Culture News

Is Donald Trump Going to Pardon Joe Exotic?

Donald Trump Jr. expressed interest in the idea in a radio appearance on Monday

Update, 4/9/2020: A reporter asked President Trump yesterday if he would consider granting Joe Exotic a pardon, and Trump responded that he would "take a look."

On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. spoke with Jim Norton and Sam Roberts on their SiriusXM radio show.

Among other topics discussed was the trio's shared love of Tiger King, the five hour saga of purely American insanity which Don Jr. claimed to have watched in two sittings. After he plugged his Instagram and the Joe Exotic/Donald Trump meme that he had just posted there, the hosts managed to steer Don Jr. toward more pressing concerns, including the fact that Joe Exotic has recently been seeking a presidential pardon for his crimes.

While Don Jr. expressed some skepticism about whether the story was true, an inspection of Joe Exotic's personal Facebook page reveals that it is all too real. A recent post to that page includes a plea for President Trump to consider "a special investigation or a Presidential Pardon from the Conviction I have Just received" and goes on to accuse unnamed persons of crimes including sex trafficking.

With that plea formally on the record, Sam Roberts pushed Don Jr. to meet with his father "the way that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian went into the White House and like, got that other person the pardon" and get the president to consider "maybe a presidential pardon for poor Joe Exotic, who's in there—and maybe we try to arrest Carole [Baskin] while we're at it."

Donald Trump Jr. on 'Tiger King'

After adding their voices to the broad speculation that Carole Baskin killed her first husband, they moved on to other topics, but not before Don Jr. had a chance to express his openness to the idea of pardoning Joe Exotic saying, "I could generally be for this, just for the meme, and just for frankly watching the media reaction" and suggesting that Exotic's sentence seemed excessive, though he qualified his comments with, "Maybe not right now."

Of course, if Don Jr. wants to be involved in securing a presidential pardon for Joe Exotic, then he may want to hurry, as Kim Kardashian West recently began looking into the question of Carole Baskin's missing husband, Don Lewis. On March 22nd she asked Twitter, "What are your thoughts? Do you think Carol [sic] killed him?" If she ends up finding the case against Baskin as convincing as Exotic himself did, she may decide to make the cause of freeing Joe Exotic her next high-profile foray into criminal justice reform.

With around 40,000 names currently signed to the petition for Donald Trump to "Free The Tiger King," would Kardashian West have what it takes to finally get this cause in front of the president? And would he actually do it? Considering Donald Trump's feelings about environmental regulation (Joe Exotic's conviction included several violations of the Endangered Species Act) and his general distaste for "nasty" women, it would hardly be surprising if he decided to add Exotic to his impressive list of pardons.

Whether or not that comes to pass—and even if Donald Trump decides not to make Joe Exotic his reelection running mate—it seems inevitable that our current moment of chaos, tinged as it is by Tiger King, will shape politics for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, Don Jr. closed his thoughts on the Netflix documentary with this insight: "You know what the real tragedy … in that whole show is? That none of us knew that you could have had a pet tiger for like two grand."

So look forward to season two of Tiger King AKA Tiger President, which will follow Don Jr. as he realizes Joe Exotic's dream of filling the White House with illegal tigers.

Now that you've flooded Instagram with photos of black squares, it's time to hunker down for some real activism.

If you're a white person, you're sitting on top of about four centuries of institutionalized racism. In the wake of George Floyd's murder by police and countless Black Lives Matter protests across the nation, it's time to show up—with your body, with your voice, and with your brain.

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TV News

Who's to Blame in the Slapfight That Pushed Kourtney to Quit KUWTK?

In the season premiere of Keeping up With the Kardashians Kim's criticism of Kourtney finally pushed things too far

These days it's hard to imagine anyone getting mad at another person for staying home sick.

The best reason to get mad at someone during the coronavirus pandemic is that they refuse to stay home. But that wasn't the case last September, when the Kardashian family's usual tension and in-fighting escalated to physical blows between Kourtney and Kim.

It was around the time Kylie Jenner was scheduled to have a major moment at the Balmain Spring 2020 fashion show in Paris. As the season premiere of Keeping Up With the Kardashians documents, Kylie was planning to represent Kylie Cosmetics at the event—and was in the process of planning out looks for the models—when she became violently ill. According to posts made to Twitter and Instagram, Kylie had a case of strep throat that was so bad she was bleeding from the mouth and had to be hospitalized, with Kylie later tweeting, "It was the sickest I've ever been."

But apparently Kim Kardashian West was not convinced of her half-sister's illness, and she was not concerned for the well-being of all the models and attendees that Kylie could have infected—we used to be so careless pre-2020! She felt strongly that she and Khloé were the only sisters who knew the value of hard work, and she let Kourtney know that she and Kylie were letting down the family, stating matter-of-factly, "You don't care about stuff" and, "If I were on my deathbed, I would still show up." Cool...

Kim & Kourtney's Feud Gets Physical: "KUWTK" Katch-Up (S18, E1) | E!

This is not the first time that Kim, 39, has directed this kind of criticism at her older sister—the infamous fight over the Christmas photo shoot was much the same—but it was apparently the last straw for Kourtney, 40, who interrupted Kim to say, "You act like I don't do sh*t … You have this narrative in your mind—" which is when Kim cut her off. Kourtney continued trying to mount a defense while Kim interjected with her criticism until Kourtney finally came out with, "I will literally f*ck you up" and quickly showed that it was not an empty threat.

The exchange of slaps, kicks, punches, and digging fingernails has to be seen to be fully appreciated—though footage of kangaroos fighting in the wild will get you 90% of the way there.

In the aftermath of the fight airing on national TV, Kourtney all but officially confirmed that she will not be returning to the show. It's always sad to see a family business falling apart over this kind of sibling drama—even if the family business was to constantly be on the brink of falling apart over sibling drama—but the question remains, whose fault was it?

Actually, never mind, it was Kim's. Without a doubt. Good for her that she's a hard worker—and she has actually done some impressive things in recent years—but her attitude that her siblings are supposed to live according to her standards, and that she knows better than they do about their own health, is insufferable—especially from a younger sister. Kourtney should not have flown off the handle, but Kim should have seen that she was striking a nerve and backed off rather than escalating it—and actually slapping her sister across the face with a lot more force than Kourtney managed.

Kangaroo Boxing Fight | Life Story | BBC Earth

In a series of tweets on the incident, Kourtney said, "It's trash #KUWTK." And when another user suggested that the fight had been the motivation she needed to finally leave the show—after previously deciding to cut way down on her involvement—Kourtney responded, "It is from our darker moments where growth happens." Grammar aside, it would be nice if she followed through this time and we no longer have to see this kind of drama without the soothing tones of David Attenborough's narration to reassure us that the kangaroos will be okay.