Wednesday night’s Country Music Association Awards already generated plenty of publicity last week when the show’s media guidelines were published and revealed that organizers warned the press not to focus coverage on any controversial topics, such as the Las Vegas massacre, political affiliations or gun control. Otherwise, the guidelines stated, reporters might be kicked out by security.
After an uproar from members of the media and the country music community, the CMA backed down and quickly lifted the restrictions. Naturally, co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood brought this up right away in their CMA Awards monologue (which always includes song parodies) and immediately brought up politics. Though, in typical CMA form to stay as neutral as possible, it was just a few light digs at President Trump, along with one quick joke about Hillary Clinton.
Read the transcript of the bit below:
Underwood: “Now Brad, I don’t know if you’ve heard about this, but the CMA has given us some guidelines with specific topics to avoid, so we can’t be doing any of our silly little songs, because this year’s show is a politics-free zone.”
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Paisley: “Are you kidding me? That’s not fair. So we can’t even do, like ‘Well, way down yonder on the Scaramucci . . . ‘ That doesn’t work?”
Underwood: “No. No. No Scaramucci, Brad, no.”
Paisley: “What about, like, ‘Well, she’s gone gone gone . . . gone gone gone . . . oh no, she’s wrote a memoir, Hillary’s back.’ Can’t do it?”
Underwood: “Creative, but no.”
Paisley: “So that means no more ‘Hold me closer, Bernie Sanders’?”
Underwood: “No, can’t do it.”
Paisley: “No ‘Harper Valley DNC’?”
Paisley: Not even ‘Stand By Your Manafort’?”
Underwood: “Definitely not.”
Paisley: “What are we going to do then?”
Underwood: “Well, I mean, clearly, we can’t say or play anything. So I guess to present our first award of the night, the stars of the new movie — what are you doing, Brad?”
Paisley: “Oh, I’m definitely not doing this one. (Starts playing the tune to Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”) “Right now, he’s probably in his PJs watching cable news reaching for his cellphone/Right now, he’s probably asking Siri ‘How in the hell do you spell Pocahontas?’ . . . ”
Underwood: “Well, here we go . . . ”
Paisley: “In the middle of the night, from the privacy/of a gold-plated White House toilet seat/He writes ‘little Bob Corker, NFL and covfefe . . . ”
Underwood: “Covfefe!” (Briefly debate how to pronounce it.)
Paisley: “And it’s fun to watch, yeah, that’s for sure/till Little Rocket Man starts a nuclear war/And then maybe next time he’ll think before he tweets . . . ”
Underwood: “Yeah, we can’t do that one.”
Then they moved on. Later in the show, Paisley joked that other “nixed” titles included “Huey Lewis and the Fake News” and “I’m So Indicted.”