Jack Burkman, at the podium, and Jacob Wohl, right.
Photo: John Middlebrook/CSM/Shutterstoc/John Middlebrook/CSM/Shutterstoc
This afternoon, right-wing hucksters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman held another press conference. Wohl and Burkman frequently and lazily concoct political scandals out of thin air and then fail to back them up. They are regarded, far and wide, as a joke. They tried unsuccessfully to Me Too Robert Mueller. Earlier this month, they leveled allegations that Elizabeth Warren was having an affair with a much younger former Marine. Today, they alleged that Senator Ted Cruz was a swinger.
You should not care about this pair. I need to be very clear on that. They are big ol’ dummies and every blog post about them (including this one) is giving them oxygen.
That being said, their audio-visual setup is wild. I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s so funny. It tickles me. Every time they hold one of these dumb press conferences in Burkman’s driveway, I see this ramshackle AV setup and laugh. It’s baffling. It keeps me up at night. I have an idiot disease and the cause is this collection of furniture and appliances.
Generally, each presser has the same setup, as seen in the tweet above from this past May. All of it has the vibe of when you gave your parents a “Why I Should Be Allowed to Have a Nintendo” presentation in third grade.
At the top of the 12 steps leading up to Burkman’s stoop is a lectern. Below that, at a slight jag in the staircase, is a side table with a flat-screen TV on top of it. There is also a sound system with some heavy-duty speakers connected to a mic at the lectern.
God, all of it makes me laugh. It sends me into a downward spiral whenever I see it. This setup exists in the space between impromptu and rehearsed. The tech set reflects the people they are: amateurs cosplaying as pros. They wear suits to their own press conferences, where they haul a table and a TV out from the living room and plop it on the porch. But they are also so committed to this bit that they have a robust speaker setup for their dozen or so attendees. It’s all incongruous.
Their security guard just wears one AirPod? Who could he possibly be talking to? He’s the only guard.
It’s not like they don’t have money. The alleged victims they pull out of the woodwork to smear others are often paid. A man that the pair recruited to level bogus claims against Kamala Harris said he was hired off of a Craigslist ad seeking “a male actor in their early 20’s to early 30’s for basic performance art acting” and promising $250 an hour, according to the Daily Beast.
Gentleman, you could put that money toward better equipment, maybe an outdoor projection system. You do not have to keep hauling furniture that clearly is from Burkman’s living room out to the driveway. That table has a glass top; if you slip while carrying it down the steps, you could be in real trouble.
It is so funny to me that there’s a lectern. Why is there a lectern? The pair hosts these press conferences with enough frequency that I have to assume they own a lectern. That’s funny to me; keeping a lectern on hand just in case you need to give a press conference about horny politicians. “Jacob, my man, we gotta break out the lectern.”
Iconic. There are wires everywhere. Guys, what are you doing? Clean up these cables. They’re just sitting there in a tangled nest on the steps. I live in a crappy, tiny apartment and even I keep my AV cables tucked out of site. Have some self-respect. Also, someone could trip. Again, I’d like to stress the glass table.
Oh, another question I just thought of. Why is the TV in front of the podium? That seems like an oversight. They can’t see the TV. How are they going to know what’s on the TV?
I love the optics of it. I am enraptured by the “outdoor community playhouse production” aesthetic. I hate these hucksters, but you gotta hand it to them: They’re working with what they’ve got (which is one full-size lectern, a midsize flat-screen TV, a tasteful side table, two pro-grade speakers, and a couple of semi-functional brains).