Last night at the Grammys, Hillary Clinton appeared in a surprise cameo to read an excerpt from Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury.
The Grammy’s loved the moment, and in the context of our reality-show era, I loved it, too.
Nikki Haley, however, did not:
I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it. Don’t ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it.— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) January 29, 2018
There’s plenty in that tweet that I take issue with, specifically the idea that music and politics should be treated separately. It’s like saying that burritos are delicious, but why did you have to bring guacamole into this? Politics is a huge driving force in music. Twitter, as expected, let her have it:
So, when Nikki Haley says she prefers music without the politics thrown in, I don’t know what the fuck she’s talking about.— Remy Carreiro (@Remy_Anne) January 29, 2018
Did Nikki Haley seriously miss the whole show except for the Michael Wollf bit? "Keep politics out of my music"—I mean, Kendrick was the opener…— TC (@tchopstl_) January 29, 2018
Art and politics are joined at the hip. Always have been. The First Amendment protects artistic impression, political and otherwise.— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) January 29, 2018
It's sad that you, as a member of the Presidential Cabinet, can't see that.
Nikki Haley thinks there should be no politics in music? pic.twitter.com/wpfEIiirLq— California Satellite (@JerryBrownRocks) January 29, 2018
Tell you what, you keep religion, discrimination and bigotry out of politics and maybe the musicians won’t feel the need to put politics in their music.— Kris Wood (@kriswood) January 29, 2018
That was not a smart thing to say, especially because she was not entirely wrong to be upset about Hillary reading from Fire and Fury. I mean, it was a funny, crowd-pleasing moment, but if I am Nikki Haley, I might be upset about it, too, because here’s the most recognizable woman in politics reading from a book written by an author who suggested, without any evidence whatsoever, that Donald Trump was having an affair with Nikki Haley. That suggestion is trashy.
I don’t think that Hillary Clinton meant anything by it — she was just having a fun moment at Donald Trump’s expense — but I understand why Nikki Haley might have felt hurt. But to suggest politics and music should not commingle was the worst way to respond to that. A better tweet might have been, “It’s unfortunate that Hillary Clinton — no stranger to scurrilous, baseless rumors about her personal life — would read from a book written by a man who has perpetuated hurtful, baseless rumors about me.” To that, the Internet probably would have responded, “That’s awfully hypocritical coming from someone in the Trump White House, but yeah. Fair. I see your point.”