Wrong Venue, Bad Form For Ronstadt

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During a concert at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas Saturday night, pop star Linda Ronstadt tried to sing after placing her foot in her mouth.

Like too many entertainers today, she took it upon herself to impose her political views on an audience that came -- and paid -- to be entertained.

I respect talented artists, whether they're painters, singers, actors or writers. But I lose respect for them when they forget themselves and place their agenda above common courtesy and above the fans who provide their prosperity.

On Saturday, in front of an audience that came to enjoy her talents as a singer, Ronstadt pulled a tasteless switch. Near the close of her performance, she praised controversial documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. Ronstadt then dedicated the Eagles hit "Desperado" to Moore, producer of the Bush-slamming film "Fahrenheit 9/11."

I don't mind if an entertainer wants to use her influence to champion a cause -- political or otherwise. But performers must understand the power of timing. This was not the appropriate time or venue for such a political maneuver.

Many people in the audience agreed. A large number of the nearly 5,000 fans got up and left the theater as Ronstadt sang. Some defaced posters of her in the lobby, writing comments and throwing drinks on her pictures.

Aladdin President Bill Timmins sent an immediate and powerful message when he ordered security guards to escort Ronstadt off the property and told her she was no longer welcome at the Aladdin.

"We hired Ms. Ronstadt as an entertainer, not as a political activist," Timmins said.

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