A gentle Trump parody aside, the Country Music Association’s annual event dodged burning political issues – including gun control

“Maybe next time, he’ll think before he tweets,” sang co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood during their opening banter at the 51st annual Country Music Association awards. In terms of political provocation or controversy, the minute-long Trump-baiting parody of Underwood’s hit single, Before He Cheats, was as notable a political statement as anyone made during this year’s ceremony.

Paisley and Underwood have developed a repartee in their decade-long stint as the show’s co-hosts, yet their shtick has always been grounded in an affable, aw-shucks flavor of humor designed not to offend. As such things go, they’re consummate professionals, able to effectively deliver one-liners and to keep the performances and award presentations moving at a brisk pace. But provocateurs they are not.

Related: How the Country Music Awards tried to silence talk of gun control

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