I’ll be rounding up the highlights from last night’s Grammy Awards a bit later, but suffice it to say, if you didn’t watch it, you missed very little. As is tradition, we all got an eye-full of Madonna’s rear end, questioned whether Kim Kardashian’s dress was set to stay on for the whole night, were reminded that there was once such a thing as “rock and roll” but everyone who was involved in it can barely remember where they put their Metamucil, and that despite our best efforts at outlawing torture in this country, Ariana Grande still exists.
One unexpected highlight, however, was seeing Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Sheila Jackson Lee, best known for haranguing Republicans for their ill treatment of the downtrodden and economically depressed, skating across the red carpet like they belonged there.
Schultz’s spokesperson acknowledged that his boss had spent the day prepping and preening for the prestigious awards ceremony, but stopped short of saying that Schultz had been a guest of honor, invited by the Grammy foundation. Instead, he just said she’d been attending some political meetings that are held at the same time as the event. He’s partially right.
The Grammys are an annual fete for the Recording Academy, which is, at it’s core, a sort of trade union for musicians. The RA has an Advocacy and Industry Relations office in DC and has a “supersized musicians lobby” that is very friendly with Wasserman Schultz. Over the weekend, the RA held a number of events surrounding the Grammys for national lawmakers, where both sides (and, for that matter both parties – both Marsha Blackburn and Darrell Issa were in attendance) meet to discuss policy priorities (the RA) and fundraising goals (Congress). Lawmakers, who seemed to be mostly there to meet their favorite recording stars, also received a briefing on the state of the music industry and a backstage tour of the Grammys. If the lawmakers return the favor of being allowed to rub elbows with music superstars by taking the RA’s position on things like copyright, they get to be part of the special “Grammys on the Hill” event in the spring, where they‘ll be awarded honorary titles for their “contributions” at their own star-studded ceremony.
Of course, most of the event’s legislator attendees didn’t also get the honor of attending the ceremony. No, that seems to have belonged only to the Recording Academy’s shining stars: two women who do their level best to protect their fellow millionaires.
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