- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 7, 2017

It is ironic that President-elect Donald Trump, a genuine celebrity in his own right, is shunned by many famous folk who refuse to be civil as inauguration day approaches? Who cares? So asks Roger L. Simon, founder of PJ Media and an award-winning Hollywood screenplay writer, who thinks the lack of celebrities is a “great thing” and points out that Hillary Clinton lost the election despite Tinseltown’s best efforts.

“I’d like to see the inaugural completely celebrity-free. Wouldn’t that be refreshing? No endless parade of Kardashians or housewives, real or imagined. No supposedly funny parodies by Alec Baldwin. No endless yadda-yadda from Stephen Colbert. No words of wisdom from Barbra Streisand. Just a few patriotic tunes from a Marine Corps band and a man swearing on, yes, a Bible,” writes Mr. Simon in a recent op-ed for the news site.

“It won’t happen entirely, this celebrity-free zone — but it could be close and we should be thankful,” he adds. “On the positive side too, Trump has apparently decided to write his own speech and, more importantly, keep it short.”

The grassroots appeal has been part of the plan for sometime, however.

“The inaugural is not Woodstock. It’s not summer jam. It’s not a concert,” Boris Epshteyn, director of communications for the Inaugural Committee, told CNN in December.

“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tix to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!” Mr. Trump himself recently tweeted.

Find a guide to the inauguration and it events here.

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