Leave it to a cartoon news show to hold CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp accountable for apparently profiting off of the coronavirus pandemic.
A week after repeatedly embarrassing Rudy Giuliani, the Stephen Colbert-produced Tooning Out the News welcomed Schlapp onto the inaugural installment of its “Hot Take” series. The fictional talk show, which loosely resembles Fox News’ The Five and features cartoon hosts that strongly evoke Eric Bolling and Tomi Lahren, kicked things off with flattery.
“Thank you for having me here, I think,” Schlapp said when he joined the cartoon panel remotely.
“Oh god, the pleasure is all ours,” host and “charcoal fetishist” Tyler Templeton replied. “Matt, truly, you should be king. You should be miles above the law in my opinion.”
“Yoga class heckler” Bonnie Davis followed that up with, “I’m going to be a good girl today, but you are looking handsome as hell.”
Next came a segment called “Entertainment or Death” in which Schlapp was asked to weigh in on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desire to reopen sporting events like NASCAR and golf tournaments. “If you guys can go to work and not get sick, I think it’s time to let other people work,” Schlapp said, attempting a joke.
“Here’s my question, Matt, with all this no-sports, do you think men are getting gay?” David asked him. “I mean, I know you’re not gay, Matt, but are you thinking that these men are kind of getting gay?” Schlapp dodged that question by quoting President Donald Trump, who said he’s “tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old.”
Then came the pivot Schlapp probably did not see coming.
As one of the hosts laid out, Schlapp runs a lobbying firm called Cove Strategies, which last year received $190,000 from Abbott Laboratories, which produces coronavirus testing products promoted by President Trump, who counts Schlapp’s wife Mercedes as a top adviser.
“Matt, you got the job done,” co-host Jonathan Keene told Schlapp. “How did you become such an effective lobbyist, I’ve gotta know?” When Schlapp gave credit to his mother, Keene added, “Oh yeah, you can always count on mom to teach you how to tuck in your shirt and get your cut in a global pandemic.”
“The dirty little secret is that our government can do many things very well, but for our big problems in society, believe it or not, it’s Americans in the private economy that will solve our problems,” Schlapp said as the words “PANDEMIC PAYDAY” appeared below him on the screen.
But they weren’t done.
“Alright, let me try,” Templeton said. “The more coronavirus out there, the more cash you make from Abbott. Now, CPAC helped spread corona, you run CPAC, have you thought about having a daily CPAC? Get more corona out there, thus get more testing. I’m trying to make you a buck!”
When Schlapp defended himself by saying that there was no “outbreak” of the coronavirus at CPAC, the host added, “Yeah, thank God people only caught it there and the outbreaks happened when they got home.”
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