Once again Hollywood is on the attack. This time with a “PSA” about Protecting Insurance Companies. Click HERE to view the video via Funny Or Die (a new window will open). NOTE: I didn’t embed the video due the preview slowing down the site.

Of course the predictable “Hollywood are a bunch of stupid, clueless, latte liberal elites” (implied not said) from various sources in Right Blogtopia such as Hot Air, Riehl World View, and Michelle Malkin has started. And the also predictable “I don’t watch any of those Hollywood liberal elites but I really enjoy Heroes, CSI, and other TV series along with their movies on the big screen” is there in the comment sections as well (don’t get upset, Hollywood HAS us…your principals aren’t compromised by watching a flick with a “stoopid Hollywood elite” in it). Happens all the time when Hollywood gets all political and stuff. All that being said, I have a question for Hollywood:

Why do these type of political commercials/PSAs/infomercials anyway Hollywood?

All of you are filthy rich and I’m not mad at you for being filthy rich. The market is what it is. But wouldn’t you be more effective taking your sizable cash reserves and impacting the health care debate directly by, let’s say, starting your own insurance company? Building clinics and hospitals? You know? Sticking it to THE MAN by making something better? But that takes work. And sometimes that work is hard and painful. Case in point, former NBA great Dikembe Mutombo’s hospital project in The Democratic Republic of Congo (from Wikipedia):

In 1997, Mutombo with the Mutombo Foundation began plans to open a $29 million, 300-bed hospital on the outskirts of his hometown, the Congolese capital of Kinshasa. Ground was broken in 2001, but construction didn’t start until 2004, as Mutombo had trouble getting donations early on although Mutombo personally donated $3.5 million toward the hospital’s construction. Initially Mutombo had some other difficulties, almost losing the land to the government because it was not being used and having to pay refugees who had begun farming the land to leave. He also struggled to reassure some that he did not have any ulterior or political motives for the project. However, the project has been on the whole very well received at all social and economic levels in Kinshasa.

On August 14, 2006, Dikembe had donated $15 million to the completion of the hospital for its ceremonial opening on September 2, 2006. The hospital was by then named Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, named for his late mother, who died of a stroke in 1997.

When it opened in February 2007, the $29 million facility became the first modern medical facility to be built in that area in nearly 40 years. His hospital is on a 12-acre (49,000 m2) site on the outskirts of Kinshasa in Masina, where about a quarter of the city’s 7.5 million residents live in poverty. It is minutes from Kinshasa’s airport and near a bustling open-air market. The hospital has full telemedicine capabilities with the United States and Europe through the network established by Medical Missions for Children.

I followed Dikembe Mutombo’s hospital project very closely. And that man dedicated his livelihood and his life to build that hospital. And he succeeding with dogged determination, drive, and an admirable resilience.

Hey Hollywood, I know some of you are putting your cash where your mouth is. But in general your not. How about following Mutombo’s lead and doing something tangible instead of talking? Don’t worry, many of us will still watch you on TV and in the mega movieplexes. But money talks. How’s about letting it talk for awhile?


By the way, I’m in love with Anna Torv of Fringe. I have to marry her… in another lifetime of course! See Hollywood? The love is still there.

T-STEEL, Site Administrator
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Well, they do…you just don’t always here about it. People close to me have seen numerous super stars running in and out of research facilities…giving tons of money….some super stars donate time too. I know of A listers digging holes to planet flowers at public schools.

Every research facility in LA has a name attached to it…David Geffin School of Medicine at UCLA for one.

Interesting side note, the new Ronald Reagan hosptial was named so because the Reagan family promised millions of dollars in funding….they never followed through with the money, but the name stuck.


I would have agreed with you, until I read my local alt-weekly’s set of stories about health insurance disasters in East Tennessee. By coincidence I actually know two of the people profiled, and the third – a doctor at the local hospital – is a high profile figure around here.

Disgust is an understatement for how I feel about health insurance companies. This is Third World crap. A mocking by Hollywood is nothing considering what they deserve.


Not sure if I agree with you. Remember, the point of enlisting these actors is to get young folks riled up. Middle age Reaganites will call them all sorts of names but younger voters actually DO respond positively to appeals from these folks.

Oh, and I love me some Jordana Spiro…


Oh, and by the way “NOTE: I didn’t embed the video due the preview slowing down the site.”is THE lamest excuse I have ever seen for not allowing your readers to see the video and judge for themselves.Here’s the link for people that haven’t had the chance to see the video you are talking about:http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/041b5acaf5/pro

Update: sorry I didn’t see the link in the original article. My error.


I think one of the big reasons here is that actors, screenwriters, etc. aren’t all filthy rich. Since most of these people are independent contractors their insurance is through the Screen Actor’s Guild (if they have any at all). Let’s face it, that PSA would get much less airtime/viralness(?) if it featured cameramen or set dressers. Get it? These people are the face for an entire industry so they are out there speaking for those folks. That’s why Jay Leno and others supported the writers strike as well.


I agree with you T. I’m a big Hollywood slappy. I love the glitz and glam. But i’m just not feeling this recent parody PSA. It feels all cheesy stupid cheesy. I don’t know. I want health care reform in the USA so badly even though I spend half a year in Japan. And like you T, I agree Hollywood big timers could help more with their dollars outside of addys. But those insurance companies aren’t easy fish to fry. and do you want to fry ’em all?

Great post T!


I love this PSA, it addresses outrageous claims about healthcare reform in a tongue in cheek way. I think it will be quite effective in reaching some people.



So you are saying that the more money one has the less legitimate their voice is in public debate? If your point is ‘sarcasm doesn’t help’ that’s one thing, but you seem to be dismissing someone’s call for action on health care reform because they make too much.

On a related point do you know for a fact that Will Farrell et al. don’t support free clinics financially in the U.S.? Or is that just an assumption since it hasn’t been on Sportscenter (ala Mutumbo)?


Thanks for your responses. We have different points of view here, but it’s a good discussion. I still see them lending their voice to (what they percieve) the need for gov’t sponsored health care reform, but I agree that the tone won’t change a whole lot of minds (seems that way on both sides doesn’t it?).

On a related (kinda) note, I’ve always wondered why most U.S. religious organizations tend to do their hospital building overseas when there is a huge segment of the U.S. population that would benefit from some health care/charitable work here. I always assume the real motivation is potential converts/$$ but I’m just pessimistic that way.

Thanks again for the sane, rational argument/discussion.


“wondered why most U.S. religious organizations tend to do their hospital building overseas when there is a huge segment of the U.S. population that would benefit from some health care/charitable work here”Hi there: and welcome to TMV… just to add to your comment: fully 1/4 of the hospitals (may be more) in the US were built and are run by the Catholic nuns, many expanding in just this decade. Some of those Catholic hospitals tried to partner with corporate in the past, and swiftly kicked the corporates out as they did not carry the moral compass to help those who are unable or down for the final count. If the Catholic (and Jewish, and Presbyterian, and Lutheran, Buddhist clinics, Seventh Day Adventists, et al, hospitals/ healthcare services in the US fell, the entire US hospital system would fall apart entirely … and add into that all the Catholic clinics, all the hospices run by the religious, all the shelters for the indigent etc.)In foreign countries where there are Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish, Buddhist and other religious missions, there are also clinics, health care facilities being built on going. They sometimes may not look like a hospital in Georgia, but rather a field hospital on the veldt, but they are there. As are also huge groups of docs, nurses, heath care workers from religious groups in the US and Eu who volunteer to go to other countries for a period of time to give of their expertise gratis or nearly so. This same set of groups also travels the US and Canada and Mexico to do same. Is is ever enough, anywhere? No, it is not yet ever enough. From your lips to Creator’s ears.dr.e


T-Steel, how dare you call on Progressives to use their own money only for Hope and Change. You are asking them to go against their religion you know.

Will Ferrell
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) $20,000,000
Bewitched (2005) $20,000,000
Kicking & Screaming (2005) $20,000,000
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) $7,000,000


T-S, I understand your point. But Hollywood stars have something more valuable than their personal fortunes. They have the ability to access media in ways we can’t. They have star value that to many people is compelling. How they spend their money depends on their goal. It’s ironic that you have taken this position in a post directly following Kathy’s Dickens post. Scrooge said “are there no poorhouses? Are there no orphanages?” In this post you argue that instead of using their voice and media access to try to get our society to remedy one of its most glaring deficiencies, they should contribute to poorhouses and orphanages (so to speak).

The conservative position is that our society does not “owe” anyone health care. If they can’t pay their own way, let them seek charity from friends, family or strangers. My position is that it is in our best interest as a society to take care of our tribe members, keep them healthy and educated and informed. I want to fix the broken system, not beg Hollywood actors to be the strangers providing charity to the poor or uninsured.