Lady GaGa, DADT, and What it Says About the Story

So, Lady GaGa doesn’t like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and has become the most visible spokesperson (for the week) for repeal. And from all accounts, her week in the spotlight didn’t appear to have any impact on the inside-the-Beltway action.

But what to make of the Lady GaGa/DADT story and what does it say that it requires a Lady GaGa stunt, YouTube, and rally for the press to really pay attention to the vote taking place in the Senate.

– LZ Granderson has a nice piece at CNN on the meaning of Lady GaGa in terms of the larger debate over DADT.

I appreciate the good will of Gaga, comedian Kathy Griffin and other celebrities who have spoken out in support of a repeal of the policy, but the truth is, they’re preaching to the choir. We all know not one person who is afraid of losing political power is going to be moved by clips from a rally speech. If Stabenow wasn’t moved by the words of her boss, it’s hard to imagine that a woman wearing a meat dress, like Gaga did, is going to have much impact.

No, ultimately the only voice that is going to matter is the one inside the 100 hearts in the Senate, particularly those who have been quick to point fingers but hesitant to stick out necks.

The Advocate has been covering Lady GaGa’s efforts all week and has an interesting column by Kerry Eleveld about the weak response from the White House and Lady GaGa’s week.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga has been a more visible force for DADT repeal than almost every politician in Washington combined. Trust me when I say that this reporter — who suffers from severe pop culture deficit — initially discounted her. But after having discharged soldiers escort her to the Video Music Awards, exchanging tweets with Reid’s office about the vote, tweeting an explanation of a filibuster, and instructing her “little monsters” to call their senators, Lady Gaga penetrated my Beltway myopia.

The YouTube video she posted Thursday advocating for repeal already has nearly a million views, and yet not a single statement urging passage of the legislation from the White House.

At last year’s Human Rights Campaign dinner, which featured appearances by both President Obama and Lady Gaga, the president joked, “It is a privilege to be here tonight to open for Lady Gaga.”

While Obama’s performance may have given Gaga a run for her money that night, he is clearly being upstaged by her now.

– I admit that I’ve also flogged the Lady GaGa story, including a discussion of why DADT was ignored by the Sunday talk shows.

NBC Meet the PressDavid Gregory interviewed former president Clinton and General Powell but never got around to asking the man who signed the law or the former head of the joint chiefs of staff who recently announced support of repeal about the upcoming vote.

Clinton, promoting the Clinton Global Initiative, also avoided any questions from Bob Scheiffer on Face the Nation. The topic was not raised on the foreign policy-heavy ABC This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Tea Party-dominated Fox New Sunday or CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley.

While DADT may not be as important as the elections in Afghanistan, it is likely a more important political issue than Christine O’Donnell and her beliefs about masturbation and witchcraft. So why not ask former president Clinton why he approved the policy and what he thinks about the future of the rule?  Why not ask Powell–who has come full circle on DADT–about his views on the controversy?

Alas, it is up to Lady Gaga to have that conversation about the law.

So why didn’t the vote get better play in the media? And what does it say that it takes Lady GaGa to show up before people start writing and talking about it?

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