"Tonight we're gonna do what families do," Carrie Underwood said to begin her and Brad Paisley's opening monologue at Wednesday night's CMA Awards. "Come together, pray together, cry together and sing together too."
The statement of purpose was the co-host's way of addressing the elephant in the room: whether country music's most prestigious awards show would respond to the recent mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas, and to President Trump's controversial handling of them.
But if the monologue signaled that the CMAs would emphasize healing over outrage, that didn't mean Underwood and Paisley were determined to avoid politics.
As the climax of a bit about what artists on the show could and couldn't say, the two sang a parody of Underwood's hit "Before He Cheats" that took up Trump's history of tweeting impulsively from a "gold-plated White House toilet seat," as Paisley vividly imagined it.
The song's lyrical payoff?
"Think before he tweets."