Hillary Clinton’s surprise appearance during the 2018 Grammy Awards ceremony may have seemed like a cheap jab at President Donald Trump, but in reality, it was much more than that, according to conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly.
The former Fox News host reacted Monday to a pre-recorded segment during the awards show in which Clinton read aloud from “Fire and Fury,” author Michael Wolff’s tell-all book about Trump.
In a brief column posted to his website, O’Reilly acknowledged that at first glance, the Clinton segment “looked like a cheap political stunt.” Upon further examination, though, he wrote that there was more to the story.
In fact, he called the stunt “a blatant attempt to diminish the President in front of a national audience.”
CBS President and CEO Les Moonves, O’Reilly said, would have known beforehand that the segment was going to air.
Following this logic, O’Reilly asserted that one of the three major networks in the U.S. is “actively undermining a sitting president.”
“This is far beyond satire or opinion, he continued, adding, “this is a corporate decision.”
O’Reilly went on to note that this never would have happened if Clinton, not Trump, was currently president.
“So why is Donald Trump fair game for derision on an entertainment program?” he asked. “It is out of context and a cheap shot.”
Explaining that CBS is easily able to control pre-rehearsed skits, O’Reilly claimed that “it is clear the network has now staked out a political position; one that will alienate millions of potential viewers.”
In many respects, the actual awards at this year’s Grammys did indeed seem to be overshadowed by political commentary. Comedian Trevor Nohah was the first to mention Trump while onstage, but what really got people talking was the segment involving “Fire and Fury.”
In the skit, program host James Carden — who is an employee of CBS — pretended to be looking for someone to narrate the audio version of Wolff’s book.
John Legend, Cher, Snoop Dogg, Cardi B and DJ Khaled — all well known musicians — were shown reading parts of the book. Then, the clip cut to Clinton.
“He had a longtime fear of being poisoned. One reason why he likes to eat at McDonald’s. Nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely pre-made,” the former secretary of state said, referring to Trump’s reported fast food preferences.
Many people didn’t think the supposedly comedic Trump-bashing was particularly funny.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley noted that in the past, she has always enjoyed watching the Grammys. But this year, she suggested that the music awards ceremony was ruined by unnecessary political references.
“I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it,” Haley tweeted Sunday night. “Don’t ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it.”
Similarly, the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., also indicated that the Clinton clip was unnecessary.
But why would CBS risk alienating so many people with what O’Reilly called “overkill” at the Grammys?
Though the commentator did not reveal the reason, he said he would do so later Monday night during his “No Spin News” podcast.
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