The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.

Top CBS executives are deeply concerned that Sunday night's GRAMMY Awards may turn from a celebration of music -- into a giant anti-war political rally, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The GRAMMY broadcast, which is set to air live from New York City, will feature performances by Eminem, Sheryl Crow, Springsteen, Coldplay, James Taylor and others.

Word has reached network suites how one star is allegedly planning a dramatic anti-war gesture.
Like what? Burning the flag? Passe'. Homemade message t-shirts? *yawn* Long, boring, political diatribes in lieu of long, boring acceptance speeches? (snort) At least if they try burning the flag there'll be the intriguing possibility of seeing some candyass rock star get the hose turned on him. Or her. I'm just sayin'.
"I would hope the artists will remember they are on stage because of their music," a top CBS source told the DRUDGE REPORT Friday morning.
Hope does spring eternal, doesn't it? But a significant chunk of these people honestly believe the public deserves to know their opinion on current events, and are quite happy to let CBS sponsor their political tantrums involuntarily. Call it an overdeveloped sense of entitlement.


During this week's BRITS award show, Coldplay's Chris Martin yelled out to the audience: "We are all going to die when George Bush has his way. But at least we are going to go out with a bang."
The CBS executive warned microphones may be unplugged on Sunday night if live performances turn political.

"It, of course, is a final option [to cut the microphone.] But it's a very real option," said the top source, who demanded anonymity.

"There is a time for political commentary, this is not one of them!"
I can really get behind the idea of a silent Grammy awards show. Seriously.


And I thought Charlie was the dumb one.

Sheen leads antiwar forces By Paul Bond
Forces, yet. How adorably militaristic. Brave dissenters all, I'm sure.
LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Martin Sheen is about to become the face of the Hollywood antiwar movement.

Sheen has cut a TV commercial in which he implores: "Don't invade Iraq. Inspections work; war won't."
As a matter of fact, the inspections have been an utter failure in every possible way. War, on the other hand, was quite effective last time. And since when does playing a fictional sort of Clinton-if-he-weren't-such-an-asshole president for an hour of Liberal wish fulfillment every week make one a foreign policy expert? Pardon me while I dissolve into helpless giggles.
The ad is set to begin a one-week run today -- initially on CNN, MSNBC and CNN Headline News.

An effort bankrolled by the groups Win Without War and MoveOn.org,
Oh, the MoveOn guys. The ones who insist we should just "move on" past Clinton's perjury, but can't get over the 2000 elections.
the ad was unveiled at a West Hollywood hotel Wednesday, where Sheen was accompanied by many of his "West Wing" co-stars and Anjelica Huston, Janeane Garofalo and Mike Farrell.
Round up the usual suspects.
The Sheen commercial advertises what Win Without War is calling a "virtual march on Washington." Scheduled for Wednesday, the virtual march asks Americans to use e-mail, fax machines and telephones to get their antiwar messages to legislators that day. A visit to www.MoveOn.org makes the task easier.
Downloadable posters.
Hollywood's political activism of late has been well documented in the press, as many celebrities have turned award ceremonies and film festivals into antiwar rallies.
Maybe it's me, but usually I find the marriage of art and politics crass beyond belief. There are so few people who have the talent to pull it off most would be better off to shut up and dance like the painted whores they are (as my friend Elaine so memorably put it at the REM concert some 15 years ago.)
Some have suggested that the most vocal of the activist celebrities face a potential backlash. Sean Penn has claimed he lost a role because of his fact-finding mission to Baghdad, an effort that many Americans have deemed unpatriotic.
Sean Penn is a fucking dumbass who couldn't pour piss out of a boot with instructions printed on the heel. But "many Americans" didn't deny Penn that role, that was a decision made by a man in the industry who made a judgment call that Penn wasn't right for the part, was too expensive for the part, or just has no goddamn talent. The accusation that the loss of the role was due to his ill-considered jaunt to Baghdad has no basis in reality, and doesn't acquire one through repetition.
Reporters at the unveiling of Sheen's commercial Wednesday also broached the subject.

"There's already a backlash," Farrell said, dismissing it as an "organized attempt by the right wing."
Baha. Of course. That sound you hear couldn't possibly be millions of individuals evaluating your movement and giving you a collective raspberry. No, no, it's just got to be the sinister thunder of the jackboots of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.
Garofalo said a backlash against antiwar celebrities is a creation of the media, which purposely focuses its attention on Hollywood activists in order to marginalize the peace movement.
It's not the media that marginalizes the peace movement. It's the people in the movement. The media is trying to help you, and you keep tripping over your own tongues.
In a radio interview Wednesday with the BBC, in fact, Garofalo asked that she not be introduced as an actor or celebrity but as a member of the U.S. antiwar movement.

"It's such a divisive thing," she said.
Defining yourself as a member of the anti-war movement is so non-divisive.
"The term 'celebrity' makes my skin crawl."
Me too, hon. Me too.
According to an E-poll survey obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter, 44% of Americans said they might not pay to see a politically active celebrity with whom they disagree.
For some reason an image of my father intoning, "I wouldn't pay a nickel to see a pissant eat a bale of hay" just popped into my head. I can't imagine why.
Clear and concise.

Just read a fantastic Ray Sawhill interview with Roger Scruton [link lifted from Peter Briffa] Read the whole thing, and savor the clarity.
James Earl Jones: "[W]e should've finished that war the first time."

James Earl Jones, speaking at UNC Pembroke on Tuesday [link via Instapundit]:
Jones, a former Army officer [emphasis mine--KL], drew perhaps the biggest round of applause after the subject turned to America's showdown with Iraq. He said that war is sometimes necessary.

"All people have to be prepared," Jones said. "If we are going to be the police, we also have to be the guardians. We can no longer play games. I was not against the war in Bosnia. I was against it taking so long. I was not against the war in Somalia. Again, it took too long, and we didn't finish the job. We should've stayed and finished the job. About this pending war, I just think we should've finished that war the first time."
I'd say Jones more than counterbalances the opinions of the featherweights in Berlin mentioned below.


The French Mistake.

Steven Den Best summarizes the non-weasel-European responses to Chirac’s recent outburst against Eastern Europe (my favorite was the Czech response to the implied threat against those who are not yet members of the EU: "We are not joining the EU so we can sit and shut up.") and links to this article (among others) about what provoked him into having a tantrum in front of the cameras. (Since I love the Italians, it’s worth noting that Berlusconi was the first to assert himself; go, him.) Emphases mine:

AMID the mocha coffee and the petits four, Jacques Chirac lost the argument. Shortly afterwards at his press conference, he lost his temper too.

Sources keeping a delicate diplomatic distance in the grand European Council dining room reported that Monsieur le President was steadily being forced into a corner.

Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, fully aware that the international body's future is on the line, began by appealing to the 15 EU leaders to act together. The international community, he said, demanded that their leaders unite around a common line.

He also told it to the heads of government straight: that if Saddam Hussein continued with his defiance, then the security council would have no option but to face up to its responsibilities - confront the Baghdad regime with military force.

At Mr Annan's hawkish stance, Mr Chirac stood up and, with Gallic passion, began a defence of the French position.

Flinging his arms up and down, he declared that war was a terrible thing and that thousands of innocent people would lose their lives in a second Gulf war. "It is a question of life and death," he said.

It was suggested that, at this point, the most dramatic moment of the evening occurred. Silvio Berlusconi, the diminutive Italian premier, eyeballed Mr Chirac and insisted: "I'm just as concerned about life and death as you are."

He asked the French president to consider what happened to innocent people in Bali and in New York's twin towers.

Then, the normally mild-mannered Bertie Ahern, the taoiseach, interjected and pointed out that the only person getting away with defying the will of the international community was Saddam.

He added that the weapons inspectors could not go on indefinitely.

By this time, Mr Chirac was positively steaming at the pro-American forces reigned against him. But there was more.

Jan Peter Balkenende, the new Dutch prime minister, underscored the hawkish line, saying the issue was Iraq's full compliance and that it was now just a matter of weeks, not months, before the matter had to be resolved. "We have to reinforce the pressure on Iraq," he said.

Spain's Jose Maria Aznar also called for international cohesion, pointing out that the UN had only got so far with the Iraqi dictator by threatening force.

Then, Tony Blair said his piece, deriding the 12 years of deceit by Saddam and stressing he had to come into compliance "100%".

Looking at his colleagues one by one, he told them bluntly: "There is no intelligence agency of any government around this table that does not know that the government of Iraq has weapons of mass destruction."

In a passionate conclusion, the prime minister said: "If Saddam stays, the Iraqis will pay with their lives."

James Lileks is wrong.

I don’t disagree with The Lileks often, but today he’s wrong about something:
I don’t like Sinatra much; I think he’s overrated. I like his earlier material, when he was Frankie, not Frank. (I really don’t have much time for Liza, but her version of “New York New York” taken from Scorcese’s movie of the same name, is the version of the song, period, end of discussion; Sinatra just walks through it.)
Well, no. Sinatra’s not really overrated, though certainly you’re entitled to not like his later material--de gustibus non est disputandem, after all. His voice when he was “Frankie” was a naturally beautiful instrument (though he was never as gifted as Crosby), and after he wrecked his vocal chords in the 50’s it was never the same. To compensate for what he couldn’t do anymore he developing a different style that depended largely on tricky phrasing, and if some of the resulting arrangements were eye-rollingly kitschy and haven’t aged well, some of them were amazing. As for Liza—her mother was a barely-contained force of nature in human form; Liza is just a faint echo. Her version of “New York New York” is all right, but to my ear Frank’s is simply superior. Admittedly I’m probably allowing outside factors to influence my judgment—knowing what Sinatra went through to rehab his career post-vocal-breakdown, knowing that Liza’s pretty much in the top five on the Freak Parade—but that’s just the way it is.

The rest of the piece is excellent, as usual, and “Axis of Elvis” is a phrase I really, really wish I’d coined, damn him.


While I wasn't paying attention this weekend:

The left turned out in droves in support of genocide and oppression. [Via, um, everybody. Russell Wardlow gets the cite because he's in the thick of that Berkeley lunacy and has the stomach to go forth and unflinchingly witness the stupidity. Plus, he's got amusing photo-shopped pictures.]

Blaque Jaques Chirac pissed all over every country in Europe not named Belgium or Germany. [Via the always excellent Juan Gato.] Eastern Europe then told Chirac what he could do with his opinion. [Via Cinderella Bloggerfeller]

Jimmy Carter made an ass of himself. Again. [Via Andrea Harris, who cites Tex at Whacking Day]

The talentless Ani DiFranco made an ass of herself.

Bono was nominated for a Nobel peace prize, thus completing the utter debasement of the award. [Via Charles Austin]

NATO told France to piss up a rope. [Via Charles Austin]

Jkrank reports from Bulgaria: Sallah and Flounder are behind the President. [Eliciting a whoop of approval from me as well as further seething jealousy over Jkrank's job.]

Bill Whittle posted another of those beautifully crafted essays we all wish we could turn out at will.

Steve H. posted a recipe for yeast donuts fried in lard and glazed with Coco Lopez reduced with banana liqueur at Tiny Little Lies. Dear God, he's trying to kill us all.

Kevin Parrott broke his resolution and "viewed" Daredevil and I did not. Was going to drag Angela to see it but it seemed like too cruel a test of our friendship. I'll save it for Bernadine, who made me sit through ALL of Ishtar.