Senior Editor
09.25.08 25 Comments

A good indication of how f-ed we are: Michael Douglas, who once won an Oscar for playing a Wall Street guy, was at the U.N. yesterday to promote a nuclear test ban treaty, but reporters kept asking for his take on the current financial crisis.  Which is kind of like asking Christian Bale how Batman could’ve let 9/11 happen.

After world leaders here condemned the “boundless greed” of world markets, Douglas was asked to compare nuclear Armageddon with the “financial Armageddon on Wall Street.”  But the likening to Gordon Gekko did not end there, with a reporter asking: “Are you saying Gordon that greed is not good?”

Great question.  Please explain my metaphor, Michael, and when you answer, be sure to stay in character.

“I’m not saying that,” Douglas replied. “And my name is not Gordon. He’s a character I played 20 years ago.” [Yahoo]

Whoa, who let Debbie Downer in?  It’s actually refreshing to hear someone state the obvious.  But it raises an important point about actors vis a vis politics:  See, Mike, though we recognize you, we don’t actually know who you are.  Seeing you at political press conferences is like watching our trained monkey deliver an important message about cholesterol.  All of a sudden it wants to be taken seriously and the only thing anyone can think to ask is where its little cymbals went.

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