Celebrities, for some reason, continually get drawn to political issues on which they know next to nothing. Most of the time, this makes for meaningless and harmless political comedy; this week, we had Tom Cruise lecture Matt Lauer on psychopharmacology, in what had to be one of the more evenly-matched battle of lightweights since Peter Kane squared off against Benny Lynch in Glasgow, Scotland. Sometimes it leads to silly scares with serious consequences, such as Meryl Streep’s Alar scare in the 1980s.
And at times, the idiocy of the celebrity class actually promises to do real damage. For an example, various Canadian celebrities have banded together to spring a terror suspect from prison in Canada, as the Globe & Mail reports today:
A suspected terrorist is getting some high-profile support in Federal Court.
Syrian national Hassan Almrei has been held in solitary confinement since October, 2001, and wants to be released while Ottawa assesses whether he poses a security threat.
Among his supporters are Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau, who has offered a $5,000 bond.
In an affidavit presented to the court, Mr. Trudeau said he is concerned about Mr. Almrei’s lengthy detention in solitary confinement.
The son of the former Prime Minister of Canada wants this man released on a $5,000 bond, and gives his assurances to the court that Almrei will comply with all conditions of his release. Two Canadian writers, Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis, and a journalist, Heather Mallick, are tossing another $300 into the pot.
Why are Canadian glitterati so intent on springing Almrei? Deep personal friendship? Some insight into terrorism that the Canadian authorities have missed? Respected sources that exonerate Almrei? Not really — they just attended really cool parties in support of terror suspects being held by Canada. No, seriously:
Mr. Lewis and Ms. Klein say they do not know Mr. Almrei, but they attended a fundraiser earlier this year with other prominent Canadian writers such as Stuart McLean and Linda McQuaig.
The fundraiser was meant to help people being held under national security certificates.
The definition of celebrity has begun to transform into “celebration of stupidity”.