The New Abnormal’s least favorite Florida congressman, Matt Gaetz, is in hot water over mounting allegations that he’s been involved with underage women and taking them across state lines. To discuss the burgeoning scandal, Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon brought on The Nation’s national affairs correspondent, Jeet Heer, who says he isn’t the least bit surprised.
“It’s the ones you always suspect the most,” he says.
Noting Gaetz’s strange appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, where he tried to get Carlson hitched to his sinking ship, Heer says he sees a connection with what other people in the alt-right swamp engage in. “Occasionally you see racists try to implicate the person they’re talking with, like, ‘You think this as well. You also don’t like those people right?’... To normalize this behavior. That’s basically what he’s doing: ‘Oh yeah, you remember the dinner that we were at with your wife? And wasn’t there some sort of really sleazy scandal involving you?”
To Heer, Gaetz describing his dinner with a young date along with Tucker Carlson and his wife is reminiscent of the Woody Allen movie Manhattan. “In the movie, Woody is dating a 17-year-old [Mariel Hemingway]... and they go out to these dinners with their adult friends who are middle-aged.” The imagery is hard to unsee.
For more strange twists in the Matt Gaetz story, Molly and Jesse brought on Daily Beast senior politics editor Matt Fuller, who says he’s been hearing rumors of Gaetz’s bad behavior for over three years.
“Let’s just say he has a proclivity for younger women. He certainly has been open to dating college-aged women, congressional staffers, maybe some interns from Turning Point USA. He’s a man about town,” Fuller says.
The crew agrees that you’re not in a good place when reporters are having to pin you down on the language you’re using around accused pedophilia.
“It’s been very odd to hear exactly how he phrases these answers on a lot of this, because he always says, ‘I haven’t had any inappropriate relationships with underage women.’ And it’s been unclear if he’s saying underage women, like, with an age of consent, or…? We don’t know what he’s talking about.”
Also on the show, Molly sits down with one of the foremost warriors in the fight against the “anti-science” movement, vaccine scientist Dr. Peter Hotez, who talks soberly about what we have ahead of us in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plus, getting so high you end up flying from Kentucky to Kenya, how you troll Joseph Goebbels, and podcasting with the Original Gangster Villain—that’s all on the latest The New Abnormal.