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Celebrity good for advertising, not educating

During this time of costly war, it is important to find all of the facts. The tax-based funding of the war in Iraq has driven up the price of most products and services in the American economy. This negative change in the cost of living has caused many United States citizens to search for answers.

Unfortunately, people who suggest they are authorities on particular subjects sometimes do more to obscure issues than provide answers.

These people present themselves in ways that make them seem to know everything about the products or services they endorse. People such as celebrities, doctors lacking proper credentials and talk show hosts all claim to know what is best for me.

Celebrities also try to tell me the answers on topics ranging from which presidential candidate I should vote for or which religion I should choose. Very few of them have ever been directly involved in politics and even fewer are clergymen of any sort. Many also speak out either for or against the war.

Only a handful of the famous have visited war-torn territories, and the list of celebrities who have enlisted in the military during the last five years is pitiful, to say the least.

Other stars are in commercials for foods they obviously do not eat. I find it hard to believe that celebrities are really living on cheap yogurt, coffee and donuts. If that is true, my desire to be a celebrity has greatly diminished.

Doctors on television claim that I should take a certain pill because it can benefit me in some way. These “doctors” are not always what they seem. This has been proven by the case of Dr. Robert Jarvik, who recently appeared in commercials for the Pfizer Pharmaceutical’s cholesterol reducing drug Lipitor. Jarvik, however, is not a medical doctor and therefore, does not have the authority to make claims about Lipitor’s effectiveness. Jarvik’s actual field of study is medical engineering. Modifying an artificial heart into the more effective Jarvik-7 artificial heart is his claim to fame. Because of Jarvik’s misrepresentation, Pfizer has removed him from their current ad campaign.

More recently, multiple afternoon talk show hosts have commented on the fact that 4,000 U.S. troops have died in the current “glorified civil war” occurring in Iraq.

Celebrities use this topic as a tool in their crusade of protest against the war. It is very bad that 4,000 troops have lost their lives; however, they are all volunteers. They all knew the possible outcome when they signed up for the military. The time used to discuss this issue would be better used discussing ways to eliminate lung cancer, which has killed 75,000 in the same amount of time.

It is important to me that when I go to the polls – or just sit down on the couch – that I listen only to true experts on the products about which I have questions.

If I cannot decide whom to vote for, I attempt to listen to a political analyst. The hard part is finding one without ties to a specific party or candidate.

If I need to decide what drug to take, I talk to a doctor who deals with the particular ailment I am trying to treat.

As far as food goes, I am going to keep eating what I want to. It will forever be impossible to spot an honest celebrity endorsement of food.

If I want to know how much dinner costs at the Ivy or the price of a nose job, I may ask a celebrity. However, I will keep eating whatever yogurts, donuts and coffees tickle my fancy.

Brim White is a senior majoring in creative writing.