In the past few weeks this scene and others like it have brought pop and politics into an uncomfortably close relationship. After Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi and his government responded to an uprising with violence and an insistence that they would "fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet," word started to emerge that Gadhafi's sons had booked exclusive performances with pop stars for millions.
On February 28, Nelly Furtado revealed via her Twitter feed that she had been paid $1 million by the Gadhafi family to perform for 45 minutes at a hotel in Italy and insisted that she would donate the money, though she did not say where. Two days later, Beyonce confirmed that all the money she had received for that private performance — at a party on New Year's Eve 2009 — had been donated to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti in early 2010. Later, Usher and Mariah Carey both admitted that they had been paid to perform under similar circumstances and said that they would donate the money they received.
That's from NPR's Morning Edition today. I found the report disgusting with all the excuses it offered.
And that includes our 'left' Danny Goldberg who just couldn't shut up about how there were reasons.
Tell it to the people being tortured in these countries. "Oh, I needed some quick cash so I had to play for your despot."
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"