Sunday, April 14, 2024

Trump Kennedy Center Rebuke Omen for State Dinners, Presidential Medal of Freedom?


Now that Donald Trump has pulled out of the Kennedy Center Honors, new questions arise: what about state dinners? The Presidential Medal of Freedom?

In the case of the former, so far there have been no state dinners. Trump is rarely at the White House. He conducts all his social business at his own properties. But state dinners are a tradition in Washington. By the fall, every White House is gearing up for a few.

But who would come? Scott Baio? Ted Nugent? Under Obama, both Bushes, and Clinton, not to mention Reagan, celebrities clamored to come to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I doubt now that even the performers who appeared at the Inauguration would come, not with Charlottesville hanging over their heads.

And then there’s the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Movie stars and music stars are always chosen. But it’s primarily for great thinkers– scientists, writers, etc. As a climate change denier, Trump won’t get any people from science.

Anyone with a proper education would turn him down. It could be this year would be the first ever without Medal of Freedom recipients. Writers and poets would say no, classical musicians would decline. With Trump threatening to cut funds from all arts and sciences, it’s a pretty dismal scene.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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