Democracy As Reality TV

Democracy As Reality TV

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Coming to a bar near you: The Comey Show! Aka the Super Bowl of Washington and the Shit Just Got Real Tour! Come see the Republic crumble on live TV! Prepping for James Comey's Senate testimony Thursday, bars and restaurants in D.C. and around the country are opening early - very early on the West coast - and offering tasty specials like The Impeachmint, Drop the Bomb, Bad Hombre, Paid Protester, $5 Stoli Vodka, the mysterious Covfefe cocktail, the FBI Breakfast - French toast, bacon and ice cream - and free rounds every time Trump tweets himself in the foot. "Come watch the drama unfold!" urges one establishment. "Grab your friends, grab a drink and let's COVFEFE!"

The watch party circus is no more or less tawdry than what's come before. Comey testimony released Wednesday reveals a needy, bullying, cringingly-off-the-charts inappropriate Trump demanding an unseemly "loyalty" and wooing, Godfather-or-Bachelorette-like, the wary Comey with an intimate dinner laced with "awkward silence." But "we had that thing," bleats Trump. Ewww. Having arrived at this sordid state with the non-election of a reality TV non-president, this is what we get. Still, in all its awfulness, it has inspired community, which is not enough but something. Thus, people are expected to flock to public viewing places for not just news, but solace. Explains one New Yorker, "When it rains outside, you talk to other people. Trump’s presidency is like extremely bad weather.”

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A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

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