By Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. His Twitter feed is http://www.twitter.com/matthewstoller
Obama had a brief appearance on the Oscars, and received no applause from an audience that surely would have treated him differently two years ago. The politics of the night belonged to Charles Ferguson, who won the Oscar for Best Documentary for Inside Job. He said at the end of his acceptance speech:
Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that’s wrong.”
Ouch. There were several shout-outs to unions tonight, including the one by “Inception” cinematographer Wally Pfister. Backstage, he said:
“I think that what is going on in Wisconsin is kind of madness right now,” Pfister says. “I have been a union member for 30 years and what the union has given to me is security for my family. They have given me health care in a country that doesn’t provide health care and I think unions are a very important part of the middle class in America all we are trying to do is get a decent wage and have medical care.”
Hollywood was torn apart by a strike a few years ago, so this is not surprising.