Cause celebre

The Los Angeles Times ran a story Friday that explores the possibilities that YouTube makes available for celebrities who are interested in politics.  CCP has already highlighted a few instances (HERE and HERE) in which citizens have used YouTube to disseminate their messages.

But as the LA Times points out: "Anybody can post, but being discovered is usually a matter of luck. Politically active stars have a clear advantage: They’re bound to get noticed simply on name recognition alone."

The article goes on to imagine the possibilities: "Remember the Obama girl? What if Jessica Alba, dancing around in a tight "I love Barack" T-shirt, did a similar video? There would be more takers on that than Paris Hilton’s bootlegged sex tapes — well, almost as many.

And what if George Clooney, looking soulful and scruffy, decided to slip into war-torn Darfur with a hand-held camera and then uploaded his footage directly onto YouTube? His groupies alone could account for 500,000 hits."

The LA Times also observes "More interesting, they (celebrities) can do so (engage politically through YouTube) almost totally beyond the reach of campaign finance and contribution laws, as well as candidates and parties themselves."

All this is great news for Hollywood stars who choose to use their celebrity to promote their political views.  Of course, not everyone’s talent allows them to become famous.  Instead, most people’s talents simply earn them money which they should then be able to spend promoting their views. 

So, while CCP applauds Hollywood stars their ability to use their celebrity in order to promote their views, we also believe that regular citizens should be able to use their talents to promote their views.  That would require allowing citizens to band together in order to use the earnings from their talents to advocate for their political causes – without limit.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.