WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2023
Could something be wrong with Us? This past Monday—Monday, January 16—was a federal holiday.
Right at the start of her TV show, Nicolle Wallace alluded to that widely known fact:
WALLACE (1/16/23): Hi, everyone! It's 4 o'clock in the East. And on this day when our country celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the embodiment of the very best of what our country stands for when it's at its best, on this day of all days, it is impossible to ignore what is fast becoming arguably the worst of what this disgraced, twice impeached ex-president's party now stands for today.
We are talking, of course, about George Santos, the newly minted Republican congressman from New York whose professional resume, his education, even teeny tiny little details of his personal life have turned out to be either little white lies or outright pathological falsehoods...
Too funny! On this day when we honor Dr. King, it was impossible to avoid talking about George Santos!
Several analysts tore at their hair as Wallace opened her program. We suggested that they should instead treat themselves to a moment of mordant laughter.
Wallce quickly introduced a group of "our favorite reporters and friends." Inevitably, she and her favorite reporters and friends spent the next 39 minutes talking about George Santos—though, in fairness, Denver Riggleman was rarely able to stop talking about himself.
At 4:39 in the East, Wallace finally teased her TV show's next topic. On this day when we honor Dr. King, as on every day of the year, she and her friends would be discussing the "most prosecutable" events from January 6—that is to say, the events which might be "most prosecutable" in the case of Donald J. Trump.
Visitors, can we talk? George Santos, the newly minted Republican congressman, simply isn't a very important political figure.
He's one of 435 members of the House. In our view, it would have made much more sense, on the merits, for the House to have refused to seat him—but seated he was, and there he sits, a "teeny tiny" blip within the vast field of federal political power.
Santos isn't very important—but on a tribal basis, he's a whole lot of fun to discuss. Wallace herself had suggested that there seems to be something "pathological" about his vast array of misstatements, and at least one of her friends used that language too.
That said, no one ever suggested that something simply seems to be wrong with Santos—that he may simply be in the grip of some diagnosable psychiatric problem. Instead, the reporters and friends spent 39 minutes discussing the weird behavior of one member of the House—one completely powerless junior member out of 435.
Is something wrong with George Santos? Is he diagnosably, clinically "pathological" in some way?
Only a few minutes had passed before the reporters and friends lit upon the latest ridiculous Santos claim which has come to light. On the day when we may forget to honor Dr. King, Wallace even played the tape of this ridiculous (though we'd also say pitiful) exchange from a New York City radio show, the ridiculous WABC’s ridiculous Sid & Friends in the Morning,
SANTOS (2020): I actually went to school on a volleyball scholarship.
SID ROSENBERG: You did?
SANTOS: I did, yeah. When I was in Baruch, we were the number one volleyball team.
ROSENBERG: Did you graduate from Baruch?
SANTOS: Yes, I did.
ROSENBERG: So did I.
SANTOS: Oh! Very cool! Great school, great institution. Very liberal but very good professors who don’t show their bias, which is very interesting, but that’s a whole other conversation.
But it’s funny that we went to play against Harvard, Yale, and we slayed them.
ROSENBERG: Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaa!
SANTOS: We were champions across the entire Northeast Corridor. Every school that came up against us, they were shaking at the time. And it’s funny. I was the smallest guy and I’m 6-2.
SANTOS: Look, I sacrificed both my knees, and got very nice knee replacements from HSS playing volleyball. That's how serious I took the game.
ROSENBERG: That's how serious you're taking politics as well. Remember that name, "George Santos."
To listen to that inane exchange, you can just click here.
(For the record, Hospital for Special Surgery—"HSS"—is a hospital in New York City which specializes in orthopedic surgery. That said, is Santos really 6 foot 2? Does somebody have a tape measure?)
As many people know by now, Santos actually wasn't a star on the Baruch volleyball team. (At the time when Santos wasn't there, it was the strongest male volleyball team in the whole New York City area.)
In fact, Santos didn't attend Baruch University at all! Where did his claim about stardom come from? Citing Inside Edition, People magazine recently told us this:
CHAMLEE (1/13/23): The chair of the Nassau County Republican Committee said that, during his first bid for congress in 2020, Santos claimed to be a college volleyball "star" at Baruch University.
"He said he was a star and that they won the championship and he was a striker," Joseph Cairo, chair of the committee, said in a press conference Wednesday.
As Santos has since admitted, he did not attend the school. And while it's unclear exactly where his lie about playing volleyball stemmed from, Inside Edition reported that the story bears a striking resemblance to the resume of his former boss, Pablo Oliveira.
According to the outlet, Oliveira—who was Santos' boss at financial services company LinkBridge Investors—graduated from Baruch University, where he played on the school's winning volleyball team and was a two-time All-American volleyball player. A LinkedIn profile appears to back up Oliveira's resume, though little is known about LinkBridge itself.
Assuming that report is correct, Santos seems to have commandeered that part of Oliveira's life story. We would assume that such behavior is diagnosable in some way, though it may not be diagnosable by Wallace's chortling friends.
Sad! We've long suggested that people like us should consider having pity for people like Santos—for people who seem to be psychiatrically unwell.
That doesn't mean that such disordered people should be seated in the House. It doesn't mean that they should be relieved of accountability for their financial scams.
It does suggest the possibility that we shouldn't fill our tents with talk about Santos, a highly insignificant back bench member of the House. That said, Wallace devoted her first 39 minutes to Santos, saying it was impossible to do anything else on the day when our country honors Dr. King.
To us, that pretty much seemed like another moment in a week in the life. More specifically, and journalistically, it struck us as another moment in a week in the imitation of life here in our failing nation.
For us within our blue tribe tents, it's pleasing to hear about George Santos. Lots of money can be made by the corporate entities who pleasure us with such discussions.
Those entities know something else about us.
They know that we won't sit around listening to serious talk about the lives, the interests and the happiness of our nation's black kids. For that reason, you will never hear Wallace and her bevy of friends discussing the public schools of Shaker Heights or the unimportant children within them.
During this past week in the life, this report about Shaker Heights has hung in the background of our field of vision, a bit like the way Banquo's ghost lurks about in one of Shakespeare's plays.
That flawed report about Shaker Heights went unmentioned by all concerned in this latest week in the life. We're going to get to that (admirably well intentioned) report before the end of our own current week.
Something is plainly wrong with George Santos. On the week we devote to the late Dr. King, we will pose the following question:
Something is wrong with the pitiful Santos. Also, though, could something be wrong with Us?
Tomorrow: One day after we honor King, Stormy Daniels returns!