Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Welcome Back, Kennedy Center Honors, to White House, Also Legitimate Presidential Medals of Freedom, State Dinners, Correspondents Dinner


As John Sebastian sings it, Welcome back.

With the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Washington is coming back. So are the celebrities.

Under Trump, the presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors had no president in the president’s box. Kennedy Center inductees didn’t go to the White House because Trump was anti-culture.

Under Trump, the presidential medal of freedom was delegitimized. Among the “honorees” were hate spewer Rush Limbaugh, also the wife of Trump and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson, and noted philandering golfer Tiger Woods.

The medals of freedom probably can’t be rescinded, but they will be entered into almanacs with an asterisk. All of them.

Also under Trump, there were few state dinners. And there were certainly no movie stars, musicians, etc. Also whittled down to nothing, the White House Correspondents Dinner, which usually took place the last week of April. After Trump’s belittling at the 2011 Obama dinner, the orange menace ran for president out of anger.

After the pandemic clears, it would be swell for the WHCA to resume, with Seth Meyers– who brilliantly took down Trump in 2011– returning at the podium.

All resumption of public activities won’t be until 2022, obviously. But when it’s possible, the Washington scene will flourish. And the arts will be celebrated once again by the White House, as they were ignored and denied under Trump.

If Biden really wants to stick it to Trump, the first batch of medals should include Rosie O’Donnell. Trump has acted in the most disgusting manner to her, belittling and mocking her. Rosie has run a successful foundation for the arts for years including a theater school for kids in the Broadway district. In charity terms, she’s the literal opposite of Trump.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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