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Students of America: having trouble in your classes? Sleeping through assignments? Enrolling in courses even though you’ve taken absolutely no prerequisites? Never fear. You, too, can succeed in America if the price is right!

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was eviscerated in a 60 Minutes interview when Lesley Stahl pulled the dirty trick of asking simple questions and knowing facts. In a 13-minute segment DeVos gave a full hour’s worth of absolute nonsense, double-talk, half-answers, and an interrupted air of unearned superiority. DeVos is reportedly surprised by her poor on-air performance and has written a sternly worded letter to the SparkNotes page she crammed on “Education” before showing up to be interviewed.

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What’s perhaps wildest about this interview is that Lesley Stahl didn’t even ask questions that were particularly complex or argumentative. She was literally like, “Are schools doing good?” and Betsy DeVos was like, “What is skule?”

Giphy

This interview is like when you apply for a job with a description that reads “Must be proficient in Microsoft Office Suite” because you’re like “whatever; I use Word sometimes.” Then you show up and they start talking about spreadsheets and macros and something called Access and you spend your entire day Googling “Explain office plz? How does work?”

Betsy DeVos : education :: Mariah Carey : Jennifer Lopez

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Betsy DeVos is out here repping for every student who did not study for this test, or any test, and is very offended by this pop quiz SAT, tbh. The Secretary of Education is giving a master class in finding creative ways to say “You think I know but I have no idea.” This is an object lesson on using synonyms. “Hi! I’m Betsy DeVos. On today’s Robber Baron Theater we’re learning 100 different phrases which all mean shrug emoji.”

Betsy DeVos is like an Opposite Day Elle Woods.

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What’s frustrating about this period in history is that the villains don’t even have to be good at what they do. Looking at this DeVos interview, no one is coming away thinking “That’s one well-informed supervillain with a brilliant plan.”

They’re not sending their best, is what I’m saying.

We were promised an Yzma and we were given a Kronk.

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You don’t even have to work super hard to pick apart this interview. Even Lesley Stahl is like, “Is this real life?”

CBS

This is the face of a veteran journalist who is over it. Stahl asked the Secretary about institutional racism in school discipline. This was her response:

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Betsy DeVos really thought she was going to smize and enunciate her way through an interview with Lesley Stahl, one of the first people to report on Watergate. Betsy showed up thinking she was going to do a puff piece and a cooking segment on Rachel Ray. Lesley’s like, “The only thing on the menu is your reputation.”

The interview runs the gamut from “things Betsy DeVos doesn’t know about” to “things Betsy DeVos doesn’t have very much information on.”

Lesley Stahl asked DeVos about the activism of the Parkland students. DeVos was like, “Spunk is great!”

Stahl: They want gun control.

DeVos: They want a variety of things. Who can even understand kids these days, with their texting abbreviations and their Charlize Theron in Mad Max haircuts! My goodness!

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Stahl: Gun control is what they want.

DeVos: They want orange slices and more chalk for hop scotch, probably.

As the interview went on, it became clear that Betsy DeVos did not Spring Forward with her understanding of her job and Lesley Stahl soon grew exasperated. After DeVos would not acknowledge that students who survived a school shooting and are asking for gun control, actually want gun control, Stahl asked DeVos, “Do you see yourself as a leader in this subject?” Honestly, this is a breathtaking read. Thoughts and prayers to the cabinet members who are undone by a simple question that boils down to “Who do you think you’re kidding?”

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Betsy DeVos would have been more believable if she’d tried to claim she was the second lead singer in Destiny’s Child.

All this happened in the first two minutes. God bless long-suffering Lesley Stahl, who managed to stay professional while also giving delicious retorts in the form of a question like she was on Shade Jeopardy!

Stahl: Do you feel a sense of urgency? Because this sounds like talking.

Me: Oh snap!

Stahl asks DeVos “What have you done that you’re most proud of?” which shouldn’t feel like a trap but definitely does in this instance, that’s how badly this interview is going. Remarkably, Betsy DeVos can’t even give an answer to this question, which is a glorious self-own. Her response: “We’ve begun looking at and rolling back a lot of the overreach…”

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Let’s diagram that sentence!

Tenor

Stahl’s like, “Name a fact about why you’re not bad.” And DeVos was like, “Well, what had happened was we started the initial phase of thinking about researching the beginnings of undoing things that other people did, so…”

This is like when your parents yelled at you for not starting a term paper before the night before its due and you’re like, “I’ve been letting the ideas marinate!”

Betsy DeVos would like you to know that for the last year she’s been letting some ideas marinate.

As the interview ends, Stahl asks DeVos to defend her position on “school choice,” using the example of Michigan schools, over which she has had an immense amount of influence but which are not, according to Stahl, doing well. DeVos attempted to equivocate for a while before Stahl put a point on it.

Stahl: The whole state is not doing well.

DeVos: Well, there are certainly lots of pockets.

Gotta give her points for trying to introduce the educational policy of “Optimism! Just Optimism!” Lesley Stahl is like the insurance adjuster who’s like “Your car is totaled.” And Betsy DeVos is like “Well, the steering wheel is still round! See, I’m holding it in my hand!”

Finally, Stahl wants to know if Betsy DeVos has even visited the schools she disparages and is supposed to be advocating for.

Stahl: Have you seen the really bad schools?

DeVos: I have not, I have not, I have not intentionally visited the schools that are underperforming.

Stahl: Maybe you should.

DeVos: Maybe I should!

OMG Betsy DeVos ending an interview by dunking on herself is the most successful thing that this administration has ever done. Lesley Stahl is like, “seems like you’re not so good at this” and Betsy DeVos is like, “OMG so true. Me a dumb dumb head!”

Just goes to show that anyone* can make it in America.

Stay in skule, kids (if you can)!

Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.



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