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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Michael Coren: When celebrity endorsements can backfire

Recently an old university friend, who is now a senior BBC producer, told me about when he helped assemble the acts for a major celebrity fundraising concert. The usual illustrious names were present but the fun was dealing with the fossils and the failures eager to resurrect their careers in the guise of charity. Apparently a once famous British rock star pleaded that he desperately wanted to sing in the climate change gig because, “the bloody climate is awful and we have to change it.” No joke.

Which brings us to the 100-plus celebrities who have just given their names to a campaign to stop Donald Trump becoming president. Bashing the famous and beautiful is too easy, largely pointless and, anyway, most of these actors, singers and writers probably have genuine concerns about the putrid Trump winning the election. He’s a lump on the body politic and for all our sakes needs to be defeated.

But if anything plays into his smooth, pink hands it is the glossy vision of front-cover millionaires telling people how to vote and what to believe. I’m not sure who planned the Democrat convention but the idea, for example, of giving self-consciously provocative Sarah Silverman such prominence was about as sensible as booking Don Cherry to host the Giller Prize. Just because the few find Silverman funny doesn’t mean the many find her funny. Just because the few think she has something to say doesn’t mean the many think she has something to say...

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