Fire and Fury wasn’t up for any Grammys this year, but that didn’t stop host James Corden from bringing up the book.
As he introduced the award for spoken word, Corden mentioned that Fire and Fury is next year’s likely winner in that category. The broadcast then cut to a video of celebrities including John Legend, Cher, DJ Khaled, and Cardi B reading clips of the book. One of those celebrities was none other than Hillary Clinton.
Like all surprise celebrity cameos, this one got huge applause. Too bad it was utterly cringeworthy. Has there ever been another politician who showed up at a televised Hollywood event to read bad things about a former opponent? Imagine if Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney did this to former President Barack Obama, their one-time political rival. They’d be lambasted as sore losers.
This is unprecedented, and Clinton is unpresidented: She knows she lost. But she looks at Trump and thinks, “If I fall, you’re going down with me.” Her audiobook stunt was a step back for the national healing she talked about in her concession speech. This wasn’t about unity, nor was it about humor. (What’s funny about continuing to needle your opponent after you’ve lost?)
Clinton is within her rights as a private citizen to do this. But it’s not in good taste. Yes, she was invited, but an invitation is not a summons. Clinton appeared in the clip of her own volition. Her timing couldn’t be worse.
Days after Clinton was exposed for protecting a known sexual predator, she gets cheered by a crowd of celebrities wearing white roses to support the #MeToo movement. She does this by reading from a book by Michael Wolff, who just last week fueled the unsubstantiated rumor that Nikki Haley was having an affair with Trump. And yet, she still calls herself a feminist, and superstars who also call themselves feminists cheer her on.
What happened to Michelle Obama’s wise words, “When they go low, we go high”?
As president, Trump should be above petty stunts, but we all know he’s definitely not. So, I fully expect to see Trump tweet a video of himself reading Clinton Cash into the camera.
Angela Morabito (@AngelaLMorabito) writes about politics, media, ethics, and culture. She holds both a bachelor's and master's degree from Georgetown University.
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