FYI: Don Draper Is Still Team Obama
President Obama may be hovering near all-time lows of public support, but he can still count on Hollywood. Jon Hamm, he of “Mad Men” fame, and Connie Britton, the “Nashville” and “Friday Night Lights” star and Kerry Washington of “Scandal” are among the latest draftees from Hollywood's elite to take a starring role in a rollout. Hamm and Britton are central to the “It's On Us” campaign — a White House push to counter sexual assault on college campuses.
The strategy is two-fold, White House officials say. The celebrities draw media attention, magnifying the message. That's especially critical with initiatives that don't fall directly into the neat political or policy buckets driving the media cycle of the day. The celebrities and athlete utilized by the White House also give the administration the ability to go over and around the media (a favorite accomplishment of theirs).
NBA All-Star Chris Paul was central to President Barack Obama's “My Brother's Keeper” initiative — a program designed to provide mentoring and support for young black men. An Instagram post from Paul, with Obama, hashtagged "MyBrothersKeeper,'' received more than 76,000 "likes.'' Paul tweeted the same picture out to his 3.5 million Twitter followers. That's impact.
This initiative is no different.
"This is an effort to try to build some social awareness to this,'' White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said this morning on MSNBC. "And we're working with media campaigns and others to raise that awareness.''
The administration has enlisted the support of the NCAA and its top collegiate athletic conferences to help with the push. Cleveland Cavaliers Forward Kevin Love is involved as well. The goal, officials say, is to not just to drive awareness to the crimes themselves, but also to shift the way people -- men especially -- think about the issue.
Bystander intervention driven by education efforts and awareness of the issue is a key tool to prevention, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report prepared for the White House. And in celebrities -- who tweet, post photos on Instagram, messages on Facebook and appear in magazines and websites that directly target college-aged individuals -- the White House has one of the best delivery methods around.