The Pandemic Will Be Televised

Welcome back to another week in our self-isolation, pandemic "Hobbit Holes"!

It's 4/20! Smoke your weed pipes with wizards if you got 'em!Giphy

With a sudden rise of stupid people eager to kill everyone (some real 'Rosa Parks' types, we're told by failed economists and conspiracy hucksters), let's take a look at the Sunday shows' stupidity! Let's begin with Vice President and sworn enemy of mutants, Mike Pence.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet The Press," Pence trotted out the faux sincere inflection he often uses when lying. But then Chuck Todd pressed him! Journalistically! Todd asked about Trump's tweets to "liberate" some states that seem to endorse the idiotic Astroturf protests:

TODD: Let me ask you about the president's tweets on Friday, he wants to liberate Minnesota, liberate Michigan, liberate Virginia. All three states have issued guidelines that follow the national advice that you've been giving them. They're following the president's guidelines to the best of their ability. Can you explain what the president is trying to liberate Minnesota from? I don't quite understand that use of language.

PENCE: […] And I think the American people have known that from weeks ago when the president declared that important balance, we have to make sure that the cure isn't worse than the disease. Because the reality is that for all of the sacrifice the American people have made, sacrifices that literally have saved lives, the truth is that there are real costs including the health and well-being of the American people to continue to go through the shutdown that we're in today. And so the president laid out new guidelines for every state in the country —

TODD: I understand that.

: — to say that if you've seen —

TODD: All right, Mr. Vice President —

PENCE: — cases decline for 14 days, if you're in a position to do —

TODD: But that is —

PENCE: — the kind of, the kind of testing —

TODD: But what's he tweeting?

PENCE: — and you have the health —

TODD: What's he tweeting?

PENCE: — hospital capacity that we want to encourage every —

TODD: Mr. Vice President, I've given you a lot of leeway here.

PENCE: — state to examine the way to go to phase one. And that's the new guidance that we're giving.

TODD: I understand that. I've given you a lot of leeway here. I've not been wanting to interrupt you. That's not true, I always want to jump in on some things. I've given you a lot of leeway. Why is the president trying to undermine the guidance you've been laying out and that he's been — he laid out this guidance on Thursday and undermined it on Friday.

PENCE: Chuck, I just — I don't accept your premise and I don't think most Americans do either. [...]

Pence's tactic when he doesn't have a clear answer or is caught in a corner is to argue the premise, then assume all Americans agree with his Mulan-hating brain. But Chuck Todd actually succinctly (yeah, THAT Chuck Todd) then summarized what Trump's clear tactic is with these tweets.

TODD: It does seem as if the president wants credit for reopening the economy and he wants the governors to get the blame for not opening it fast enough. That's what the tweet seems to imply, that he doesn't want to own the responsibility of these, of these necessary shutdowns.

Here is the full interview:

While Pence also appeared on "Fox News Sunday," Chris Wallace failed to push back on Pence much. It was, however, when Wallace was interviewing Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Wallace decided to push back on a very specific, dog-whistling point.

WALLACE: You, as you are right now, have been very critical of President Trump especially for what you say is the time that he lost initially in January and February in responding to the virus. But I — I want to point out that on February 24th, you went on a walking tour of Chinatown to try to promote tourism there and here is some of what you had to say.

Wallace then played a clip of Pelosi saying it was safe to shop in an area of AMERICA known as "Chinatown" while somehow missing the inherent racism of his question:

WALLACE: If the president underplayed the threat in the early days, Speaker Pelosi, didn't you as well?

PELOSI: No. What we're trying to do is to end the discrimination, the stigma, that was going out against the Asian-American community. In fact, if you will look the record will show that our Chinatown has been a model of containing and — and preventing the virus. So I'm confident in our folks there and thought it was necessary to offset some of the things that the president and others were saying about Asian-Americans and making them a target. A target of violence across the country — hate crimes —

WALLACE: But — but — forgive me, don't you think — don't you think that you — you — when you're about walking without any mask, I understand this is February not April when this happened and saying that there's no threat. It's perfectly safe there. Weren't you also adding to this perception that there wasn't such a threat generally?

PELOSI: No. I was saying that you should not discriminate against — discriminate against Chinese-Americans as some in our administration were doing by the way they were labeling the flu and that, no indeed. And again, I think you — if you check the record and it's current you will see that our — that Chinatown has been a model in all of this. And so, what we're saying, look to them for answers, don't look to them to place blame.

The fact that we are THIS far into this pandemic and still explaining the inherent racism of discriminating against Chinese-Americans is both disheartening and illuminating in how easily people can be scapegoated.

Here is the full interview, queued to this racist dog-whistling moment.

But just in case we are still reeling from the wibbily wobbly/timey wimey reality in which Chuck Todd did journalism and Chris Wallace asked stupid questions, let's end on this interview from CNN's "Reliable Sources" where Piers Morgan (?!!) said stuff like this:

My message to both of them, to Boris Johnson, to Donald Trump, is get your act together now. Put all the normal stuff that got you elected, all the jokey stuff, the wise cracking, the punching of opponents, all that stuff is irrelevant. It doesn't matter. Bring your countries together, bring the best medical and scientific minds, the best political minds, the best military minds, bring them together, unite the country and fight the war. Remember this: for once, we're all on the same side. This is a war between human beings and the virus of COVID-19. We're in this together. So, let's act like it.

Yep! We are definitely in the apocalypse now....


Have a week!

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Michael Mora

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.


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