RUSH: Andy, Sheridan, Indiana. Welcome, sir. It’s great to have you with us. How you doing?
CALLER: I’m great, Rush. Thank you. I love your new app, by the way. It’s fantastic.
RUSH: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. It is. It’s kickass. It’s a kickass experience, a kickass app. I’m glad you like it.
CALLER: Kickass all the way.
RUSH: It is. It really is.
CALLER: Question. These entertainers, these actors, singers, anybody, they get political and I don’t understand it. They’re alienating a chunk of their audience, a chunk of their customers. It makes no sense to me why they’re doing this.
RUSH: It doesn’t, does it? So you’re wondering why they do it?
CALLER: Yeah, exactly.
RUSH: I think the short answer is peer pressure. Because, you know, your question is really a good one, and I can best answer this if I inject myself into it. I don’t think that they have a concept of audience the way I do. I think that their success is determined by much more than just what their audience does, like buy records or join streaming services or whatever.
The audience is everything here. Now, I’m not afraid of angering some of the audience, as long as I’m being truthful and honest about what I believe, but even then, you know, I’m respectful of the audience’s intelligence. I’m respectful of the audience’s time that they spend here, and I do not want to take advantage of it or abuse that in any way. These people insult the audience, as you say, at least half of their audience when they do these displays like they did at the Grammys and the Academy Awards. And I’m convinced that part of it is they don’t think the way you’re thinking.
They don’t care if they’ve angered half of America because to them it doesn’t matter to their success or not. It doesn’t matter to their bottom line, which is curious to me, but you throw the peer pressure aspect of this in. They all want to be in the clique. They all want to be in the group. They all want to get deals, and if they think management requires them to have opinions like this, then they’re gonna utter them. And many of them probably — remember, they’re not that well informed. They’re not that bright —
RUSH: — when it comes to this kind of stuff.
RUSH: They might be very talented artists, but they don’t know half of what they think they know.
CALLER: I wish they would wise up because some of them are very talented and I just can’t watch them anymore. Like Mark Ruffalo, I like his work, he’s good, but I can’t watch him anymore without thinking —
RUSH: I know. That’s the way it hit me with the NFL. It saddens me and I know exactly what you’re talking about.
RUSH: Now there’s another thing I think going on with these entertainers like last night at the Grammys, and I think much of it, folks, is rooted in fake Twitter. Look, I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time on this again because I did in the opening monologue, but the New York Times has a very comprehensive… I really suggest you read it all and on a computer browser, like Safari, whatever you use, or big iPad. Don’t do it on the phone. The graphics that they have put together with this story are best seen on a big screen.
It details, essentially, how you can buy followers. Now, we know that there are bots that are flooding Twitter, primarily, Facebook as well. But this is different. This is people, actors, actresses, media pundits, journalists, literally buying followers to make it look like hundreds of thousands of people follow them, read them, retweet them, and it’s all fake — and it’s very cheap. You can buy… Man, I don’t know. I forget the numbers.
But it’s like you can buy a thousand followers for 20 bucks. It may not even be that expensive. It’s cheap as it can be. There’s a company… There’s a number of companies, but one of them is located here, that literally creates fake followers. They’re made to look like real people. Some of them are real people whose identities have been slightly changed. Their identities are stolen, purloined by these groups. They have to throw some real people in with the totally fake people.
So we have bots that are fake followers, which means there’s all kinds of people on Twitter nowhere near as popular as they want you to think. They’re nowhere near as widely known. They’re nowhere near as widely loved. It’s all just a big bunch of house of cards — and there’s also these fake bots that can be flooded into a zone to make the recipient believe he’s hated and despised or that his business is under threat. I think what happens on social media dictates a lot of what happens in the entertainment world.
I think they buy it hook, line, and sinker. I think they believe what’s on Twitter. I think they believe all kinds of things, and many of these entertainers are buying followers to make themselves look much more popular than they are. And if they get a flavor on social media that certain people — a majority of people, say — hate Trump or majority of people this or that, if they do want to pay some kind of homage to their audience, they would replicate that.
But there’s another aspect of this too. And I think many of these entertainers in the music business — yeah, even TV and movies — are convinced that they are social justice warriors, and this is largely due to social media as well. And I think they look at this as social justice. They look at this almost as civil rights, and they look at hating Trump as actually a civil rights movement. It is an attempt to make themselves feel important. I have long theorized that many in the entertainment community… Let’s look at actors.
They’re human beings, number one — and contrary to what a lot of people think, it’s hard work. And it does take a really rare talent, besides the rare commodity of good looks. And the rare talent for great acting is having absolutely zero self-consciousness. And that’s what — and most people are totally self-conscious. And you put a camera in their presence, and they become obviously self-conscious. They can’t… I mean, that’s when many people break down and become people that they aren’t, but not in a good way.
You can see them get nervous. You can see them begin to act out. It’s classic. Put a camera anywhere, and people change — and the more important they think the camera is, the greater they change their behavior in that moment. It’s a mind-boggling thing when you see it. Put a camera on a street corner and what normally happens in that street corner will stop happening, and everybody that knows that camera is there will be playing to it in one way or another. Well, these people pretend to be other people.
You know what fascinates me? It literally does. Psychologically, it fascinates me to listen to actors and actresses talk about the people that they have portrayed in movies. It’s almost like they have become experts in them. And if they are portraying a fake character… This is an even bigger mind-boggler. I’m not gonna mention the show. But a TV show was recently canceled, and one of the characters on the show was killed off before the series finale.
The actress portraying — who I like, by the way. The actress portraying this character has been all over media talking about what it meant to be killed off, what would the character be doing if the character was still alive, how the character being killed off relates to our current political climate with Trump. I’m reading this and I’m saying, “This is unbelievable. This person does not exist! This is a made-up character in a made-up show being talked about as though the person is real, had a real-life, and had a real death, and what it means.”
It means nothing, because the character didn’t ever exist! But to the actress and to the producers, the character was as real as you and I are. And it’s an amazing psychological feat to pull this off. I couldn’t do it. I could not go on TV… Let’s say they hired me to portray Ronald Reagan. Well, that’s not a… That’s a bad example. I don’t even want to use myself in this. It’s like Jane Fonda was brought to testify before Congress because she played a farm wife in a movie about Dust Bowl, Kansas, and she testified as an expert on agriculture!
And she really thought she was because of her role in the movie. She played a fictional character. She was asked to come up there ’cause Alan Cranston had a crush on her. He was a senator from California. That’s why she was really there. But she’s taking it all seriously. The seriousness that these people take… Well, ultimately, their success is pretending to be other people. But they’re like everybody else. They want to be known for who they are.
Ergo comes all this social activism. And if peer pressure requires you to get on the liberal social activist train, then you quickly hop aboard and then you begin to think how important it is. “Why, this is civil rights! This is the latest civil rights cause. Donald Trump is a racist, sexist whatever he is” and it becomes a civil rights issue to expose Trump for the fraud that he is and to save America from this grave, grave threat. And they totally buy into it. Because they buy into fake phoniness every day.
It’s their job to present fake as real, and it’s really hard to do. That’s why there are very few really, really good, big stars or actors and actresses. It’s hard to do, folks. Do not doubt me. It’s hard to totally become somebody else and not go insane. It’s a very difficult thing to literally shed all of your self-consciousness, particularly when it takes hours to make you up and when you have to do take after take after take and there’s 15,000 cameras around and all the lights, and yet still become totally outside yourself.
You and I cannot do it. We cannot get rid of the self-consciousness. But in this business of becoming other people and becoming known as the people you are portraying, at some point you want to be known for who you are. So the Grammys comes along, and here’s a chance for you to tell people who you really are, even if your music as your art does that in some way. I mean, if you’re an angry rapper and that’s your music, fine.
But here’s a chance to talk about it outside of the art. Here’s a chance to talk about it on stage, talk about what a reprobate Trump is, how great Hillary Clinton is, what a raw deal Hillary Clinton got, all this stuff. And it’s all about fulfilling the desire to be known as a substantive, real person and affecting change.
And I think that’s why the aspect of angering half the people that may be your customers doesn’t matter to them. Because in their minds, what they are doing outside their art is far more important. It’s civil rights. It’s far more important than whether or not half of the music-buying public gets mad. In fact, they probably take satisfaction from some of you getting mad. They probably laugh about it and give themselves high fives that the Southern hayseed pro-life hick conservatives got mad about it. There may even be private competitions to see who can anger you the most.
The fact that you will not go buy their records, they couldn’t care less. Because they’re gonna be heralded by the entertainment media and their peers as great people, willing to buck the trends, willing to have the guts and the courage to go against the current. Or it could be something entirely different and basically very simple. Usually, the simplest answer to something is what really is the answer, but in this case I just don’t think they have any concern.
Now, Michael Jordan’s a rarity. Michael Jordan would never get political. He says, “Look, Republicans buy tennis shoes. I’m not gonna go tick off half of ’em, half the country.” Tiger Woods was the same way. Although I think I know what Tiger’s politics are, don’t know for sure. But regardless, it’s becoming more and more common for more and more entertainers to declare a political identity.
Look at the NFL. I mentioned the top of the show, the NFL is now tied with MSNBC on the negative brand list. They are No. 6 as most polarizing brand. The NFL. There’s a survey of NFL players about what is important to them. This will make my point. In fact, I’m glad I remembered this. This will make my point. I’ll find it during the break, and I’ll have it for you when we get back.
RUSH: I think there’s another characteristic or aspect to these actors and actresses going nuts at the Grammys last night. I’ll give you an example, Mark Ruffalo, the caller mentioned Mark Ruffalo. I’m like the caller, I like Mark Ruffalo’s work until — the guy is a lunatic Trump hater. I can’t just set that aside when I see the guy now. And Whoopi, Whoopi Goldberg is off her rocker on this. But Ruffalo and Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Moore are headlining the anti-Trump State of the Union somewhere, 47 bucks a head. They’re charging $47 a head for people to see this.
Now, I think part and parcel of this, Hillary was gonna win. They were all-in for Hillary. They couldn’t say enough good about her, they campaigned with her, they did everything they could for Hillary, and she loses. And I think they consider that a big slap in the face, and it makes ’em question their influence. So I think part of it is anger at the American people. They go on the Grammys last night and they start insulting the American people with their blatant hypocrisy.
They’re mad at you! You didn’t elect Hillary. You voted for Trump. So you add that factor into the equation, and you get a large group of really messed up people. You know what amazes me about it? Honest to God, here’s the thing that amazes me. The music industry puts up with it and that CBS televised it.
It still amazes me. I know it shouldn’t because I know the music industry and CBS are virulently anti-Trump too. But from the standpoint of the question, why would you want to anger half of your audience? But, man, the cause becomes the number one thing. It overrides every other concern for people like them.
Now this thing on the NFL player. This is from USA Today, USA Today Sports. They surveyed 108 NFL players. And there’s over 2,000 of ’em, over 1,500 of them, so this is a small sample. And the survey was between December 21st and January 19th. Players, according to USA Today Sports, players were granted anonymity if they chose, but many of them spoke on the record. They were asked three questions.
No. 1: what is the most important issue facing the NFL?
No. 2: do you feel owners respect or disrespect the players?
And No. 3: do you approve, disapprove, or have no opinion on the job performance of the commissioner, Roger Goodell? Of the 95 players who answered the question on the league’s most important issue, 39% said health and safety, 18% said compensation and 18% said social issues, including protests during the national anthem.
What this means is that at least among these 108 players, they care about protesting the anthem as much as they care about the money they earn by living in America. Both answers got 18%. The biggest answer was 39% on safety. Eighteen percent said compensation, including guaranteed contracts. Eighteen percent said social issues.
Now, if that’s what NFL players truly believe, then, folks, you better get used to seeing all kinds of protests and kneeling, ’cause if they care about that as much as they’re getting paid, then who is influencing these guys? Who has gotten to them? The answer’s rather self-evident.