Michelle Malkin is the latest conservative voice to slam Matt Damon after his defense of teachers, highlighted in a video interview he gave to Reason magazine that has passed more than 1.5 million views.
Malkin writes, “Tinseltown stars can afford to put emotion over logic, progressive fantasy over practical reality. The rest of us are stuck with the bill. And those whom bleeding-heart celebrities purport to care most about — the children — suffer the consequences of bad ideas.”
As Paul Bond writes at The Hollywood Reporter, Damon is “suddenly the Hollywood liberal conservatives love to hate.” He’s rounded up quotes from the past week from Larry Elder, Glenn Beck and Andrew Breitbart, and even a comment from Rush Limbaugh that hit Hollywood figures for their propensity to go on diets. (Who knew weight loss was a partisan issue?)
When it comes to celebrities speaking out, here’s how it works: Radio talk show hosts, especially on the right, can’t praise Hollywood figures enough when they are supporting their views; they go nuts when an actor say something that they dislike.
The latter generates much more attention than the former, which is why Damon’s remarks are helping teachers much more than hurting. If he wasn’t at the rally in D.C. over the weekend, or said something non controversial with Reason, or didn’t swear to a cameraman, would there even be this discussion this week about the merits of teacher tenure. In an environment where the kind of reform advocated in “Waiting for Superman” is supported not just by conservatives but the Obama administration, he’s at least helped given a voice to teachers at a time when they are bearing the brunt of the blame for the failures in public education.