Friday, December 23, 2005

The Guardian worse than NYT/LAT/WaPo/CBS

Actually, I'm being unkind to the four left-wing news media representatives cited above. I would put The Guardian on a par with Mother Jones and The Village Voice. They've written an article ripped from a USA Today interview with Wayne Newton. Newton complains about how difficult it is to get top ranked movie stars to Iraq on USO tours. The Guardian supports this story with a list of the movie stars and personalities who have visited Iraq as part of a USO tour. They list: Robin Williams, 50 Cent, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, Wayne Newton, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, Robin Williams, Al Franken, Ted Nugent.

They neglected to list these entertainers who have visited Iraq (there is a much longer list of those who have visited the troops in Afghanistan and many other locations around the world) as part of an official USO tour:
Colin Quinn
Warrick Dunn of the Atlanta Falcons
Lawrence Izzo of the New England Patriots
Toby Keith (a country singer you have probably never heard of, according to The Guardian)
Rascal Flatts
Colin Quinn (again)
Jeff Ross
Gale Sayers
Leeann Tweeden
Vince Vaughn
Dave Letterman
Darryl Worley
Mark Wills
Karri Turner
James Gandolfini
Tony Sirico
Second City Comedy
Neal McCoy
Rob Schneider
The McFadden Brothers
Jenevi Bakch
Tom Green
Glenn Humplik

And this list does not include other entertainers who have gone to Iraq who were not part of a USO tour, like, uh, Bruce Willis, Charlie Daniels, Drew Carey, Bo Jackson, George Bush, Tony Blair, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, et al.

Visiting Iraq to entertain the troops is not without its risks, even after the entertainers return. The punk-rock group, The Vandals, was scheduled for a series of performances in Austria after returning from Iraq but the concerts were canceled. Band member Joe Escalante wrote this in his diary:
Now they have decided to cancel our show here because we played for the troops in Iraq and they have put up some really sad stuff on their web site that says we played for "murderers and idiots."
The Vandals official response to the Austrians canceling their scheduled performances was:
As a band with zero political songs, yet 10 about diarrhea, we were pretty amused that the Arena Club in Vienna, Austria found something to rally against in our visit to Iraq to entertain soldiers.

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