My first reaction on learning that 80-year-old Nancy Pelosi got her hair done sans mask, having her stylist open a closed shop to do a “blow out” was “so what?” But the outrage I’ve heard from all around rumbles really deep. It angers people to see the rank hypocrisy, that the governing class is not subject to the rules they make for the hoi polloi.
Checking the news universe, only Fox News is giving this story any serious legs. You might think “well, that’s Fox News for you, going for the cheap shot for ratings.” But really, people watch Fox News precisely because they cover things that aren’t narrative-based weavings from whole cloth, but real, though small, examples of the everyday people getting shafted by people who should know better.
Granted, Fox got the exclusive scoop–security footage from the salon. Scoops are good. But ask yourself what would have happened had that video been given to, say, MSNBC or CBS? I think it would have found a quick path to the shredder.
You might think this is just more outrage peddling, and maybe it is. To me, an 80-year-old getting her hair done, with or without a mask, is not useful news. But it angers many people, because Pelosi is just fine with Santa Clara County (which is in the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th Congressional Districts, where she represents the neighboring 12th) fining the pastor of North Valley Baptist Church $15,000 ($5,000 per incident) for holding indoor services in the richest county in California.
Meanwhile, hair salons are banned from serving client indoors, yet Pelosi claims she was “set up.” Her stylist backs up that claim. But they both knew (or should have known) the rules. The fact that the salon owner shared security video with Fox News is incidental to the violation. Pelosi simply didn’t give breaking the rules everyone else is expected to follow (or pay dearly) a second thought.
Fox News is the only place such a story would see the light of day. And it’s not just because it generates outrage from people who live more than 20 miles from a coastal city, and who go to church on Sunday instead of eating avocado toast breakfast at 11am. Pelosi and many others in government who have gotten rich off their positions really believe they are a members of a privileged class, and are entitled to certain benefits.
The other networks and newspapers rip President Trump for his golfing, his resorts, his self-dealing, while they make record profits by covering him, their reporters write bestsellers about him, and overall they are using Trump to make bank. And Trump knows it–he’s just fine with it because he’s been in that (promotion) business his whole life.
Fox News shows how Pelosi really feels about regular Americans, and rightly, enjoys top ratings. The outrage was not peddled. It’s very real.