Celebrity Does Not Equal Expertise

Daryl Hannah & Tom Hanks in "Splash"

Daryl Hannah & Tom Hanks in “Splash”

I saw today that Fox News in its never ending quest for journalistic excellence had a video of Daryl Hannah and why she opposes the Keystone pipeline. I confess, I didn’t watch it, as I despise videos, preferring a well written article for absorbing data. I also have a problem with our national fetish for celebrity.

However, I decided to check out Ms. Hannah’s bona fides to determine if I should, in fact, watch the video.

Daryl Hannah is a beautiful woman. She caught the eyes of both John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Jackson Brown both of whom had long term relationships with her.

She’s a beautiful woman who comes from a wealthy family in Chicago. According to Wikipedia, she attended the noted progressive Francis W. Parker School where she played on the soccer team. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a major in theater. Her education also included ballet drama at the Goodman Theater School of Drama in Chicago. Obviously, she took her craft seriously and prepared well for it. Her work speaks for itself.

She was particularly exotic and beautiful in “Bladerunner,” and especially engaging and beautiful in “Roxeanne.”

Even Albert Einstein spoke of the pleasure of speaking with a beautiful woman, but so far I’m just not seeing any qualifications in geology, petroleum science, transportation, environmental science or economics that would entice me to include her thoughts in my calculus about the Keystone pipeline.

Don’t get me wrong. Ms. Hannah is educated and no doubt intelligent. However, her education and intelligence does not entitle her to practice law or medicine, to lead troops in battle, or even, in most states, to cut hair. There are criteria to be met and credentials to be obtained before one is acknowledged to be competent in many fields. Expertise is usually dependent on the recognition by other credentialed members of one’s advanced knowledge and experience. While she no doubt has deep felt opinions about the pipeline, Ms. Hannah’s expertise is in entertainment.

Fox’s motto is “We report – You decide.” So I’ve decided that while Daryll Hannah is a beautiful woman, an accomplished actress, well educated, and quite possibly a delightful and fascinating person, I’ll look elsewhere for my relevant information on topics such as the need to build or not build a pipeline.

And I have to wonder about Fox News.

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