Rather than the initially planned four-day knees-up in Wisconsin, the 2020 Democratic National Convention began with a two-hour virtual broadcast on Monday evening. The coverage, syndicated on all three major cable news networks, consisted of speeches delivered direct to camera by politicians and infomercials from Real Americans talking about the rigor of Joe Biden’s character. These clips were interspersed with clumsy cutaways of Democrats clapping on Zoom and chaperoned by Desperate Housewive Eva Longoria and her magnificently toned arms. Eva: let Cockburn know when you’re ready for a fourth husband.
It didn’t all come together seamlessly, to be honest. There were a number of strange camera angles and pregnant pauses as the coverage jumped from one segment to the next. And frankly many of the best parts didn’t make the convention coverage that the news networks carried. Here are the best bits you may have missed.
Bern Your Enthusiasm
Bernie Sanders gave one of the night’s most significant speeches in front of a stack of chopped wood in one of his Vermont homes. Sanders appealed to his progressive supporters to turn out for Joe Biden for the sake of American democracy. ‘Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs’ was his choice zinger. Even more entertaining though was this clip of Sanders readying himself for his segment.
Can’t watch these outtakes enough times pic.twitter.com/9VmfCPh0Oy
— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) August 18, 2020
‘Is that a terrible thing to have my hands showing?’ Bernie asks, as his wife Jane prepares him for the shoot and reminds him to gesture as he talks. ‘You probably should get off the screen,’ he tells her. Off-camera Jane reminds him to stand up straight. ‘Stop it! Enough, enough,’ Bernie replies. It’s authentic comedy gold: Bernie’s distant cousin Larry David should tap him up for season 11 of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Billy Porter and Stephen Stills do whatever this is
CNN cut away to Wolf Blitzer and their panel right after the end of Michelle Obama’s address. Their viewers, therefore, missed out on the musical finale of Monday’s DNC: a collaboration between Pose actor Billy Porter and Stephen Stills, performing this very unusual rendition of ‘For What It’s Worth’ in front of a green screen.
— 2020 #DemConvention 🇺🇸 (@DemConvention) August 18, 2020
Cockburn commends the DNC for their use of a boomer protest song to appeal to the generation who definitely turn out and vote. Also it’s a marked improvement on Porter’s contribution four years ago, when he featured on the a cappella cover of ‘Fight Song‘.
Gretchen Whitmer’s Jaws
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan also offered an unguarded moment before the start of her speech.
Gov. Whitmer (D-MI) jokes before going live: “It’s not just Shark Week … it’s Shark Week *mouths expletive*” pic.twitter.com/KSndbTvLZi
— The Recount (@therecount) August 18, 2020
‘It’s not just Shark Week,’ the governor says, ‘it’s Shark Week *mouths “motherfucker”*’ to laughter in the union hall. ‘I have learned about the hot mic,’ she grins. Cockburn wishes the DNC had aired this. It would have offered a nice lead-in to the eerily Lynchian mise-en-scene of Whitmer’s address: the strange use of lighting, vibrant color palette and her rictus grin were straight out of Twin Peaks.
Amy Klobuchar mails it in
Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar gained brief notoriety during her 2020 run for repeating the same joke about how Donald Trump’s hair would fare in a blizzard at almost every campaign appearance. For the convention, it seems she took another trip to the writer’s room and came back with this absolute stinker:
The President may hate the post office, but he’s still going to have to send them a change of address card in January.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) August 18, 2020
The joke would be bad enough on its own — but the cherry on top is watching the reactions of those who were streaming the convention live.
amy got me this close to going full joker but ive stabilized pic.twitter.com/hl6x2JCqU5
— GeneStream Media (@GenePark) August 18, 2020
oh last bits:
i’m already getting yelled at by Indie Girls™ for saying the music was just okay despite maggie rogers’ performance so, sorry for that, i guess 🙄
also i still think amy klobuchar is absolutely hilarious pic.twitter.com/zyge3ec13v
— Thom “F.” Badinger (@fdotny) August 18, 2020
My sister was silent for most of the DNC tonight but I’m glad I caught her one reaction to Amy Klobuchar’s “humor” pic.twitter.com/DmwJ3xnhKa
— BLACK LIVES FUCKING MATTER (@amerejest) August 18, 2020
It can’t get any weirder tonight…can it?
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