Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Desus Nice, Rep. Katie Porter, The Kid Mero
Desus Nice, Rep. Katie Porter, The Kid Mero
Screenshot: Desus & Mero

Concluding their interview with California Representative Katie Porter (D-CA), Desus Nice sent out the warning, “Don’t be on the wrong side of history, she’s coming for you.” If anyone had any doubts about that statement after seeing Porter’s appearance on Thursday’s Desus & Mero (and they really couldn’t), a quick Google of “Katie Porter”+“destroys” should take care of things. As the first year Congressperson—a firebrand Democrat elected in the infamously conservative California holdout of Orange County, no less—told Desus and Mero, “I am a middle class mom. You buy the ticket, you take the ride.”

Picking that up, the interview started with Porter extolling the virtues of the decidedly unglamorous family minivan she was forced to call in from due to her family’s noise level. Telling the Showtime late-night duo that all her suburban mom friends with their showpiece SUVs come running to her when they need some real hauling space, the congresswoman set the tone. “They look down on me ’cause I drive the van? Then those bitches want to borrow my van ’cause none of that shit fits in the Escalade,” is how the congresswoman put it, throwing down while assuring Desus and Mero that there was no need to worry about making her sound congressional. “I curse like a fuckin’ sailor,” said the magna cum laude Harvard Law grad, former law professor, congresswoman, and person you don’t want heading the congressional questioning if you’re unprepared, shady, or in any way harming the republic and its citizens.

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Playing a clip of HUD Secretary and human Xanax Ben Carson not knowing one of the most basic terms for “foreclosure” in a 2019 hearing, Porter described her methodology for dealing with laughably, criminally unqualified Trump administration figures and duplicitous CEOs by saying, “I really don’t get angry. I start to talk slower and I get more deliberate. That’s one of the ways you can tell I’m coming for you.” Desus called Porter’s approach, “big lawyer energy,” which tracks, but anyone with a badass mom also knows when it’s time to cut and run. (As for Carson, Porter noted bluntly, “You can’t plan for someone to be that dumb.”)

That’s something witnesses before Congress have learned the hard way, as when Porter started off her questioning of Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg by citing Facebook comments about his pre-pandemic home haircut in front of the entire country, a move Mero described as making the notoriously robotic Zuckerberg’s circuits start smoking. Said Porter, “This is someone so privileged, and so, just frankly rich, that nobody ever insults him. He doesn’t have to put up with the kind of abuse that a lot of us have to deal with on Facebook or on social media all of the time, and for which his company has a role in trying to police.” Damn, congresswoman.

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To the pair’s admiring assessment of her as “authentic,” Porter responded, “What would be the alternative?” Well, being the usual sort of say-nothing while pontificating endlessly politician, for one, something Porter explained just wasn’t what she got into politics to be. “A lot of us (referring to herself and other first year lawmakers like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez) like to pop off and sort of speak truth to power, but to get power to actually admit the truth, I think is what I try to do in my hearings.” Keeping with the “big lawyer/big single mom/big educator” energy, Porter also brought up the effectiveness of visual aids, as when she showed a recalcitrant Wells Fargo exec (whose company was delinquent on returning some $600 million to customers) a simple two-bar bar graph. (The full one was the money they still owed, the completely empty one was how much they had paid.) Unsurprisingly, when asked to design her signature Desus & Mero neon sign in parting, the relentless yet still optimistic Porter chose one reading boldly, “No bullshit.”

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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