By Richard Rushfield
When American politicians turn to Los Angeles for campaign funds, endorsements, advice and general political black ops, there has for the better part of a decade now been only one stop that is de riguer. To those in the know, there is only one kingmaker who stands astride all others and that of course is the former No Doubt singer/Fullerton native Gwen Stefani. Kissing the Stefani ring has become the critical rite of passage for anyone from school board members to UN Secretary Generals who dream of a political future. A thumbs down from Stefani and her husband Gavbert Something who was also in a band, a political career is Dead On Arrival.
Thus, on her recent campaign swing through the city, it was no surprise that First Lady Michelle Obama made the pilgrimage to Castle No Doubt, the couple’s sprawling Beverly Hills estate. According to the press pool report, the First Lady received what is known in the industry as The Full Stefani, a bag of tricks afforded to the singer/political boss’ favorite supplicants. The “Sunday of Fun” package including, as is customary, tattoo and balloon animal stations, staffers in hot dog shaped hats, platters of roasted meats and opportunities for guests to view the Castle’s infinity pool and attached infinity hot tub.
A heady reception for the First Lady, to be sure. A day she won’t soon forget. And we might ignore the ominous overtones of the event, dismissing concerns about what promises were made to the Ska Revival ensemble as business as usual, were it not for this sinister note from the pool report:
1:50pm, pool is taken from holding spot to the back deck of the home, where Mrs. Obama’s speech is already in progress. Pool was not permitted to listen to Ms. Stefani’s introductory remarks.
A citizenry of a dying state can be pushed far, but a moment comes when even we with our last breath must demand answers. To wit, we demand the White House, the Obama Campaign and the No Doubt industrial complex respond to the following questions:
• What exactly did Gwen Stefani say in introducing the First Lady?
• Is the Obama Campaign ashamed of their No Doubt support?
• If so are they ashamed of the support of all voters in mock-chola fashion with perfume lines?
• What were the promises made to secure The Full Stefani treatment from the administration? How much will these promises cost the American taxpayers?
• Was it Stefani’s words they found offensive or her grating use of trombones behind them?
• Or is it Stefani who is ashamed to be seen with the President? And if so, is this because the promises made to her were so great, they threaten the very basis of our democracy if known.
None of us dares publicly question the right of Gwen Stefani, her husband Gavin and her back up musicians to impose upon us a government of their choosing. But please, let us at least preserve the forms of self-government to allow us to maintain just a shred of self-respect.
If we still had a genuine independent media, Stefani’s introduction would have been made public long before now. But we hope that this slap in the face will at last inspire it to rise up.