Trump Plays Pharrell's 'Happy' at Post Pittsburgh Massacre Rally
"Rallies are meant to be fun," says our syrup of ipecac president.
Pharrell Williams, composer and performer of the hit song "Happy," is currently trending on Twitter for sending a cease-and-desist letter to President Trump to stop him from using his music.
On Saturday morning, Robert Bowers opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people and injuring six others. On Saturday night, Trump hosted a Midwest campaign rally where Pharrell's "Happy" was on the playlist.
A letter penned by Williams' attorney, Howard E. King, to Trump stated, in part:
"On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged 'nationalist,' you played his song 'Happy' to a crowd at a political event ..."
He continued, "There was nothing 'happy' about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose."
The letter was shared on Twitter:
WOWZA. Check out this cease and desist sent by Pharrell Williams to Donald Trump for using “Happy" on “the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings," as the letter puts it. pic.twitter.com/Mst83Vp0kO
— Eriq Gardner (@eriqgardner) October 29, 2018
"Pharrell has not, and will not, grant you permission to publicly perform or otherwise broadcast or disseminate any of his music," King wrote. "The use of 'Happy' without permission constitutes copyright infringement."
Williams is a 10-time Grammy-Award winner. "Happy," on the "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack earned him a 2014 Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.
At the rally, Trump made a quick mention of the shooting: "This wicked act of mass murder is pure evil, hard to believe and frankly something that is unimaginable. Our nation and the world are shocked and stunned by the grief."
But, in an interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News on Monday, he said tragedies should not prevent events from going on as they normally would.
"Frankly, I think that's the way it should be," he said. "You can't let these people disrupt anymore than they already have. They are disgraceful."
And, in the midst of tragedy, he defended playing Williams' song, "Happy."
"Rallies are meant to be fun," he said.
"This shutdown is about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms," said Ocasio-Cortez.
"Our country is in a hellhole right now," she said. "All for a f‐‐‐ing wall."
Rapper Cardi B. told her 39 million Instagram followers on Wednesday night what she really thought about President Trump's partial government shutdown, his wall and about his absurd request to force people who aren't getting paid to go back to work.
She didn't mince words (she uses explicit language in the video).
Most Americans don't know that the overwhelming majority of U.S. immigrants are legal. A Pew report explains immigration.
As the partial shutdown of the federal government continues, it has now become the longest funding lapse in U.S. history. President Trump is demanding that Congress approve $5.7 billion in funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Meanwhile, on Friday, at least 800,000 federal workers did not receive paychecks.
King's remarks are "abhorrent and racist and should have no place in our national discourse," tweeted Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) wants to know why white nationalists and white supremacists are getting a bad rep.
"White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?" King asked in an interview with The New York Times published on Thursday. "Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"
The far-right lawmaker is at the forefront of supporting the Trump administration's anti-immigration policies and the push to end birthright citizenship. As a matter of fact, King credits himself with getting Trump onboard.
"Donald Trump came to Iowa as a real non-ideological candidate," King said, in the Times interview. He said he told Trump, "I market-tested your immigration policy for 14 years, and that ought to be worth something."
King has previously, on the House floor, shown a model of a 12-foot border wall he had designed.
Thursday afternoon he released a statement on Twitter "clarify" his comments on white supremacy and white nationalism.
"I want to make one thing abundantly clear; I reject those labels and the evil ideology" represented by those terms. "I am simply a Nationalist," he wrote.
"I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives." Like the Founding Fathers, he wrote, "I am an advocate for Western Civilization's values."
But let's look at King's track record.
In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, consumers and employees pushed back against companies donating to King's campaign in November. He is known for his association with white nationalists, even retweeting a Nazi sympathizer.
(But residents of Iowa still re-elected him for another term.)
King endorsed, Faith Goldy, an openly white supremacist candidate for mayor of Toronto. He often praises far-right politicians and groups in other countries.
In September, during a European trip financed by From the Depths — a Holocaust memorial group — King actually met with members of a far-right Austrian party with historical ties to Nazis for an interview on their anti-Semitic propaganda website. The meeting was just a day after ending a five-day trip to Jewish and Holocaust historical sites in Poland, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
"In an interview with a website associated with the party, King declared that 'Western civilization is on the decline,' spoke of the replacement of white Europeans by immigrants and criticized Hungarian American financier George Soros, who has backed liberal groups around the world," according to The Washington Post.
In December 2017, King shared a story on Twitter written by the Voice of Europe and quoted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who said, "Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one."
King added to the tweet: "Diversity is not our strength."
Members of Congress are condemning his recent comments.
"Everything about white supremacy and white nationalism goes against who we are as a nation," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, (R-Calif.), said, in a statement. "Steve's language is reckless, wrong, and has no place in our society. The Declaration of Independence states that 'all men are created equal.' That is a fact. It is self-evident."
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted that King's remarks are "abhorrent and racist and should have no place in our national discourse."
"Dear Steve King (@SteveKingIA): FYI this is one reason you get bad search results when people type your name in Google," Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), tweeted.
"I have spent the last hour crying," Palmer said on Instagram, referring to herself as a former "student of R. Kelly."
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After watching the president conclusively prove he can read off a teleprompter, I struggled to stay awake as the 146-year-old couple (Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) robotically read through an uninspired response.