First of all, I didn’t watch the Emmy Awards. I think award shows are silly and, judging by the rock-bottom ratings, so does the rest of America. They’re irrelevant to everyone but the blogosphere and Hollywood. It’s basically showbiz rewarding itself for finally being “woke,” and I find the level of smug, self-satisfaction nauseating.
From what I can tell, this year the Emmys were all about putting politics over content (even more than usual), which is fine. I get it—Hollywood needed to make itself feel better after its very public and crushing defeat. Many Hollywood personalities are still licking their wounds after parading around and threatening to move to Canada if Trump won. Yet here they are, embracing Sean Spicer and patting themselves on the back at an award show.
There is no better example of Hollywood’s ability to put entertainment above anything else—morals, values, the person they have been raging against for the past year—than Spicer’s appearance on last night’s show. For all the post-election hysteria about how we can’t “normalize President Trump literally Hitler” and the hullabaloo they made over Trump appearing on Jimmy Fallon or hosting “Saturday Night Live,” Spicy practically got a standing ovation last night when he rolled out on stage. He was the belle of the ball. For all of its self-righteous acceptance speeches about smashing the patriarchy and diversity, when Hollywood has a moment to entertain you, they’ll seize it. When the chips are down and they needed a viral moment, they didn’t hesitate to turn to Trump’s ex-press secretary to get it.
Let’s Be Real About Sean Spicer
I have no problem with Spicy doing the talk show circuit and rehabbing his image; he was made a laughingstock and deserves to have a little fun, too. What I do take issue with is today’s host of journos and bloggers clutching their pearls about how damaging it is to have Spicer appear on the Emmys. To those people, I ask: have you been alive for the past, well, forever?
All politicians lie. All of them. That’s what makes them politicians. Maybe they don’t lie as blatantly or overtly about stuff that is easily disproven, but they all lie and use Hollywood to shill for their agenda. Remember when President Obama appeared on “Between Two Ferns” to sell millennials on Obamacare? Remember Bill Clinton playing the sax on “The Arsenio Hall Show”? I do. And they all use their press secretaries to make sure their administration stays on brand.
It’s all spin. Why is anyone acting like Spicy did anything other than exactly what his job description required? It’s the press secretary’s job to lie to the American public. We can dress it up however we want, but that’s essentially what they’re doing.
In America, at any given time, approximately half the population believes the lie and the other half doesn’t. Then the power changes hands, the pendulum swings and suddenly you’re on the side defending the lie instead of fighting it. Some of us in the middle shrug and realize it’s all a farce and do our best to ride the tide trying to pull people in one direction or another.
Even the ancillary characters in this political charade flip flop faster than a fish out of water. In fact, just this morning in an interview, New York Times White House Correspondent Glenn Thrush reports, “Mr. Spicer said he now regrets one of his most infamous moments as press secretary: his decision to charge into the White House briefing room in January and criticize accurate news reports that Barack Obama’s inauguration crowd was bigger than President Donald J. Trump’s.”
Is it not better for America, the health of democracy, and the strength of the press for Spicer to have his mea culpa mainstream media moment? It seems entirely appropriate to me that someone like Spicer, a man who admittedly helped the president gaslight America into believing blatantly disprovable lies, is embraced by Hollywood with open arms. Hollywood used Spicy to make that point, to win Emmys, and to speak truth to power or whatever—then they used him again last night for ratings.
Hollywood Should Be Giving Trump an Award
By the way, the Trump Effect has made many of last night’s success stories far more culturally significant than they ever would have been had Hillary won. “The Handmaid’s Tale” would have most certainly been good, but if Hillary were president, it wouldn’t have packed the same punch of visceral terror fueled by a p-ssy-hat-wearing nation, high on fear-mongering blogs about our dystopian future.
SNL became relevant for the first time in years. Stephen Colbert’s show was floundering before he found a focal point in Trump. He would not have hosted the Emmy Awards last night. His current success goes hand in hand with the Trump presidency.
The other hard truth Hollywood doesn’t like to look at: they helped lay the groundwork for a President Trump. They shoved reality TV and “Jersey Shore” and the Kardashians and, yes, “The Apprentice” down our throats for a decade. They chose trashy, cheap non-scripted sensationalism over thoughtful, scripted content because it was less expensive to produce. What exactly did they expect to get? Informed voters? A generation of intellectuals?
No. Hollywood is just as complicit in turning this country into a nation of brain-dead morons determined to vote against their own interests as are the partisan pundits, the mainstream media, the NFL, the liberal colleges, the failing school systems and we, the lazy voters. That’s the dichotomy of Hollywood. It loves to get uppity about politics and shame the flyover states for not being woke, but doesn’t hesitate to bring us Honey Boo Boo, either. Trump might not be the president we want, but he’s the president we deserve.
Frankly, I’m sick of all the politics everywhere I turn—in my food choices, my TV, my entertainment, my clothes, and my shows. Perhaps this is just me being privileged and nostalgic for a time when things were simple or perhaps it’s just me realizing that money is what runs the show. And money is where Hollywood will go. It’s where politics will go.
This is capitalism, baby. It’s where everyone will go. At the end of the day—Spicy, Obama, Hillary, Tucker Carlson, Tomi, Sean Hannity, Colbert—we’re all shills for something. Even me.
Oh, and by the way, Hollywood, may I have a job, please?