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Cleese Calls Palin a "Parrot" & Gossip Girl Stumps for Obama

Cleese Calls Palin a "Parrot" & Gossip Girl Stumps for Obama

Perhaps it's because dear old dad hails from the land of Cleese, or because that accent can make anything sound measured and thought out, this video of John Cleese on Sarah Palin caught my attention this morning. His pointed commentary on Palin comes as the Troopergate probe expands and at one of her becoming-signature enthusiastic rallies yesterday, Palin mistook a group of supporters for protesters.

The crux of Cleese's argument is that if one were to take the whole of Europe, regardless of political persuasion, one wouldn't find "5 percent" who think she's good enough to run the US.

Cleese says:

Can they not see that she's basically learned certain speeches — and she does them very well, she's got a very good memory — but it's like a nice looking parrot. Because the parrot speaks beautifully, and kind of says 'Aw, shucks,' every now and again but doesn't really have any understanding of the meaning of the words that it is producing, even though it is producing them very accurately. . . the extraordinary thing is that so many people are taken in by it.

Does Cleese's argument strike a bad chord — or ring true?

An entirely different generation and genre of entertainment is getting into the mix too. To see the Gossip Girl gang's new Obama ad,


In their take-off on those anti-drug PSAs, apparently McCain is the new high? OK, sorry, I know that's not what they meant but. . . doesn't making something off-limits make it more appealing? Just thinking. . .

The spot is part of MoveOn's Youth Vote program. Does it make a compelling case? More compelling than Cleese? Should entertainers stick to that, and leave politics alone?

Join The Conversation
WithACherryOnTop WithACherryOnTop 8 years
"Young people who know diddly squat want Obama, because he is charismatic and cool and it is in style." This is obviously an old comment, but I just couldnt help but put my thoughts on it. I'm from the South and when Bush was running it was really cool and trendy here for young Republicans to put a "W" sticker on their car. EVERYONE my age (highschool and early college) had a one of these stickers and I kid you not, about 20% of them were registered to vote. It is really trendy in my area to be a republican, and very weird to see young democrats. So I feel this goes both ways.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
GS your right PSA is over kill, but I still think they have the right to speak their mind. And if they were to blog, or comment on a message board it would get more press than you or I so while I think the PSA is overboard anything else they would do like a "normal" citizen would also get blown out of proportion because of their status.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Well, no one's just like anyone else. If I happen to have more friends or more family members than most, I have a platform the average citizen doesn't have. I mean, we don't think celebrities should withhold their opinions on lip gloss to keep the cosmetics industry more fair. I think we're smart enough to listen to what celebrities say if we choose to, consider the source, and give it the merit it deserves.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
But it's not just like anyone else.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Ooh, Polarbear-gate! I think celebrities should say what they like, just like anyone else.
Chanty Chanty 8 years
On a side note, does anyone think it is strange that Palin continues to wear a polar bear pin even though she sued to keep the animal off of the Endangered Species List. I think it is much more interesting if you know that the polar bear is the official symbol of the Alaska Independence Party.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
I'll say the same thing I always say about celebrity politics, party of choice aside. It is taking advantage of a platform that the average American doesn't have. They are sure as heck entitled to their opinion, they just don't need to take advantage of their celebrity in getting that opinion out. They can sit on forums and message boards, blog or make campaign calls like the rest of us.
juju4 juju4 8 years
Briann -- your parents taught you that politics is private, but you are on a message board sharing your thoughts with an unlimited number of strangers? In my opinion, everyone has the right to an opinion about the direction of this country, and if so inclined should be free to speak about their feelings regardless of their occupation. A person shouldn't be censored just because a lot of people know who they are. However, I do think that folks need to think for themselves, and not vote based on the preferences of someone that they idolize. If all citizens educated themselves on the issues and voted based on their beliefs (and not on spin and rhetoric from both sides) our government might really accomplish something!
Jinx Jinx 8 years
My comment was cloaked in sarcasm. Some people on this site had huge issues with comments made by people who were not American in regards to the US Presidential election. Personally, if the President is going to be known as the Leader of the Free World, then I think the free world should be able to voice their opinion. :)
Adrenalynn75 Adrenalynn75 8 years
Because your British, you can't have an opinion?????
ceej ceej 8 years
Is Cleese still a Professor at Cornell? I've read other pieces in British and Aus newspapers agreeing with his assertion that Palin would never make it in politics outside the US. They may think of Bush as folksy but they do realise he is bright, this woman, not so much.
Jinx Jinx 8 years
I'm surprised there wasn't a reaction to the fact he is British, and therefore has no say, like Brand! :rotfl:
Adrenalynn75 Adrenalynn75 8 years
LOL at both John Cleese's Palin Parrot comment and that PSA.
briannaNicole briannaNicole 8 years
I've always wondered...If my parents taught me that politics are a private issue not to be discussed with strangers, shouldn't the same courtesy hold true for celebrities? I wish they wouldn't use their fame to influence people who can't think for themselves. I still heart Penn but ah, just a bit disappointing.
em1282 em1282 8 years
:rotfl: CYL. Sorry to open up that can of worms!!!
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
Wow that PSA is bold. I would be nervous about snipers hiding out around my house after I participated in that...well at least it was funny.
CYL CYL 8 years
Oh stop CG....all I can think about is that now...EW. Oh stop the madness and the flashing!!!
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
ilanac13 are you comparing Palin's appeared incompetency to George Bush? Cause if you are do realize how unsupportive that is, I mean just look at how that turned out.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
CYL, yea no one wants to see these celeb-utants drapery.
CYL CYL 8 years
oh em...I just had the most horrible imagery in my head..about the crotch flashing....
em1282 em1282 8 years
CYL--my best friend lives in BC (White Rock) and is voting today. She says she can't believe how long our process is. ;) Excellent point about the second Bush term as well and your reaction to the aftermath. Also, just for argument's sake...from ce·leb·ri·ty 1. a famous or well-known person. 2. fame; renown. McCain and Obama are both celebrities in their particular arena. Both are famous for different things, and both have a particular 'celebrity' quality about them. That's just how it is, and as long as neither of them go the route of flashing us their crotches, I don't really care.
CYL CYL 8 years
On a side note..the Canadian electiosn are today..much more boring :P
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I would think that its more a majority of older dems who just vote only in thier party, outrank the "youngins" only voting because its Hip. which is worse? Same for both sides actually.
CYL CYL 8 years
Damn typing witout caffine..*democracy for you*
CYL CYL 8 years
laurelm - Point taken about the Obama celeberity thing vs. Palin VP but I think if by any indication with the frevor that surronds her...people will just as likely choose MCain/Palin because they like Palin and can relate to her... I don't disagree that "YOUNG PEOPLE" vote for celebrity... but just because they are a celeberity doesn't mean they shouldn't have a say...I talk about politics on my blog all the time... Doesn't mean the youth vote doesn't matter as much. That's democract for might not agree with why and who they are voting for..but they still have a voice and they are free to express it as they choose without judgement. One would hope that all those ads increase their awarness and they actually go google up some info on the candidates...before they vote.. I mean I was pissed when idiots elected Bush into a second term in office but I didn't go around calling people who voted for them as all uneducated hicks..
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