John Kerry Brings James Taylor To Sing “You’ve Got A Friend” In Paris
Secretary of State John Kerry went to Paris on Friday to apologize for the absence of a high-level US dignitary from the unity rally held after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks, and brought along James Taylor to sing “You’ve Got a Friend.”
John Kerry Brings James Taylor To France
The White House had a lot of damage control to do after failing to send a high-ranking official to the unity rally on Sunday, Jan. 11, that was attended by world leaders from Israel, England, Germany and others. Jane Hartley, the US ambassador to France, was the only US representative in attendance.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) January 16, 2015
After receiving harsh criticism for the US absence at the march, Kerry arrived in Paris on Friday, Jan. 16, to pay his respects. “I wanted to tell you personally of the horror, the revulsion all Americans felt at that cowardly and despicable act against innocent victims and fundamental values,” Kerry said in Paris.
First, Kerry’s awkward embrace with French president François Hollande raised some eyebrows (see above), and then his decision to bring James Taylor to serenade the French people with “You’ve Got a Friend” made headlines. UK’s The Guardian called the short concert “condescending,” and many are questioning the decision to have Taylor perform.
Mike Huckabee, Patton Oswalt React
Gov. Mike Huckabee made fun of the gesture on Fox News, calling the entire thing embarrassing. “I’m sure it had good intentions, but whoever thought that that was a good optic ought to be, I don’t know, maybe ambassador to Siberia next year,” Huckabee stated.
In fact, many pundits at Fox News were less than pleased with Taylor’s performance, something they made clear on Twitter.
What song should we have played instead of #JamesTaylor and You’ve Got a Friend? Nothing. People were murdered. This isn’t a musical.
— Andrea Tantaros (@AndreaTantaros) January 17, 2015
JKerry brings JTaylor to France to sing “You’ve Got a Friend”… yup. Seriously. — martha maccallum (@marthamaccallum) January 16, 2015
Of course, Fox News pundits weren’t the only ones baffled by Taylor’s performance.
“Why did I bring James Taylor with me to France? Why?” pic.twitter.com/sfos6f9yD0
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 19, 2015
John Kerry seems like the kind of guy who’d send James Taylor to Fran — wait, he ACTUALLY did that? I give up. — Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) January 16, 2015