per bathroom visit. Why havene't we heard about all the other celebrities who are following Sheryl Crow's brave leadership?

We know that most celebrities are committed to reducing their environmental footprint. But if you listened to the media, you'd think that celebrities are conspicuous consumers of the environment, not people who realize that they don't have the right to use more of the earth's precious resources than anyone else. Why don't we hear about the celebrities who've left Beverley Hills for a moderate-sized home and returned any other homes they had back to nature?

We know that most celebrities deplore big business' pursuit of profits over social responsibility. So why won't the media tell us about the celebrities who  refuse to work outside the United States or in U.S. locales that offer them special tax breaks and/or low-wage help? Why don't we hear about all the free seats that celebrities reserve for the poor at movies, theatrical productions, concerts, and sporting events?

We know that most celebrities hate income inequality. So why don't we hear about all the celebrities who pay their cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs, gardeners, and other people they deal with hourly wages that aren't obscenely different than what the celebrities receive? And why don't the media cover all of the movie and TV stars crusading to have extras paid hourly wage that bear a reasonable relationship to what the stars receive? 

We know that most celebrities empathize with the homeless. After all, they realize that they themselves are only one paycheck away from homelessness. So why don't we hear about the celebrities who have forced their local communities to build affordable housing in their neighborhood? Why don't we hear about the celebrities who let the homeless stay on their estates until they can find them a job?

And what about celebrities' commitment to diversity and equality? If you believed what you see and hear in the media, you'd think that most celebrities live and associate only with other celebrities. Why don't we hear about the celebrities who live in mixed-income neighborhoods and are just as likely to invite a hotel maid or bellhop into their room for drinks as they are to attend a party with other celebrities? Why don't we hear about the celebrities who won't let anyone move them to the front of a line or accept other preferential treatment because that would imply that they are more deserving than someone else?

We know that most celebrities believe that they're taxed too little. So why don't we hear about all the celebrities who voluntarily pay the federal government 70% of their income (the percentage that unmarried individuals with more than $100,000 of income had to pay before President Reagen's tax cuts for the rich)? And why don't we hear about the celebrities who are rescuing Social Security by voluntarily paying the 12.4% Social Security tax on all of their earned income?

Celebrities were among the first to recognize that 9/11 represents our failure as human beings to learn to understand and love each other. So why have the media ignored all of the celebrities who have reached out to al-Qaeda members in Iraq and at Hollywood soirees to show the so-called terrorists that basically we're all alike, with just a few differences that should be celebrated under the principle of diversity? Why have the media denied us uplifting footage of celebrities and al-Qaeda members holding hands and singing "Give Peace a Chance"?  

If you relied on the media, you'd be tempted to think that most celebrities do not practice what they preach. Which would be a shame, because that would deter us from giving them their due as special people who know best how we should be living our lives.
I never thought that anyone would have to defend celebrities. But I've noticed an increasing disconnect between what we know must be true about celebrities and how they're portrayed in the media.

For example, we know that most celebrities are committed to combating global warming. So why do we keep hearing only about the few celebrities who compound the problem by driving gas-guzzling limousines, flying in private planes, and owning multiple mansions? Worse, why do we keep hearing only about the few celebrities who think that they can buy their way out of their personal obligation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by purchasing carbon-offset credits?

Why don't we hear about the vast majority of celebrities who set a good example by walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation wherever they need to go? Why are there no shots at award ceremonies of celebrities doffing bicycle helmets, flashing bus tokens, or switching from walking to party shoes? The media ridiculed the suggestion that people reduce global warming by limiting themselves to one square of toilet tissue per bathroom visit. Why havene't we heard about all the other celebrities who are following Sheryl Crow's brave leadership?

We know that most celebrities are committed to reducing their environmental footprint. But if you listened to the media, you'd think that celebrities are conspicuous consumers of the environment, not people who realize that they don't have the right to use more of the earth's precious resources than anyone else. Why don't we hear about the celebrities who've left Beverley Hills for a moderate-sized home and returned any other homes they had back to nature?

We know that most celebrities deplore big business' pursuit of profits over social responsibility. So why won't the media tell us about the celebrities who  refuse to work outside the United States or in U.S. locales that offer them special tax breaks and/or low-wage help? Why don't we hear about all the free seats that celebrities reserve for the poor at movies, theatrical productions, concerts, and sporting events?

We know that most celebrities hate income inequality. So why don't we hear about all the celebrities who pay their cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs, gardeners, and other people they deal with hourly wages that aren't obscenely different than what the celebrities receive? And why don't the media cover all of the movie and TV stars crusading to have extras paid hourly wage that bear a reasonable relationship to what the stars receive? 

We know that most celebrities empathize with the homeless. After all, they realize that they themselves are only one paycheck away from homelessness. So why don't we hear about the celebrities who have forced their local communities to build affordable housing in their neighborhood? Why don't we hear about the celebrities who let the homeless stay on their estates until they can find them a job?

And what about celebrities' commitment to diversity and equality? If you believed what you see and hear in the media, you'd think that most celebrities live and associate only with other celebrities. Why don't we hear about the celebrities who live in mixed-income neighborhoods and are just as likely to invite a hotel maid or bellhop into their room for drinks as they are to attend a party with other celebrities? Why don't we hear about the celebrities who won't let anyone move them to the front of a line or accept other preferential treatment because that would imply that they are more deserving than someone else?

We know that most celebrities believe that they're taxed too little. So why don't we hear about all the celebrities who voluntarily pay the federal government 70% of their income (the percentage that unmarried individuals with more than $100,000 of income had to pay before President Reagen's tax cuts for the rich)? And why don't we hear about the celebrities who are rescuing Social Security by voluntarily paying the 12.4% Social Security tax on all of their earned income?

Celebrities were among the first to recognize that 9/11 represents our failure as human beings to learn to understand and love each other. So why have the media ignored all of the celebrities who have reached out to al-Qaeda members in Iraq and at Hollywood soirees to show the so-called terrorists that basically we're all alike, with just a few differences that should be celebrated under the principle of diversity? Why have the media denied us uplifting footage of celebrities and al-Qaeda members holding hands and singing "Give Peace a Chance"?  

If you relied on the media, you'd be tempted to think that most celebrities do not practice what they preach. Which would be a shame, because that would deter us from giving them their due as special people who know best how we should be living our lives.