Transcript – America This Week, with Matt Taibbi and Walter Kirn, Episode 91

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Matt Taibbi: All right. Welcome to America This Week, I’m Matt Taibbi.

Walter Kirn: And I’m Walter Kirn.

Matt Taibbi: Walter, where are you? Which is always the first question.

Walter Kirn: I know. We call it America This Week because I am the America correspondent, and I move quickly across the landscape. And today I’m back in Las Vegas, which is my perch for understanding the whole place because 40 million people arrive here every year and then depart, and then 39 million depart poorer. But in the meantime, I talk to most of them about what’s going on, or at least a good sampling, a neat silver cross section, and that’s how I’m so spot on with my analyses and so on. I’m back here taking the temperature of Vegas, which at this point is over a 100 degrees.

Matt Taibbi: Of course.

Walter Kirn: There are people driving around with oven mitts in Las Vegas because they can’t hold their own steering wheels, their cars get that hot.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah, that’s a little bit much.

Walter Kirn: Yeah, it’s getting bad. I’ll be back in Montana next week. I’m retreating from this listening post.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah, you’re like this mythological character who permanently roams the landscape, like an ethereal modern day-

Walter Kirn: right.

Matt Taibbi: … bogeyman or Baba Yaga or something like that.

Walter Kirn: Oh, look, I just got a message from Carole King, the singer, up in the corner of my screen for the Democrat Party. Dude, here’s my big problem and why I want to go back to Montana. I am getting so many emails and messages per day from political candidates, and some of them are hectoring. Some of them are asking me to pledge right now who I’m going to vote for and put it on the record. And then Carole King comes, De Niro is writing me constantly.

Matt Taibbi: Oh, we’ll get to him. Unfortunately, we have to.

Walter Kirn: Yeah. I get at least two messages from him per day. And it’s wanting me to just go into the woods, making me want to go into the woods.

Matt Taibbi: De Niro should just do the thing that he did to Maury in Goodfellas, get behind everybody and put a telephone cord around their necks. I want you to vote for Biden today. Today.

Walter Kirn: First, he has to climb up on his platform shoes though, if he wants to reach my neck, and I’m not very tall.

Matt Taibbi: Oh, man. Well, that’s a good segue into this story. One of many that we’ve tried to avoid because, I don’t know, what’s your reason for not wanting to watch the Trump trial? I have many, but…

Walter Kirn: Okay, good question. First of all, you can’t watch it. You can’t go inside the courtroom. All you can see are these sketches, and then all you can hear about are, Trump fell sleep today, so-and-so, and then these incredibly partisan accounts of what happened. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that’s all over the floor. It’s just hard to follow. And finally, I don’t care because I don’t think the results matter in the end.

Matt Taibbi: Right.

Walter Kirn: They do matter in the sense that successfully getting Trump maybe even behind bars, will be a coup for the powers that be, but I don’t think it’ll matter in the election. There’s so many cable shows to choose from, and this is one, but it has about as much consequence as Stranger Things, as far as I’m concerned, except that it has gotten a little concerning that this is what’s happening now to former presidents in America.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah.

Walter Kirn: In election years.

Matt Taibbi: Whatever you think about the case, and I have complicated feelings about it, but indisputably it’s happening that somebody who’s going to be the major party nominee is possibly about to be criminally sentenced, essentially by his opponent in the race. Not exactly, but-

Walter Kirn: For the crime of being a playboy.

Matt Taibbi: Right. And we’ll get into that. But the coverage of it, the case to me is so inherently ridiculous that I just haven’t been interested in the efforts to prove it, because even proving it overwhelmingly would be ridiculous to me. Unlike, say for instance, the election interference case or any of the things that might come up in the J6 case or whatever.

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