Patterico's Pontifications

2/2/2022

Oh: Rudy Giuliani, The Masked Singer

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:27 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Okay, this is just weird. Certainly, it must be some sort of metaphor inside a cautionary tale wrapped up in a Fox primetime series:

Rudy Giuliani was unmasked as an exiting costumed contestant in last week’s taping of the first Season 7 episode of Fox’s popular primetime series The Masked Singer. Deadline hears that as soon as they saw Giuliani, judges Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke quickly left the stage in protest.

The show is known for its jaw-dropping surprises when celebrity contestants shed their headpieces after they are eliminated. The reaction to Giuliani was perhaps the most polarizing the show has seen since 2020.

We aren’t revealing which costume Rudy wore or what his swan song was — his exit episode won’t air until next month — so you can still revel in his reveal. The theme of the new season is “The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly”

Anywho, I guess Giuliani should get his kicks now because who knows what the future holds for him:

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Tuesday subpoenaed Rudolph W. Giuliani and other members of the legal team that pursued a set of conspiracy-filled lawsuits on behalf of former President Donald J. Trump in which they made unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

In addition to Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and a ringleader of the group, the panel subpoenaed three others who played central roles in his effort to use the courts, state legislatures and Congress to try to overturn his defeat.

“The four individuals we’ve subpoenaed today advanced unsupported theories about election fraud, pushed efforts to overturn the election results or were in direct contact with the former president about attempts to stop the counting of electoral votes,” Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, said in a statement.

I’ve never seen the Masked Singer show, and frankly didn’t even know about it. If you’re curious, you can see the sort of costumes worn by the various masked singers here. I read reports last summer claiming that Giuliani was nearly broke while facing a mountain of legal fees, so maybe this is the best gig he can get. You can bet that appearing on the Fox primetime series is as close as he’s going to be getting to Fox News anymore.

I wonder if he’s already booked for the next season of Dancing With the Stars?

–Dana

Jeff Zucker Out at CNN

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:39 pm



[guest post by JVW]

CNN president Jeff Zucker resigned from his position earlier today after it no longer became tenable for him to lead that ethically-challenged organization while carrying on a romantic relationship with a subordinate, who has been identified as Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Office, Allison Gollust. Zucker explains it this way:

As part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo’s tenure at CNN, I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years. I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong.

As a result, I am resigning today.

This is perhaps the culmination (I write “perhaps,” because who knows what other ridiculous developments are yet to come) of a really miserable last few years for CNN in the Trump and then post-Trump media landscape. Ratings have plummeted since being goosed upwards during the January 6, 2021 Washington DC riots and aftermath, to the degree where not only is “The Most Trusted Name in News” lagging well behind arch-rival Fox News in ratings, but they are now getting regularly beat in key time slots by ideologically-friendly competitor MSNBC.

After gaining viewership during the early days of the Trump Administration when CNN — long-derided by conservatives as slanted to the left (it was dubbed the “Clinton News Network” by the late Rush Limbaugh) — took an aggressive posture to dealing with President 45. The network was understandably ridiculed for spending much of 2018 promoting the fraudulent hustler Michael Avenatti, to the point of actually promoting him as a plausible Presidential candidate to take on Donald Trump. They followed-up that embarrassment by first suspending and then rehabilitating analyst Jeffrey Toobin, a partisan hack who brings marginal value to legal commentary, after he had disgraced himself and likely traumatized an entire Zoom room with remote workplace Onanism. Toobin had already distinguished himself at the network by carrying on an extramarital affair with the daughter of a colleague and then having to be hauled into court as a deadbeat to pay child support. It’s long been wondered why CNN was willing to tolerate Toobin, who doesn’t seem to drive ratings at all and who is clearly a human resources department nightmare. The latest revelations against Zucker perhaps provide a clue why the network was so blasé about Toobin’s gross behavior.

And then there’s the network’s on-staff sexual predators. CNN producer John Griffin was arrested at the end of last year and charged with disgusting sexual practices with young girls. Griffin had been lead producer on the show “Cuomo Prime Time” featuring the sleazy and stupid host Christopher Cuomo, who himself was fired by the network when credible accusations of sexual harassment emerged after it had become clear that the host had flouted network rules about using his position to help his embattled thuggish and corrupt brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, fight back against sexual harassment charges of his own. The Cuomo Brothers, let us not forget, had become huge CNN stars during the COVID-19 lockdown, even though media ethics watchdogs had questioned the appropriateness of letting Fredo devote a great chunk of his “news program” to mindless banter with Sonny.

We’re bound to learn more about the Jeff Zucker-Allison Gollust relationship in the days to come, especially why it was allowed to go on for so long considering that it was apparently pretty much obvious to everyone at the network. One tantalizing report is that it was the Chris Cuomo legal team who pushed hard to bring this matter forward, so one cheer to Fredo if he indeed is behind Zucker’s resignation. And Megyn Kelly, who never worked at CNN but knows a thing or two about the boss chasing after the gals in the office, provides this prediction:

Oh, and as a fun coda, do you know what Allison Gollust did before she started working under (and on top of, and side-by-side, and — sorry, I shouldn’t have gone there) Jeff Zucker at CNN? That’s right, she was communications director for Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York. These people are absolutely shameless, and CNN has way too many clowns packed into that tiny car.

– JVW

Single Payer Health Care in California Fails (For Now)

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:09 am



[guest post by JVW]

CalMatters has the details:

Despite, or perhaps because of, an aggressive last-minute push by progressive activists ahead of a crucial deadline, legislation to create a government-run universal health care system in California died Monday without coming up for a vote.

The single-payer measure, Assembly Bill 1400, was the latest attempt to deliver on a longtime priority of Democratic Party faithful to get private insurers and profit margins out of health care. Because it was introduced last year, when it stalled without receiving a single hearing, it needed to pass the Assembly by Monday to continue through the legislative process.

But even the threat of losing the party’s endorsement in the upcoming election cycle was not enough to persuade the Assembly’s Democratic supermajority to advance the bill for further consideration, effectively killing the effort for another year.

Thanks to a generally strong stock market and performance of the tech sector during the COVID lockdowns the state is awash in tax revenue, so much so that some of it will likely even be returned to the taxpayers in rebate form after the May budget revision leads to the legislature probably passing a budget in June, just in time for Governor Newsom to start his summer reelection tour. It’s therefore unsurprising that hyper-progressives who have a strong presence in the legislative Democrat caucus are pushing for the state to once-and-for-all take over the burden of ensuring that all Golden State residents, irrespective of their citizenship status or even the legality of their presence here, be covered by a mandatory state-run health insurance program. Then-candidate Newsom came out in favor of single-payer health care for California during his 2018 campaign, but since then has suddenly become quiet on the issue, remaining mum on AB 1400 while grousing that the bill’s sponsors had not shared their plans with his office.

That bill’s main sponsor, Ash Kalra of San Jose, predictably blames his failure to get at least 41 of his 56 Democrat colleagues to vote to advance this bill in order to keep it from expiring (it was first introduced almost a full year ago). Assemblyman Kalra acknowledges that he fell short by “double-digits,” suggesting that as few as half of his caucus supports a Sacramento takeover of healthcare. To be sure, AB 1400 wouldn’t have immediately implemented single-payer from Chula Vista to Crescent City; the all-important financing of the program at an estimated tab of $200 billion per year would still have to be hashed out, both with those employers who currently purchase health insurance on behalf of their employees and with Washington DC, who remits to California its annual share of Medicare and Medicaid funds. But the bottom line to progressives is that passage of the bill would have made socialized medicine in the Golden State a fait accompli, and the bill called for the particulars of the program to be hammered out by a state-appointed board and approved by the legislature no later than July 1, 2024.

The move to single payer exposes a fissure within the dominant Democrat majority. The quite powerful and excessively left-wing California Nurses Association is the prime mover of this legislation, but other public employee labor unions which have worked hard to negotiate first-class health care coverage for their members (think teachers, for example) might not be too keen to be dumped into what will certainly end up being no better than a “MediCal for All” system. It’s this sort of intra-party squabble which, among so many other things, doomed native daughter Kamala Harris’s Presidential bid back in 2019.

There’s no doubt that the Democrats are sure to bring back this bill once Gavin Newsom is safely reelected. Look for him on the campaign trail to reiterate his desire for a statewide single-payer program in order to shore up his support among the Sanderistas in this state who are threatening to withhold support from Democrats who refused to back AB 1400, while at the same time issuing enough caveats about the cost of the bill and the future of the state’s finances to placate status quo Democrats who don’t want to lose the good thing they have going. In the end, expect Gov. Newsom to push forward with a single-payer plan, since that could truly shape up to be the only possible lasting legacy that this massive narcissist could leave. Naturally, he will want it to be fully implemented before he leaves office in January 2027 (jeeze, that’s a long time from now). And, of course, once California Democrats venture down this road, the rest of the national party won’t be too far behind.

– JVW


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