Mike Huckabee, February 13, 2017
Last night, CBS aired “Music’s Biggest Night,” the Grammy Awards. Congratulations to the winners. At least I think they finally got around to handing out some awards, in between all the leftwing, anti-Trump political statements. There was also some bandying about of the Constitution, a document liberals have denigrated and ignored for years, and now suddenly think must be followed to the letter, even though they still don’t seem to have bothered to read it.
All this political grandstanding was hardly unexpected, since the head of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences had publicly encouraged the artists to make political statements. I suspect it was more than just encouragement, considering all the money and support the rap group A Tribe Called Quest must’ve required for their big anti-Trump production number, complete with fake wall being toppled (didn’t Pink Floyd already do that years ago?) and extras in the native garb of many nations joining them onstage.
Look, I get that a lot of big music stars think of the Grammy Awards as the night when they leave the walls of their mansions inside their gated enclaves and get escorted by a battalion of armed guards to the Staples Center, where they lecture the rest of us on the urgent need to ban guns, tear down walls and let anyone move into our homes who wants to, no questions asked. My question is, what does NARAS think the Grammy Awards are for?
According to their website, the Awards are “to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry,” while the Academy’s further mission is arts advocacy and outreach. I love music and think it should be taught in schools, so aren’t I the perfect target audience for their goal? Yet every year, they devote much of their telecast to insulting me and alienating at least half the country that shares my same basic political viewpoint.
While music industry revenues saw an uptick last year, they’ve been on a steep decline for years, down by $5 billion just in the past five years alone. So when CBS gives the music business one annual, three-hour, prime time commercial to sell itself to America, why does it spend so much of that time spitting in the eye of half their potential audience? Is that more important than promoting music? I guess so, considering they banish many genres of music (folk, classical, jazz, world, New Age and more) to a non-televised afternoon ceremony, claiming they just don’t have time for them on TV, yet they have plenty of air time for controversial stunts like 2014’s mass same-sex wedding and last night’s choreographed assault on Donald Trump’s immigration policy.
The rationale of last night’s show was particularly perplexing. From the many subtle political messages to the profane, in-your-face slams from Margaret Cho (on the afternoon streaming portion) and A Tribe Called Quest, there was a constant barrage of insults to Trump and Republicans in general. Then after all that, the head of NARAS pleaded with the President and Congress to update copyright laws to help struggling songwriters. Yeah, I’m sure they’re going to jump right on that, after you spent the past 2-1/2 hours on national television cursing them and implying they’re fascists.
I think someone at NARAS needs a remedial course on how to convince people to work with you and give you what you want. Might I suggest they start by reading a book called “The Art of the Deal”?