[TV static drones]
[upbeat rock music]
- Hi, there, and welcome to the show,
still coming to you from this blank void.
It's been another eventful week with more elections,
this time in New York and Kentucky,
plagued by long lines, and the Trump administration
trying yet again to dismantle the Affordable Care Act
because if there's one thing we have too much of right now,
And yet, once more, the news is being dominated
by the coronavirus, among other things,
the worst thing to happen to weddings
since flash mobs.
The U.S. is now setting records for daily new cases
as the virus surges around the country,
which makes it both startling
and frankly infuriating that on Friday,
the vice president made this declaration.
- The truth is we did slow the spread,
we flattened the curve,
we were able to stand up the resources
and the capacities in our healthcare system
to be able to meet this coronavirus
in a way that would put
the health of all of our country first.
This is just such an open and stupid lie.
It's like instead of saying your dog is on a farm upstate,
your dad said, "Your dog owns a farm upstate
"that has the market cornered
"in wholesale wheat and grain supplies
for the entirety of Saratoga County."
That's not true, the dog is dead,
and so, by the way, are over 120,000 Americans.
And on top of that, Pence also conspicuously
omitted "wearing a mask" from advice that he gave
for slowing the spread of the virus.
And I will just never understand why
or even how Republicans have made not spreading disease
into culture war issue.
Honestly, this was a missed opportunity for them.
You could've printed "Make America Great Again"
on a billion red masks
and dropped them out of helicopters.
People would've worn them.
You're not even capitalizing
on a national disaster correctly,
you fucking idiots.
And it's notable that some of the states
that were the most aggressive about reopening for business,
like Texas and Florida,
are now seeing some of the worst spikes in cases,
making their governors' early proclamations of success
seem pretty ill-advised,
perhaps none more so than this from Ron DeSantis
just last month.
- You got a lot of people in your profession
who waxed poetically for weeks and weeks
about how Florida was gonna be just like New York.
Wait two weeks. Florida's gonna be next.
Just like Italy, wait two weeks.
Well, hell, we're eight weeks away from that,
and it hasn't happened.
- Oh, really?
Just as a general thought here,
I so badly want Ron DeSantis
to go on a lengthy tirade
about how he has never been hit by lightning
and never will be.
Come on, Ron, please.
You show that liberal lightning hoax who's boss.
But the continuing spread of the coronavirus
actually brings us to our main story tonight
because we have a huge COVID-related catastrophe
that is just around the corner.
- Hundreds of tenants rallying this week,
demanding rent relief.
They warn the next few months
could see the largest number of eviction cases ever.
As if things weren't already bad enough,
in the middle pandemic,
we may be about to see evictions on the rise.
And on the list of things you hope
never to see on the rise,
evictions have to be right up at the top,
tied of course with Larry King's penis.
That thing going up is just not
what our current situation requires.
And while evictions rising is shocking,
it was also completely foreseeable.
Coronavirus has played havoc with employment,
making it difficult for many to make rent,
which was always going to have significant consequences,
given that "about one-third of U.S. households are renters,"
and "renters to have lower incomes than homeowners"
in the first place.
And while stimulus checks,
expanded unemployment insurance,
and state and federal moratoriums on evictions
undoubtedly helped hold back the tide,
those mechanisms are now starting to run out
and if we do nothing, experts are predicting
horrific outcomes with millions of people left vulnerable.
- This is the worst economic crisis
the United States has seen in generations.
If nothing else changes
and evictions continue as normal,
then this public health crisis
will turn into a full-blown homelessness crisis.
- It's true.
The coronavirus crisis could also soon
turn into a full-blown homelessness crisis.
And it's hard to even fathom something already so bad
transforming into something else so appalling.
It's like finding out that Magikarp,
objectively the worst Pokemon for obvious reasons,
is set to evolve into Kevin Spacey.
I should've traded you for Psyduck when I had the chance.
And it says something about the utter absurdity
of what's about to happen
that this is how some eviction hearings will be taking place.
- Starting with tomorrow's docket,
Judge Lopez will start hearing eviction cases,
either in the court using webcams
with the defendant and the plaintiff
in separate rooms
over Zoom or even on the phone.
- What are you doing?
You know, it might be worth thinking twice
about what you're taking part in
if you're throwing people out of their homes via Zoom,
a platform you're only using
because it's not safe for people to leave their homes.
Besides, Zoom shouldn't be where you find out
that you're getting evicted.
It should be where you find out in a virtual happy hour
which one of your co-workers
has been secretly rich the whole time.
I'm sorry, Joanna has a chandelier?
Where did she get chandelier money?
Why don't I have chandelier money?
Look, the fact is we're about to go out of our way
to throw people out of their homes
at the worst possible time.
And even in normal times,
evictions are incredibly damaging
with long, long-term effects.
On the community level, they've been
"linked to heightened residential instability,
declines in neighborhood quality, and job loss."
And on the individual level,
they can be completely devastating
in ways that you may not even realize,
from families losing their possessions
and having to start over to significant difficulties
in obtaining new housing,
something that can be hard to do
with an eviction on your record.
Evictions have consequences
that can haunt you for the rest of your life.
So tonight, with rent due in just three days,
we thought it might be a good time to talk about evictions.
And let's start with the fact
that the lack of affordable housing
is yet another systemic problem
that the coronavirus has thrown into harsh relief
because to be clear, it was a crisis in this country
long before the pandemic struck,
with rents so high and renters so burdened
that stories like these became a staple on local news.
- A chaotic scene as hundreds make a run for the door
and a chance at Dallas County housing vouchers.
At least eight people suffered injuries
while trying to line up this morning.
- Saw people run, so I started running,
and I slipped and fell all over the pavement.
- Jordan Spivey's all scuffed up
after taking quite a tumble this morning,
but grateful she wasn't trampled too.
- Holy shit.
No one should ever be trampled by a crowd of people
out of desperation to get rental assistance.
There are only two times when trampling
is remotely acceptable:
the day after Thanksgiving--
that's America's national trampling holiday--
and whatever day in the future the PS5 comes out.
I don't care that it looks like an alien's waffle maker
or a penguin designed by Apple.
It's gonna have "Horizon Forbidden West"
as an exclusive release, and I will stomp anyone
who stands between me and that game.
I want to murder dinosaur robots with flaming arrows,
and I want to do it now.
Now, that particular stampede was nearly a decade ago,
but unfortunately, the problem
has only gotten worse since then.
Rents have risen significantly faster than incomes
to the point where, for renters below the poverty line,
the majority are spending more than half
of their income on housing,
and a quarter are paying 70% or more,
which is just not remotely sustainable.
Meanwhile, around a million households
have been evicted each year for over a decade,
and all of this disproportionately impacts
people of color, as black households,
for instance, are twice as likely as white households
to face eviction, and women of color,
particularly black women,
are especially vulnerable to it.
So things have clearly been bad for a long time,
but once the pandemic hit, like everything else,
they got even worse.
And yet, you might have assumed
that there was a freeze on rent payments
if you listen to decomposing melon Larry Kudlow
laying out the Trump administration's plans
back in March.
- Don't forget also, please,
regarding things like rent payments
or rental home loans,
all that will--evictions, let me add that,
all that will be put on hold.
There will be no evictions during this period.
- Now, that sounds great,
especially if what you took from it
was no rent, no evictions.
But that's not actually what he's saying there.
The policy he's describing
only paused evictions, not rent,
meaning that for those unable to pay the bills they owe
have just been piling up this whole time.
Also, the policy only applied to certain properties,
like those with federally backed mortgages,
which account for just a quarter of all rental units.
So as far as comprehensive plans to stem this crisis,
it leaves a lot out,
much the same way, in fact, that Larry Kudlow's wife
leaves a lot out of her many paintings
of her husband's clothes.
Specifically what she leaves out is her husband,
because as we've mentioned before on this show,
there is simply nothing that she likes to do more
than paint her husband's ties
over and over and over and over again
in a joyous celebration
of the absence of Larry Kudlow.
And quick side note here.
When we first brought this up months ago,
we offered anyone 10 U.S. dollars
plus a $20,000 donation to their local food bank
if they were willing to sell us
one of these genuine Larry-less masterpieces.
And everything's been so busy
that we haven't had the chance to reveal something to you,
and that is...
we actually got one.
And let me tell you,
the absence of Larry is even more striking in person.
Look, the point is the federal moratorium on evictions
left a lot of people unprotected,
and while several dozen states
put in place their own moratoriums,
many of those protections have already expired,
leaving renters in 23 states
with no "state-level protection from eviction,"
meaning many tenants are forced to rely on the kindness
of their landlords,
some of whom, to their credit,
have worked with their tenants and reduced the rented owed,
or have stepped up in even bigger ways
like this guy.
- Mario Salerno owns roughly 80 apartments
in his hometown of Williamsburg.
He knows the pain so many are going through,
so he decided this month to waive rent for everyone.
Everyone. 200 tenants, and he is not collecting.
- For me, it was more important
for people's health
and worrying about who could put food on whose table.
I had tenants that said they can't work.
They didn't have money to pay me.
I says, "Don't worry about paying me.
Worry about your neighbor."
- That's great.
That's very generous, but unfortunately,
the solution clearly can't be
to count on everyone being like that guy,
if for no other reason that if everyone was like that guy,
we'd be forced to make a "Sopranos" reboot
that was essentially just "Oops! All Silvios."
And nobody wants that, not even Silvio.
He bolted his brief tenure being the skipper.
He couldn't handle the crown.
Let's just let him stay where he's comfortable.
And the truth is rather than emulating that guy,
some landlords have gone the opposite way,
even trying to threaten tenants
despite the protections in place.
- Cortney is still in disbelief
as she reads through the most recent
emails from her landlord.
She says on March 31st,
she told the landlord, who lives in Canada,
that April rent would be late.
- "Just pay the rent, or move out."
- The emails started.
- "You lying [bleep].
"Both you and your grandmother can go online
and [bleep] yourselves."
That isn't just horrifying,
it also effectively demolishes
every Canadian stereotype I've previously held.
'Cause it seems there's a new type of Canadian
that none of us have known about,
and it's the hard-hearted bad boy
who tells you and your grandma to go fuck yourselves.
Now, luckily, that woman's governor
had ordered a freeze on evictions
for those affected by COVID,
which covered her situation,
and when that local news reporter
pointed that out to her landlord,
his response was pretty remarkable.
- He sent us a colorful email.
In it, he apologized for the profanity
and eventually said he's willing to waive her late fees
plus half the April rent, which he would lose anyway
if he had to find a new tenant.
And they can both get on with "our miserable lives."
- Okay, whatever you think of that landlord's behavior,
I will say this.
That is just objectively the correct way
to end any email in 2020.
Happy virtual graduation!
Now let's get on with our miserable lives.
Congrats on the new baby!
Now let's get on with our miserable lives.
My deepest condolences on the loss of your grandmother.
She lived a long and miserable life,
and now she'd want us to get on with ours.
And the thing is, even when landlords
and property managers obeyed the moratoriums,
they often made it painfully clear
that tenants were gonna be evicted
at the first available opportunity.
- I'm notoriously a landlord
that doesn't generally let tenants
get by with any exceptions.
- Even as court hearings are temporarily on hold,
he's moving forward with filing evictions
and attempting to collect.
- It's never fun throwing, you know,
throwing a single mother
and their three kids out on the streets.
That's not fun, but it's business.
- Okay, first of all, never say never.
What if the three kids in question
were baby Hitler, baby Stalin, and Donald Trump, Jr.,
and their single mom was Ghislaine Maxwell?
That's a pretty fun eviction right there.
That foursome could frankly use a little time on the streets.
But what is happening in that example
is actually really important
because many of those moratoriums
prevent the physical act of eviction,
but they don't stop the legal process
that leads up to it.
Many landlords and property managers
have been able to file for evictions in court
this whole time,
meaning cases have just been piling
and piling and piling up,
and as soon as moratoriums are lifted,
which is already happening in many places,
evictions could come fast.
And some landlords will tell you that the current situation
simply isn't their fault and that their tenants
should've somehow prepared better.
One property management company actually made that argument
to a local Denver news crew,
who then played the audio
to one of the company's tenants,
and just wait until you see his response.
- I mean, I understand that everybody's in a state
of fear and panic right now,
but it's not the property owner's responsibility.
We have to plan for a rainy day.
Everybody should be planning for a rainy day.
- Maybe you should've saved for the rainy day.
That's a fair point
because why are renters
consistently the only ones being told
that they should've planned better?
It's important to remember
everyone is in this crisis together right now,
and this isn't just a rainy day.
It's the great flood.
And one reason no one has an umbrella
is 'cause it's not safe to reopen
the fucking umbrella factory yet.
And in the face of an extreme crisis,
some tenants are understandably calling
for drastic measures like rent strikes.
- We are out here today to demand that the city,
the state, and the federal government
cancel the rents.
We need rent cancelation.
Every month, we're accumulating more
and more and more debt,
so there is no way we're gonna be able to repay that back.
- A lot of us are already choosing between food and rent.
We're saying to choose food.
- The same way they bail out banks,
they should bail out working families like mine.
- Yeah, of course.
We should absolutely treat families
at least as well as we treat banks,
who can apparently, like Wells Fargo,
just re-establish themselves whenever they get in trouble.
In fact, next time your landlord
asks you for your last three months of rent,
why not tell them that they're mistaken?
That rent was owed by the previous you.
The current you was re-established
on July 1, 2020,
and you're ready for a fresh start.
And look, rent strikes are a risk.
Ultimately, you could end up being evicted for nonpayment,
which, remember, could make it harder to get housing
in the future, and depending on your landlord's situation,
they may be unable to meet property taxes
that go toward funding essential city services,
so they are not without consequences.
But you can see why many have been pushing for them,
or indeed, for rent cancellation
because people are desperate.
And strikes have been an effective way
of calling attention
to how dire things are right now.
And while long term,
we desperately need a plan to fix
our affordable housing crisis,
in the short term, we just have to find a way
to keep people in their homes.
And although some cities are trying to provide
the limited funds at their disposal
make it difficult to address the scope of the problem.
They established a $15 million rental relief fund,
and this is what happened.
- $15 million gone in just 90 minutes.
Money that was dedicated to help families
pay their rent during this pandemic.
- "We are not able to accept your application for--"
- Rita and Trevor had applied for 1,800 bucks
in rental assistance.
They won't be getting that help, though,
because by the time they applied online this morning,
the money was already gone.
- $15 million gone within an hour.
Come on, now.
It's shocking to watch $15 million disappear
in 90 minutes.
I mean, not quite as shocking as watching
$175 million disappear in around the same time,
but still, you know, shocking.
And the thing is, the city of Houston
knew going in that this was gonna be an issues.
They even tweeted after the fact,
"We understand this is nowhere near enough
to meet the need of all Houstonians."
And in fact, the city directly encouraged people
to reach out to their representatives
to advocate for greater funding,
because the truth is cities can only do so much
without federal intervention,
that they have essentially the same amount of power
as the servants of "Downton Abbey."
Sure, they'll do what they can, but at a certain point,
when things get really bad,
they're gonna have to take this shit upstairs.
Now, in a much bolder move,
the city of Ithaca, New York
is currently in the process of trying to cancel rent
for those affected by this pandemic
and is calling on the state
to provide funding for landlords who need relief.
And that is an interesting idea,
although again, it requires the people upstairs
like the state, and ultimately the federal government, to act.
And unfortunately, they have dragged their feet
on offering solutions for renters
that remotely meet the scale of this crisis.
Back in May, to its credit,
the House passed the Heroes Act,
which provided $100 billion in rental assistance
for the most vulnerable.
Unfortunately, since then,
the bill has stalled out in the Senate,
which is frankly no surprise as multiple
high-level Republicans have expressed their reticence
to pass another relief package.
- I think that many people
would like to just pause for a moment,
and take a look at the economic impact
of this massive assistance program.
- If the economy continues the momentum
that we're beginning to see or the last
couple of weeks of data, then I think that
one might conclude that the stimulus
that we've already passed is enough.
- We need to assess what we've already done,
take a look at what worked and what didn't,
and we'll discuss the way forward
in the next couple weeks.
- Oh, in a couple of weeks. Really?
Well, here's the thing, that was back in May.
We're now at the end of June.
Nothing has been passed,
and rent is due on fucking Wednesday.
That said, I do know that time simply does not function
the same way for Mitch McConnell
as it does for everyone else.
For instance, for us, today is June 28th.
But for him, based on the way
that he generally thinks, speaks, and behaves,
the current date is somewhere around May 12, 1853.
And look, the sad truth is
we've already waited too long here,
and there is absolutely no excuse
for not attacking this problem with real urgency,
because while we wait for Congress to act,
people like this woman
are having to deal with the consequences.
- Kianah Ashley is being evicted,
and a nightmare is unfolding for her
and her five-year-old son Nasir.
- That's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy,
because not knowing where you're going to rest
your head at for the next day...
that's not good.
Of course it's not good.
Everyone deserves the basic stability of shelter.
And if you are in a position
where you've begun to despise the house
that you've been shut inside
for the past three and a half months,
it is worth remembering the only thing worse
than knowing you're gonna spend another day
stuck under the same roof
is not knowing that.
And while there are clearly no perfect options here,
the very worst thing that we could do right now
because every day we fail to act
is a day that we're compounding another future crisis
for millions of vulnerable renters
and their communities.
We need to stop this before it gets even worse.
And in the long term,
we badly need to solve our affordable housing crisis
because then and only then,
if I may quote the world's rudest Canadian,
"can we all get on with our miserable lives."
And now, this.
- And now...
- My name is Butch, and I'm an American patriot.
See that flag?
I would die for that flag.
- Now there's so much evidence
the CDC itself said they made a mistake.
There's not enough to make this a pandemic.
This is a planned-demic.
- You literally cannot mandate somebody to wear a mask
knowing that that mask is killing people.
- Our Amazon Prime driver a few weeks ago
was so weak from wearing his mask,
he begged my husband for Advil and water.
He said, "This mask is killing me."
- And they want to throw God's wonderful breathing system
out the door.
- We've been harassed, defamed,
- I'm actually gonna get discriminated against
everywhere I go, even more than I already am.
I'm also the daughter
of somebody who lived through Germany.
I know a lot of stories,
and this is sounding very familiar to me.
- How will young children be able to know
who the dangerous deviants are,
like pedophiles and people into human sex trafficking?
- This is our right
to not wear anything to cover over faces our hold our breath.
- I would die for that country!
I would die for the Constitution.
You know what? You disgrace me!
'Cause I would die for that flag.
- I'm not wearing it today.
Besides, despite what you guys do up here today,
I'm not wearing one tomorrow.
I was born free. I will stay free.
My rights come from God, not from you.
I'm not wearing it.
You're gonna have to hold me down and put it on me.
- I don't wear a mask
for the same reason I don't wear underwear.
Things gotta breathe.
- Moving on, finally tonight,
another quick look at social media,
that place where Zac Efron once tweeted,
"I'm thankful for a couple of things today,
"Martin Luther King Jr.
and 10 million followers on Instagram."
You know, it is a mixed bag.
Now, you might remember last week we talked about
how K-pop fans have been using social media
to drown out racists online
and do some good in the world.
Well, this week, we're gonna talk about
the exact opposite of that,
because it turns out TikTok has a brand new star,
and it is the last person you want.
- I'm a savage
Classy, bougie, ratchet
Sassy, moody, nasty
Acting stupid, what's happening?
- Yeah, that is John Schnatter,
otherwise known as Papa John,
riding a tiny tricycle around on TikTok
to a Megan Thee Stallion song and asking,
"Am I doing this right?"
And obviously, no, you're not.
But also, you do know what this means, teens.
TikTok is officially shitty now.
- Shitty now!
- Yeah, you always knew that it was just a matter of time
before some middle-aged white guy
ruined your favorite online thing forever,
but I'm guessing that you didn't know
it was gonna happen exactly like this.
And that's honestly just one of many, many posts
that Papa John has shared since significantly boosting
his social media presence late last year.
He's used TikTok and Instagram
to do things like give people a tour of his house,
which, by the way, is something.
- Howdy. Papa John.
Welcome to my crib.
- Start off with a clock.
Eagles go up
several thousand feet.
They mate all the way down
and right before they hit the earth,
So they don't get hurt or killed.
Eagles mating clock spins four times an hour.
Setting aside the neoclassical
ejaculation that is his home,
that is a one hell of a statement entryway piece.
And not to be pedantic, but we looked into it,
and that's not actually how eagles mate.
What you're thinking of is Cirque du Soleil performers.
They're the ones who trapeze-fuck
the shit out of each other way up high.
Eagles, however, have sex in a nest or on a tree branch,
and I'm not saying that the man behind a pizza empire
should have a particularly nuanced understanding
of eagle-fucking, but by making that
the first thing that greets visitors
when they enter your house,
you kind of are presenting yourself
as an expert.
But wait, because part two of his tour
was a glimpse into his office.
- This is a bishop's chair out of church in Italy.
We think that's about 400 or 500 years old.
This is one of my favorite sayings.
"All the best have something in common,
a regard for reality."
- Hold on. It seems Papa John
printed out his favorite saying,
framed it, and then placed it in the middle of a desk,
where it looks less like words of inspiration,
and more like the Wi-Fi password at a coffee shop.
And for the record,
that quote is by Polish Nobel Prize winner
who was commenting on the excesses
of postmodern literature.
And the incongruity
of reading a 20th century Polish poet's quote
about the value of staying grounded
while standing in front
of a five-century-old bishop's chair
in your 40,000 square foot pizza castle
is matched only the incongruity of thinking
that showing people this in the midst
of a historic economic collapse would be good PR for you.
Because to be clear,
Papa John's sudden social media presence
is part of a concerted PR campaign
to repair his image,
an image, by the way,
that needs quite a lot of repairing.
Just to refresh your memory here,
Papa John actually had to leave his company
following a series controversies and scandals
from his 2017 comments
that his company's sales had been hurt by NFL leadership
not clamping down hard enough on players
protesting police brutality to this.
- Founder and face of Papa John's Pizza
is now apologizing and admitting
that a report he used the N-word
on a conference call back in May is true.
- Yeah. He apparently used the N-word
on a conference call,
and not just any conference call, either,
during a role-playing exercise
focused on averting public relations crises,
which in terms of contexts in which to say that word,
is far and away the worst,
tied only with every other context.
Now ever since, Papa John has tried
to offer explanations for his behavior,
arguing that the conference call was leaked
as part of a conspiracy to remove him from his company,
and that he only used that slur
in the course of explaining that he doesn't use it.
And that's an argument he's tried to make repeatedly,
like in this interview where he attempts to prove
that he's not a fan of the N-word
in the weirdest imaginable way.
- If I go to dinner and somebody uses that word,
one time, "Don't say the word,"
and I'll get up and leave dinner.
I literally will--and I've done that more than once.
But it's just not a good word.
Nothing says, "I'm not a racist,"
like repeatedly making dinner plans
with people who might say the N-word,
and then leaving once they do, in fact, say it.
I didn't realize there was a more repulsive type
of Papa John's dinner than this kind,
but it does turn out that I was wrong.
And now, by his own admission,
Papa John is posting on social media
at the suggestion of his brand-new PR team,
and one of the things that he's doing
is trying to take ownership of some of the jokes
that are made at his expense.
For instance, that interview you just saw
was him appearing on a podcast whose host
has made fun of him for years,
mocking him with the phrase "Papa Bless,"
which he is now trying to reclaim,
even selling T-shirts with the phrase on it,
and also releasing thirsty online content like this.
- Papa Bless...
or Papa Flex? [laughs]
- I hate that so much.
And I gotta say there is something frankly insulting
about him thinking that everyone's gonna be happy
to simply forget his past
just because he's doing some wacky things on the internet.
And that is why it's actually been reassuring
to see how some people have responded
because if you click to see
if anyone reacted to that TikTok,
you will see plenty of people
making disapproving faces or mocking him
or in my favorite example,
this man captioning his disapproval with,
"Get off my feed, little racist pizza man.
Your home is ugly and you have bad taste,"
which is absolutely excellent.
And to that man, I say kudos
for doing in ten seconds
what has taken me five minutes to do.
That is our show.
We're off for a couple of weeks.
We'll be back on July 19th.
Until then, goodnight.
- Papa Bless-- - No.
- No, absolutely not.
- No, no, I hate-- this isn't fun.
You're not being fun right now.
Papa stop right now.
This is grotesque.
That doesn't even look heavy.