Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Ben Shapiro’s Cosmic Cluelessness

One of the Worldnutdaily’s most ridiculous columnists (yes, I know this is like trying to decide which is the most vapid Pussycat Doll) is Ben Shapiro, who seems to want very badly to be the next generation’s Chuck Norris, only without the bravado and the roundhouse kicks. He demonstrates why in his latest idiotic screed, where he takes a routine cultural exchange and turns it into a lame political attack.

You see, a group of actors and producers took a trip to Iran for a meeting with their counterparts with the Iranian Alliance of Motion Pictures. This is a pretty standard cultural exchange. It happens with sports teams, musicians and others all the time. Ah, but they can’t fool Shapiro. He’s got it all figured out. He knows that they’re really there representing Obama for the purpose of “backing evil.” Seriously.

But first, he shows his historical ignorance:

The last time a large group of prominent non-Persian Americans visited Iran, they were held captive for 444 days.

Absurd. He is referring to the taking of 52 American hostages in 1979 in Tehran, but those people were not there as visitors, they worked for the American embassy and lived in Iran. And since that time, lots and lots of Americans, in groups large and small, have visited Iran.

This time, however, the U.S. State Department, which has issued a blanket travel warning about Iran, rubber-stamped the trip.

Ooh, a conspiracy! Except that the state department approves trips all over the world for cultural groups like this. During the Bush administration, they approved a trip for a major orchestra to North Korea. American artists and athletes visit nations like China and Pakistan routinely. This is hardly worth noting.

But Shapiro is just getting warmed up. His real claim, you see, is that these actors were sent there by Obama because Obama is, he says, America’s “first Hollywood-created president.” Why? Because he’s….slick.

Barack Obama is both the product of Hollywood and its benefactor. Obama’s sloganeering and slickly crafted citizen image won him the White House.

Riiiiight. Because Republicans don’t have slickly crafted images. Republicans don’t have PR firms and image consultants. They don’t have stylists buying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of clothes and spend tens of thousands a month on hair stylists and makeup artists. Obama is slick, you see, and Hollywood is slick. Therefore, anyone from Hollywood who goes abroad is doing so as an “unofficial ambassador” for the Obama administration.

The irony here is that at the same time that Shapiro is blasting Hollywood for supporting the evils of the Iranian government, an adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was criticizing the Iranian cinema group for meeting with Hollywood actors because Hollywood is evil and has been insulting Islam for the last 30 years.