President Obama’s vacation in Martha’s Vineyard ‘looks bad’
RICHARD ROEPER firstname.lastname@example.org August 21, 2011 6:48PM
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:28AM
The buzzword of 2011 for stuff like this is “optics,” but all we’re really saying is:
It looks bad.
The optics of President Barack Obama’s vacation in Martha’s Vineyard couldn’t be worse. Of course it’s ridiculous to pretend the economy could have been resuscitated if only the president hadn’t planned to spend nine days kicking back, golfing and rubbing elbows with the super-wealthy who can afford to spend more on their summer vacations than tens of millions of Americans take home in a year — but it just looks bad.
As Obama would say: Look. There are security concerns when the president spends time away from the White House. When the Obamas first selected the Blue Heron Farm (which rents for a reported $40,000 a week) as a vacation spot in 2009, the White House said the Secret Service had inspected and rejected more than 20 other properties.
The Obamas are paying their way, though taxpayers will foot the bill for Secret Service and other staffers. (Hard to get too worked up over that, as no matter where the president goes, taxpayer funds contribute to security and staffing expenses.)
I suppose if the president had selected Chicago or New Buffalo or Lake Geneva, some critics would have accused him of pandering or posturing or being a Kenyan.
But to much of the nation, Martha’s Vineyard might as well be called Elite Island. The prevailing image is something like Alec Baldwin, Ted Danson, Carly Simon, Jake Gyllenhaal and a couple of Kennedys roaming the endless lawn at Save-the-Environment Party featuring a private concert by Elton John.
There’s something indisputably tone-deaf about the president stubbornly returning to the $20 million Blue Heron Farm for a long vacation when so much of the nation couldn’t even afford a vacation this year.
Can you Lohan her a clue?
We have the winner in the annual Lawsuit Most Likely To Be Laughed Out of Court competition.
TMZ.com is reporting Lindsay Lohan is suing the rapster known as Pitbull and songwriters Ne-Yo and Afrojack, for alleged damages caused by Pitbull invoking Lindsay’s name in “Give Me Everything”:
Keep flowin’, hustlers move beside us So I’m tip-toein’ to keep flowin’ I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan
So I’m tip-toein’ to keep flowin’
I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan
(Sidebar: This is one of the many differences between the hit songs of the 2000s and the hit songs of, say, the 1960s and 1970s. Dylan and the Beatles and Elton John the Temptations and the Rolling Stones would sing of the issues of the day or feelings regarding love and other universal subjects — but they didn’t devote half their catalogs to singing about themselves, they almost never had to worry about finding another rhyme for “paparazzi,” and rarely did they invoke the names of other people, the occasional “Revolution” reference to “Chairman Mao” aside.
There’s a lot of great music out there today, but if you went to iTunes and eliminated all the songs in which the artist complains about being famous, brags about wanting to [bleep] or just having [bleeped] someone or includes a reference to some modern-day pop culture figure, you’d gut the charts.)
The lawsuit claims, “The lyrics ... are destined to do irreparable harm to the plaintiff,” who is “a professional actor of good repute and standing in the Screen Actors Guild [and] is suing under the New York civil rights laws, which protects people from having their name exploited for commercial purposes.”
“Give Me Everything” also includes this gem: My family is from Cuba, but I’m an American Idol, gettin’ money like Seacrest ... but apparently the ubiquitous host/producer isn’t interested in suing, probably because — I don’t know — THERE’S NOTHING TO SUE ABOUT.
Perhaps the funniest thing about the lawsuit is that line about Lohan being an actor of “good repute and standing.” That she has some talent is not the question. That her own behavior, including multiple trips to the courtroom and a record of incarceration — not to mention the allegations of unprofessional behavior on and off the set — has done enormous damage to her reputation, is irrefutable.
Lindsay Lohan claiming a song lyric is hurting her reputation is about as credible as Charlie Sheen saying a Jimmy Kimmel joke is influencing the public’s perception and damaging Sheen’s good name.