Third Party & Independents Archives

MTV Video Music Awards

Politics were in heavy rotation at the MTV Video Music Awards this year. There were more exhortations to get out and vote than there were bad jokes or uncomfortable pairings of announcers, which is quite an accomplishment. Most of the speakers did a minimally believable job of pretending to be non-partisan. The least convincing, of course, were the daughters of Bush and Kerry. Their appearance was awkward and the faux camaraderie was painful. Everyone involved seemed relieved when that little segment was done. I did think it was nice that the Kerry girls said they would not appear unless the Bush girls could as well. They also declined the gift baskets that all speakers receive.

Particularly interesting was the heavy emphasis on voting from the rap artists. I didn't notice any of the rock or pop artists making any political statements during their speeches or presentations. Sean Combs, Usher, the Beastie Boys, and Jay-Z all called for people to get out and vote. Kanye West launched into his performance by stating that "We at war with terrorism, racism and we at war with ourselves.", an ostensibly political observations, and Outkast's performance revolved around voting booths, red white and blue balloons, and "VOTE!" signs (the 'candidate' signs were all for Outkast, of course).

It was clear that the majority favored the Democrats, but the Kerry girls got a decidedly hostile reaction from the crowd while the Bush girls were not hassled as much. Overall it was an interesting thing to see such encouragement to participation in a venue that is normally the penultimate display of vacuousness

Posted by rev_matt_y at August 31, 2004 9:50 AM