The vice president appeared on Charlamagne Tha God’s Tha God's Honest Truth Friday, and it got to where her spokesperson tried to cut off the interview, not once, but twice.
Our former SF district attorney and now vice president of the United States Kamala Harris seems to have very terrible luck with television talk shows. When she appeared on The View in September, we saw mortifying on-air notices that two hosts had COVID. Similar awkwardness took place this past Friday when Harris went on Comedy Central's Tha God's Honest Truth, and it ended with the highly unflattering spectacle of Harris’ spokesperson Symone Sanders trying to shout the interview to an end from offscreen.
The interview is a lengthy 21 minutes (seen in its entirety above), and Harris weathers most of it with her patented combination of saccharine smiling and “Listen, I get it” faux authenticity. She evades every tough question with a deft pivot to poll-tested topics like maternal health, fibroids, lead poisoning, and the fact that little girls can grown up and be just like her.
This strategy serves her well! But at the 15:34 mark, we hear the very unusual sound of Harris’ spokesperson Symone Sanders butting in from offscreen and yelling, “I’m sorry, Charlamagne, this is Symone, I just want you to know this has to be our last question.”
Charlamagne decides to make it a tough one. “OK. What happened to that student loan money? What happened to that $10,000 promised to students with student loan debt? Why did they renege on that?”
Harris fake-smiles and evades with aplomb. It works just fine. But Sanders again jumps into the interview moments later, with, “It’s Symone. I’m so sorry Charlamagne. We have to wrap.”
Charlamagne is not having it, and his questions become even more pointed. “I want to know who the president of this country is, is it Joe Biden or Joe Manchin?,” he asks. Harris then goes into finger-wagging mode, and the rest of the interview goes as such:
HARRIS: Come on, Charlamagne. Come on. It’s Joe Biden.
CHARLAMAGNE: I can’t tell sometimes.
HARRIS: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. It’s Joe Biden, and don’t start talking like a Republican about asking whether or not he’s president. And it’s–
CHARLAMAGNE: Do you think Joe Manchin is a problem?
HARRIS: (Ignoring his question) And it’s Joe Biden. And I’m vice president and my name is Kamala Harris, and the reality is, because we are in office we do the things like the child tax credit which is going to reduce Black child poverty by 50% – on track to do that. We do things that are about saying that our Department of Justice is gonna do these investigations and require that we end chokeholds and have body cameras.
It is the work of saying, we are going to get lead out of pipes and paint because babies are suffering because of that. It is the work of saying, people who ride public transit deserve the same kind of dignity that anybody else does, so let’s improve that system. It is the work of saying that we have got to bring down prescription drug costs because folks who have diabetes should not be dying because they don’t have enough money in their pocket. it’s about saying Black maternal mortality is a real issue that must be treated by everybody, including the White House, as a serious issue.
I hear the frustration. but let’s not deny the impact that we’ve had, and agree also that there is a whole lot more work to be done. And it is not easy to do, but we will not give up. And I will not give up.
Whether Harris interviewed well or poorly here depends on your perspective. She kept her Teflon armor on well, but she showed zero authenticity. That can be a winning media formula, when done well. But with all due respect to Symone Sanders, she made her boss look like a fucking bitch with hyperaggressive attempts to cut off the interview. This will surely bring more criticism of Harris’ team as “dysfunctional,” and those questions are more difficult to smile or Teflon your way out of.
Screenshot: Comedy Central