I am a firm believer that entertainers should keep politics out of the equation. There is a famous story about Michael Jordan and how, years ago when asked why he did not do work for the Democratic Party, said that "Republicans buy sneakers, too." Twitter has helped drastically change that, as we are closer to celebrities than ever before - for better or worse.
Case in point, Adam Carolla. A lot of people have soured on him the last few weeks, since it was announced that he was going to work for Fox News as an on-air personality for The O'Reilly Factor. It's his choice, obviously, and I don't begrudge anyone for making a buck. But was it worth antagonizing half (or more) of your fan base?
Carolla certainly thinks so. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, he talked about his new gig, President Obama and teachers. Highlights included (but are not limited to - seriously, its an interesting interview to read):
The Hollywood Reporter: What will you be doing on Bill O’Reilly’s show?
Adam Carolla: I just show up on Mondays when there’s nothing going on and he throws the topic at me and I answer the questions, or try to make something funny out of it. They give me a couple of hours notice on the topic and I try to come up with angles and jokes.
THR: What political party do you belong to?
Carolla: I used to be a Democrat, now I’m basically a Republican.
THR: Why did you switch?
Carolla: First off, I got tired of the whining and the name-calling. If you say you want to beef up the border, they say you’re anti-immigrant. If you want people to show I.D. before they vote, then you’re for voter suppression. If you want women to pay for their own contraception, then you’re anti-women. If you’re for traditional marriage, then you hate gay people.
THR: So how’d you vote on Proposition 8 a few years ago?
Carolla: I didn't vote, but I'm for gay marriage. Somebody asked me once for my Top 5 reasons why I'm for gay marriage, and I said: No. 1 is they pay taxes, No. 2 because they're Americans, and numbers 3 through 5 is so that they’ll shut the hell up, because I can’t take anymore gay-marriage conversation. My gay spittoon is full – and I know that might sound homoerotic.
THR: Why do some conservatives in Hollywood feel they have to stay underground?
Carolla: Because the left has done such a good job of demonizing the right. They’re for voter suppression, they’re anti-immigrant, they’re anti-women and they hate gay people. Who wants to be in that group?
THR: So you disagree with Matt Damon about teachers, then? He says they deserve lots more money and benefits.
Carolla: They make enough. They’re fine. Look at what they make in Chicago. If they don’t think they earn enough, they can do something else. It’s not about the teachers, it’s about the kids and their parents. Where I went to high school we had blacks, Mexicans, whites, Asians, Jews. All my Jewish friends ended up at Stanford and UCLA, and my white, black and Hispanic friends ended up working with me on a construction site. All you sanctimonious people who think you’re doing the Lord’s work and think I’m an ass-wipe, answer me this question: What was the difference? Was it the teachers, even though we all had the same ones at the same school, or was it our families? If you’re gonna study this in a lab, you have to remove North Hollywood High as a variable, because we all went there. But the Jewish kids had parents who were together and forced their kids to study, and the rest of us had divorced families with parents who didn’t give a shit.
THR: What’s your reaction to President Obama’s re-election?
Carolla: I’m waiting for the hope and change to kick in. He was working the body for four years like in the mid-rounds, but now we're heading into the championship round and he's going to step up and go for the knockout. Except that’s never going to happen. It will just be more of the same, and for your family, it won’t matter. If you locked someone in a closet for the last four years, pulled them out, had them check their 401(k) accounts, their schools, their property taxes, the wars in the Middle East, the price of gas and Guantanamo Bay, then asked them: "Who won four years ago, McCain or Obama?" Do you think they would know?
THR: Then what don’t you like about Obama?
Carolla: He basically figured out that there’s a growing constituency of people who, as long as you give them everything they need, then you’re going to win their vote. He says asinine things like: "You think that guy started his own business? You think he’s smarter than you and works harder then you?" And people cheer, and they yell, "Nooo." Well, I’m here to tell you, that guy is smarter than you and he does work harder than you, because every guy I know who is successful works every weekend and they bust their ass to build their business. So why are we demonizing them?
THR: You’re a wealthy guy. Do you pay your fair share?
Carolla: Whoever brought up that terminology is an idiot. There’s 100 million adults paying taxes, so my fair share is 1/100 millionth of the total. I pay 20 times that. I pay way more than my fair share.
THR: What do you disagree with Republicans about?
Carolla: I would like a morning-after pill on the nightstand of every teenager in America. I’m looking to thin the herd. Also, I own a home and pay taxes on it, so I’d like to grow a pot plant in my backyard, and many Republicans wouldn’t support my right to do so. I look at it the same way as my right to own a handgun. If I haven’t used it in the commission of a crime, I should be able to own it. So until you see me going down to the park and selling pot to kids, I should be able to grow pot plants, or run my own still.
THR: You have a habit of irritating feminist groups, and other activists. Anything you’d like to clarify?
Carolla: No. I meant everything I said. Some activists are doing the Lord’s work, and some are angry and kooky, and we live in a country where you're allowed to be angry and kooky. Look, when I see Elizabeth Warren get up there and say the system is stacked against you, that just makes me want to throw up in my lap. I’m just like, "Sweetheart, how'd you get there as a 1/32nd Cherokee, or whatever you claim to be?" Don’t tell people that it’s stacked against them but if you vote for our side we will unstack it. Did Bill Clinton stack it against you? Or did he unstack and Bush restack it? Then why didn’t Obama unstack it? How is it still stacked after four years of unstacking? How did Elizabeth Warren make her millions with the system stacked against her? Imagine if she had a penis and wasn’t 1/32nd Cherokee – she could take over the world!