DC Douglas, Once at Geico, Now a “Nipple Tweaking” Patriot

Andrew Belonsky :: Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 5:00 pm

DC Douglas has come a long way from Boston Common and Melrose Place, two shows on which the once obscure “Geico Gecko” actor has appeared. Now, thanks to an angry message on a Tea Party answering machine and subsequent firing as the voice of a new campaign, Douglas is far more famous than ever. His name has been dropped from coast-to-coast, and his new PSA “apologizing” to the Tea Party guarantees Douglas some more face time. That’s a good thing, because DC Douglas shouldn’t be just a trend. He’s too indispensable.

Douglas, the beloved voice of Geico Insurance’s spokesman, revealed his political colors when he drunkenly left a voicemail for the FreedomWorks’ last month, and wondered, “[What is] the percentage of people that are mentally retarded who are working for FreedomWorks and who are following it?” The Tea Party organizers at FreedomWorks were not amused, published Douglas’ cell phone number, grabbed their pitchforks, and pressured Geico to take action against actor. The insurance giant did just that: they got a new spokesperson the next day. And everyone got heaps of press.

Vilified and jobless, though all over the television, Douglas decried FreedomWorks’ action against him, “I called as a private citizen to make a complaint… Telling their members to harass my employer to get me fired is an egregiously disproportionate response to my actions.” Douglas, however, wasn’t about to let the right keep him quiet. He got spectacular, theatrical revenge.

The actor raised his profile this weekend by releasing a PSA in which he and a remarkably diverse cast use some tongue and cheek to take on Tea Party politics. “I learned the hard way how wrong it is to drunk dial a cynical GOP-funded Astroturf organization that’s headed by a man with ‘Dick’ in his name,” says Douglas, who’s also called Lance Baxter. Douglas and his pointedly diverse team urges viewers to “tweak” the Tea Party nipple by asking questions like, “Do you really think circulating misleading healthcare information and explicit instructions on how to disrupt democratic town hall meetings would meet with the approval of our founding fathers – and Jesus?”

Another actor, speaking Spanish, suggests asking Arizona cops to speak in a German accent while asking for alleged immigrant’s papers.  The four-minute video ends with the sardonic plea, “Don’t Drunk Dial FreedomWorks.” The PSA also apologizes for the use of “mentally retarded,” for certainly Douglas didn’t mean to insult the Tea Party’s political correctness.

Objectively speaking, Douglas isn’t a particularly sympathetic character: he’s an actor, so he’s no doubt dreamt of being famous. Why else would he call himself “DC Douglas Lance Baxterstein Jr.,” as he does in this video? Now he’s using a political scandal to make a name for himself. With this PSA, Douglas has quite firmly planted himself in the traditionally detestable “celebrity-industrial complex,” a business run by the White House-crashing Tareq and Michaele Salahi. Douglas also made commercials for Geico, adding the odious air of advertising and insurance, two morally questionable industries. From that vantage point, Douglas comes off as the inevitable spawn of Hollywood and Washington DC’s increasingly cozy canoodling. He is nothing of the sort. He’s a 21st century patriot.

Unlike the Salahis, Douglas wasn’t looking to get famous. Not this way, at least. But now that he is, he’s using the spotlight to turn the Tea Party’s campaign against them. In fact, it’s never been about Geico: Douglas insisted he doesn’t blame them at all.  The fact that insurance is a politically powerful outfit – and Geico’s PAC gave $19,500 to Republican candidates in 2008, while only giving $4,000 to Democrats – remains a side bar in this political story. Something far more human motivated Douglas: “During the Health Care vote last month I was so upset by the slurs the Tea Party crowd angrily yelled at Barney Frank, et al, that I called FreedomWorks,” Douglas wrote on his blog. “Homophobia and racism are my Achilles heal.”

The original patriots derived their name from “compatriots.” They were a group of “fellow countrymen” fighting against an unjust takeover, a movement of oppression and division. The Douglas PSA’s no different: the actor’s army is using their entertainment and advertising know-how to take on a reactionary movement’s hateful discrimination. That’s far more Patriotic than anything some angry Tea Party protesters could concoct. Give this guy a rocket pack and I’d have my superhero.

2 Responses to “DC Douglas, Once at Geico, Now a “Nipple Tweaking” Patriot”
  1. Dude, he was not the Gecko. Do your research.

    Posted by: Morrigan May 18th, 2010 at 7:38 pm
  2. Thanks, man.

    Posted by: Andrew Belonsky May 18th, 2010 at 8:01 pm