24 April 2009

Apples and trees and dynasties.

What is it with politicians' kids that the media finds so fascinating? A few weeks ago it was big excitement in some quarters that John McCain's daughter is out of sorts with the radical racist right in the Republican Party; now the offspring flavor of the day is Cheney's daughter, Liz, who agrees with her nasty old man that Obama "doesn't stand up for America," the definition of which is, apparently, that you should never ever admit that you could be wrong or agree to meet other nations as sovereign entities.

I remember Cheney's other daughter Mary from the disastrous Edwards v. Cheney debate of the 2004 election cycle. Here John Edwards had the most black-hearted evil man in American politics sitting opposite him and he somehow humanized him with the horrible tactical blunder of harping on Mary's homosexuality. It was like asking OJ to try on the glove. Anyway, that's beside the point.

The point, I think, is that I'm getting tired of hearing what political offspring think (OK, let me rephrase: I'm getting tired of hearing from political offspring simply because they're political offspring). In general, it just highlights the nepotism of the system or, in the media's case, the way in which politics has been turned into entertainment -- celebrities and their children. Politics and movies are simply two different subdivisions within the ever-growing entertainment industry. On the one hand you have photos of Brangelina's brood; on the other hand you have sound bites from grown children of political leaders who wouldn't get the time of day if they weren't related to actual political figures.

Of course it's a juicy story when the child turns around and criticizes the positions and/or the allegiances of the parent, as in Meghan McCain's case (but wait...he's a maverick...she's got maverick blood in her too, pardner...mavericks....yeah), but still we all know that the only reason this story had any legs at all was that she's a McCain.

Liz at least has some political credentials. The fact that she gained all of them while her father was running the White House Vice President is entirely coincidental...OK, I exaggerate a little bit: she did work for the State Department under Bush the First while her father was --- wait for it --- Secretary of Defense. Yes, entirely different departments, so there could be absolutely no sign, no hint, no whiff of nepotism. None at all.

Anyway, it's not that Liz or Meghan or Chelsea or Amy or Jenna or Barbara or Ron or Mike etc. shouldn't have opinions. Or that they shouldn't choose to follow in their parents' footsteps in one way or another. It's that for the media, their opinions aren't the point: it's their relations. They are moons orbiting a star, and the media is all about the star system.

No comments: