The easy take on the report that Ozzy Osbourne is to attend the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner would be, in effect, nothing more than Beavis-and-Butthead-like sniggering at the fact, replete with comments related to whether he’d be biting the heads off of any live animals (his relationship with PETA, notwithstanding). Ol’ Iron Man in the company of G.W.B. Seemingly more amusing than Tipper Gore’s alleged appreciation of the Grateful Dead. Sure, there is something funny about this. A kick—at least when we think of Ozzy as outcast, which is precisely what he evidently isn’t. After all, the man has a family to think about.
This isn’t about Ozzy. Its really points to a more pervasive issue, the issue of how entertainment has become so inextricably entwined with the political/industrial structure. Rock and roll and rebellion? Apparently not. In this specific instance, Osbourne is reportedly going to be at the dinner as the guest of Greta Van Susteren, of Fox News Channel. Van Susteren, perhaps now best known for having had an eyelift procedure, made her rise to visibility during the O.J. Simpson follies, when the viewing public seemingly could not get enough information related to a double-homicide involving famous people. Homicides, of course, occur on an all-too-regular basis involving those who are not fodder for People magazine. About these, the less we know, the happier we are (unless, of course, there is some bizarre twist, which would then make it “news.” As for the others: Put a toe tag on ’em.) Van Susteren, an attorney, and her then-partner, Roger Cossack, broke it all down for CNN viewing public. Yes, the legal maneuverings and posturings and famous faces were the best thing to happen to all-news coverage since the Gulf War. Only the political imbroglios of (1) Clinton’s sexual escapades and (2) the 2000 election ballot-counting mess achieved the same kind of talking-head blather.
So now Van Susteren, with the eyes being an old story, undoubtedly wants to get some additional attention. Why, then, pulling out an aged metal rocker who now has a show on MTV is just the ticket! Hell, her name would have undoubtedly never appeared on this site otherwise, and I wouldn’t have been aware of it unless it had been brought to my attention by the MSN homepage that I see, which picked up the report from MTV. Run, run, run. And in that sphere, more run turns into more ad dollars.
Whether it is an issue of an “edgy” record label covering up the association with a multinational or something like this, it is all to abundantly clear that much of the “entertainment” that we hear and see is based on economics. I’m not suggesting that any one of us would be so naïve as to think otherwise (although I think that many of us would, ideally, like to think that it is not so), but I do maintain that it is all too dismaying.
By the way: I’m available for the next White House Correspondents Association dinner… after all, GloNo needs run, too.