A funny thing happened yesterday at the White House COVID-19 press briefing. Or did it?

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Yesterday, during the daily press briefing about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a reporter from the New York Post asked President Trump about Joe Exotic, star of the Netflix reality show, "Tiger King". Joe Exotic is in a federal prison in Fort Worth, charged with (among other things) planning the murder of Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist and Joe's arch nemesis.

According to The Hill (and my eyewitness account), New York Post reporter Steven Nelson asked the President if he "had any thoughts" on pardoning Joe, in light of the fact that Donald Trump Jr. had recently said Joe should be pardoned. The President clearly was not familiar with the show, but, after Nelson gave him a short synopsis, said, "I'll take a look."

The internet did not look kindly at a reporter asking a "Tiger King" question at a briefing about a killer pandemic.

I didn't have a problem with it. Here are my reasons:

1. The briefings are too long and the only questions that really matter now are, "How many new infections and deaths were there today?", "What are we doing to keep the infection count down?" and "When will things be back to normal?".

2. That last question is asked over and over again. Once the President announces any news about the government's efforts and Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx present their findings, there's usually nothing left to say, except for, "when will this be over?" And if you're open to questions - reporters will ask questions. Even dumb ones. (Admittedly, I sat right up when that question was asked)

3. And when all of this is said and done, history will note: in the spring of 2020, while people fell to a horrible pandemic and we watched the world come to a halt - people learned to bake bread, put together puzzles with their families, ate a little too much, drank a little too much and watched stupid shows - like "Tiger King". And bonded a little over it - from a distance. Watching "Tiger King" was a part of staying home and staying safe.

Why not ask the President what he thinks?


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