One of the unfortunate byproducts of the irrational treatment of President Donald J. Trump by the politically entrenched establishment class, predisposed mainstream media, and Hollywood radical left is a precipitous decline in the respect customarily surrounding the presidency.
The latest breach of traditional protocol has come from those designated to receive awards at the upcoming Kennedy Center Honors ceremony.
President Trump and first lady Melania would usually be present as prominent members of the audience but have graciously declined to attend, due to threatened boycotts from select adversarial honorees.
In a conciliatory move, the White House announced that the president and first lady would refrain from participating in the annual awards ceremony so that the event could move forward unimpeded by political obstacles. "The President and first lady have decided not to participate in this year’s activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction," the White House press office indicated in a statement.
For 40 years, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has bestowed annual arts and humanities awards to artists and others who have contributed to American culture. However, this year the annual gala has been politicized by the announcement of boycotts from certain high-profile award recipients.
In years past, an early evening White House reception, traditionally hosted by the president and first lady, is followed by an honors gala performance, which takes place at the Kennedy Center.
Presidents rarely miss the annual event. In 1979 President Jimmy Carter was unable to attend due to matters relating to the Iranian hostage crisis. In 1989 President George H.W. Bush was unable to be present because of a scheduling conflict that occurred involving a summit in Malta in which the former president was meeting with then-Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. And in 1994 President Bill Clinton was forced to decline the event as a result of a foreign policy conference in Budapest.
Norman Lear, a high-profile honoree this year, announced that he planned on boycotting the White House reception, which is traditionally scheduled prior to the awards ceremony itself. The well known television writer, producer, political activist, and founder of the extreme left-wing People for the American Way adamantly opposes the Trump presidency. As a matter of fact, in a 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lear somehow sought fit to employ the language of a highly insulting gesture in his reference to the president.
Lear disparagingly remarked, "I have enough confidence in the American people to believe that Trump is the middle finger of their right hand. He is [a] f*** you to all the clowns and the establishment generally because the leadership of the country is at an all-time low. It’s their way of saying. 'If you give us that kind of leadership, take this.' But I don’t think it’s going to take him all the way, and I think they’ll retract that finger. They have to."
Despite all of his boycott talk, Lear nevertheless wants the accolade. The "All in the Family" TV sitcom creator expressed his respect for the Kennedy Center, and simultaneous discourtesy for the office of the presidency, on his Twitter account, "I could never turn my back on the @kencen. It represents the Arts and Humanities, which means everything to me," Lear tweeted. "What I’m not accepting is the @WhiteHouse reception with @realDonaldTrump."
Singer-songwriter Lionel Richie, another of the honorees, acknowledged to NBC’s "Today Show" that he was still undecided about whether or not to boycott the White House reception as well. "I’m going to just play it by ear," Richie said.
Richie added, apparently trying to maintain a peaceful disposition amid the rancor, "I must tell you, I’m not really happy as to what’s going on right now with the controversies. They’re weekly, daily, hourly. But I think I’m just gonna wait it out for a minute, see where it’s going to be by that time."
Dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, one of the first African-American dancers at the Metropolitan Opera, indicated in a statement that she was declining to attend the reception.
Pop singer Gloria Estefan said that she will attend the White House reception but would continue to try and exert influence on the president’s immigration policies.
One day prior to the White House’s announcement, a related incident occurred, which may have had an impact on the Kennedy gala decision. The 16 members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities simultaneously tendered their resignations, ostensibly in an act of protest against President Trump’s response to Charlottesville, Virginia. First lady Melania serves as honorary chairwoman of the commission, in accordance with tradition.
Actor Kal Penn, a former Obama administration staffer, took to Twitter about the multiple resignations. The complicit media predictably jumped on the story, printing headlines, leaving out some crucial facts. Originally, the 16 committee members had agreed to remain on the commission until President Trump was able to name their replacements. However, after Charlottesville, the members seemingly saw an opportunity to join in with the denigration, all deciding to breach the promises they had made.
In another footnote to the distorted narrative, the committee had never even convened under President Trump. More importantly, all 16 who resigned had been appointed by former President Barack Obama.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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