Jokes about Trump at the CMAs?

Hypocrisy is damaging America

November 09, 2017 - 11:10 am

Criticism of political jokes at awards shows has always been prevalent, but the criticism seems to have ramped up since President Trump took office.  The criticism of political jokes is based on the idea that entertainers should “entertain” and not use President Trump to get a laugh.  Respect for the office of the presidency is another reason political jokes during awards shows are condemned.

The CMAs opened with a somber recognition of the recent tragedies – the Las Vegas shooting, the Texas church shooting, the terrorist attack in New York City and this season’s devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Last night, at the CMA Awards, hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood used their platform to launch political jokes – even jokes about President Trump and the country music audience in attendance seemed to enjoy the humor.  Were you laughing?

Co-host Carrie Underwood said, "CMA has given us some guidelines with specific topics to avoid, so we can't be doing any silly little songs because this year's show is a politics-free zone."  That segued into co-host Brad Paisley asking permission to sing songs, like, "Way Down Yonder on the Scaramucci" and "Stand by Your Manafort." "Definitely not," Underwood responded, but then the two started singing a cover version of Underwood's "Before He Cheats."   

Hypocrisy can be funnier than jokes and the reaction to the jokes about President Trump at the CMAs is rich in hypocrisy.  This morning on “Fox & Friends” on The Fox News Channel, the topic of the jokes about President Trump was met with host Brian Kilmeade saying that the jokes about Trump “were funny.”  The consensus of the group was that it was good humor, but there may have been a few country music fans surprised by the Trump jokes.

I am a strong defender of comedy. I think everyone should be able to appreciate good comedy, even if the target is a politician or a group they support.  However, the trend is to think that only a joke about the other guy is funny and everything else is in poor taste.

In my position as a radio talk show host, I witness hypocrisy every day I am on the air.  Conservatives who now say, “You may think the man in the White House does not deserve respect, but you should always respect the office of the presidency.”  That was the exact refrain used against those who now demand everyone respect the office.   Using the logic of not respecting the man as the criteria for showing no respect for the presidency is the same whether Barak Obama or Donald Trump are in the White House.  The hypocrisy could not be more obvious. 

For many conservatives, it’s fine if Ted Nugent or country music fans talk about their political views while performing, but it’s wrong for other artists to say anything negative about conservative politics.  If the argument is against liberal performers using their stage to talk politics, then it is also wrong for conservative artists to use their stage to talk politics. So, which is it?

I have no problem with jokes about President Trump at the CMAs and I don’t have a problem with jokes about the President at other awards shows. 

The left also bears guilt by telling Ted Nugent or country artists to “shut up and play” when they bash liberals or promote the wonders of conservative ideology.

Hypocrisy is one of the great contributors to the deep divide in America.  It’s natural to become defensive when you feel like your side is under attack, but it’s wrong to criticize the other side for doing the same things you do when you attack their side.

Let’s set the record straight:  the art of telling jokes about President Trump at the CMAs is similar to the art of telling jokes about President Trump at the Academy Awards.  The only difference is the messenger. 

It could be argued that the jokes about Trump at the Academy Awards are more mean-spirited, but much of that judgment comes from who is telling the joke and not the fact that a joke was told.

Why is it so difficult for Americans to just relax and appreciate humor?  How can you not see yourself as a total hypocrite if you condemn jokes in one venue as inappropriate and laugh at jokes from another venue?

Hypocrisy is damaging America.

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