Hillary Clinton has an unfair advantage over Donald Trump.
Not only is the media firmly on her side, so is Hollywood. She gets wave after wave of free publicity and praise from all corners of pop culture. “Broad City” devoted an entire episode to pure, unabashed Hillary worship. Late-night talkers like Samantha Bee might as well wear “I’m With Her” buttons on every episode.
Only sometimes it’s not enough.
This week, the rehabilitating presidential candidate tried to co-opt pop culture on her own terms. She didn’t fully vet the choice, though.
Clinton returned to the campaign trail following her pneumonia diagnosis. We wish her a speedy recovery, of course.
She also managed a true pop culture clunker upon her return. Team Hillary cranked up the James Brown classic “I Feel Good” to mark her return to full health. Makes sense, right? Who doesn’t love a classic song with an uplifting message?
Only Brown died in 2006 after being hospitalized for, you guessed it, pneumonia.
Twitter, of course, took notice:
#Hillary just played James Brown’s “I Feel Good” in first day back from “pneumonia” bout.
Brown died of pneumonia pic.twitter.com/8P8ap3ZPLO
— Alt Right (@_AltRight_) September 16, 2016
— Jeannie-ology (@jeanniology) September 16, 2016
It’s one thing for conservatives to mock Clinton. They got company following the song selection.
The left-leaning entertainment site TheWrap.com published an article on the gaffe with a doozy of a subhead.
We’re glad she’s feeling better — but someone should tell her campaign to find another catchy song. This one’s not helping.
The UK Telegraph piled on, too, adding a link to an “essential James Brown” song list to rub it in.
This kind of cultural mockery isn’t what someone like Clinton expects. It could be a sign the media sees her as hopelessly flawed. Or, perhaps the web sites couldn’t resist.
Of course, some of Clinton’s palace guards in the media rushed to her defense all the same.
Newsbusters noted how CBS This Morning’s Gayle King, an overt partisan, tried to explain away the hubbub.
After [Norah] O’Donnell pointed out that Clinton entered an event to the song “I Feel Good,” she added, “Someone probably should have told Clinton’s staff that James Brown died of complications from pneumonia in 2006.” King, a Democratic donor, dismissed, “That’s ironic, but nobody thinks of that song in those terms. When you think ‘I Feel Good,’ it’s a great song. Come on.”
Come on, indeed. If Donald Trump had made that gaffe, King would have gleefully reported it.
Hollywood will still have her back, but Clinton needs to brush up on Pop Culture 101 to avoid future gaffes.