In the Justice Department’s first on-camera response to the Capitol riot, Acting A.G. Jeffrey Rosen vowed “no tolerance whatsoever” for any violence or other criminal acts at Biden’s inauguration from “wrongdoers” who will be held accountable “until justice is done.” Rosen’s pre-recorded statement – coming as Trump was suspended from the platform and after an earlier briefing featured speakers from the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office but nobody from DOJ – was widely considered as bonkers as all the other events of the last week, and many people had questions. Why was it released after midnight, a week after the event, on YouTube? Why were the two cameras not coordinated, and was Camera 2 really manned by Christopher Wray, who will reportedly be making his own statement on Tik Tok once he works out the dance moves? Is this sing-songy weirdness part of the whole coup thing, or is it just the same old well-oiled machine that is the Trump administration at work? Does Rosen look like everybody’s 7th grade Social Studies teacher, or just some people’s, and how acting is he, like are we talking Meisner Technique or more improv? Why does this look like the worst hostage video EVER by a guy who just got unchained from a radiator in the White House basement? Why does Rosen look like a cartoon villain in a pandemic hairdo, or a 1980s TV salesman trying to sell can openers, or a Just Say No PSA, and what do his blinks spell out in Morse Code? Why doesn’t this make me feel any better? Are we in the upside down? The basic consensus: Yes. Given the past week, one observer deemed, the surreal video was, “Perfect. Damn Perfect.” Also: “This would be funny, if it wasn’t,” “Was having trouble sleeping but I think I’m good now,” “Make/Acting Attorney Generals/Give Normal Press Conferences/Again,” “He inspires absolutely no confidence. Like, at all,” and, “This dude is in charge. Everyone will die.” Possibly.
This post was originally published on Radio Free.