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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

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    J. Lo Takes Turkmenistan

    By kyle | July 8, 2013

    So Jennifer Lopez performed in Turkmenistan for a ruthless dictator who disappears political opponents and even sang “Happy Birthday” to him. Then she failed to apology or donate her fee to a worthy cause. More in my Sunday column.

    Topics: Music | 15 Comments »

    15 Responses to “J. Lo Takes Turkmenistan”

    1. kishke Says:
      July 8th, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Should the guy who sells the dictator his groceries donate the profits to charity? J-Lo is just another vendor in my opinion, and certainly not any kind of moral icon. In any case, once she did the deed, she might as well pocket the money. Otherwise, it would have been all for nothing.

    2. Union Jack Says:
      July 8th, 2013 at 10:51 am


      defenders of us foreign policy sweating a luscious singer for singing for her supper


      when ms j-lo liberates ™ a country in arabia i’ll sign the petition

    3. Obama bin Biden Says:
      July 8th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      So the assumption is that an intellectually vacuous moron like J Lo understands the definition of a dictator?

    4. Kyle Says:
      July 8th, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      If nothing else, she should have had some solidarity with the pop singers the dictator locked up.

    5. JimmyC Says:
      July 8th, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      This would be the same J-Lo who referred to Sarah Palin as “Cabrona”? Yeah, she’ll sing and shake her ass for a murderous dictator, but she draws the line at Republicans.

    6. kishke Says:
      July 9th, 2013 at 9:14 am

      I don’t think there is much solidarity in the music biz. Quite the contrary.

    7. Union Jack Says:
      July 9th, 2013 at 9:21 am


      more liberalism from mr smith

      socialism actually

      the luscious lady’s Turkmeni-Sin—profit motive

    8. Christopher Says:
      July 10th, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Kishke- Surely you recognize that even if Lopez and the hypothetical grocer are both “vendors” of a sort, the vast difference in the products they are selling makes a substantial moral difference. Lopez performing in this specific context gives a sheen, however thin, of legitimacy to a brutal dictator, indeed that’s intent (from his perspective, and that of China Petro, at least). Selling him a loaf of bread does not. (And that’s setting aside the fact that if his local grocer refused to sell the guy some bread, he’d probably be thrown in his own oven). Just because Lopez isn’t a moral icon doesn’t mean she can’t be held morally accountable for her actions.

    9. Union Jack Says:
      July 10th, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      dear father christopher

      moral exemplar

      who cares?

    10. Union Jack Says:
      July 10th, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      kish the only true libertarian who types here

    11. Sherlock Says:
      July 10th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      There’s no sheen of legitimacy. It’s the opposite. It’s one of the punchlines to a joke that starts, “You might be a third-world dictator if…” It’s a dead giveaway, if you pay millions for Western celebrities to travel to your hell-hole for a family birthday party. You might as well just announce, “I am guilty of massive human rights abuses.”

    12. kishke Says:
      July 11th, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Christopher: For me, Jennifer Lopez provides not a sheen, not a smidgen, not an iota, neither of legitimacy, nor of moral approbation, nor of anything else meaningful. I feel sorry for anyone who looks to her for any of the above.

    13. Hedge Says:
      July 11th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      I’m more vexed by the slobbering of the entertainment industry all over our own petty dictator, than I am worried about the happenings in a third world crackpot regime. You want to talk about a sheen…an oily, hazy, vasiline on the camera lense sheen lending legitimacy…there it is.

    14. kishke Says:
      July 11th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      I wish the creep would pay me big bucks to sing. I’d yodel my little heart out.

    15. Obama bin Biden Says:
      July 11th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Hedge is spot on. Too bad there’s no military coup in the US to remove the Islamist from the White House.