And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #340: Newt Gingrich v Madonna

By | Published on Friday 27 January 2017


Madonna was at an event and said something that turned out to be a bit controversial. That’s a sentence you could pretty confidently put out as a news story around once a month without checking if it actually happened or not. If you want people to talk about your event, booking Madonna is a pretty safe bet for making sure that happens.

Of course, this can prove counterproductive. Sometimes the things Madonna says can distract from the actual message of your event and/or protest. Although, thankfully, I think last Saturday’s Women’s March was too big for even Madonna to mess up.

As is usually the case, the sentiment of what Madonna was saying was positive and good. She just happened to mention that it had crossed her mind to blow up the White House, and for some reason people latched onto that.

“Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House”, she said, addressing protesters at the main march in Washington, DC. That wasn’t all she said, but if you’ve heard any more of the speech than that this week, you must have gone looking for it. Actually, she followed it up with the line: “but I know that this won’t change anything”, trying to get across to people that violent actions are not the answer to opposing Donald Trump, who is now the actual president of the actual United States of actual America.

Many live TV broadcasts had cut away by that point though, meaning anyone still watching was now spinning into a blind rage at what they assumed was a call for her audience to head straight round Trump’s new gaff and set it off like the 4th of July.

Donald Trump’s administration weren’t keen to comment on the large-scale protests against his inauguration on Saturday – focussing instead on how 95% of the world’s entire population had stood in the cold in central Washington to watch him crowned Phenomenal President Of The Year 2017 the day before. However, most other people on the right of US politics were quick to grab onto that one sentence from Madonna’s speech

“I spoke in metaphor and I shared two ways of looking at things”, she said after her speech had become a mini controversy. “One was to be hopeful, and one was to feel anger and outrage, which I have personally felt. However, I know that acting out of anger doesn’t solve anything. And the only way to change things for the better is to do it with love”.

Asked for his view on all of this, as he so often is when something of no real importance happens, former Congressman Newt Gingrich appeared on Fox News shouting about having the singer arrested. It also allowed him to talk up the tiny proportion of protesters who engaged in a bit of vandalism last weekend. There are always a few, and it always plays into the hands of the people who oppose any protest. Well done, guys.

“She is parallel to the young fascists who ran around town breaking windows, all of whom should be given the maximum sentence”, he said. “What you have is an emerging left-wing fascism. She’s part of it, and I think we have to be prepared to protect ourselves”.

That’s right, Madonna is the leader of an army of window breakers, who will be coming to break your windows any time now, no doubt. Lock em all up, before it’s too late.

Presenter Steve Doocy countered that Madonna had said that her comment had been “wildly taken out of context”, at which point things turned weird.

“I love the left”, snorted Gingrich. “When they say ‘I dreamed about blowing up the White House’, they didn’t mean they dreamed about blowing up the White House. They actually meant ‘the yellow purple banana’, but they didn’t wanna say yellow purple banana because it was too shocking, so they said blow up the White House. Give me a break! She now understands she’s at risk”.

Let’s break that down quickly…

“I love the left”

Untrue. Newt Gingrich has a long history of thinking people with views opposing his own are well shady.

“When they say ‘I dreamed about blowing up the White House’, they didn’t mean they dreamed about blowing up the White House”.

OK, Madonna said she’d thought about it, rather than dreamed about it, and she was very clear that she had thought about it, but I guess he has something of a point there.

“They actually meant ‘the yellow purple banana’, but they didn’t wanna say yellow purple banana because it was too shocking, so they said blow up the White House”.

Dude, what now? What the fuck is a yellow purple banana? And what are you talking about? Madonna didn’t say ‘blow up the White House’ to cover up for something more shocking, she said it to emphasise a point. And in that moment, for that purpose, she definitely meant ‘blow up the White House’.

“Give me a break!”


“She now understands she’s at risk”.

Of what? Being arrested? Is that really likely? I think if you watch her full speech it’s pretty clear what Madonna meant. She wasn’t inciting people to go and torch the White House. She just had a little think about it and decided that it wasn’t a good idea. I mean, does Madonna even have the necessary skills to pull off a job like that?

Aside from needing to make the right contacts and gaining their trust in order to get hold of that many explosives, it would require immense skills in sneaking around in order to set them all up undetected. She has trouble even walking up stairs, let alone running around and jumping behind bushes. Also, she’d surely be suspect number one, given that she’d just made her plans public.

Oh wait, I got a bit distracted over thinking things there, didn’t I? And while I was writing that last paragraph, President Trump probably signed seventeen executive orders forcing women to have unwanted babies in gold-plated debt-generating hospitals heated with fossil fuels and staffed by unqualified Americans because all skilled immigrants have been put in cages.

But it’s hard, I guess, to crowbar all of that into some music news. Even for me. It’s a lot easier to talk about how Newt Gingrich had an opinion on a speech he hadn’t actually watched in full, and then on another statement he hadn’t actually read. And I think that’s probably how we got into this mess.