Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Gene Simmons at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference last month.
Photo: Michael Kovac (Getty Images)

Official press briefings at the White House and the Pentagon used to happen on a consistent basis, at times even daily. But that was before the Trump administration: Current Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders hasn’t held a White House press briefing in an unprecedented 67 days. The Pentagon press briefing is even rarer, and hasn’t happened in almost a year, although actor Gerard Butler visited the podium in October to promote a movie.

Continuing these bizarre pop-culture appearances in the home of U.S. government, yesterday KISS frontman/NPR enemy Gene Simmons took over the Pentagon podium and spoke with employees from the Department Of Defense. CNN reports that Simmons addressed Department Of Defense personnel and met with “outreach officials as part of a Pentagon initiative to engage the broader public with regards to military activities. He also paid a visit to the White House later in the day.” Accompanying him was Simmons’ wife, Shannon Tweed.


Several key questions remain unanswered, like “HOW?” and “WHY?” With, at last count, five million pressing issues currently affecting our beleaguered country, what could Gene Simmons possibly bring to a conversation about public engagement with military activities? Unless the White House is interested in the effect of KISS Army, which, who knows, as it appears that part of Simmons’ presentation involved displaying a number of his band’s album covers. ABC News notes that the bass player was emotional throughout his speech, expressing appreciation for the troops and remembering how much his mother loved America.

Some jested that with the position still unfilled, perhaps Simmons was a possible candidate for the Secretary Of Defense—a statement that hopefully will remain a joke. (Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan currently serves as Acting Secretary.) Such a position would be tricky for Simmons for a number of reasons; for example, he previously received a lifetime ban from Fox News for taunting and exposing his chest to female staffers there.


Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter