September 23, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Andy Cohen changes subject when Rachel Maddow criticizes Trump

BY TROY MASTERS  |  Rachel Maddow, MSNBC’s most effective — and most popular — progressive voice is also one of America’s leading analysts of what a Trump administration will look like for the LGBT community. Yes, she has a much broader range of talking points that cover a wide array of political concerns, but on LGBT issues, she may be the ‘mainstream’ media’s most educated, far reaching and influential voice.

She may also be the most respected LGBT person on television.

The host of MSNBC’s highest-rated program was a guest of Andy Cohen on his Bravo program, “What What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.”  But it turns out that want happened was Andy Cohen asserting himself to keep Rachel from asserting herself.  The episode may just be emblematic of where we are as a community now and so it’s worth examining.

In a segment of his show in which Andy asks viewer to submit questions they’d like him to ask his guest, Andy asked Rachel “If you booked Donald Trump on your show, what would your first question be?”

Rachel answered:  “Are you going to send me or anybody that I know to a camp?”

Andy couldn’t have gotten away from the question any faster.  He just ended the discussion by changing subjects.

But Maddow’s imaginary question for Donald Trump is one that really deserves an airing.  It’s in all our heads. It’s the very question was are all afraid to ask, partly because it seems insane but also because every day seems worse than the last.  Her question is the most outrageous fear we have and it’s not something anyone in modern America should be in a position of wondering about.

We are terrified at every turn by every appointment in Trump’s singularly homophobic cabinet. There has not been a single administration appointment thus far who does not have a long history of activist hatred toward the LGBT community.

Not one.  I wish that was hyperbole.

There’s every reason to expect that those homo-hatred agendas will now play out in national policy.  Our clocks are going to be set back 25 years.

So, Rachel’s question deserves an answer.

What Andy did was bat it down and treat it like a Debbie Downer moment with insufficient glitter power. A cocktail buzz-killer.

It was a brief moment but it holds the same power as Kelly Osbourne’s speech at a Los Angeles fundraiser for Trevor Project in which she told an audience of LGBT people to give Trump’s homophobic administration a chance.

It may not seem like much but every little bit matters right now. Every centimeter of forgiveness, even if by the assent of eye-rolling or a conversation ending “anyhoo,” is normalization.

Very disappointing, to borrow a line from Donald.

We realize Cohen’s demographic is all about pleasing ladies who may love their interior decorators and hairdressers but who voted for Trump anyway.  We know you don’t want to sparkle with controversy.  It might kill their buzz or yours.

To be fair, fans note that Andy does not hold back on social media and posts lots of commentary and rebuttals about Trump.

But get over fear of doing it on your show, Andy:  on Live TV let ‘er rip — let Rachel rip!

Why participate in the normalization of Donald Trump?

NBC is doing lots of work on that front.  Jimmy Fallon’s famous tussle of Donald Trump’s hair was a normalization of a fascist that many people have not forgotten.  “The Apprentice” executive producer title  for Donald Trump is a reason for grave concern to many.  The archive footage of The Apprentice held the key to claims of Trump’s enormous misogyny. Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough cozies up to Trump, MSNBC is reportedly in talks to hire Greta Van Susteren, the Fox News host with a history of soft-balling Trump. Enter the Fox, Megyn Kelly, who practically blew Trump on air and has now landed at NBC. Oh, don’t forget the Matt Lauer several episodes! Media Matters has a great round up of NBC’s collaboration.

Andy, you should ask Rachel to explain her question.

Your viewers are exactly the one’s who need to hear why she would ask such a question.

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