When I want statistics on crime in America, there’s one source I consult before all others: Bette Midler.
After all, who else but a woman who beat up Woody Allen in “Scenes from a Mall” should be our foremost authority on violence? While the divine Miss M has been strangely silent when it comes to opining on our country’s criminal woes as of late (who could forget her well-received report “Gun Crime in America, 1990-2001: Why Don’t They Just Take Up Yoga?”) she’s finally spoken out on President Trump and crime problems in Chicago.
And, uh, she probably wishes that she hadn’t.
Here’s Midler’s tweet condemning Trump. I’m not embedding it but instead including a snapshot of it, because I’m not entirely sure it will be around for that much longer. You may notice why:
Did you notice the error there?
Unfortunately for her, most people who weren’t Bette Midler or her fans did:
Yeah. So there’s that.
In fact, had Ms. Midler done a bit of poking around on the Chicago Tribune’s website instead of just copy-pasting a link, she would have rather easily found a shooting count that showed the president actually undersold the number of shootings in Chicago for 2016. The real number, according to that august publication, was actually 4,367.
I guess he just didn’t want to kick a city while it’s down.
I’m a firm believer that the denizens of Hollywood should be able to speak out on political issues, the same way that anyone who is a citizen of our country should be able to speak out on political issues. Acting in a movie or having a platinum record doesn’t mean that you abdicate your First Amendment rights.
However, let me offer Hollywood a bit of free advice from the other side of the aisle: If you’re going to force your opinions on us at every awards show and in every interview, it helps if that opinion is informed.
For instance, if you were Viola Davis accepting an Oscar at Sunday’s Academy Awards, it may have helped to consider almost every other person in the country when you tried to score some points for Hollywood by saying that being an artist is “the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.”
Or, if you’re Leonardo DiCaprio, perhaps you ought to stop being a global warming alarmist if your opinions are less educated than the mediagenic, self-serving ramblings of Bill Nye. Or, perhaps you ought to stop utilizing a private jet — the single most inefficient form of personal transportation extant on this planet at the present moment.
Or, if you’re Bette Midler, perhaps you ought to learn the difference between a shooting and a murder before you hit ctrl+v and press send.
Just a bit of friendly advice. You Hollywood types can do with it what you will.
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