Ricky Gervais, the perpetually snarky British comedian, set social media on fire after he mocked arrogant Hollywood in his opening monologue when hosting the Golden Globes.
"So if you do win an award tonight, don't use it as a platform to make a political speech, right?" he said. "You're in no position to lecture the public — about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg."
Uh-oh. Gervais explained that his approach was to mock the "privileged egos in the room" as if he were "the bloke sitting at home who shouldn't have been invited." It was too accurate to be funny. It stung. Los Angeles Times TV critic Lorraine Ali spoke for the Tinseltown crowd when she wrote, "The last thing anyone needed was for the smirking master of ceremonies to reprimand them for having hope."
Here's what Ali doesn't get:
It's not that celebrities are dumber than average, though so many undoubtedly are. But being an actor or a director doesn't make you smarter. No one tends to look up celebrities' level of education when they pontificate — or, as would be more appropriate, their level of expertise on whatever issue is floating their boat.
Add to that the arrogance they internalize for being an "artist" with the added "humanity" of pretending to be all kinds of different people. Their "compassion" is expected to overrule any question about their knowledge.
Of course, Gervais couldn't stop the inevitable pompous political speeches. Most notable was actress Michelle Williams' insisting she never would have arrived at her high station in Hollywood life without the ability to get an abortion.
Surprise, surprise! Williams stopped going to school at 15 — a nearly exact match for Gervais' Greta Thunberg joke.
The other passionate speaker of the night was Patricia Arquette, who decried our nation being "on the brink of war" with "a president tweeting out a threat of 52 bombs including cultural sites, young people risking their lives traveling across the world, people not knowing if bombs are going to drop on their kids' heads." She urged everyone to vote (Democrat) in 2020.
Arquette ran away from home at 14 and never went to college. She has no expertise on foreign policy, national defense or geopolitical thought.
Everything that followed the Gervais comedy routine underlined his critique. Embarrassed by the Americans' taking out Iranian terrorist mastermind Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Michael Moore obsequiously apologized to Iran — in Farsi.
Moore dropped out of the University of Michigan, Flint after his freshman year. One safely assumes his knowledge of Farsi doesn't go beyond those words.
In the same week, Moore spoke on his podcast to actress and model Emily Ratajkowski, and they both professed their support for Bernie Sanders for president because capitalism is the "enemy."
Ratajkowski attended the University of California, Los Angeles for one year and then decided to model full time.
When President Donald Trump spoke to the nation about taking out Soleimani, comedian Kathy Griffin mocked him for mispronouncing the word "tolerated." She tweeted: "This should be an exhibit in one of the articles of impeachment. They should just quietly add it as, y'know 'exhibit 1958542785' or something. #Trump #SniffyMcAdderall." Trump isn't just dumb; he's on drugs.
Griffin never went to college. Her parents wanted her to go. She wanted to be famous instead.
Rosie O'Donnell tweeted, with no capital letters or basic punctuation: "wake me in november — its just too much — cant Americans see he is high AF — cant pronounce 5th grade words ... #RemoveAndIndictTrumpNOW."
Rosie O'Donnell washed out of two colleges.
We're not saying everyone who didn't finish college is a dummy. We are saying that these famous entertainers who act like America's smartest should keep in mind how the joke can be turned around on them — as it was by Ricky Gervais.
(L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.)