Angelina Jolie has a new role… presidential adviser. The once wild-child actress and partner Brad Pitt dropped in on the president today (Jan. 11) to discuss her work. And what work would that be?
“Preventing mass atrocities and combating sexual violence against women,” according to the White House.
Jolie is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nation’s High Commission on Refugees, but even the UN makes no airs about the role. She’s there for publicity purposes. Jolie has no diplomatic training, no background in foreign affairs; she didn’t even go to college.
When she went to Ras Djir, Tunisia, last April she touched off a near riot among Libyan refugees, who thought she was a God. Some screamed they would die for her. Apparently she fancies herself an expert on Bosnia. The region was devastated during the Yugoslavian civil war in the 1990s.
But the only recent strife came when she went there to make her movie, “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” It’s about a Serbian soldier assigned to a rape camp and who has a Bosnian lover. Misjudging the bitterness that still lingers from the 1992-1995 war, Jolie was criticized by a prominent women’s group, which called her movie a “rape film.”
It’s fine if Jolie thinks she picked up special insight into the Bosnian situation during filming. But does it really merit the President’s time? And can she offer any more insight than State Department experts who specialize in the region?
No this was more likely just a case of Obama stargazing. The President has always had a soft spot for Hollywood types, especially the ladies. During the 2008 campaign, he was roundly criticized for exchanging regular emails with actress Scarlett Johansson.
Sure the president should have some flexibility to meet whom he wants. But who was denied time on his agenda so he could hold this meeting? It’s not like anyone can walk in and see the president. Plus, other regions of the world are far more deserving of attention. Oh.. and there’s also the economy.
Jolie isn’t even really a supporter. She was in Washington to promote her film “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington. She was lukewarm at best about the president in a statement to the media and dismissive of him during the 2008 campaign.
“I think there are many, many things I think have gone in a wonderful direction and there are a few things I am disappointed in,” she said. “But there are many wonderful things that have moved forward, and of course, some other things that are very frustrating.”
Maybe the president was trying to swing her over to his camp for the upcoming election. But let’s be real. He just wanted to meet the exotic actress, even if it meant wasting the country’s time. She just wanted to promote her film.