Bill Humbug

Lest you think we live in an echo chamber, keep in mind that while no other celebrities would entertain the troops (how embarrassing was it that the biggest star the news shows could show was a third runnerup on American Idol?) Al Franken is not afraid to…. and while various and sundry cry that the left is killing Christmas, Bill Maher isn’t afraid to say the word:

I hope you had a Merry Christmas. Yes, Christmas. I hate religion, but all that “holiday” shit is so annoying, every time I hear it I want to go join the priesthood. And I don’t even like kids.

: Speaking of Franken, read this column about his passion for the troops.

  • Jimmy

    A couple of observations. One, what is it with these good ol’ country boys who want to punch people out simply because they won’t agree with their viewpoint? Seems rather, well, un-American.

    Two, I’m a rather liberal person myself, but I cannot stand Franken. He’s just not my cup of tea. However, he and every celebrity, well-known or otherwise, who goes on these tours deserves a major pat on the back. Bob Hope must be rolling over in his grave! It says something about these people that they can put aside poltics to bring a little laughter and joy to people who don’t have a lot to be happy about these days.

  • Frank Strovel III

    Jimmy….it’s true to a degree about some of these good ‘ol country boys you mention but also take notice that it’s also mainly country music performers who are flying overseas and performing shows for US troops (Al Franken has gotten to know these guys well the past couple years).

    Also note Merle Haggard’s new single, “America First” blatantly calls for the US to get out of Iraq. This from the same guy who told protesters during Vietnam, “if you don’t like it, leave it” in the song, “The Fightin’ Side of Me”.

    So maybe some of those good ‘ol country boys are having second thoughts…

  • Gaius Arbo

    Well, I must say that my opinion of Al Frankin just went up a notch or two. I, quite frankly, never have found him even mildly funny. But I want to thank him for his service to the troops. Bravo.

  • J. Peden

    If Maher hates religion, why is he practicing one?

  • beachmom

    I thought that Gary Senise (sp?) goes over regularly to see the troops. I swear I saw him talking about that. What about rock bands? Have any gone there to play for the troops? I don’t know, Jeff — are you positive nobody has gone there. Maybe some of them don’t publicize it, and just go quietly. Also, probably a lot go to Walter Reed and other VA hospitals — I think I even heard Imus say he went there once. Just wondering . . .

  • beachmom

    Okay, I checked and indeed Gary Sinise has been to Iraq as well as around the world visiting troops. And, he’s started a charity to help Iraqi children.

    “Both on his own and with the band in tow, Sinise has made numerous trips with the USO/Armed Forces Entertainment Tour to military bases and combat zones around the world to “show [his] support for our troops,” he says. His goodwill travels have taken him to Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea, Germany and Italy, as well as several veterans’ hospitals in the United States.”

    Why didn’t that Guardian article mention it? Maybe we should all type in celebrity names, and then “in Iraq” and see if we come up with any more. Or maybe the article was out there to show a current lull in entertainers for the USO, to perhaps shame some people to get involved. Nothing wrong with that, unless it’s simply inaccurate. I don’t think an appearance for the USO means an endorsement of the war whatsoever. Unlike Vietnam, people have learned the lesson of not condemning troops for government policy — the motto I hear from the anti-war people is “love the troops, hate the war”.

  • CharlesWT
  • beachmom

    Thanks CharlesWT!

    Notables I saw travelling for the USO (not necessarily in Iraq): Hootie and the Blowfish, 50 Cent, Blues Traveler, David Letterman, lots of sports stars, and of course, the ubiquitous Gary Sinise. I agree that more celebrities should do it. I’d like to see some modern rock bands go, because I think a lot of the troops listen to their music. I’m not saying it’s without risk, but aren’t VIPs flown around, instead of travelling on dangerous Iraqi roads? Law of averages say that they will come and go unscathed. And, yeah, kudos to Al Franken.

  • Ron Pettengill (the artist formerly known as RonP)

    loathe his politics but a late new years toast to Mr. Franken.

  • Jorge

    Love his politics.

    Listen to his radio show almost every day. Not as funny without Kathrine. Miss the OUIE OUIE OUIE Show.


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