Editor’s Log: Faux Experts

Did you know I’m an expert thespian? Well it’s true, at least by today’s standards of Hollywood, the Internet, reality television shows and social media. I am fully qualified to be a respected, believable media star worthy to influence the mindless minions who blindly rely upon mass media madness to influence, even guide, their decisions.

What are my qualifications and experience as an actor, one might ask? For starters, in the first grade, I was the lead actor in the famous children’s Christmas story The Shoemaker & The Elves. (Oops! In today’s parlance, that should have read “happy holiday time for no specific Christian religious belief bias” instead of “Christmas.” And I made a poor choice of words when I used the term “elves” rather than “vertically challenged individuals with a unique and beautiful ear structure.” Sorry!).

As the Shoemaker (or perhaps “advanced leather sculptor”?), I not only had the lead role, but I sang a solo. (Funny, I’ve never been asked to sing a solo – or anything else for that matter – since . . .)

Then there was that time in fifth grade where our class’ happy holiday performance without any Christian religious bias did a variety of skits. One was a parody of the famous Kellogg’s commercial with the stern-looking, pitchfork-wielding bald (follicle-challenged) farmer and his wife. I had the unique and challenging role as the voice of the chicken. I got rave reviews and several requests to repeat that now-famous chicken cawing.

And there’s much more. My junior year of high school, I was the supporting actor in the well-known comedy Desperate Ambrose. More relevant experience was gained my senior year when I was selected to serve on our debate team. (Admittedly, I was a bit distracted by other typical high school activities such as girls, football, girls, baseball, girls, etc. and perhaps a bit negligent in research and prep, but even then I could generally outtalk most competitors.)

The logic is that all of these “life experiences” have prepared me to be an actor or reality star, just like being a well-known actor automatically makes them experts on important issues of which they have no relevant knowledge such as energy policy, fracking, fossil fuels, environmental issues, etc. The politically correct thing to do these days in Hollywood is to use social media, cable television and various photo ops to display a suddenly discovered social or environmental conscience.

Of course, the reality is that I am in no way, shape or form prepared to take to the Silver Screen, nor do I believe that a reality show about my life as a business media editor would make for quality and exciting TV.

Apparently, being a mass media darling tends to warp common sense and inject an air of arrogance into the personality of many. The list of celebrities that have become political activists and experts based upon a casual conversation or unsubstantiated propaganda is far too long. Being “pc” is more important than facts. Never has the old adage about any publicity is better than none been more accurate.

Not to say all of these people are supporting potentially damaging causes just because it’s popular to do so. Some probably actually believe they are trying to save the world from corporate greed or the despicable energy and pipeline companies. My gripe is that these people are woefully misinformed, misled and have failed to seek the complete story – which is rarely reflective of the propaganda they are regurgitating in front of cameras, photo ops and in tweets.

Hollywood latches onto a seemingly popular cause without any attempt to understand the big picture. They act as leaders, people of influence, trying to rally the uninformed to their misguided mission. They are, in their own minds, experts in fields which they have no training, education or even in-depth knowledge.

But knowledge without basis and leadership without justification are egregious attacks on the public well-being. When the public is without jobs, when the economy languishes, when people must face the consequences of over-reacting, knee-jerk actions that ultimately could scuttle the high standards of living we enjoy today, Hollywood zealots may ultimately find no one cares what they are espousing anymore, especially when we can’t afford to go to movies or pay the cable bill.

Arrogance without reason or perspective can solidify one’s place in history not as a great actor, but as the village idiot who misled our country into an unnecessary energy and economic disaster.

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