Awards by the bagful

  • By Bob Franken
  • Sunday, December 31, 2017 10:48am
  • Opinion

I haven’t been able to pin down who first called Washington, D.C., “Hollywood East” and who added “but with ugly actors,” but certainly in 2017, Cecil B. De Trump Productions created a yearlong epic that was both melodrama and slapstick comedy.

What with all the entertainment awards that define this season, we’d be remiss if we didn’t have our own. Showbiz can have its Golden Globes, Emmys and Oscars, but Politicsbiz is the big one, with its trophy … what should the trophy be? Oh wait: Actually, Robert Strong has taken care of that. Strong, who is a Los Angeles County psychologist, is known as “Robbie” to his friends. Those friends would certainly not include Steven Mnuchin. That’s Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, who was the recipient of a gift package. It was filled with horse manure deposited in Mnuchin’s obscenely wealthy Bel Air neighborhood, where he lives with his new wife, actress Louise Linton. More about her later.

Robbie Strong felt compelled to recognize the contribution Mnuchin made in leading the effort to pass the tax legislation that should be called the Class Warfare Act. It scrapes what economic resources were left at the bottom and dumps them into the vaults at the top. So, Robbie delivered two packages to Beverly Hills and Bel Air. They were the boxes of horse manure. Apparently, the Bel Air manure delivery struck fertile ground. That turns out to be where the Mnuchins reside. Strong explained it was only fitting: “I feel like that’s what the GOP has done to the American people.”

I should hasten to add that in no way should I advocate delivering unwanted horse manure to a member of the United States government Cabinet, particularly when it causes the Secret Service to shut down the streets of Bel Air for hours as they sifted through the manure to make sure that was all it was. As you can tell, I deplore such conduct. Right?

However, Robbie, with his protest, did come up with the perfect trophy for our awards show, presented for the highest achievements in 2017: the HA Award. “HA” would stand for the source of Robbie Strong’s gift to society. (Use your imagination. Hint: The first word is “Horse’s.” Need even more guidance? President Donald Trump is the presenter.)

“And the best actor nominees are (Trump rips open the envelope): Sean Spicer, for his first news conference; Tony Scaramucci, otherwise known as the “Mooch,” for his amazingly brief role as White House communications director … actually, let’s do an ensemble nomination for all the rich, white males who make up almost all the administration. (Opens the envelope) And the winner (pause) is ME!”

Cue to Mike Pence coming onstage to lick Trump’s boots. Trump gives a lie-riddled speech about making America great again, tweet by tweet. Then he moves on to best actress.

“The nominees are: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who every day plays the role of press secretary even though she imparts no information whatsoever; Kellyanne Conway, for the performance when she uttered her infamous “alternative facts” rationalization; and Louise Linton.” Remember her? She’s actually had some minor acting roles. But this year she stepped out repeatedly. First, she insisted on bragging on social media about all the expensive clothes she wore while flying around in a government plane, and then she built on that image with one insensitive act of entitlement after another. She obviously was auditioning for “The Crown.”

But alas, we all know the winner: Melania Trump, of course. Not only because she’s married to the boss, but for her amazing expressionless expression that conveyed so much emotion. That is, if disdain is an emotion. We don’t know whether it’s disdain for everyone around her or disdain for her husband. We will never know.

This could go on and on, but we’ll have to end the 2017 awards program now. Besides, not everyone in the administration can get a trophy who deserves one. We don’t have enough horses even though we have a surplus of HAs.

Bob Franken is a longtime broadcast journalist, including 20 years at CNN.

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