The Occupy Wall Street movement has hit several huge roadblocks. First it was the cold temperatures that sent many home. Next was the long-overdue decision to evacuate them out of public parks by liberal Democrat mayors. But another huge roadblock that's emerging: their enormous hypocrisy on wealth.
The occupiers have pushed the ludicrous slogan that "We are the 99 percent," somehow stands for the same public that installed 63 new conservative Republicans in the House in 2011. To demonstrate their 99 percentism in October, these protesters staged a "Millionaires March" in New York City, parading to the homes of wealthy citizens such as Rupert Murdoch and David Koch. But OWS organizers have conveniently ignored the massive wealth of celebrities within their own ranks.
Paul Wilson of the Culture and Media Institute has run down the list of the top 25 richest celebrities supporting Occupy Wall Street, according to the website Celebrity Net Worth. They possess — ready? — a combined net worth just over $4 billion. The lefties at MSNBC actually said on air these people may be "unaware" they're in the top 1 percent.
While mega-banker Jamie Dimon (worth $200 million) was one of the targets of the ''millionaires march,'' he has a net worth less than five of the celebrities supporting OWS. The most flagrant example of hypocrisy is hip-hop music mogul Russell Simmons (net worth: $325 million). Simmons has been both a fervent OWS supporter and the author of a 2011 manual titled "Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All." Simmons calls his book "a stimulus package of consciousness."
Simmons visited OWS protests almost daily at the beginning, and then started a cross-country tour of different Occupy sites to gather grassroots support for his proposed constitutional amendment that would ban private donations to candidates running for federal public office. But on Christmas Eve, the New York Post gossips noted he "was spotted far from Zuccotti Park this week, strolling the beach in front of super-luxurious Hotel Isle de France on St. Bart's." Also, at the same time Simmons tweeted in support of "Christ consciousness," he angrily told critics to perform an oral sex act.
The hip-hop contingent wants to advocate for the far less "fortunate," but they're too rich to strike the right pose. At No. 2 on the list was rapper Jay-Z (worth $450 million), who drew controversy for trying to sell T-shirts to Occupiers without ''sharing'' the proceeds. Rapper Kanye West, worth $70 million, showed up to the protests in New York wearing gold chains.
Yoko Ono (No. 1 on the list at $500 million) is a descendant of a prominent Japanese banking family. Her late husband John Lennon wrote "Imagine" in a Park Avenue penthouse. She threw in her support for the movement saying, "John is sending his smile to Occupy Wall Street." She actually matches the OWS movement in mental aimlessness, with tweets like "You are water. I'm water. We're all water in different containers."
Actress and fitness guru Jane Fonda, worth $120 million, attacked the wealthy on the Joy Behar Show without contemplating she might, just might, be one of the loathsome 1 percent. Like Simmons, she is currently selling two exercise DVDs and an advice manual. But she said the Occupiers were the forces of common sense. ''Any country that has a very, very small narrow layer of very rich, powerful, privileged people and no middle class and the rest are just really struggling and some of them not making it, is a country that's not going to be stable.'' She even said of the Occupiers: "They're the Paul Reveres."
Alec Baldwin (No. 19 on the hypocrite list with a net work of $65 million) visited the Occupy crowd in November and praised "a lot of dedicated people at Zuccotti Park." But as Jeffrey Lord reported for The American Spectator, Baldwin's partnerships with corporations for the Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund show high levels of hypocrisy. "Alec Baldwin is a board member of a family charitable fund which partners with and takes money from a veritable who's who of that famous trifecta of liberal enemies: Wall Street, Big Oil and Corporations."
The funniest hypocrite was radical filmmaker Michael Moore (net worth: $50 million), who tried to tell CNNs Piers Morgan he wasn't in the 1 percent, and then later had to confess the obvious. The conservative site The Michigan View found and displayed photographs of Moore's 10,000-square-foot mansion on Torch Lake in northern Michigan, where the average property sells for $2 million.
So have a good laugh when you read of Moore speaking to a very supportive Occupier crowd in September about those other rich people: "They are thieves. They are gangsters. They are kleptomaniacs. They have tried to take our democracy and turn it into an hypocrisy."
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.