Liz Smith on the adoption.
New York Post's Liz Smith talks about the adoption:
October 23, 2006 -- IT’S HARD for me to understand exactly what it is Madonna has done personally to all who are so violently critical of her recent plunge into Third World child-caring, money-giving and adoption. The press continues to turn her into a monster.
Here’s my take. Madonna is sincere in her efforts, but she just doesn’t give a damn about how it all looks. Media relations are not her priority, and listening to astute p.r. advisers is not her long suit. She didn’t care that people would say she was up to some contrived, copycat-Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt kind of thing. Given her disdain for newspapers, she might not even be aware of how her actions are often perceived. She doesn’t do the things she does for "publicity" - that all just happens whenever she makes a move.
Madonna has a lot of power. And we have said over and over in this space that the ill-wishers who constantly pronounce her as "all washed up" are just wrong. Her last tour broke worldwide records and put her into a new cash category of top-grossing acts. This makes her more of a formidable target for those who want to tear down all success stories. (Somebody said to me, after the 1990 "Blonde Ambition" tour, "She won’t be doing this in 10 years." Well, it’s 2006, and she’s still going strong.)
Now, personally, I think Madonna would have been better off attempting to adopt a parentless child, not a 1-year-old with a living (and probably soon to be demanding) father. And she’d have been far better off never bringing up the word "kabbalah" in connection with any of her announced good works for children left without families because of AIDS. I’m not much for charity with any proselytizing religion mixed in on top of it.
A better p.r. question for a positive outcome regarding giving away money and adopting children in the Third World might be to ask: Where did Angelina Jolie go right, and where did Madonna go wrong? I think both of these phenomenal women are warm-hearted and eager to do good deeds in a naughty world. Perhaps the answer is to take a leaf from the book of the amazing Bono before one jets off to Malawi or wherever. He knows how to do good deeds, make friends and influence people! The Bible says never let your right hand know what your left hand is doing, so perhaps it doesn’t really matter so long as these big stars have sincere intentions. How much money are you giving away to help children?
P.S. And lest we forget, the "trend" for adopting Third World babies seems to have begun with the remarkable Mia Farrow, who took nine or 10 children, some with disabilities. No big fuss was made over Mia’s adoption techniques. But then again, Mia is . . . small bosomed. She has never worn a vial of blood around her neck, broken Jennifer Aniston’s heart, written a sex book, hung herself on a cross, or, well - you get the picture. Mia had plenty of controversy in her time, but her soft, wistful manner always made it seem the scandal was being thrust upon her.
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