This Is What Happened When I Clapped at Cher’s Donald Trump Takedown
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Australia), but not so long, long ago (2016), where the idea of “President Donald Trump” still seemed like an impossible nightmare, Cher made proud to be a fan. I was even prouder than I was earlier this week when Billboard announced that Dancing Queen, her new album of ABBA covers, had debuted at number three on the Top 200 album chart, selling 153,000 copies in its first week.
Thrilled as I was about Cher’s unexpectedly brisk opening, I didn’t clap. I’ve never been much of a clapper, possibly because it’s never been my specialty. I have very vivid memories of Sunday morning song services at church when, try as they might, my hands never quite got the rhythm of the Holy Spirit down.
Occasionally, I’ve clapped along at concerts (generally just missing the beat that everyone else always seemed to nail naturally) and before and after speeches and rah-rah announcements. But I’ve always felt a bit awkward slapping my palms together.
ABBA is the ultimate clapping music, but not even Cher singing the band’s back catalog could get me to go there, though I did come close when she made her first appearance in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Applause — not to be confused with “Applause,” the 2013 single by Lady Gaga, another pop diva having a very good week, as the female lead in A Star Is Born — just isn’t my thing.
“I live for the applause, applause, applause
I live for the applause-plause, live for the applause-plause
Live for the way that you cheer and scream for me
The applause, applause, applause” — Lady Gaga
So I don’t know what possessed me to clap two years ago when the subject was Cher vs. Donald Trump during my showbiz segment for Australia’s Nine News Now, Nine Network’s mid-afternoon news program. I was talking about her spectacular moment at a Massachusetts fundraiser when she compared the then-U.S. Republican Presidential candidate to Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin.
“Preach it, Cher,” I said while clapping awkwardly at the end of the Cher portion of my segment.
“Preach it, Cher”/clap, clap, clap? Seriously?
Who told me to do that? Amber, the newsreaders seemed amused, which was always a good thing, but really, “Preach it, Cher”/clap, clap, clap? While I stand by the anti-Trump sentiment, to this day, the applause still makes me want to go back in time and fist pump instead.
It wasn’t long before I got a second reaction to my “Preach it, Cher”/clap, clap, clap — a “clapback,” so to speak. This response wasn’t as positive as Amber’s. It was from someone who shared my first name and who thought I deserved to be out of a job for my gross misconduct.
But it wasn’t just the “Preach it, Cher” or the clapping that he objected to. It was the fact that I had openly shown my disdain for Donald Trump on a live news telecast.
You are a terrible reporter and a bias [sic] one! I hope Channel 9 wakes up and fires you!, he wrote underneath some pro-Trump propaganda.
Now, I have received my share of hate letters, hate emails, and hate comments over the long course of my journalism career. Hits happen when you write about such divisive tops as race, sexuality, and celebrities.
I’ve been particularly candid about my distaste for President Donald Trump, which, predictably, hasn’t always gone over well in my home country, the one that elected him, either. I haven’t stepped foot in the United States since 2010, and sometimes I wonder if I’d even be welcomed back. Trump and his minions are nothing if not vindictive.
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But in a country (Australia) where I never met a single person who got Trump, I certainly wasn’t expecting a simple “Preach it, Cher”/clap, clap, clap to get such a vitriolic response.
I wonder how the other Jeremy would have reacted if I’d held the applause.