It's Your Very Captive Sunday Show Rundown!
This week, after enjoying a brief bit of good news with Senator Raphael Warnock's re-election, we immediately had to deal with a hostage situation brought about by a narcissistic asshole abusing their power for political leverage.
Correction, TWO narcissistic assholes: Arizona Not-Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Let's dive into the Sunday shows that were about them!
The Return Of The Worst Pompeo
"Fox News Sunday" brought on former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to talk about the hostage swap that brought WNBA star Brittney Griner back home. Bringing an American back home should be something we can all agree on, but good old conservative racism wasn't gonna let that happen. The conservative media sphere is lionizing Paul Whelan and spreading false claims that the Biden administration specifically and intentionally left Whelan behind and chose Griner, a Black lesbian they are pretty sure hates America, instead. This violated the rules of when it's OK to get hostages back from Russia, which conservatives made up just now. We made a handy flow chart to help explain how it works!
Mike Pompeo tried to jump in on the bandwagon but was quickly confronted by some unexpected hard questions from host Shannon Bream.
BREAM: I want to talk about this report by John Bolton, a former colleague of yours in the Trump administration, who says that there was talk of a Bout for Whelan trade under the Trump administration. You were CIA director. You were secretary of state. Certainly you would have to know of those discussions. Is that true? And why wasn't the deal made?
POMPEO: [...] I don't want to talk about the private conversations I had. Ambassador Bolton is free to say whatever he might like. But we were very focused on getting Paul Whelan out, every American back home.
Pompeo dropped a talking point about how this was going to "create the risk more Americans would be taken" and minimized Griner's situation as "if you take a celebrity, the chance of getting one of your bad guys back out of American control is greater." Bream, noticing he did not answer the original question, pressed him again.
BREAM: Is John Bolton telling the truth?
POMPEO: I don't want to comment on our internal discussions. We were working hard on each of the cases, including Paul Whelan's case during my time in service.
Pompeo's refusal to outright deny Bolton's statement seems revealing to us!
Bernie Hates Kyrsten Sinema (Who Can Blame Him?)
We have written a lot about Senator Kyrsten Sinema's decision to leave the Democratic Party, and the Sunday shows talked about it a lot too. CNN's "State Of The Union" showed a clip from Jake Tapper's interview with Sinema before its own interview with Senator Bernie Sanders.
In the Sinema interview, after Tapper read out her voting record and noted how it's in line pretty much with other Democrats, she responded with this disingenuous horseshit.
TAPPER: You're up for reelection in 2024. This move means, I suppose, that you're not going to be running in the Democratic primary for the Senate seat?
SINEMA: Well, I again, I know this probably disappointing to folks, but I'm actually not even thinking about electoral politics or talking about that at all right now.
TAPPER: But doesn't this increase the likelihood that your run for reelection will be tougher, because you will not only have a Republican opponent; you may even have a Democratic opponent?
SINEMA: You know, I don't make decisions based on what the easy road or the tough road is. I have always tried to make decisions based on what I think is right.
Sinema apparently believes it's "right" to do functionally nothing about the minimum wage or voting rights or reproductive rights. She will release hollow statements or tweets but action is too much. The idea this decision to be an independent is not political seems just as hollow.
Dana Bash asked Bernie Sanders to comment on Sinema after this clip, and he did not sugarcoat.
SANDERS: I don't want to spend a whole lot of time on Senator Sinema. She has her reasons. Dana, I happen to suspect that it's probably a lot to do with politics back in Arizona. I think the Democrats there are not all that enthusiastic about somebody who helped sabotage some of the most important legislation that protects the interests of working families and voting rights and so forth.
When asked if he'd support Sinema in her potential 2024 re-election bid, Sanders tried a bit of diplomacy.
SANDERS: I don't -- I support progressive candidates all over this country, people who have the guts to take on powerful special interests. I don't know what's going to be happening in Arizona. We will see who they nominate. But, certainly, that's something I will take a hard look at.
Bash asked a follow-up that undid it:
BASH: Does she have the guts to take on powerful special interests?
SANDERS: No, she doesn't. She is a corporate Democrat who has, in fact, along with Senator [Joe] Manchin, sabotaged enormously important legislation.
For all the criticism Sanders gets, he has always been a progressive and has never been someone Democrats feared would switch parties (Manchin) or pull the type of stunts and obstruction that the 2010 version of Kyrsten Sinema criticized former independent Senator Joe Lieberman for.
Harvey Dent in "The Dark Knight" perfectly summarized people like Kyrsten Sinema: "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
Have a week.
Wonkette is fully funded by people like you! If you love Wonkette, please donate/subscribe!
Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.