Mark Pincus: Biden Is Even Riskier Than Trump


TGIF: Cheap Fakes

Nuclear power passes the Senate. Bestiality is the new frontier. Winning World War II was a huge mistake. Honduras goes prison mode. And much, much more.

Welcome back. It’s TGIF

→ Don’t believe your eyes: The big move from the Biden presidential campaign over the last two weeks has been to say that what you see with your own eyes is not what is happening, not at all, not even close. Biden is young and strapping (I literally just saw him jump off a galloping horse, spin, and land on his feet with a gun drawn). The target this week: Biden froze onstage for a moment as a crowd applauded, and it was a little weird, but it was made much weirder by Barack Obama taking Biden by the hand, giving it a little squeeze, and gently walking him offstage.

You shouldn’t believe me; simply watch the video for yourself. Disinformation police, gather! Fact checkers, unite! Here’s the Associated Press with a “fact check.” It’s not a freeze, it’s a pause!

And as the AP notes, it’s also not even a thing: “A source who helped organize, and attended, the fundraiser told the AP that there was nothing noteworthy about this moment.” The trouble is, it takes two to decide whether something is noteworthy. When I hit another car in the parking garage, is that noteworthy? I don’t think so. Why are you so obsessed with whether your bumper lives on the sidewalk now? “This did not happen,” said Eric Schultz, senior adviser to Obama, responding to the video showing that it really did happen. CBS News called one embarrassing clip “a digitally altered video,” yet it was the exact version shared by the White House. 

Others have come up with a new word for videos that are technically completely real but also annoying to the candidate who simply must win, and that term is cheap fakes. Like deep fake, but real, but we hate them.

Now listen, you can say, “Yeah, Biden is old, but the other guy is absolutely nuts and surrounds himself with maniacs, so who cares?” That’s a really good argument. That’s compelling. But that would involve persuasion and an admission that the dear leader is human. It’s much better to say: those videos are lies, because we just saw Biden water skiing while holding a goddamn dolphin over his head. Okay? Those are the real facts, please get back to work. 

→ Oh God, the polls: It’s looking tight. Though not in Iowa, where Trump leads Biden 50 percent to 32 percent among likely voters, while RFK earned 9 percent, according to a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll. The Register suggests that the former president’s convictions aren’t an issue for many voters. In fact, one poll respondent, who became a Republican because of Trump and plans to vote for him in November, goes on to say, “The more they try to get him out of the picture, the stronger they make him. I, for one, believe that the charges are bogus.” As Semafor political reporter David Weigel said: “No Democrat has gotten under 40% in Iowa since 1980. Biden at 32% would be the worst D performance there since 1924.”

But then, twist! A Fox News poll shows Biden two points ahead of Trump on the national stage. (It’s funny because the people who said Fox News polls can’t ever be trusted when they showed Trump ahead are now saying this is an amazing, definitive new poll.) I, for one, believe all the polls. I think it’s gonna be a tight, fun race, like watching two grizzled old tortoises get to a finish line. Which one will it be? Someone put an iceberg wedge on the field to keep them on course. 

→ Hell yeah, Congress: The Senate just overwhelmingly approved new pro–nuclear power legislation on Tuesday, with a vote of 88–2. Who are the two? Just two senators who hate the idea of copious clean nuclear energy and want us to stay on dirty coal so that the Extinction Rebellion kids can keep protesting by gluing their hands to our commuter thoroughfares. Logical. Simple. Yes, the two holdouts are Senators Ed Markey, and—you guessed it—Bernie Sanders. But let’s focus on the bright side: our Senate just did something bipartisan, functional, and pro-progress. We love to see it. 

The bill does a number of things, like streamlining the permit process, cutting costs for developers, and opening to new technology like small modular nuclear reactors. Meanwhile, protesting climate change or something, Just Stop Oil folks this week are spraying Stonehenge with orange powder. And honestly, it looks cool. Painting Stonehenge is not a bad idea. Especially if you want some angry Anglo-Saxon deity (oh my god it’s my dad! He wants to read Beowulf to you, and for you to get your elbows off the table!) to haunt you and your descendants. 

→ Hell yeah, LAUSD: The Los Angeles Unified School District voted Tuesday to ban cell phones during the entire school day. The nation’s second largest school district will now have to figure out how to actually enforce this new policy, considering solutions like phone lockers or maybe pouches, per The Wall Street Journal. This is part of a nationwide movement to free children from their phones, a movement majorly inspired by friend-of-The FP Jonathan Haidt, with whom I am personally obsessed (he’s so smart, he’s so nice, great hair). One boarding school in New England even replaced smartphones with Light Phones that have only calling and texting and look like this:

This image is terrifying to a 12-year-old. Imagine trying to watch TikToks on this old brick. No selfie camera, no apps, no nothing. Perfect. (To be clear, the phone situation is also the fault of helicopter parents who can’t stand the idea of their little preteens being inaccessible for a few hours.)

→ Gaza pier is dunzo: The dream of America somehow using a beautiful pier to deliver food to Gaza, which would magically have a special non-Hamas government to then distribute the goods, is over. After what we’re told is $230 million in construction costs (you just know that amount is a quarter of what we actually paid), the pier is being dismantled very soon. I never thought I would yearn for the high-speed rail to nowhere, but it seems preferable to the pier to the bottom of the Mediterranean. 

As Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, the Central Command deputy commander, put it: issues with the pier “stemmed solely from unanticipated weather.” It’s summer in the Mediterranean, boys. How much unanticipated weather can there really be?

→ Candace Owens comes out against World War II: Candace Owens, a star conservative commentator now building her own media company, argues that it was a mistake for the U.S. to enter World War II. When a journalist asks to confirm this, saying: “So, you think that America shouldn’t have gone into that second world war?” Candace replies: “Yeah, and that is a radical statement. People don’t know how to deal with that because we’ve all been so brainwashed by the school system to believe that ‘Look how great things are. . . . ’ This whole idea of international liberalism—now it’s not just about your problems, it’s about solving the world’s problems. Let’s make sure that in Pakistan there’s a trans flag waving. No.” So, England should have fallen to the Nazis. Because otherwise we get The Trans Flag. This is where the new right is at. They believe World War II was a mistake; the Nazis would have been fine controlling Europe, which is none of our business anyway; and when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor we should have said, “Thank you! Hawaii always seemed gay to us too! Men wearing necklaces made of flowers?!” Thanks for bravely saying what no one else will dare to, Candace.

Meanwhile, who’s Candace Owens’ new best friend, coming on the show to commiserate? None other than Briahna Joy Gray, the former press secretary for Bernie Sanders. It was inevitable they would find each other. All my favorites eventually do. 

→ Speaking of best friends: The cool internet Nazis gathered in person this week. Yes, Nick Fuentes, Sulaiman Ahmed, Lucas Gage, Jake Shields—and David Duke, the old KKK grand wizard—got together to take a bunch of pics and talk about the Jewish Question (and no, it’s not “What makes this night different from all other nights?”). If you want to watch an alarming scene, look at Nick Fuentes speaking to a cheering crowd in Detroit. They’re all really excited about the anti-Israel protests happening on campus. Vibing with Candace and Briahna, former Bernie staffer Matt Orfalea said Nick Fuentes makes a lot of sense: “This guy doesn’t sound like a ‘Nazi’ or ‘white supremacist.’ He’s antiwar, he’s outspoken *against* geocoding Arabs, and won’t vote for a presidential candidate unless they oppose war with Iran. Am I missing something? If so, what?” 

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