Steve Lopez: Clooney's Obama party full of 'Hollywood hypocrites'
They say tonight's soiree for President Obama at George Clooney's house in Studio City is supposed to gross $15 million, and the operative word is "gross."
Yeah, pardon me for being such a party pooper, but isn't it a little offensive that 150 of L.A.'s high rollers would shell out $40,000 to kiss Clooney's ring and get maybe 10 seconds of face time with Obama?
I'd rather watch the Lakers game from a bar stool, which in fact is what I may do.
I haven't seen Clooney's guest list, but I'd bet $2 -– and not a penny more –- that his house will be full of that particularly unctuous strain of liberals who live for events like this that make them feel good about themselves but don't really give a toss for their own community. Los Angeles could end up declaring bankruptcy and these posers will be telling friends about their big night at George's house.
Fifteen million dollars -– a third of it raised by the local big shots -– is peanuts to Obama, really. Another drop in a bucket the size of Santa Monica Bay. And isn't money the root of all evil in politics, whether it's from out-of-control "super PACs" or wanna-be-seen moguls who might be expecting something in return for ponying up?
Los Angeles is shutting school libraries, laying off teachers and shutting down firehouses. And VIPs are paying $40,000 for a Wolfgang Puck hors d'oeuvre and a silly photo with a president who only now has come to think it might be OK for gay people to have the same rights as straight people.
Open your eyes, Hollywood hypocrites!
If there's any justice, the traffic jam on Ventura Boulevard will be so horrific that you'll miss the party and end up crying over a Du-par's short stack.
[Updated, 5:26 p.m. May 10: Oh come on, give me a break, all you defenders of obscene excess.
The problem is money and the way in which it undercuts democracy.
Money from the right. Money from the left.
Money, money, money.
Yeah, sure, Obama’s got to raise all he can to fend off Mitt Romney and hold on to his seat. But is that a race to the top or a race to the bottom?
If money buys victory and access, what about the masses who can’t afford a $40 fundraiser, let alone a $40,000 party?
When do they get the president’s ear?
I suspect some of the self-congratulatory high rollers at Clooney's house are paying more for two hours with the president than they pay their nannies, housekeepers and gardeners in a year.
I’m sure George Clooney and some of his pals are good people who want to save the world and even toss a crumb to a local charity now and again. But if they’re so desperate to celebrate their wonderful ways and important causes, why not a Hollywood fundraising party to save the libraries, rec centers or parks? Or better yet, might Wolfgang Puck and all the beautiful people be available to stage a fundraiser for campaign finance reform?]
-- Steve Lopez
Photo: Shwan Mazhar is one of many valets who will be parking vehicles Thursday evening in front of the Studio City home of actor George Clooney. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times