04/10/13 — Too close: President's Hollywood/music ties starting to smell a bit fishy

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Too close: President's Hollywood/music ties starting to smell a bit fishy

Put on your critic's hat for a minute and review the facts.

Jay-Z and Beyonce are photographed on a trip to Cuba -- which is prohibited by the U.S. government because of a long-standing embargo.

The pictures hit the media and several Cuban-American congressional leaders cry foul, saying that the visit was nothing more than an advertisement for the "corrupt and murderous regime."

And then we hear ... crickets.

No comment from Jay-Z or Beyonce and, more importantly, no comment from the White House explaining the trip.

Then, all of a sudden, a missive is sent saying the Treasury Department approved the trip as "educational."

OK. What took so long?

Forget the obvious idiocy of thinking that this trip fits into the category of "educational." And suspend your disbelief that this was an innocent anniversary trip that had no meaning other than two people who wanted to travel. This is Jay-Z and Beyonce after all. They are hardly anonymous.

The question really is: Do you really believe this journey happened without a call being made to the White House?

Now, in the current climate that we are facing -- and with everything else we have to worry about -- this is small potatoes. But it suggests that perhaps there might be a few too many people who Washington and the White House on speed dial.

Need more proof? How about the star-studded concert you just paid for in the middle of the sequester as our jets get grounded?

And what about the access options for donors?

There is something stinky going on at the White House -- a little bit of forgetting whose money is being spent, and whole lot of hypocrisy.

It is time to call it what it is -- waste and undue influence.

Published in Editorials on April 10, 2013 10:49 AM