Variety’s cover this week is The Inauguration Issue, and the cover is like the looking glass into hell. No, I jest. I actually love Van Jones. But putting Lena Dunham, Chelsea Handler and Michael Moore on the cover like they’re the most salient progressive voices? Nope. No offense to Michael Moore, who correctly predicted Emperor Baby Fists’ victory. But this cover is the reason why I worry about my side. You can see Variety’s whole Inauguration Issue package here. I’m just covering the Chelsea Handler interview right now. I mostly think Handler is a severely damaged and painfully unfunny person and it amuses me to no end that she’s flailing around on a Netflix talk show that few people watch. The only time anyone pays attention to her is when she’s talking sh-t about Angelina Jolie. But to hear Handler tell it, she’s the second coming of Seth Meyers. Or something. Some highlights from her interview:
She wanted to move to Spain after the election but her young staffers convinced her to stay: “They all just said, ‘You’re our only outlet. You’re our mouthpiece.’ That will motivate anybody, and it motivates me.”
Wrapping on her first season on Netflix: “It feels right. We have more of an impact being on Netflix than I would have had on another network, because we have a huge international audience. It’s nice to be able to let them know that just because this man is our president, this is not a representation of everybody in our country. It’s a representation of less than half the people.
Whether she would ever want to interview President Trump: “No. Why would I? I don’t ever want to see him. I don’t ever want to interact with him, which won’t be a problem. Once he came up to me in a restaurant in L.A. to introduce himself — to tell me he’s Donald Trump. I said, “Great.”
What the media should have done differently during the election: “Stop covering [Trump] so much. They were treating him as an entertainer first. It was a reality show. We’ve turned into a reality show. I blame the Kardashians, personally; the beginning of the end was the Kardashians. The way these people have blown up and don’t go away — it’s surreal. Everyone is for sale. We’re looking at a man that gets mad at Vanity Fair for reviewing his restaurant poorly. By the way, have you ever been to that restaurant? It’s the biggest piece of garbage you’ve ever walked into. That place looks like a Southwest airport lounge. It’s the worst.
Trump’s campaign was like a reality show: “Somebody should have put a stop to it. The idea that so many people were so wrong about the outcome is so screwed up. The fact that Russia is interfering with our election is beyond repair. How do we ever recover from that? What’s to prevent them from doing it for the rest of our lives?…. There’s a toddler in the White House, and it’s not one of the children. The other thing about his children, they have absolutely no influence over him. The idea that Ivanka is going to help women, or do anything for women, is absurd, because she’s a puppet. They’re all his puppets. They’re scared s–tless of him, and the fact that they’re still around him means they have never stood up to him.
Could Trump be impeached? “I hope so. Probably. But how would they even get him out of there? He doesn’t abide by laws and rules. They’d have to physically remove him. It’s becoming clearer what a sociopath he is. I think our job as entertainers — or my job — is to reach across and figure out the people who are so disenchanted that they voted for him, and try to find some common ground.
Does Chelsea really have a huge international audience? Are there people in Japan, Sweden and Indonesia checking out her Netflix show? I’m really asking. As for the rest of it…it’s often said that the best comedy is rooted in truth and tragedy, and the best comedians are actually social critics. That being said, I honestly don’t get this: “I blame the Kardashians, personally; the beginning of the end was the Kardashians. The way these people have blown up and don’t go away — it’s surreal.” Sure, but what does that have to do with Trump? Trump was his own reality show circus before the Kardashians came along. Keeping up the Kardashians actually began airing three years after The Apprentice first started, meaning that Trump was a reality star before Kim Kardashian. Isn’t it far more likely that the Kardashians and Trump are symptoms of an even bigger and more insidious problem within the Idiocracy that is America?
Photos courtesy of WENN.