According to Fox News, the White House sent an email last week to Hollywood stars titled “Artists & Entertainers Unite to #StopGunViolence” and addressed to “Family.” It offered cut-and-paste talking points, designed to fit Twitter’s 140-character limit, to express support for President Obama’s gun control agenda.
The email was sent by Jesse Moore, the Associate Director of Public Engagement at the White House. The Office of Public Engagement bills itself as the “embodiment of the President’s goal of making government inclusive, transparent, accountable and responsible.” It's unknown how many people the email went out to, but sources said it was received by several high-profile actors, directors, publicists, producers and writers.
The letter read:
“Below you have: short and long-term action steps, more info on POTUS’s actions, highlights from YOUR Tweets thus far (thank you!), and draft Tweets for you to build from if helpful...
“Make your voice heard on social media today using #StopGunViolence and see how many of your peers you can get to do the same. I’ll make sure everyone here knows you have the President’s back."
It also provided “draft tweet language” that included a link to the White House gun control campaign. Examples included:
- @POTUS is taking new commonsense steps to help #StopGunViolence.
- @POTUS is taking steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.
- FACT: Each year, more than 30,000 American lives are cut short by guns. It's time to #StopGunViolence.
- FACT: Guns now kill as many people as cars in almost half of the U.S. It's time to #StopGunViolence.
- @POTUS is strengthening our background check system.
Among the big-name actors who dutifully tweeted the talking points were Ashton Kutcher and Mark Ruffalo, who tweeted “@POTUS is taking steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks. Pop/opera singer Andrea Bocelli tweeted “FACT: Each year, more than 30,000 American lives are cut short by guns. It's time to #StopGunViolence” to his 207,000 followers.
Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the Media Research Institute, nailed it succinctly:
“This seems an unprecedented abuse of White House influence to manipulate the public into believing celebrities genuinely supported the president. Hollywood is just an extension of Obama's press office.”
But a White House spokesperson, who requested anonymity, told FoxNews.com that such communications are nothing new:
“We involve creative types/athletes in just about every issue and this is one that so many people are passionate about. Yes, we want to meet people where they are so we ask celebs what issues they are interested in… All of this gets the message out further to a broad number of people which is always helpful.”
Stars including Julianne Moore, Melissa Joan Hart, Kerry Washington and Janelle Monae were ready to go with the #StopGunViolence hashtag on the same day Obama announced his executive orders on gun control.
As TruthRevolt reported, 100 Hollywood stars including Bradley Cooper, Jessica Alba, Judd Apatow, Olivia Munn, Edward Norton, Will Ferrell and Olivia Wilde subsequently sent a joint open letter addressed to the President, but actually aimed at their own fans. Sponsored by the Brady Campaign and Center to End Gun Violence, the letter read, in part,
“Thank you for beginning to end this national disgrace and show your fellow citizens and the rest of the world that the United States of America does indeed stand for the principles of which it was founded."
FrontPage Mag contributor Matthew Vadum wrote that this amounts to “Using allies to spoon feed and crowd-source radical political propaganda":
“In the Obama era, the entertainment industry has been openly complicit in administration plans to promote so-called health care reform, for example, gleefully parachuting pro-Obamacare propaganda into TV shows. As the president tries to unilaterally crack down on firearms, it's not like he needs to put a gun to Hollywood heads. Zombie-like, they'll repeat any words he stuffs into their mouths.”
At least one Hollywood star resisted the propaganda effort. Kelly Carlson, star of the FX show Nip/Tuck, said,
“It makes me sad to see good people being grossly exploited and manipulated, because of their lack of knowledge on the subject. If ANY elected official, from ANY political party sent me this mob-style propaganda letter, I'd very disrespectfully tell them to go to hell; I don't subscribe to coercion.”
Too bad that for many in Hollywood, coercion isn't even necessary. They're fully onboard with disseminating the Radical-in-Chief's propaganda.