If that teaser piques your interest and makes you want to read the full piece, don’t bother. Aside from that one incendiary comparison to the fictional mob boss, Carrey’s piece is mostly a bland rehash of common criticisms that could have come from any run-of-the-mill political pundit. Kinda like when a movie trailer shows all the best parts in the trailer.
Here’s what Carrey said:
“Watching Trump accept the nomination of the Republican Party in the people’s house during a pandemic he exacerbated was like watching Michael Corleone swear a sacred oath while his underlings settled scores across the city.”
That’s a reference to the scene where Corleone orders hits against several enemies while at his nephew’s baptism ceremony. And it’s the only interesting part of his piece.
Carrey, like all people in our democracy, is entitled to express his opinion. But being a famous actor gives him no special insight to offer that is any better than what you might come up with yourself, and his opinion should therefore be given no extra weight simply because he is famous. Indeed, the rest of his critiques are similar to what you might hear from cable news pundits or verified check marks on Twitter. And that’s disappointing because Carrey is comedically brilliant. If he wants to make a point, and perhaps sway someone, he ought to put that comic genius to use.
Instead, he opens the piece by writing that, “I’ve spent much of my career trying to reach audiences through humor. It’s always come from a loving place, a joyful place—wanting to free people from concern. I know that hearing a performer give voice to the things you’re thinking and feeling can be an enormous relief and that laughing hysterically at a willing fool is almost always good medicine. But relying on jokes can sometimes cancel out the seriousness of what you’re trying to say. At this moment, the best anyone can offer is gallows humor.”
Carrey does not do this.
Hatch Act Violation? Likely Not.
Instead, he references a potential Hatch Act violation, stemming from the fact Trump accepted the RNC nomination from the White House lawn. That’s seriously inside baseball. (For those who aren’t plugged in, the Hatch Act is a federal law that prevents government employees from engaging in political activity while on the job. But it doesn’t apply to the elected roles of President or Vice president, and therefore Trump accepting the RNC nomination from the White House likely wasn’t a Hatch Act violation.)
Carrey also criticized the lack of masks at the event, saying:
“Last week, amid all this suffering, Trump and his acolytes held their Totally Illegal COVID-19 Super-Spreader Spectacular at the White House… they now risk infecting other Americans. Trump and the GOP have decided not to heed science, leaving us helpless during a plague. But as far as I know, plagues don’t care about reelection campaigns. They don’t wither in the face of the Secret Service or succumb to the intimidation of goon squads.”
The virus likewise does not care why demonstrators are protesting. However, Carrey makes no mention of the mass demonstrations against police brutality that have been going on all summer, nor does he condemn them for spreading the virus. He does not do that, despite the fact there was a massive BLM protest in Washington D.C. just one day after Trump gave his acceptance speech.
Media hypocrisy over COVID is not new.