Celebrities aren’t our culture warriors

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Because this is the state of our politics nowadays, the past few days have seen the Washington Nationals World Series victory overshadowed by the team's visit to the White House. When catcher Kurt Suzuki donned a MAGA hat and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman praised Trump, Woke Twitter erupted and another outrage cycle began—and has yet to dissipate fully.

At this point, anger with celebrities for their politics has become a normal function of our culture. And frankly, it's exhausting. Yet, when entertainment becomes a substitute battleground for politics, it's also inevitable. We not only welcome, but expect our celebrities to actively advance our political agendas. But for the sake of American discourse, we must re-learn the value of separating entertainment from our politics.

The root of this conflation problem originates from a psychological phenomenon called "the halo effect." We seem to presume good characteristics from a person simply because we appreciate another characteristic about them. For example, person A is talented at X, so that person must also be talented at Y. With celebrities, we incorrectly assume they have expertise in whatever they do, which is why we care deeply about their political and cultural viewpoints. And their silence is perceived as complicity, as we saw with the bizarre campaign to get Taylor Swift to denounce President Trump.

With celebrities, we incorrectly assume they have expertise in whatever they do, which is why we care deeply about their political and cultural viewpoints.

Under this paradigm, it's only natural that we end up having female soccer star Meghan Rapinoe questioned not solely on her athletic success, but also her thoughts on the president and the state of the 2020 election. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that she become a politician one day.

But whenever celebrities espouse political views that run afoul of our expectations, it engenders a startling, gag-like reaction because we assume, often erroneously, that they were enlightened and adherent to our political vision. This leads certain conservative figures to behave rather hypocritically, such as when they demean Lebron James, telling him to "shut up and dribble" while extolling Kanye West because he supports the president.

But of course, expertise is not transferable. A great baseball player can have a tough time understanding Alexander Hamilton's writing. A renowned popstar can make for a lousy thinker. There is not one good reason why MSNBC, a purportedly serious network, needs to interview actor Robert De Niro about impeachment or director Rob Reiner about the findings of the Mueller Report. Neither of these figures have any especially unique insight or political experience.

Of course, Kurt Suzuki and Ryan Zimmerman have been venerated by Trump's base and targeted by the Resistance. Surely, many more figures will follow their lead and occupy the news cycle for all of the wrong reasons.

The only remedy for all of this, then, is to fortify the separation between entertainment and politics.

The only remedy for all of this, then, is to fortify the separation between entertainment and politics. That requires celebrities to push back against calls to disavow certain figures on the basis of politics. Things looked hopeful when Ellen DeGeneres recently stood up for her friendship with George W. Bush, despite profound political differences.

But more importantly, it requires the American people to detach themselves from the political hysteria that has infected every aspect of our daily lives. The reality is that some celebrities are smart—but many aren't. We shouldn't presume political prowess because they're talented in other arenas. And we shouldn't crave their opinions or denounce them when they disagree with ours. In other words, we need to recognize that they are regular people, and we should approach their viewpoints no differently than we would anyone else's.

Ethan Lamb (@realethanlamb) is a Young Voices contributor and a law student at Georgetown University.

On Friday, Mercury One hosted the 2022 ProFamily Legislators Conference at The American Journey Experience. Glenn Beck shared this wisdom with legislators from all across our nation. We must be on God’s side.

Winston Marshall assumed that he would be playing banjo with Mumford & Sons well into his 60s, but one tweet — simply recommending Andy Ngo's book — was all it took for the woke mob to attack. At first, Winston apologized, saying he "was certainly open to not understanding the full picture." But after doing some research, not to mention a whole lot of soul-searching, his conscience "really started to bother" him.

On the latest episode of "The Glenn Beck Podcast," Winston opened up about the entire scandal, what he discovered in the wake of his cancellation, and why he's decided to put truth over career.

"I looked deeper and deeper into the topic, and I realized I hadn't been wrong [when] I'd called the author brave," Winston said of Ngo. "Not only was he brave, he'd been attacked by Antifa mobs in Oregon, and he was then attacked again ... he's unquestionably brave. And so my conscience really started to bother me ... I felt like I was in some way excusing the behavior of Antifa by apologizing for criticizing it. Which then made me feel, well, then I'm as bad as the problem because I'm sort of agreeing that it doesn't exist," he added.

"Another point, by the way, that I found it very frustrating, was that that left-wing media in this country and in my country don't even talk about [Antifa]. We can all see this footage. We see it online," Winston continued. "But they don't talk about it, and that's part of my, I think, interest initially in tweeting about Andy's book. Because I think people need to see what's going on, and it's a blind spot there. ... CNN and MSNBC, they don't cover it. Biden in his presidential election said it was just 'an idea' that didn't exist. I mean, did he not see the courthouse in Oregon being burnt down?"

Watch the video clip below or find the full podcast with Winston Marshall here.


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FBI whistleblower Steve Friend exposed the FBI for its handling of the investigation into the January 6 riot — and paid the price. Friend joined "The Glenn Beck Program" to describe the series of events that eventually led him not only to leave the FBI, but to speak out against potential abuses within the department as well. The crux of his story began with cases concerning the January 6, 2021, riot and one arrest warrant that he refused to take part in.


Friend also joined Glenn on his "Targets of Tyranny" special to explain why he believed the January 6 cases were run by Washington, D.C., and how the agency's handling of the "J6" investigations has been so "unusual" that he says he's "never" seen anything even close to this before.

Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.



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A judge has banned Texas father Jeff Younger from speaking about his son, James, who was taken from him by our courts after he refused to call his son a girl. But Jeff said he'd rather go to jail than comply: "I'll appear in handcuffs ... but I'm not taking this tyranny."

Jeff joined Glenn Beck on "Targets of Tyranny" to tell James' story and explain the biggest lessons he's learned while battling our legal system.

"This interview is illegal in the state of Texas," Jeff told Glenn. "I was banned from publishing any blog posts, social media post, publishing a newspaper article, doing any writing at all about my situation. I was also permanently banned from doing interviews, doing podcasts, appearing on television interviews, and these are all specifically laid out," he explained.

"I was also banned from speaking on three political topics. I'm not allowed to talk about anything about transgender issues, gender expansiveness, or whether my son is a boy or a girl. And I have told this judge — and I tell this judge every time I do an interview — I will never follow your illegal and unconstitutional order. I have contempt for her as a judge issuing the order. I have maximum contempt for the tyrannical language of the order, and I will never follow the order," Jeff continued.

"I'm guilty of maximum criminal contempt in the 301st District Court of the state of Texas, and [the judge] is obligated to put me in jail for the maximum sentence, which is 180 days in the jail in Dallas County. Four days later, I'll be in the jail library with the writ of habeas corpus that I've already prepared. We will go to the 5th District, and we will see who's right. I'll appear in handcuffs, her in the judge's robe, but I'm not taking this tyranny. And I'm not going to stop speaking out about my son."

Watch the video clip below or find Glenn’s two-hour special, "Targets of Tyranny," here.


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