Vittert: McConaughey capitalizes on Uvalde shooting

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation) — Celebrity hubris and narcissism know no ends, and maybe it’s a good thing, at least for me. To be fair, if celebrities didn’t double down on those qualities, we would have a lot less to talk about.

For example, Matthew McConaughey in Esquire this month: “After Uvalde,” screams the cover, and the actor dressed in a white suit wades in knee-deep water.

I went to Uvalde. I spent time with the victims’ families. I watched them cry and wonder why their kids died. You might remember McConaughey headed for Washington.

At the time, we praised the actor. He’s from Uvalde and actually sounded presidential. Yeah, it was like a speech from “West Wing” or “The American President,” both written by Aaron Sorkin. But the media fawned over him. He talked about reasonable gun control … fine.

Then we all forgot about McConaughey and his plan because it didn’t matter.

So now the magazine cover. What a popped collar and pocket square have to do with Uvalde, who knows?
Or his rolling one sleeve and in the water is a metaphor for who knows what.

We found it on Instagram. I hope I told it well. Then he tagged the stylist, groomer, visual director and a few others.

Nothing says selfless warrior for the common man like tagging your groomer. You know what’s missing from his post? His essay. So we went and found it.

There are a lot more pictures. Again, who knows what this has to do with fighting for the Uvalde victims. Doesn’t he have anyone smart enough around him to say this is a bad look?

To be fair, I didn’t read the whole thing. It’s long and self-indulgent. But it did say this:

“So much of this teaching starts in the place where we have the most influence and can make the most difference — home — the place where we can best prevent a problem before it needs to be cured. Home is where the story starts, it’s where we can trace the stories told. The math adds up.”

Fair enough, it’s a good point. But the cover says it all: It’s not about Uvalde, it’s about him.

Much in the same way that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife’s cover spread in Vogue said it was about them, not about freedom or democracy. It’s about their celebrity.

Maybe the transparency of McConaughey’s cover shoot is good thing. At least it’s honest.

It’s not about the kids or the guns or anything else. It’s about him. When you tag the groomer in social media posts, it’s pretty clear you don’t understand the hell 21 families in Uvalde live in every day.

For you, it’s just another cover shoot.

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